[Vision2020] 9-5-23 "Climate Science Denial Looms Large in GB News Linked ‘ARC’ Venture"

Ted Moffett starbliss at gmail.com
Tue Sep 12 21:18:04 PDT 2023

Vision2020 Post: Ted Moffett
Is Bjorn Lomborg, mentioned in the article copied below, and also published
in the Wall Street Journal in July 2023


a credible climate scientist, extensively published in peer reviewed
science journals?

Climate Science Denial Looms Large in GB News Linked ‘ARC’ Venture


by Adam Barnett and Joey Grostern

“The arc of the moral universe is long but it bends towards justice”. This
Martin Luther King quote was used by Conservative peer Baroness Stroud to
introduce the Alliance for Responsible Citizenship
<https://www.desmog.com/alliance-for-responsible-citizenship-arc/> (ARC),
which launched in March.

Set up by the owners of GB News
involving “senior leaders from politics, media, culture, business, and
academia”, ARC claims that it will address the six “fundamental issues of
our time”, including “energy and resources” and “environmental

In reality, ARC appears to be the latest attempt by national populist
forces to shape culture and politics.

And as climate change has been swallowed up
<https://thelead.uk/populists-are-feeding-climate-crisis-culture-wars> by
the “culture wars”, ARC’s advisors include some of the world’s leading
opponents of climate action.

In her launch blog <https://archive.is/GUmux>, Baroness Stroud gives an
indication of where the alliance stands on climate change.

She states that “we risk driving policy interventions to address
environmental concerns without having an honest conversation about the
trade-offs for the poor at home or in developing and emerging nations”.

The notion that green reforms unduly punish the poor is a common refrain
among those who oppose climate action.

In reality, poor and indigenous groups in developing countries will be hit
the impacts of climate change, while those suffering from poverty at home
have seen their energy bills soar
successive governments have failed to implement green reforms.

And ARC’s anti-green credentials are further exposed by the makeup of its
key members. The alliance’s political ties are extensive, with its advisory
board featuring a number of prominent politicians from the UK and abroad,
as are its ties to climate science critics.

ARC is hosting <https://archive.is/wip/QRYqQ> a major event at the O2 Arena
in London in November, headlined by psychologist Jordan Peterson
<https://www.desmog.com/jordan-peterson/>, which it claims will play host
to “more than a thousand high level leaders from politics, culture,
business and academia”.

Peterson has regularly posted about <https://archive.is/sTM8t> “climate
apocalypse insanity” and <https://archive.is/DLB7o> “eco fascists” to his
millions of online followers, while claiming in a Telegraph article
October that “eco-extremists are leading the world towards despair,
poverty, and starvation”.

Peterson has played a key role in amplifying fringe climate crisis deniers
to millions of people via his YouTube channel, according to a new DeSmog

Peterson is joined on the ARC advisory board by Tony Abbott
<https://www.desmog.com/tony-abbott/>, a director of the Global Warming
Policy Foundation
<https://www.desmog.com/global-warming-policy-foundation/> (GWPF)
the UK’s principal climate science denial group, the writers Bjorn Lomborg
<https://www.desmog.com/bjorn-lomborg/> and Michael Shellenberger
<https://www.desmog.com/michael-shellenberger/>, both of whom have written
books downplaying the threats posed by climate change, and Republican
presidential hopeful Vivek Ramaswamy, who recently claimed that the green
agenda is a “hoax”.

In August, a Telegraph opinion piece <https://archive.is/FnKFM> by Peterson
and Lomborg touted the launch of ARC and its focus on opposing climate

The article echoed Baroness Stroud’s claims about the costs of
environmentalism, suggesting that achieving net zero will “cost far beyond
$100 trillion” and stating that “we need… to ensure that the cure is not
much worse than the disease”.

The UK’s Climate Change Committee, which advises the government on measures
to achieve net zero emissions by 2050, estimates
the combined policies will cost less than 1 percent of GDP.

DeSmog did not receive a response from ARC or any of the other individuals
and organisations approached for comment.
ARC’s UK Architects

ARC has extensive ties to UK politicians and media figures, notably sharing
the same owners as startup broadcaster GB News.

According to Companies House, the same five individuals who own GB News’s
parent company are also the people with significant control
the Alliance for Responsible Citizenship Limited: Sir Paul Marshall, Alan
McCormick, Richard Douglas, Mark Stoleson, and Christopher Chandler.

McCormick, Chandler, and Stoleson are all executives at Legatum Group, the
Dubai-based investment fund that, alongside Marshall, is a principal
financial backer of GB News.

Hedge fund founder Sir Paul Marshall is joined on the ARC advisory board –
which has 44 members – by his son Winston, former banjo player in the band
Mumford and Sons and a podcaster for the Spectator, a conservative magazine.

Tory peer Baroness Morrissey, one of the directors
GB News’s parent company, is also an ARC adviser, as is ex-GB News
presenter Colin Brazier.

GB News has been a prominent opponent of climate action since it launched
in June 2021. A DeSmog investigation in May revealed
one in three GB News hosts spread climate science denial on air in 2022,
while half attacked climate policies.

GB News presenters claimed that net zero will cause “death by poverty and
starvation”, that the policy “poses an existential threat to the free
world”, and called for the UK to “drill, baby, drill” for more fossil

Baroness Bennett, a Green Party member of the House of Lords, said that
ARC’s launch was a reminder of the threat from groups defending vested
energy interests.

“There will always be people who benefit greatly from the status quo,
who’ll seek to defend it to the bitter end,” she said.

ARC’s CEO, Tory peer Baroness Stroud, formerly served as the CEO of the
Legatum Institute think tank, which has been described
<https://www.ft.com/content/fac8b53e-d840-11e7-a039-c64b1c09b482> by the
Financial Times as the “intellectual heart” of a “hard” Brexit.

The institute, founded by the Legatum Group in 2007, received $77,000 in
2018 from the Charles Koch Foundation, linked to the CEO of the US-based Koch
Industries <https://www.desmog.com/koch-industries-inc/> fossil fuel

ARC advisory board member and Conservative MP Danny Kruger worked
a senior advisor at the Legatum Institute from 2017 to 2018.

In early August, Kruger used his role on Parliament’s Treasury Select
Committee to urge
Bank of England to investigate the “influence Greenpeace and other extreme
climate activist groups may have over employees of the Bank”.

His statement followed a report that Labour Party candidate Alistair
Stratham, who is climate lead at the Bank of England, took part in a
Greenpeace demonstration last year.

Conservative MP for Penistone and Stocksbridge Miriam Cates, considered
rising star in the party, is also an ARC adviser. In May, both Cates and
Kruger spoke at the National Conservatism Conference
London, which featured several climate science deniers. Cates used
speech to suggest that “epidemic levels of anxiety and confusion” are being
caused by teaching children that “humanity is killing the Earth”.

Cates and Kruger are joined on the ARC advisory board by Labour peer
Maurice Glasman.

Writer Douglas Murray will be speaking at ARC’s event at the O2, following
on from his appearance at the National Conservatism Conference in May.
Murray has suggested
<https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/23401087/climate-policy-unaffordable/> that
climate policies will “impoverish” Brits, and has argued
“terrifying our children with doom-mongering propaganda on climate change
is nothing less than abuse”.

“This Conservative government continues to push the environment and climate
change to the back of the queue,” said Wera Hobhouse MP, energy and climate
spokesperson for the Liberal Democrats, “so it is hardly surprising we are
seeing more groups linked to climate denial being given a platform”.
Media Influence

ARC also has a number of international advisers who are leading media
critics of climate action.

Bjorn Lomborg <https://www.desmog.com/bjorn-lomborg/>, a Danish writer with
a PhD in political science, is an ARC adviser and has regularly downplayed
the threat posed by climate change.

In an article
the Wall Street Journal last month titled “Climate change hasn’t set the
world on fire”, Lomborg cited a decline in the scope of wildfires worldwide
since 2001 – despite rising temperatures making wildfires more likely and
more destructive
according to experts.

In 2020, Lomborg published a book entitled “False Alarm: How Climate Change
Panic Costs Us Trillions, Hurts the Poor, and Fails to Fix the Planet”,
following on from his 1998 text, “The Skeptical Environmentalist”.

Lomborg is speaking alongside Peterson at ARC’s O2 event and has co-written
articles with him for the Telegraph. One published during the COP27 climate
summit in October described
climate policies as “insane”.

This year, the world experienced its hottest July on record
with climate change fueling
<https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-58073295> extreme weather
The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the world’s
leading climate science body, has warned
the spread of climate misinformation which “undermines climate science and
disregards risk and urgency” of cutting emissions.

Also on the ARC board is Michael Shellenberger
<https://www.desmog.com/michael-shellenberger/>, a US author who has
downplayed the climate crisis via his think tank Environmental Progress and
his 2020 book “Apocalypse Never: Why Environmental Alarmism Hurts Us All”.

In a 2020 cover piece for Forbes, which was later retracted by the
magazine, Shellenberger apologised “on behalf of environmentalists
everywhere” for what he called “the climate scare”, and claimed that
“climate change is not making natural disasters worse”.

The IPCC says
is an “established fact” that human-caused greenhouse gas emissions have
“led to an increased frequency and/or intensity of some weather and climate
extremes since pre-industrial times”.

In a 2021 piece
<https://unherd.com/2021/11/climate-change-will-not-be-catastrophic/> for
UnHerd, an online outlet owned by ARC and GB News director Sir Paul
Marshall, Shellenberger wrote that “no global problem has ever been more
exaggerated than climate change”. He argued that economic growth would help
humans adapt to 4C of global warming, and added: “Why kill ourselves trying
to eliminate a problem that just isn’t that severe?”

Peterson, Lomborg, and Shellenberger have all been interviewed by Winston
Marshall for his Spectator podcast. In January, Lomborg was interviewed
his book “False Alarm” in a segment headlined “Climate Change Alarmism and
the True Cost of Net Zero”. Winston interviewed
<https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lIXyAf5vZzM> Shellenberger in November
about international efforts to tackle climate change.
International Scope

ARC also brings together a number of politicians from across the wider
Anglosphere who have led the charge against climate action.

ARC’s advisory board includes former Australian prime minister Tony Abbott
<https://www.desmog.com/tony-abbott/>, who has been
trustee at the GWPF since February. Abbott has previously said
“climate change is probably doing good” and is a long-standing advocate for
coal power, the most carbon-intensive
<https://www.iea.org/energy-system/fossil-fuels/coal> fossil fuel.

Fellow ex-Australian prime minister John Howard, who sits on the ARC
board, told
Sky News <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iPmQRxXd1J8> in March that he was
“increasingly sceptic [sic]” about climate policies, adding that Australia
should “continue to benefit” from coal and gas.

Andrew Hastie, an MP for Australia’s Liberal Party and its shadow defence
minister, is also on the ARC advisory board. Hastie argued
green policies in a speech last year, labelling as “green virtue
signalling” the country’s Climate Change Act, which established targets for
the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

The ARC board likewise features US politicians who have opposed green
reforms and are linked to the fossil fuel industry.

Republican presidential contender and ARC adviser Vivek Ramaswamy used a
debate on 23 August to claim
“the climate change agenda is a hoax”.

Fellow ARC adviser Mike Lee, a Republican Party senator for Utah, was one
of 22 senators who signed
letter in 2017 urging President Donald Trump to withdraw from the Paris
Climate Agreement.

In a 2019 interview
Lee criticised the Democrat-led Green New Deal proposal, which advocated
for action to divest from fossil fuels and create green energy jobs. Lee
argued that “the solution to climate change” is for people to “fall in
love, get married and have some kids”.

“Problems of human imagination are not solved by more laws, they’re solved
by more humans,” he said.

Another ARC adviser, Mike Johnson, a Republican congressman for Louisiana,
called the Paris Agreement “a terrible deal for the United States” and
supported leaving it. He went on to say that climate change was part of a
normal cycle, adding: “we don’t need the UN dictating to us how to be
responsible stewards of what God has given us”.

In October, Johnson was a guest
<https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DrVQTNpSwIk> on Jordan Peterson’s podcast,
where they discussed “the trumped up climate crisis”.

Dan Crenshaw, a Republican congressman for Texas who sits on the House
Energy and Commerce Committee, is also an ARC adviser. Last year he wrote
the US should “fight back against the [climate] alarmism with tangible
solutions based on reason, science, and the free market”.

Crenshaw received a total of $8,500 from Koch-linked political funding
groups for his 2018
<https://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/Koch_candidates,_2018> and 2020
<https://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/Koch_Candidates,_2020> congressional
campaigns, according to SourceWatch.

Arthur C. Brooks, who sits on the ARC advisory board, is a former president
of the American Enterprise Institute
<https://www.desmog.com/american-enterprise-institute> (AEI), a US-based
conservative think tank that has received millions from oil giant
ExxonMobil and the Charles Koch Foundation.

ARC’s board also features Leslyn Lewis, a former Conservative Party member
of the Canadian Parliament, who ran for her party’s leadership in 2022
zero was “destroying our country”.

Lewis has claimed
the World Economic Forum (WEF), an international corporate and
non-governmental alliance, is “[dictating] climate change policies that
impoverish citizens while not reducing emissions”.

The WEF, which is the subject of many conspiracy theories
can advise governments but has no statutory or regulatory powers to enforce
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