Alberta Inquiry Paid $28K for a Report Smearing Hundreds of Climate Journalists

Credit to Author: Geoff Dembicki| Date: Mon, 25 Jan 2021 17:08:59 GMT

Climate change journalists around the world are part of a “disturbing” effort to hype up Greta Thunberg and “distribute propagandized climate change issues in their reporting,” says a new report paid for by an inquiry set up by the government of Alberta.

The 133-page report says reporters who focus full-time on climate change are aiding powerful progressive global elites whose goal is to abolish capitalism and create a society in which life “will be constantly monitored, short, cold, and miserable, just like pre-industrial times.”

The report is part of a $3.5 million inquiry set up by Premier Jason Kenney’s United Conservative Party to investigate environmental opposition to the province’s tar sands, the world’s third largest oil reserves. The inquiry is expected to release its final conclusions by the end of January

“It’s bizarre to suggest that we’re part of some kind of conspiracy,” Megan Darby, editor of the UK-based site Climate Home News, which was named in the report but not contacted for comment by its author, told VICE World News. “No one tells us what to write.”

Entitled “A New Global Paradigm: Understanding the Transnational Progressive Movement, the Energy Transition and the Great Transformation Strangling Alberta’s Petroleum Industry,” the report also says billionaires George Soros and Michael Bloomberg, along with the World Economic Forum and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, are leading an international movement to catalyze massive economic and social changes under the pretext of limiting global carbon dioxide emissions, “a gas essential to all human life.” 

An entire section of the report is dedicated to climate change media, “a key driver in the cultural shift necessary for the Great Transformation,” it says. 

“The idea that paying attention to climate change as a full-time journalistic beat is somehow an act of advocacy is a complete misunderstanding of the role of journalism in a democracy,” said Mark Hertsgaard, co-founder and executive director of Covering Climate Now, a media initiative also named in the report that has more than 400 news outlets around the world as partners (including VICE World News). He wasn’t contacted either.  

The report was authored by energy researcher Tammy Nemeth, who according to the CBC is currently a home-school teacher in England. She received $28,000 from the Alberta inquiry, whose budget in turn comes from the provincial government, inquiry spokesperson Alan Boras confirmed to VICE World News. 

Nemeth doesn’t appear to be associated with any university or research institution. Asked how she was chosen to supply key evidentiary materials for a major government inquiry, spokesperson Boras explained that “she along with others have been engaged and interested in the topic matters and as a result of that discussion she contributed this to the inquiry.”

Nemeth did not respond to a request for an interview.

“The scientific consensus on climate change isn’t a political viewpoint, it’s not a conspiracy, it’s not an agenda; it’s science,” said Benjamin Strauss, the CEO and chief scientist of Climate Central, an organization named in the report which researches and reports on the impacts of climate change and collaborates with newsrooms across the U.S. 

Boras said that Nemeth’s report is just one among many pieces of evidence that inquiry commissioner Steve Allan, a Calgary accountant, will be considering as he makes his final conclusions about whether “foreign organizations” are directing Canadian environmental groups to attack the tar sands. “The commissioner is very much focused on gathering a broad perspective of views,” Boras said. 

Other documents Allan will take into account include a report entitled “Foreign Funding Targeting Canada’s Energy Sector,” which the Independent Petroleum Association of America received $50,000 from the inquiry to write; and a $6,000 inquiry-funded report from University of Calgary political scientist Barry Cooper that frequently refers to climate activists as “Marxists” and claims incorrectly that there is “growing scientific skepticism” around the idea that humans cause climate change. 

Given it’s commissioning studies like these, it’s no wonder the inquiry paid Nemeth tens of thousands of dollars to write a report smearing hundreds of climate journalists, said Sean Holman, an associate professor of journalism at Mount Royal University in Calgary. 

“This study is a natural consequence of so much right-wing politics being based on denial of evidence,” he told VICE News. “If you deny the reality of climate change then you automatically think that a journalist is being biased when they tell the truth.” 

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