UKYCC: Tracking down the Poznan Ten

My mother always said this would happen. You start off visiting odd blogs, chatting with strangers, and you end up stalking young women on the internet.

Some people point me to Agenda 21, Bilderberg, the 1001 club – the sinister organisations which are behind everything. Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad people are looking into these things. It’s interesting to know what Prince Philip and Prince Bernhard get up to behind closed doors. Everything needs exploring – but at both ends.

I started looking at the UK Youth Climate Coalition in the previous article with the idea of doing what Alex Cull and I once discussed doing, and what Barry Woods has also explored – sorting out the tangled web of Green NGOs with a view to discovering who’s financing whom, and why. An enormous task.

I finished the previous article saying “they’re being groomed” – meaning that young environmental activists are being indoctrinated with ideas they don’t understand, by political forces who pretend they are simply harnessing the energy of youth to put pressure on the politicans to act, but are in fact cynically exploiting them for their own ends, and, of course, training the next generation of professional activists. (Ben Pile has examined the business of green pseudo-grassroots movements in many excellent articles at

http://www.climate-resistance.org/

Omnologos questioned my use of the word “grooming”. So I thought: “Am I exaggerating? Instead of looking at the organisation, its structure and financing, why not look at the people themselves?” They reveal enough about themselves, goodness knows.

It would be so easy to write a funny, sarcastic article about the UKYCC activists – roaming the planet from Qatar to Rio, forming human pyramids, and designing cool  t-shirt slogans to save the world. But they’re young and idealistic, and if I’m right, they’re victims and not villains.

So I decided to take the first bunch of activists, the ones who went to Poznan in 2008, just a few months after the two winners of a WWF trip to the Arctic formed the group, and find out what had happened to them, four and a half years later. Were they a bunch of hippy dropouts living off the state, or smoking themselves silly on a beach in India? Had they discarded their youthful idealism and integrated into “normal” society? If sociologists won’t do the job, I thought, I’ll do it for them.

There are ten of them listed in the 2009 annual report, (though other accounts say that there were fifteen). They went on training sessions organised by the WWF, People and Planet, and the Otesha Project, and took the train to Poznan (one said he’d hitch hike) to attend the the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) 14th conference (COP14) which was held from June to September, 2008.

What follows is what  I learned about nine of them from a morning’s googling. (The tenth, Katie Roberts, I couldn’t trace, because her name was too common). I don’t do Twitter or Facebook, and doubtlessly anyone who does could find out a whole lot more. Some of the information comes from personal blogs. There are certainly gaps and errors (particularly of chronology) for which I apologise. I’ve not said everything I’ve learned, and I’ve left out all links, except one.

Taken overall, and bearing in mind that people put the best face on things on personal blogs, job descriptions etc., the conclusion to be drawn is pretty evident. These are not treehuggers who will finish their days living in caravans on a hippy commune. I‘ve read a lot about some of them, and been moved by some of the things I’ve read. They’re the blogger generation. Many of them write, and write well. These young people have a future. Probably, they are the future.

 “How old will you be in 2050?” was the cool slogan one of them came up with. Well, I’ll be 104,  and in 2050 I’ll still expect a minimum of respect (even if I’m not there to demand it) and though I’m quite willing to accept the fact that the ideas in vogue then will be rather different from today’s ideas (and even more different from my ideas of yesteryear) one thing I’m certain of – I want there to be more than One Idea – theirs.

So, at the risk of providing Richard Curtis with the plot for a sequel to 4 Weddings.. here goes..

1.Adam Weymouth

Degree from the Centre for Human Ecology. Environmental activist. Was among those arrested in 2009 for planning to disable a power station. was acquitted in the summer of 2011 at a trial at which James Hansen appeared for the defence. Wrote an article on the Guardian CiFBelief page “Love of strangers is a vital, open act and a risk worth taking: Turkey shows we would do well to remember the dwindling art of hospitality”.

2. Jamie Andrews

B.A. in History from Sheffield. managed a European Commission renewable energy project and now runs an internet-based train-booking agency. Writes for Wired, the Ecologist, G Music Magazine. Went to Copenhagen in 2009.

3. Guppi Bola

MSc in Global Health Sciences from Oxford University . At Leeds University, where she studied biomedicine, she co-founded the Healthy Planet campaign and encouraged the student global health network Medsin to take further action on the issue. She worked in the Health and Education Campaigns team in Oxfam, as well as working closely with the Global Climate Campaigns team in the run up to Copenhagen. A campaign coordinator at both Oxfam and the UK Youth Climate Coalition, she wrote the January 2012 Oxfam report: Who got left behind? How rising inequality is affecting countries across the G20.

4. Dan Vockins

Campaign manager at 10:10 which he helped found in 2009. Leads 10:10’s special projects work including Lighter Later (a move to change the clocks for lighter evenings) and Solar Schools (a campaign to help schools crowd fund the cost of installing solar from the local community).

Was campaign coordinator for The Age of Stupid climate blockbuster and president of the Students’ Union at Sussex. Is a  trustee of the youth organising charity Envision.

5. Malachi Chadwick

MA in Philosophy, Politics and Economics at the University of York, where his research focused on intergenerational ethics and the role of individual action in addressing climate change. Has worked as a press photographer, designer and driver of bin lorries. Currently works as Content Manager for 10:10. Recently co-wrote the Rough Guide to Community Energy. His worst moment at 10:10 was forgetting how to operate a door handle on the way out of a meeting with Boris Johnson’s aides.

6.Isabel Bottoms

Studied law at Bristol University. Director of Dyfydol, a Welsh youth forum on Sustainable Development,. What she saw at UN climate negotiations – poor countries struggling to get their voices heard against rich countries with hundreds of delegates – prompted her to found an organisation called UNfairplay. UNfairplay volunteers helped poor countries as well as lobbying to make the system fairer. “It sounds boring [doing admin to help poor countries at UN climate negotiations], and in all honesty it is pretty boring, except it happens to be essential.”

Currently working with indyact.org/  based in Beirut. Gave John Vidal a good fisking on her blog at

http://izzykb.wordpress.com/2012/12/04/bag-of-inaccuracies/#more-939

7. Amy Mount

started blogging in 2008. In December 2008 Ed Miliband bought her a beer. Has been a graduate student at Yale since Aug 2011 “thinking about the political economy of the environment, justice within and between generations, and international relations, amongst other things”. Recently attended a talk by Tony Blair at Yale. Wasn’t impressed.

8. Lizzie Gawen

Bsc Hons in Third World Development  University of Derby. Likes “poetry, justice and truth”. Ethics and Environment Officer The University of Derby Students’ Union.

Currently Groups Worker  for the Student Christian Movement, running and planning national gatherings and support groups through visits, encouragement and training. Has taken part in direct action with organisations such as People & Planet, Greenpeace and Amnesty International. Whilst volunteering with the UK Youth Climate Coalition she coordinated a project facilitating a 20 strong youth delegation to the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen.

9. Kirsty Schneeberger M.B.E.

Coordinator of the UK Youth Climate Coalition, has participated in the UN climate negotiations since 2008, advocating for intergenerational equity to be integrated into the process. Through this engagement at the UN Kirsty developed the campaign “How old will you be in 2050?” leading to the online advocacy platform Think2050. Has worked with a number of environmental charities in the UK, including the World Wildlife Fund, the Consortium for Policy Research in Education (CPRE), and the Otesha Project, a youth-led organization that helps young people to become agents of change. Kirsty was the founding Coordinating Chair of the Department of Energy and Climate Change’s Youth Advisory Panel.

Works currently at the New Economics Institute as Stakeholder Forum Coordinator of the Global Transition 2012 initiative. Her policy and advocacy work focusses on the green economy in the context of poverty eradication and the institutional frameworks for sustainable development governance.

*          *           *

So there you are. I’ve written to one or two, telling them what I was up to. Comments, corrections and additional information welcome, but please use discretion in comments.

This entry was posted in Phantom Bodies & Zombie Blogs, Sociology of Climate Change and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

27 Responses to UKYCC: Tracking down the Poznan Ten

  1. omnologos says:

    I am amazed by the ease so many people had in finding clever names / puns for their websites and organisations.

  2. maurizio
    I was always told (by I can’t remember what fuddy duddy anglo-saxon teacher) that mixing Latin and Greek roots was the height of bad linguistic manners. My nome and cognome are both of impeccable franco-norman origin. I don’t know how my parents managed that, since neither had any literary education worth speaking of.
    (Finding fancy names, often with a classical feel (whether it be for a blog or a multinational organisation) is considered the height of cleverness. Anyone who’d copyrighted the contents of their Latin dictionary ten years ago would be a millionaire now. Only in Italy do they go for earthy titles like Popolo della Libertà or Vafanculo – and I regret the disappearance of The Unbearable Nakedness of Climate Change)
    But that’s not what this blog is about. Behind the Futerra-launched campaigns are decent intelligent young people who think that you and I are, at best, misguided, at worst, vermin who must be exterminated. What are we going to do about it?

  3. omnologos says:

    Sounds like the rule on putting full stops inside quotes – the absurd obsession of a linguistic activist, transformed into rule without a merit (for a counterpoint: “television”).

    As for what to do…we have to keep the flame burning. They will pass.

  4. Our language is a bastard. Forgive us for being a bit sensib(i)le – I mean sensitive – about the subject.
    As for what to do…we have to keep the flame burning. They will pass.
    Well said – and right anglo-saxonly, apart from the flame, and even that will pass.

  5. que sais je says:

    […] the sinister organisations which are behind everything.” (Geoff)

    Who said or implied so, please? I guess that should have been a joke — but it sounds like Lewandowsky.

    “Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad people are looking into these things. […] Everything needs exploring – but at both ends.” (Geoff)

    Yes, I appreciate that attempt too.

    Where to start? “Ends” are (too?) often intertwined / twisted / knotted, aren’t they? I will have a deeper look at the UK Youth Climate Coalition (UKYCC) movement another time, thanks.

    […] why not look at the people themselves?” (Omnologos)

    As far as those people are official figures — that sounds good (Geoff, you quoted the “Bilderbergers” — for some inexplicable reason it seems to be very hard for ~99% of the populaces to recognize, for example, those “Bilderbergers”. And, for example, since 1982 the members of Yale’s Skull & Bones Society (cf. also the “2°C crisis” already described at least by one member in the 1970s) are even unknown to the public at all because there are no official rosters published after that year).

    Do you, Omnologos or others, think that, eventually, it would be wise to take also some points of the biometrician Dallas Goldbug / WellAware1 / Richard B Dawson / … into consideration? (There are also some questions for people (e.g. Marc Morano (aka Dave Weiss? /…?), Sandusky (aka Kevin Costner? /…?), Julia Gillard (aka Judy Foster? /…?), …), political parties, institutions and movements (e.g. UNO, “Occupy Movement(s)”, well known “conspiracy theory” authors / bloggers / vloggers / activists /…) which look as if it would be easy to answer them…)

    […] sorting out the tangled web of Green NGOs with a view to discovering who’s financing whom, and why. An enormous task.” (Geoff)

    Agreed.

  6. omnologos says:

    I did not write “why not look at the people themselves?”

  7. que sais je
    I’m not sure what point you’re making, because I’m not sure if you’re being ironic, particularly with your link to a site which seems to be suggesting that lots of famous dead people aren’t really dead, because someone else looks like them.
    My point about Agenda 21 etcetera is that secret attempts to manipulate things behind the scenes are only interesting if they can be shown to have an effect.
    Here’s a small example of “behind the scenes” manipulation which I discovered, and which could be important.
    The UKYCC is clearly supported by a large Canadian charity called TakingITGlobal, which has support from charities like Amnesty International, the United Nations body UNEP, commercial companies like Microsoft, and a host of other donors. I can’t see an easy way of knowing what proportion of its income comes from these very different sources (but I may be wrong).
    They have a page
    http://orgs.tigweb.org/uk-youth-climate-coalition
    on which they say:
    “UK Youth Climate Coalition: Mission/Vision
    To inspire, empower and mobilise a generational movement of young people in the UK to take action on climate change. By uniting together, we will demonstrate to decision makers that we will not accept failure.”

    Yet on their FAQ page, they say:
    “TakingITGlobal generally does not take advocacy positions on specific topics or issues, especially at a local level. However, TakingITGlobal has lobbied for increasing youth participation in decision-making processes.”
    and:
    “Vision: Youth everywhere actively engaged and connected in shaping a more inclusive, peaceful and sustainable world.”
    Clearly, in mobilising “a generational movement of young people in the UK to take action on climate change” they are taking an “advocacy position on a specific topic”.
    Slightly less clearly, they are doing the same thing when they promote “sustainability”.
    Charities shouldn’t be doing this. UNEP shouldn’t be financing political action in the UK. Others have pointed this out better than I could.
    The point of this article was to find out how effective these shadowy efforts have been in influencing hearts and minds. My small sociological survey suggests that they are very effective indeed. Of nine activists examined, at least seven have regular jobs promoting the cause they took up four years previously. Of the others, one’s doing postgraduate study at Yale and the other has had an article published in the Guardian. Ms Schneeberger, who came to prominence four years previously by inventing a cool slogan for a t-shirt, has been awarded an M.B.E. at the age of 23. That’s normally awarded for a lifetime of distinguished service!
    [I just checked out something I forgot to look at. Louisa Casson, whom I mentioned in the previous article, made a passing reference to Futerra, the very influential Green PR and Marketing Organisation. And sure enough, Casper ter Kulie, one of the two founders of UKYCC, works there. This to me, is far more significant than any secret conversations Prince Philip may be having with Prince Bernhard]

  8. Barry Woods says:

    fascinating and if you look a bit further a very small social network that reinforces itself:

    ie Kirsty Schneeberger M.B.E.

    Is now a director of PIRC alongside Dr Adam Corner (ex Green party, Foe, etc), Transitions,) , Christian Hunt – Carbon Brief editor (also ex greenpeace)

    (Franny Armstrong, Age of Stupid, 10:10 founders was a director, and got the idea for 10:10 whilst there, at least thats what the PIRC website says

    Isabel Bottoms: founder of UnFair PLay –

    The other guy behind that was Alex Randall ( was Kiribati’s speaker at Copenhagen)

    who is Dr Adam Corner’s co-author of a recent paper (both at Copenhagen) and mates with Christian Hunt – Carbon Brief, PIRC, Greenpeace (see their Project Cheat Neutral, with Beth Stratford )

    Beth Stratford being another activist arrested fro stopping a coal train, and went to court – Hansen was in the wings for that one aswell, but the judge did not allow it.)

    Beth was also 10:10 Global Projects, and also contributed to Franny Armstrongs – Age of Stupid.. Both Alex Randall and Dr Adam Corner now quite involved with COIN.

    endless inter connectivity, usually on a gravy train, now they all need careers, of ngo, charity, etc, or public sector

  9. omnologos says:

    End I guess Geoff’s point is that their entire lives are predicated on this single issue and they will have to do whatever it will take to keep it alive.

    We are enemies to them much more deeply than we think. Our lives don’t depend on this game.

  10. Many thanks Barry for the details. Your post demonstrates what a tangled web the Greens have woven. I’d be very interested in taking this further with others. Volunteers?
    What I’m not at all clear about is the direction of flow of money and hence of control. Some green NGOs have direct lines of communication with UN, EU or government departments. Others are little more than vanity blogs.
    WWF were involved in training UKYCC. Futerra was thanked for unspecified help; yet they are absent from the mosaic of logos which they call “the coalition” in their 2010 Annual review, and which I listed in the previous article. The Diana award can be nothing other than a source of finance, can it? But the RSPB? The Otesha Project, who were instrumental in forming the group and providing training are there, but not WWF.
    If I were being cynical, I’d call the UKYCC a free recruitment agency and training school, providing cadres for a wide range of organisations, from Middle Eastern NGOs to London PR companies. Is that what contributors to the RSPB and Amnesty International want to see their money spent on?

    Omnologos
    That wasn’t the point I was making here, because I wanted to keep to a neutral sociological role – find out something rather than simply opinionate, which is what I normally do. As Barry says: “they all need careers”, and as you say: “their entire lives are predicated on this single issue (though someone with a talent for designing t-shirt slogans or websites can always apply it in favour of another cause – shale gas for example).
    I don’t consider myself as an enemy – deep or shallow – of young people whose idealism has simply been harnessed in a cause which is not evil, but simply based on very fragile empirical evidence. It shouldn’t be beyond the wit of sensible people like us to persuade them that what the Wretched of the Earth need is doctors, nurses, agronomists, economists, engineers – not PR men and website designers with a knowledge of United Nations acronyms.

    I’m suddenly getting a huge number of hits from Facebook, which has never happened before. Does anyone know if it’s possible to identify the source?

  11. Mooloo says:

    This lady too was in UKYCC in the early days and is climbing the NGO path to the top

    http://uk.linkedin.com/pub/kate-shayler/53/896/12a

  12. k says:

    What an amazing group of young, hardworking and inspirational people. So you found out they aren’t dope smokers or living off the state? Unsurprising when they worked so hard to set up the UKYCC and either had or developed professional and academic skills working on these projects. Why would you need to publish this when it’s all publicly available that they are success individuals? So you found out that people have social and professional networks? Impressive. You’re looking at the future. But don’t you think it’s a bit weird and intrusive that you felt the need to look up young people and then write about them on your blog?

  13. k:
    “What an amazing group of young, hardworking and inspirational people.”

    That’s what I think too, and what I tried to suggest, without going overboard, since I was trying to be as objective as possible.
    I hope I wasn’t weird and intrusive, and I wrote to a couple of the people to head off that accusation (which I also dealt with in my ironic introductory paragraph). If you look at other articles here, you’ll see that irony, rudeness and anger are my usual style. Here, I tried to be fair. I’ll explain.
    We climate sceptics, or deniers, as I prefer to call myself, find it impossible to engage in dialogue with those who accuse us of being anti-science, Big Oil funded arch conservative Tea Party rednecks (for example). Many sceptics think that this doesn’t matter, since the consensus science has been so roundly discredited that global warming hysteria will die of its own accord. The same people often also think that “Greens” are simply reprocessed Reds, hippy treehuggers etc. This grossly oversimplified point of view, (particularly prevalent among American conservatives) harms our cause, I think. Any movement as successful as environmentalism must be more complex, and more interesting than that.
    My blog is mostly fun stuff for the moment. If you want a clearer idea of the way many of us are thinking, I recommend Ben Pile’s articles at
    http://www.climate-resistance.org/
    You’ll find animated discussion there between many of the commenters here, including me, and get a better idea of what we’re about.

  14. Mooloo says:

    What an amazing group of young, hardworking and inspirational people.

    It is not difficult to find a similar group of young people working hard for what they believe in. But that group might be Conservative Future, or Black Flag, or the Church of the Latter Day Saints. Are they inspirational to you?

    How about the Animal Liberation Front or the British National Party – many of whose members sacrifice quite a lot for what they believe in? These kids aren’t even sacrificing anything much, as they ride the Green gravy train, with overseas junkets and the sorts of jobs where no-one can actually tell if you are any good at it or not, provided you mouth the correct pieties.

    So I will regard the Poznan 10 as completely uninspiring, in exactly the same way as I am uninspired by young Tories, anarchists, Mormons, animal rights nutters or fascists.

    Their hearts aren’t in the right place and what they propose doing is not for the general good.

    You’re looking at the future.

    A thought that fills me with dread.

  15. k says:

    I think any group of young people with a high locus of control, who believe they can change the world or future is interesting, and yes, in some cases, inspiring, even if I do not believe in their cause (as with some of your examples, Mooloo).

    I find it interesting Geoff that you consider this ‘movement’ to be something ‘woven’ rather than a general movement towards more concern for the environment since Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring in the late 60s. Do you really believe there is a conspiracy? Also, who do you think was ‘grooming’ young people around 2007, and why? Grooming is a highly emotive word, usually used for pedophiles, and I think it is somewhat unhelpful in this blog as a result. These young people were highly educated, and were not minors… Are you suggesting that all education is grooming?

    But I have a further, broader question that is puzzling me. What does it matter? If climate change is in fact just a fad issue, and does not cause terrible societal impacts in the future, does it matter that a bunch of bright young people chose to work on these issues, rather than say hang out in Goa, or live in art squats, as other young people may chose to? If it’s not a real issue, what is lost? Have they caused any harm in your opinion? Certainly they will have wasted their own energy, but as demonstrated above, their skills can be put to other types of work that we need in society, such as politics, business, health issues (surely obesity, for example, is a real global issue) or the media? Presumably you aren’t concerned about the resources that they have used because there is no climate change, right? So I guess I’m asking – so what?

  16. k says:

    Also – I think that your argument that these people have spent their whole life obsessed with this one issue is questionable. Whilst climate change might be a passion of theirs (and surely a fairly harmless one if it turned out to be not real) there will be many other interests that are dominant in their lives (even the CVs show that) as well as the same concern for family, love, adventure or leisure activities that the rest of us have – or has this been groomed out of them too?

  17. omnologos says:

    k – you missed part one: activist girl goes to UN climate conference, finds it difficult to understand the concept of “anthropogenic global warming”. That is, the basis of it all.

    IOW the activist had no clue on what she was an activist about. “Grooming” In Geoff’s sense sounds about right.

  18. Mooloo says:

    What does it matter? If climate change is in fact just a fad issue, and does not cause terrible societal impacts in the future,

    Because excessive concern for climate change has terrible societal impacts. Now, and worse in the future if they get their way.

    Already much of Europe is falling behind in terms of building sufficient cheap electrical power. Industries are starting to leave. Poor people are starting to freeze. Why? The only reason is concern over the amount of CO2 in the air and the refusal (also on environmental grounds) to replace it with nuclear. There is no other reason to stop burning coal than CO2, now that decent scrubbers can be put in the stacks. If you start having blackouts, I doubt you will be so sanguine about the lack of damage caused.

    But worse awaits the poor countries. They need industrialisation and mechanised farming to get out of poverty. But the enviros romanticise peasant farming and pre-industrial living – what in the west would be termed squalor is apparently OK in the rest of the world. They oppose projects that bring cheap power and rationalised farming – and their infiltration of the UN and associated groups means they have the method of achieving their aims.

    It does matter. It will force people to live in poverty who don’t need to.

  19. k
    I see the movement as being woven in the sense of
    “…the tangled web we weave
    when first we practice to deceive”
    .

    No, I don’t believe in a conspiracy, as the term is usually understood.

    Yes, there’s been “a general movement towards more concern for the environment since Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring in the late 60s”. But the world was cooling at the time, and these young people weren’t born. So what exactly is the connection between a book making exaggerated claims about the dangers of DDT in 1962, and fifteen (not ten, as I said in the article) young British students heading to Poznan in 2008 to campaign for a reduction in greenhouse gases?

    You make very neatly the point emphasised by Ben Pile at
    http://www.climate-resistance.org/
    and by Maurizio Morabito at
    http://omnologos.com/
    that, in the case of environmentalism, the politics precedes the science. [And if you knew the political differences which separate me from Maurizio and Ben – they make the Ghelphs and the Ghibellines look like the Lib-Con coalition (bad simile, but you get my meaning)].

    Frankly, I don’t understand how the scientifically fragile hypothesis of catastrophic anthropogenic global warming has taken hold. Others think they know.They say it’s all a Marxist / Fascist / Bilderberg plot, etc.

    Certainly, something strange seemed to be going on. Two students win a trip with the WWF (a billion dollar multinational organisation) to the Arctic to experience global warming at first hand. Six months later, they’ve formed an organisation which can send fifteen students to Poznan, where they chat with world leaders, and report their experience on a very professional blog.

    There’s money there. WWF has it.
    Another of their backers is The Otesha Project UK, which is the offshoot of a Canadian organisation, which is backed by TakingITGlobal, another Canadian organisation which is backed by Microsoft, Adobe Foundation, Alberta Education, Amnesty International, Anytime Anywhere Learning Foundation, Australian Institute of Management, Best Buy Children’s Foundation, Bibliotheca Alexandrina, British Columbia Ministry of Education, Canada Council for the Arts, Canadian Museum for Human Rights, Catholic Education Australia, Centre for Global Education: Coburn Ventures, Education Queensland, Government of Extremadura, Spain, Independent Schools Queensland, Intelius, LEARN Quebec, Microsoft Partners in Learning, MTV Staying Alive Foundation, National Capital Commission, New York City Global Partners, Pearson Foundation, Qatar Foundation, Service Canada, Smithsonian Institution, Staples Foundation for Learning, The Belinda Stronach Foundation, TNZ Group, United Nations Population Fund, United Way Toronto, World Vision Canada, YMCA of Greater Toronto…

    The Government of Extremadura, Spain, where youth unemployment is over 50%, is supporting a Canadian charity, which supports a British charity, which sends students to Poland, Qatar, Rio and Bonn, to chat to the leader of the British Opposition about the need to reduce CO2 emissions…
    Don’t you find this a bit … odd?

    So, As I say in the article, I thought: “Am I exaggerating? Instead of looking at the organisation, its structure and financing, why not look at the people themselves?”

    If a scientist – a real scientist – wants to understand a phenomenon, he doesn’t speculate as to what might be happening. He looks to see what is happening. So instead of wondering who might be pulling strings, I took a good look at the marionettes.

    Yes, grooming is a highly emotive word, and I meant it to be so.
    I was also quite careful to avoid hurting the feelings of any of the young people involved, avoiding links and personal information and the kind of sarcastic comments which I often indulge in.

    Maybe I shouldn’t have bothered. UKYCC’s publicity officer was tweeting excitedly yesterday about sharing a train with Christopher Monckton – and commenting about his “bulging eyes” -the result of some rare disease, I believe.

  20. Dodgy Geezer says:

    I see that one of them works for an internet train-booking agency, which is useful.

    As far as I can see, however, all the others are not earning any money. Instead, they are spending other people’s money.

    It is also interesting to note that (Jamie Andrews excepted), none of them are obviously contributing to the advancement of human achievement in any way. A few are contributing to the ‘evening out’ of perceived inequalities, which is also a valuable endeavour, but the largest group are doing what I would characterise as ‘trying to make people change their behavior’.

    Behaviour modification is something we all do in our daily lives as we interact with the people around us, of course. But these activists are all working on projects and in Institutes dedicated to the mass behaviour modification of strangers. Pardon me if I am rather concerned…

  21. TomO says:

    Hi Geoff
    I have been doing the UKYCC rounds….

    I think I’ve turned up possibly a small steaming pile – email please?

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  23. John Shade says:

    I was about to add a comment here along the lines of the one below, but then I stumbled upon a new and relevant discussion thread started at Bishop Hill by Richard Drake (http://www.bishop-hill.net/discussion/post/2085821) and jumped in there with this:

    This is very interesting.

    Here is a relevant link. Geoff Chambers has been taking a sympathetic look at young activists involved in climate lobbying in the UK: https://geoffchambers.wordpress.com/2013/01/16/ukycc-tracking-down-the-poznan-ten/

    Here is another: http://grist.org/climate-energy/the-children-why-a-generation-is-putting-itself-on-the-line-for-the-climate/

    I am inclined to the view that these young people are largely victims. I recall being one myself in the early 1970s after watching Paul Ehrlich on television one evening at a guest house in Gloucestershire where I had come to take up my first job after leaving university. He scared me alright with his plausible, authoritative talk of imminent doom. Took me a couple years to shake off his nonsense, and I became more concerned with world poverty than with world population growth for example. So, I have some sympathy with these young people.

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