Less than 24 hours after Nicky Hager’s latest extraordinary story of how oil companies have been spying on children and it’s disappeared without trace elsewhere.
School children from the group School Strike 4 Climate joined a peaceful protest against the oil-exploration company OMV in New Plymouth a year ago, only weeks after unprecedented numbers joined their 27 September school strike marches around New Zealand. Public concern about climate change had never been so great. These were peaceful, democratic protests.
But a two-year investigation has found that they and other climate change groups were targets of the private investigation firm Thompson and Clark, paid by clients from the oil and gas industry.
The investigation reveals that a major focus of Thompson and Clark in 2019 and 2020 – years of storms, floods, forest fires and marching school children – was monitoring and helping to counter citizen groups concerned about climate change.
Thompson and Clark’s clients included a range of large greenhouse gas emitting industries, including many of the oil and gas exploration and drilling companies in New Zealand and the industry lobby group, the Petroleum Exploration and Production Association of New Zealand (PEPANZ). It has targeted climate change campaigners belonging to School Strike 4 Climate, Greenpeace, Extinction Rebellion and local Oil Free groups.
Information about Thompson and Clark’s clients and anti-environmental activities was provided confidentially by company insiders who say they disapprove of the private investigation company.
Operations against these groups were run by Thompson and Clark’s collection manager, the former long-term New Zealand Security Intelligence Service officer, as revealed by Radio New Zealand yesterday. The officer, known only as Gerry, moved to Thompson and Clark ten years ago, after 30 years with the NZSIS.
When oil companies are spying on school children protesting against global warming something has gone horribly, horribly wrong in society.
When just 100 companies are responsible for 71% of global emissions, and when Oil Corporations knew about and hid climate change as far back as the 1990s we must acknowledge that those who have created and fostered the economic model that has allowed for this damage must be the first to pay for the adaption funding.
Oil companies must be sued for the damage they have caused the way Tobacco was sued over cancer.
That money needs to help fund the adaption.
Watching the oil industry respond by hiring corporate spies who are utilising former SIS Officers to spy on school children protesting against climate change is all the proof you ever needed to know how truly spiteful and evil these oil companies truly are, so if you are having some internal dialogue about their rights, don’t!
Scoops this big need to be on every front page!
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