Tag Archives: UNFCCC

Earth Day 2010: Astro-turfing, email & press campaigns push controversial Elizabeth Thompson UNFCCC nomination by Barbados

Despite 14 years in power, Elizabeth Thompson & her government DID NOT bring environmental legislation to Barbados… They didn’t even try!

On Thursday April 15, 2010 Barbados held a press conference at the United Nations to formally announce the nomination of Senator Elizabeth Thompson for the position of Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change). The UN report of this conference appears at the end of this article.

The Barbados government and associated political elites believe that former Energy and Environment Minister Elizabeth Thompson has a real shot at being selected for this prestigious United Nations position – and they are pulling out all the stops in lobbying at the UN and with environmental action groups worldwide. That lobbying includes press releases and conferences, emails to environmental action groups from Elizabeth Thompson’s own law firm and on the blogs – at least at BFP – a campaign of “astroturfing”…

“Astroturfing denotes political, advertising, or public relations campaigns that are formally planned by an organization, but are disguised as spontaneous, popular “grassroots” behavior. The term refers to AstroTurf, a brand of synthetic carpeting designed to look like natural grass.”

… from Wikipedia Astroturfing

Why would a credible candidate need Astro-turfing?

At Barbados Free Press we’ve seen some “Astro-turfing” going on as some of Liz Thompson’s supporters make supporting comments using multiple names and identities in an attempt to make it appear that Senator Thompson has a large number of supporters among Bajans. This campaign seems to be in response to our article Concerned Barbados citizens oppose Liz Thompson’s nomination to United Nations UNFCCC position.

Barbados Free Press will reveal the true identity of at least one of the ‘astroturfers’ tomorrow in a separate article.

Can any Liz Thompson supporter provide a list of her actual environmental accomplishments?

The darnedest thing is happening with the governmental elites who support Elizabeth Thompson for the UNFCCC position: the only reason they can provide for supporting her nomination is that she is “passionate about the environment and climate change” when she speaks and writes magazine articles. They point out that she received a “Champion of the Earth” award a couple of years ago, but when you read the citation it describes how Liz Thompson received the award for how she talks about climate change and the environment.

Talking… as in “a substitute for real actions and capabilities.”

Ah, okay. Other than talk and write magazine articles, what has Liz Thompson done? What has she even attempted to do? What has she accomplished or tried to accomplish for the environment in Barbados?

Has Elizabeth Thompson managed to achieve any real change or accomplishment by bringing people together to actually do something in Barbados? If she was a failure in her role as Minister of the Environment in Barbados, what makes anyone think she could succeed in bringing the world together at the United Nations?

We can’t think of any environmental accomplishments or changes that Elizabeth Thompson has delivered or even attempted to deliver on the island. We can’t even think of one failed initiative of hers – because she did nothing.

None of Elizabeth Thompson’s supporters have taken up our challenge to provide a list of her actual accomplishments for the environment in Barbados.

Okay, folks… we’re listening! Hello???

We can, however, list several environmental activities and initiatives that Liz Thompson should have attempted to make happen during her time in government – but she didn’t even try.

* Environmental legislation? Ha! Nothing. Not even a draft in 14 years. Liz Thompson didn’t even propose simple regulations about the disposal of chemicals or making it mandatory for pipeline and storage tank owners to measure quantities each day to spot leakage!

* Environmental Standards? None! We have none in law or practice after 14 years of Liz Thompson as a Minister of Government. We have no regulations or standards for the use or disposal of hazardous chemicals and waste. UNBELIEVABLE!

* Mandatory recycling on this relatively small island? Nothing. We are awash in garbage.

* Linking climate change and the environment to sustainable, responsible development? Elizabeth Thompson and her government have a clear record of wholesale, uncontrolled development without respect to the environment. Liz Thompson and her government developed any piece of coastline they could get their hands on. They ignored the water and sewage infrastructure and failed to think of the future. (All of that has been said time and time again by Prime Minister David Thompson and his DLP government members up until as recently as a few weeks ago when it became politically convenient to nominate Liz Thompson for the UN position. No wonder Bajans just laugh and shake their heads over this nomination.)

* Protecting the RAMSAR designated Graeme Hall watershed? A sick joke: Liz Thompson and her government were responsible for dumping raw sewerage into the only remaining mangrove forest on the island. Liz Thompson and her government modified the land use plan to permit residential and commercial development on the RAMSAR watershed – depriving future generations of green space and putting the wetlands at risk. Not to mention the decade-long failure to repair and maintain the government controlled sluice gate into the wetlands.

The concept of promoting someone to the UNFCCC because they have actual results in their previous endeavors seems foreign to Liz Thompson’s supporters.

Oppose Elizabeth Thompson’s nomination and save the Barbados environment!

It is our hope that homegrown opposition by many environmentally conscious Bajan citizens to Liz Thompson’s nomination may impact the choice of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and his selection committee. The loss of this nomination might cause the Barbados government and political leaders to do more than talk about the environment and climate change. It may save our island. It may result in environmental legislation and standards that will protect our children.

“If the United Nations focuses not on Elizabeth Thompson’s ability as an orator, but on the level of her actual performance as Environment Minister and the environmental and corruption issues that dogged her BLP government and her personally there is no way that Thompson will be selected.”

Here is a copy of the recent UN Press Conference report as it appears on the United Nations Press Conference website… Read it and you’ll see that there is nothing of substance – it’s all about what a great talker Liz Thompson is. That’s all her supporters can say about her… Continue reading

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Exclusive: Harold Hoyte slams Barbados Free Press over Liz Thompson story. BFP “scurrilously unpatriotic” to make her “appear a suspect choice”.

NOT MANY of your contributors choose to reveal their true names.

I do.

It is Harold Hoyte. And first of all, I am a friend of Barbados, and secondarily of Senator Liz Thompson, the Barbados candidate for an appointment to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

Although I hold no brief for Ms Thompson, yet I am offended by the apparently malicious leading article of the April 8, 2010, Barbados Free Press, titled: Concerned Barbados Citizens oppose Liz Thompson’s nomination to UNFCCC position.

Your headline may factually be correct. Doubtless, some Barbadians believe that Senator Thompson should not have been nominated by the Government of Barbados for this post. I in turn believe that the diametrically opposite also holds true for many: “Concerned citizens support Thompson’s nomination.”

I count myself among this number.

As do Prime Minister David Thompson and Opposition Leader Mia Mottley.

When, however, your corrosive article went on to state, “Shock, laughter and outright disbelief is the almost universal response by environmentally conscious Bajans…”, I searched in vain for the identities of individuals and organisations, and sought their quoted responses, but none were to be found.

None.

What followed were sly, snide, vitriolic and irrelevant generalisations, all of a negative nature.

Except for accurately noting what I regard as a crude and unjustified remark made by Ms Thompson in 1995 with reference to Richard Goddard, one of her fiercest critics on the Greenland landfill proposal, your sneering scenario constitutes nothing less than an unwarranted attack on her good character and reputation.

Where is the honour of hiding under an undeclared authorship to berate an individual on the basis of innuendo, oddments, twisted tales, bogus half-truths, sneering lies and shameless counterfeit concern?

How cowardly!

To a casual reader researching this candidate, particularly one in the international sphere, Ms Thompson might appear a suspect choice, for she is heartlessly painted in a manner that is as cruel as it is unjust, with the potential to effect more disfavour than can be justified.

Thankfully, people who are required to make judgments will have the benefit of empirical evidence with documented information about a track record of integrity and unselfish public service which compares favourably with anyone, I repeat, ANYONE, serving in Barbados public life during the past 50 years.

It is not my desire to do a paint job for Ms Thompson. It is not in my nature. My record as a newspaper editor is open to scrutiny.

What is my desire is fair-minded argument.

What I abhor are quasi-anonymous misfits who use positions of access to mass-dissemination-of- information unconscionably to dismiss the high standing of others under the guise of secrecy, on the basis of merely oblique and concocted hyperbole.

That is why I feel compelled here to register my personal disapproval of your decision to give international glare to your manifest pent-up hatred for an individual without bothering to provide the barest facts for your decision.

It is grossly obscene that a faceless Barbados Free Press can blatantly tout Ms Thompson’s so-called shortcomings (sic) with the wicked intention of derailing a legitimate nomination made on her behalf by the duly elected (and popularly so) government of Barbados.

How scurrilously unpatriotic!

And cowardly.

National pride demands higher standards of us all.

I urge those who chance upon your defeatist outrage to recognise it, and dismiss it, for what it is: a mean-spirited attempt to render ineffective what our Government leadership recognises as a truly splendid opportunity to place Barbados, rightly, in a position of high influence on the world Climate Change stage.

Harold Hoyte

Barbados Free Press replies…

For the information of our foreign readers, Mr. Harold Hoyte is the founder and former editor of the Barbados newspaper The Nation. He is a renowned journalist in his own right. A former President of the Caribbean Publishing and Broadcasting Association, he remains active in media organisations including the Commonwealth Press Union and the Inter- American Press Association.

A former Commonwealth Press Union Fellow and Eisenhower Fellow, he was recognized by Columbia University in the United States for his contribution to Caribbean journalism with the Maria Moors Cabot Citation in 1984. He was awarded the Gold Crown of Merit (GCM) by Barbados in 2003, is a Distinguished Honorary Fellow of the University of the West Indies, and was awarded the honorary Doctor of Letters Degree by the University of the West Indies in October 2005.

Dear Mr. Hoyte

It is george from BFP. Thank you for your email to us and mentioning BFP or any citizen blog for the first time in almost five years that we’ve been on the internet. Marcus, Clive and us all have lunch on Friday. Then they will writing a response to you.

thankyou,

george

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Filed under Barbados, Corruption, Culture & Race Issues, Energy, Environment, Freedom Of The Press, Political Corruption, Politics, Politics & Corruption, Race, Wildlife

Prime Minister Thompson: BLP “totally wasted several hundred million dollars” on failed Greenland environmental project – but he still nominated Liz Thompson to United Nations’ UNFCCC position!

“What we could have done if we could recapture…the several hundred million that was literally and figuratively dumped into Greenland? All of that was taxpayers’ money that was totally wasted,”

…Prime Minister David Thompson talks about the failed Greenland Dump project pushed by former Environment Minister Liz Thompson. Barbados Advocate: Previous Wastage Hurting Economy.

The consequences of wasting a billion dollars of taxpayer’s money? For Liz Thompson: a promotion!

If you need further proof that David Thompson doesn’t intend to hold the previous BLP government personnel accountable for the waste, theft and outright criminal rape of our future, you need look no further than watching the Prime Minister trying to suck and blow at the same time…

Suck…

A little over a week ago Thompson nominated former BLP Environment Minister Liz Thompson as our country’s choice for the prestegious job of UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) Executive Secretary.

Blow…

Now Thompson slams the very project that Liz Thompson championed – a project that failed because it was an ill-conceived disaster that would have turned into a full-blown environmental disaster had not better minds prevailed.

One Island with one Political Party

My friends, again you should take notice that the fighting between the BLP and DLP is a staged managed event much like professional wrestling. In public the wrestlers hurl verbal abuse, but the dance is carefully choreographed so no one really gets hurt.

The Prime Minister will scream about the poor judgment behind Greenland and hurl abuse in the general direction of the BLP because of the insane waste – but no one will go to jail for any corruption and the person who orchestrated the fiasco gets nominated for a cushy United Nations job!

There is only one political party in Barbados, folks. Once you accept that, the whole thing becomes very clear – as does the solution to ending this corrupt charade.

Further Reading

Concerned Barbados citizens oppose Liz Thompson’s nomination to United Nations UNFCCC position

Here is the article from the Barbados Advocate. You should read it there (please do!) but we’ll reprint it here in its entirety so the paper cannot change history as it often does… Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Corruption, Crime & Law, Disaster, Energy, Environment, Political Corruption, Politics, Politics & Corruption

Concerned Barbados citizens oppose Liz Thompson’s nomination to United Nations UNFCCC position

UPDATED: December 5, 2010

Score: Liz Thompson 14, Barbados Environment 0

We see that Liz Thompson got her little job at the United Nations complete with champagne and pate. She’s now an executive coordinator for the UN Sustainable Development conference to be held in Brazil in 2012. And, get this: she has a level of an “Assistant Secretary General”.

Liz Thompson says it’s good for Barbados. We say it might be good for the elites to grab some additional Climate Change money. How that helps Barbados we have no idea because none of the money seems to reach the trash on the beach or helps to stop the ever-growing wall of concrete. It doesn’t get us back our two promised but never arrived National Parks at Scotland and Graeme Hall.

Nope, Liz Thompson’s record is of all talk and no action. In fourteen years she and her BLP government never passed Environmental Protection Legislation. She couldn’t be bothered to make pipeline and oil tank operators check for leakage every day and as a result wells on the South Coast are still full of jet fuel from the Shell pipeline leak.

We opposed Thompson when she previously applied for a UN Environmental job and we oppose her new appointment. You will hear no congratulations or celebration from us and thousands of other environmentally-conscious citizens, because the words of one of our readers still ring true…

“Let the UN Selection Committee come to Barbados and see for themselves the results of Liz Thompson’s betrayal of our environment.”

… comment by BFP reader “nevermind kurt”

Here is our original article first published April 8, 2010…

Shock as Prime Minister David Thompson nominates failed Barbados Environment Minister for UN job

Shock, laughter and outright disbelief is the almost universal response by environmentally conscious Bajans to the announcement that former Energy & Environment Minister Liz Thompson has been nominated to replace outgoing UNFCCC Executive Secretary Yvo de Boer. Continue reading

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