The following article is excerpted from The Corbett Report’s new documentary, Why Big Oil Conquered The World. Watch the documentary for free, download the mp3 audio, or read the complete transcript at corbettreport.com/bigoil
On paper, it would be almost impossible to find a less likely candidate for “Godfather” of the modern environmental movement than Maurice Strong. A junior high school dropout from a poor family in rural Manitoba struck hard by the great depression, Strong’s meteoric rise to the heights of wealth and political influence is itself remarkable. The sheer number of environmental organizations that he founded, conferences he chaired, campaigns he directed and accolades he received over the course of his career is even more remarkable: Organizer of the Stockholm Environmental Conference, founding director of the United Nations Environment Program, Secretary General of the Rio Earth Summit, founder of the Earth Council and the Earth Charter movement, chair of the World Resources Institute, commissioner of the World Commission on Environment and Development, and board member of a bewildering array of organizations, from the International Institute for Sustainable Development to the Stockholm Environment Institute to the African-American Institute.
But perhaps the most remarkable thing about Strong, this ubiquitous figure of the 20th century environmental movement, was his background: a Rockefeller-connected millionaire from the Alberta oil patch who divided his time between environmental campaigning and running major oil companies.
To understand how this came about, we have to examine the history of the emergence of the environmental movement. In the post-war period, the desire to control the population put on a new mask: protecting the world from resource depletion, pollution and ecological catastrophe. And, as always, the Rockefeller family was there to provide the funding and organizational support to steer this burgeoning movement toward their own ends.
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