When James Clapper, the Obama administration's Director of National Intelligence, finally wrote the report showing that the environmental campaign against it in the U.S. received substantial dark money funding from Russia, it was already common knowledge among pro-science groups who had at first been baffled that environmental groups who were against coal and for natural gas had suddenly flipped.
It was well known because evidence was everywhere. Center for Media and Democracy, for example, a lawyer-driven NGO that exists to target scientists and Republicans using their blog sites like Sourcewatch, got $500,000 in dark money funding in 2015 and ironically (since they claim to demand transparency) refused to disclose where it came from. When it comes to food, Russia's other top export, organic industry trade groups in the U.S. have collaborated with propaganda sites Russia Today and Sputnik so often that critics on social media began overtly making the link:
They have even tried to get their own in power. Recently, the anti-science lawsuit group Center for Food Safety paid substantial "consulting" fees to former Democratic Presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich, who had endorsed the Russian-supported military campaign in Syria and claimed our CIA was behind the Russian incursion into Crimea.
That's not to say these groups love Russia; it is instead that they hate things about America, like free markets, science, diversity, and Republicans, that Russia does too. American environmentalists are "useful idiots", as Bogdan Raditsa, who called himself and others such in 1946 after he had naïvely joined the communist Tito's Yuooslavia government.
Mark Lynas, writing at Cornell Alliance for Science, noted that in January Russia Today was already claiming 5G was causing coronavirus. But anti-science activists have a response for that ready. Alliance For Science gets funding from the Gates Foundation and Gates Foundation is also funding multiple coronavirus vaccine labs. Thus in bizarre cui bono? systemic conspiracy fables, Gates Foundation is spreading coronavirus in order to cure it and make money in his corporation-y buildings.
This EU site even tracks Russian disinformation so the public can trace the lineage of environmental NGO claims there.
Source: EUvsDisinfo, created by European Union's East StratCom Task Force, which exists to help EU member nations recognize Russian interference.
Environmental activists think 'balance of nature' is real and not just an ecological metaphor so their gullibility on smartphones is easy to understand. 5G is simply faster cellular service than 4G or 3G. It is non-ionizing radiation and less of it than you are getting from a light bulb while reading this article, but the people buying into conspiracy tales don't understand the difference between ionizing radiation - like the all-natural cosmic rays beaming into them from space every second of their lives - versus non-ionizing radiation, which cannot do anything to your atoms, like the light inside your refrigerator when you open it.
They are typically aided by the usual suspects always aligned against American science; AlterNet, Huffington Post, an alarming number of activists inside the New York University Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute, and various partisan academics who have never worked on a farm or in a technology field in their lives.
They even claim to be opposed to Russia, which Russia loves. Russian propaganda sites want environmental lawyer (and thus unsurprisingly anti-vaccine) guru Robert F. Kennedy Jr. to claim that 5G is part of a communist takeover. The same way that they liked journalists claiming a tiny amount of money from Russia chose our President in 2016. That Mike Bloomberg only got one primary delegate after spending $500 million in January but Putin bought the White House for a percent of a percent of that makes such arguments look more ridiculous than they already did. But if 44 percent of American voters believe it, Russia cackles all the way to the negotiating table.
What do Russia Today and Robert F. Kennedy share in common? Almost everything. But he doesn't think Russians killed his uncle, President Kennedy, he thinks his own government did. Russia loves that too, since their link to the actual assassin is well-documented.
Russians want Americans to believe they have that kind of influence. And in places where they can actually gain it, like the environmental movement, they will happily pay to play.
The EU, who are the largest markets for Russia in both food and energy, have finally begun to fight back against Russians claiming that science is a Vast Right Wing Conspiracy. Perhaps coronavirus will be the thing that sends the anti-science movement into the junk heap of history here as well.
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