Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Climate Change: Avaaz, you're not helping !

A friend has asked me to sign an Avaaz petition supposed to influence decisions of the European Commission about action to fight climate change. Here was my response:

I have signed Avaaz petitions before but will not sign this one because of the misleading information they supply.  They seem to assume that all politicians are corrupt and in the pockets of lobbyists and the industries they represent.   As you know, I was a lobbyist in Brussels for an environmental NGO and can assure you that this caricature is wrong.   There are many hard-working and honest people in the European institutions.   In addition, Avaaz either does not understand EU decision-making or chooses to misrepresent it.   The decisions they describe are in the hands of the European Parliament elected by you and me and the Council of Ministers representing national governments.   The European Commission can only make proposals.  By so describing what happens in Brussels, Avaaz are feeding the widespread deception about the EU which is responsible for public attitudes in Britain today.   They completely fail to point out the role the EU has played in pushing member-states to act on climate change and its crucial role in global negotiations in the UNFCCC.   They are thus playing UKIP's and the Tory Eurosceptics' game, which may well lead to the UK leaving the EU.   How the hell do they expect to get international co-operation to fight climate change if they undermine the one supranational, democratic body trying to tackle it ?

Misinformation from the Murdoch press and the Daily Mail I am used to but I expect better from environmental campaigners.   

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