I spent about 1 minute perusing the "Members and partners" page of the Climate Youth Coalition website, and the first thing that struck me was this:
Where is all their money coming from?
I've watched people raising funds for small clubs and charities, trying to get T-shirts printed and websites setup and a bit of petrol money for road trips, and it all requires funding of some sort. Even a website costs a few bucks for domain name registration and that sort of thing.
Screenprinting T-shirts, even cheap ones made in China by slave labour using cotton grown in environmentally destructive and insensitive ways and transported here by oil burning ships - costs money. Assuming it costs $10 per T-shirt, and they knocked up at least 20 copies of them, someone had to fork out $200 for the T-shirts.
Who paid? Who is the generous benefactor? Who is paying for 20 of them to fly to Poland next December? Last year, 10 delegates went to the UN conference in Bali. Are these muppets stumping up their own cash, or is this another method of blowing the surplus?
They even have an office!
Level 15, 179 Elizabeth St, Sydney NSW 2000
I'm not sure if you know Sydney, but that is an expensive bit of real estate, being right opposite Hyde Park. Who is paying the rent? Who is paying for the phones, the mobile phones, computers, furniture, pot plants, cleaning, photocopiers, toner, paper, stationery and so on?
They run training programs, which last for 2 days. What's the bet the training is done in Sydney at 179 Elizabeth St, and if you are based in Darwin, they'll pay for you to fly down and do the training, as well as putting you up in a hotel and paying travel and meal expenses etc.
To cap it off, they are holding a conference in Sydney in April 2009, bringing in 4000 delegates from around Australia. Most will fly, I bet. They're also flying in keynote speakers from overseas. What's the bet Tim Flannery turns up to speak, at a mere $50,000 for some words of wisdom.
Mention is made in several locations of fundraising events, and you are urged to donate here and there, but it's not really serious. Unfortunately, there is nothing on their site to say where they really get their money from. I imagine they are 95% bankrolled by the federal dept of Climate Change - they are one of Penny Wong's advocacy groups, bought and paid for by the taxpayer to provide an "independent voice" to support government policy.
To add weight to that, I did a bit of digging and found this:
The fundraising working group identifies potential grants and other major sources of income and writes fundraising proposals/grant applications. They work in collaboration with the other working groups to secure funds for specific projects, and have a particularly responsibility to write proposals for core funding to cover central expenses. They are also responsible for developing and ensuring adherence to policies on fundraising (such as around ethical screening). They are also totally fun and do not require substantial fundraising experience (indeed, grant writing training is provided).
Who provides grants? The government.
You know, if the defence department paid a bunch of Israeli and Russian mercenaries to setup a "Defence Support Coalition" to lobby for more intervention in say Iraq, there'd be an outcry. Or if we gave a bunch of oil industry executives a swag of tax dollars to setup a "Drilling Support Collective", the media would go into meltdown.
Why is it ok to fund a bunch of muppets and sock puppets when the environment is concerned?