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The Anatomy of environmental fraud – How green NGOs rip off gullible governments

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Written By Olivia Williamson
Friday, 29 June 2012

This is a cautionary tale. This is a tale of gullibility and breach of trust dressed in the cloak of altruism. Koletar, the author, says that there are three ways to steal money: by force, by stealth or by trust. Fraud is theft by trust, and in many ways it is the most profane kind of theft. Our instincts train us to believe that people are inherently good; fraud uses that belief against us.

Sadly, the less honest amongst green NGOs know which buttons to push in order to line their pockets with the millions poured into their coffers out of the good intentions of governments, corporations and the public.


In many ways, con artist requires three elements to commit fraud: opportunity, motivation and rationalization. First, they must have the chance to steal money and, second, a reason to steal it. The third element is the unique part of fraud: They need an explanation or justification as to why it's OK to line their pockets with their ill gotten gains—sometimes merely a big company that "won't miss the money." Or it could be tinged with altruism—saving the world from environmental catastrophe. What better rationalization could there be: As long as you use some of the money to help the world save itself from itself, it's OK.

In fraud, the prey is an unwitting and complicit partner to the predator, letting its guard down, allowing the predator to inflict deep wounds. That’s the reason most people refuse to confront the reality of having been defrauded, a refusal to believe that the person they are dealing with is a fraud. The psychologist Leon Festinger called it "cognitive dissonance"—when we have one notion in our head ("We are a successful government/corporation/person") warring with an incongruent notion ("I just can’t believe it is true").

Unfortunately, as it has often turned out, these con artists masquerading as green NGOs exploit the altruistic inclinations of governments/ corporations/ people to do good knowing that the natural cognitive dissonance will keep their cover from being blown! And so it has proven.

Sometimes, the victims are willing accomplices too. Take the case of palm oil.

The crop has been buffeted for years by the ill winds of green NGOs with the support of major news media organizations despite the solid science showing that palm oil is healthy and sustainable. It is certainly intriguing why the environmental movement should get their knickers in a twist over palm oil despite the solid environmental record of the crop?

Now an Italian think tank, Libertiamo thinks they have uncovered the real reason for this baffling activism against what is probably the most sustainable of all oilseed crops.

What is now clear about the green NGOs anti-palm oil campaigns is that they are just part of an elaborate extortion scheme drawn up by them, which has won the support of EU governments keen to support their indigenous uncompetitive commodities. They get generous grants from such governments. They also solicit money from the gullible public by harping of orangutan or deforestation issues that are based, at best on flimsy manufactured evidence, says Libertiamo.

To put it bluntly, these EU governments did not so much as flirt with the extortionists schemes of these green NGOs but have grasped their funding proposals with a full embrace as it helps erect artificial trade barriers against palm oil conveniently packaged as altruistic environmental campaigns!

In a paper entitled Taxpayer Funding, NGO Collusion and Manufactured Crises, Libertiamo notes that since 2005, the European Commission has provided nearly 5million (MYR 19,7 million) to the World Wildlife Fund and 4 million (MYR 15,8 million) to Friends of the Earth. Climate Action Network (CAN) also received nearly 1 million (MYR 3.9 million) in the past two years alone.

The EU and the EC should STOP this victimization of palm oil! THE END

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