From the most exclusive enclave on the U.S. West Coast — Malibu, where the median cost of a ‘single family home’ is $7 million — comes a voice of sympathy for the everyday concerns of struggling British workers.
Why is this worth reporting? Because that voice of sympathy comes from Trevor Neilson, who co-founded the Climate Emergency Fund (CEF) in 2019.
This U.S. charity has ploughed millions of pounds into Extinction Rebellion and Just Stop Oil, because it was set up specifically to fund what it calls ‘disruptive’ climate campaigns. One can’t deny that it has got its money’s worth.
But now Neilson — who boasted that his network of Californian multi-millionaires to fund extreme ‘climate activists’ in the UK and Europe was ‘a wild-ass idea’ — has had second thoughts.
But now Neilson (pictured) — who boasted that his network of Californian multi-millionaires to fund extreme ‘climate activists’ in the UK and Europe was ‘a wild-ass idea’ — has had second thoughts
This U.S. charity has ploughed millions of pounds into Extinction Rebellion and Just Stop Oil, because it was set up specifically to fund what it calls ‘disruptive’ climate campaigns
In an interview with The Sunday Times yesterday, the 50-year-old said: ‘It’s become disruption for the sake of disruption. Working people that are trying to get to their job, get their kid dropped off at school, survive a brutal cost of living crisis in the UK, you know.
‘If at the same time they have a pink-haired, tattooed and pierced protester standing in front of their car, so that their kid is late for their test that day, that does not encourage them to join the movement.
‘It’s just performative. It’s not accomplishing anything. It’s become counterproductive, and I just feel that has to be said by somebody that was involved in the beginning of what it has become.’
Neilson stood down as chairman of the CEF in 2021 but has only now publicised his concerns — doubtless to the disgust of former comrades such as Aileen Getty (of the family which made billions out of oil).
Getty’s donations to cause ‘disruption’ in this country may well have been cost-free to her because of the uniquely generous tax treatment of charitable giving in the U.S. Or, as the CEF website puts it: ‘We provide a safe harbour for donors who want to fund disruptive activism. We accept anonymous donations. Your donation is safe, legal and tax-deductible.’
What a consolation that must be for London council taxpayers, as they read that in the past six weeks alone, the Metropolitan Police had to shell out more than £4.5 million for the equivalent of almost 14,000 extra shifts by officers (some of whom will have been involved in restraining furious Londoners from physically removing Just Stop Oil protesters from the road themselves).
The Metropolitan Police had to shell out more than £4.5 million for the equivalent of almost 14,000 extra shifts by officers (some of whom will have been involved in restraining furious Londoners from physically removing Just Stop Oil protesters from the road themselves)
Neilson’s original point of contact with the ‘disruptive’ climate change campaign in the UK was Roger Hallam — himself the co-founder of Extinction Rebellion (XR) and Just Stop Oil.
Hallam has been recorded telling his followers that ‘people who run society, run big business’, whom he judged ‘culpable … for the climate catastrophe … maybe you should put a bullet through their head’.
The ‘disruptive’ protests by XR and Just Stop Oil, funded by Neilson’s outfit, are entirely non-violent. But their members are fanatical, as can be discovered by reading their press releases.
They sent one out last week, furious that Sir Keir Starmer had allegedly forbidden Ed Miliband, the Shadow Secretary of State for Climate Change, from speaking on the same platform at the Glastonbury Festival with the co-founder of Just Stop Oil, Indigo Rumbelow.
Labour’s leader has, in fact, adopted Just Stop Oil’s demand that his party, if in government, will veto drilling for any new North Sea oil or gas fields.
But Just Stop Oil seems apoplectic that Starmer has said he will not revoke any new oilfield developments licensed by the current government.
Its press release ranted: ‘No new oil and gas is not ‘a policy’ — it is a question of whether you decide to commit mass murder . . . Throughout history every authoritarian regime with genocidal aspirations has been facilitated by a weak political opposition.
‘Putting more carbon into the atmosphere in 2023 will bring about the wholesale destruction of ordered society. It will destroy our ability to grow food. It will destroy the world trading system and create permanent depression . . . it means the loss of our pensions and savings.’
But Just Stop Oil seems apoplectic that Starmer has said he will not revoke any new oilfield developments licensed by the current government
This is demented drivel, every word. There is not a single reputable scientist in the field of climate change who would endorse it (or the idea that we could ever stop emitting carbon — unless we all ceased breathing, which really would be the end of mankind).
One of our most eminent figures in this field, Professor Mike Hulme, who founded the Tyndall Centre for Climate Research, has just written another book on the subject, Climate Change Isn’t Everything: Liberating Climate Politics From Alarmism.
An extract was published in The Mail on Sunday yesterday, in which Professor Hulme, who served on the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, criticised what he called ‘an increasingly alarmist discourse of apocalypse just around the corner .
‘I disagree with the doom-mongers,’ he continued. ‘Climate change is not like a comet approaching Earth. There is no good scientific or historical evidence that it will lead to human extinction or the collapse of civilisation.’
He added: ‘There is an anti-democratic impulse within climatism that brooks no public dissent. This is most explicit in Extinction Rebellion and Just Stop Oil. But it has also crept into a range of businesses, charities, professions and institutions . . . such as the BBC.’
Certainly I have observed that when representatives of Just Stop Oil appear on the BBC, they have never (or not since Andrew Neil and Auntie parted company) been challenged about their ‘facts’. Interviewers only question their ‘tactics’, as if their campaign was itself unquestionably accurate in every particular.
This is demented drivel, every word. There is not a single reputable scientist in the field of climate change who would endorse it
Someone who seems in accord with much of the hysterical rhetoric of these demonstrators is Lord Deben, chairman of the Committee on Climate Change, the official body monitoring the UK’s performance in reducing carbon emissions.
Just Stop Oil has put out yet another press release, quoting Lord Deben’s remarks at the Glastonbury Festival: ‘The whole political establishment should realise these protests come from people who are desperate because they realise our future is imperilled because we are not doing enough.
‘I want everyone to realise how absolutely urgent it is. They ought to be in touch with their MPs — and they ought to make themselves a nuisance in every circumstance they can because we have to act now.’
But it looks as though Lord Deben himself might be doing his bit of (non-disruptive) protest: objecting to the construction of the Sizewell C nuclear power station in Suffolk — where he owns two houses, including a Grade II listed mansion, Winston Grange.
Nuclear power is the only zero-carbon source of dependable, non-intermittent mass energy production, and Deben is in favour of it. But not in his back yard: he went on Newsnight last year to say our next nuclear power station should not be in Suffolk, because ‘the employment there is perfectly reasonable’.
That is a fatuous argument and irrelevant to his objection, which seems centred around plans to build a link road from the A12 to the Sizewell C site entrance — plans which have provoked a number of wealthy landowners in the area.
Given that Sizewell C is, after decades of equivocation, the only newly approved nuclear power station project that we have, any attempt to delay it further would seem extraordinary on the part of someone who says ‘we have to act now’.
In fact, the UK has acted faster than any other of the G7 leading economies.
In the period from 1990 to 2021 we have reduced our carbon emissions by 48 per cent, more even than Germany’s 38 per cent. And the U.S., where Trevor Neilson set up his Climate Emergency Fund? That enormous economy cut its emissions over the same period by . . . 3 per cent.
Mr Neilson and his fellow Californian multi-millionaires should never have spent their (tax-deductible) dollars ‘disrupting’ us, and instead concentrated their activities at home. But perhaps that would not have gone done so well with the neighbours in Malibu.