Spot the conflict: GE owns NBC, the Weather channel and lots and lots of wind turbine factories


    +    …  .. =  “…news”?


Harold Ambler (Don’t Sell Your Coat) points to a conflict of interest that hadn’t hit my radar til now (golly):

“In the newspaper business, and other journalistic domains as well, fires are of note. Non-fires aren’t. Fair enough. But something very insidious has taken place. The selling of weather disasters as entertainment has led to a state in which big business stands to gain handsomely from the perception that the planet has gone meteorologically mad. Specifically, General Electric stands to profit. When in 2008 NBC (owned by General Electric) purchased The Weather Channel, an interesting thing took place: the largest domestic producer of wind turbines became the owner of the best-positioned purveyor of images of destructive weather. The same year, NBC’s Today Show continued its longstanding practice of “showing” the great destruction to the ocean-atmosphere system caused by manmade global warming, with story after story: fires, floods, melting Kilimanjaro, you name it. The rest of NBC News, and the Weather Channel, meanwhile, keep the same pieces of videotape on nearly infinite repeat.”

How “Green” is GE I wonder?

GE Australia explains that the company focus is so green they have a special word for it: “Ecomagination is GE’s business strategy to help meet customers’ demand for products that improve their bottom line and reduce their impact on the environment. This will also drive growth for GE that delivers for our investors.

How much money does GE make from green philosophies? I don’t know, but GE wind explains that their most widely used wind turbine has produced no less than 16,500 bird killing, bat chopping versions planted around the globe, though they don’t say it quite like that. They have big plans for it. Their “ecomagination commitments for 2010 – 2015” are planned to “double R&D to $10 Billion…”  So that’s just $2 billion a year that GE will spend on green R & D for the next 5 years?

Remember, Exxon have been controlling this debate by funding deniers with a measly $2 million a year (which stopped years ago). It just puts things in perspective…

What else is part of the business plan? The media

“NBC Universal is GE’s media arm, which operates locally through CNBC, broadcasting relevant business news 24 hours a day, 7 days a week…” [From the GE Australian factsheet]

It puts a new tint on the phrase “business news” — is that news relevant to your business or mine? For the record, GE owns Universal Studios, Telemundo,  NBC Universal Global Networks (MSNBC, CNBC, NBC WeatherPlus, WeatherPlus, and WeatherChannel plus lots more.)

And who knows? GE is a huge multinational company, and I’ve seen no evidence that GE management makes any editorial demands about green articles, but then, there is no evidence that MSNBC, CNBC or the Weather Channel are reporting both sides of the climate change news either, is there? It’s a point to bring up next time someone tells you Big-Oil funded deniers control the debate.

Lately GE has sold some of NBC. Now, it’s only a 49% stake. Perhaps that’s alright then?

But when Gina owns 13% of Fairfax, it’s a national crisis, “Democracy is doomed”?


Don’t Sell Your Coat by Harold Ambler

Thanks to Harold for sending me a copy, and for being so patient… 🙂

A few weeks ago, “Don’t Sell Your Coat” was doing so well, it was topping the list of Climatology best sellers on Amazon (beating out Mann and co). Ambler is  a professional journalist, and very much the story teller, and it shows. The book is a smooth read that flows easily. It has beautiful sentence construction (and you’re wondering why I’d even mention that, but predictable sentences are a pet hate of mine).  Ambler works his craft with skill. I like it. Relaxing.

I’m a tough reviewer for skeptical books because only a few tell me something I don’t know, but Ambler’s had a new angle on several aspects of climate change (and info like the GE one above, why hadn’t I noticed that before?). I imagine many readers who would find something like Heaven and Earth too heavy would enjoy “Don’t Sell Your Coat”. It might make just the perfect gift for that slab of the population who would have happily read skeptical feature articles in their newspapers week after week if only the newspapers would run skeptical feature articles. For die-hard climate aficionado’s there are new ways to look at familiar things.

He has earned some great reviews on Amazon. Ambler also blogs and you can hear him discuss the book on radio and TV.

Buy the book on Amazon: Don’t Sell Your Coat: Surprising Truths About Climate Change.



About Harold Ambler

Harold Ambler has been talking about weather and climate since he could first speak. He was educated at Dartmouth and Columbia and started his journalism career at The New Yorker. His work has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The Huffington Post, The AtlanticWire, and, among others. He lives in Rhode Island. He wrote the very popular article Mr. Gore: Apology Accepted

8.5 out of 10 based on 42 ratings

73 comments to Spot the conflict: GE owns NBC, the Weather channel and lots and lots of wind turbine factories

  • #

    Perhaps the purpose of buying the weather channel was to determine the best place to put wind turbines and maybe combine the turbines with little weather stations or cams?


  • #
    Sean Peake

    I don’t use or watch anything that has GE’s fingerprints on it.


  • #
    Peter Miller

    Don’t blame General Electric for profiting from the goofy whims of government.

    They are acting like any good business should by reacting to a demand artificially created by governments frantic to show their green credentials to largely disinterested electorates.

    The fact that wind power makes no economic sense whatsoever, is ugly, extremely expensive and very unreliable is irrelevant. Goofy governments created the demand and are only now beginning to see the folly of relying on wind power.

    General Electric will be philosophical when the trough of government largesse no longer overflows with grants and subsidies: “Well, it was good while it lasted, we had a good run. OK, it’s over, so what’s next?”

    Whatever it is, you can be sure the greenies will be there shrilly promoting the benefits of something unnecessary and hugely expensive like hydrogen cars and fuel cells


  • #

    Many thanks to Jo for the kind words!! Ironically GE has sold The Weather Channel and NBC to Comcast as an updated version of the book will reflect by mid-June. Scaring the heck out of people remains good business, though, on so very many levels, and neither the Weather Channel nor NBC has backed away a single step from an all-terror, all-the-time position on climate.


  • #

    This adds a new sinister slant to the “GE Finance” advertisements that were occasionally being shown on TV.

    Some people on their board & management really do take the world (market) out there as suckers

    ….and a new one comes along every minute.


  • #
    reformed warmist of logan

    Well done Jo, (Yet again),
    If the ‘peace-nix’ in the last couple of decades have been saying that civilization as we know (pre-multi-atomic detonations) is at about five minutes to midnight, then surely this ‘Huxley-esque’ AGW. scam is at about 15 seconds to midnight!!
    “Holy Toledo Batman” … When will these ‘wanna-be’ ‘caped crusaders’ get it??!!
    We can’t save the planet by reducing emissions, when the causal link is the exact opposite of what they’ve been trying to tell us ad-nauseum. I.E. Overall heat in atmosphere goes up, and 600 years later the CO2 levels go up!!
    Furthermore, when will two of the most un-representative governances in the world (exc. of course China) i.e. the EU. and the UN. realise that they have become a laughing stock of the silent majority of thinking people in OECD. countries.
    The EU. will doubtless spend most of this year trying to fore-stall the inevittable, its slow dis-intergration (Greece, Portugal, Spain, Ireland etc. etc.); the UN. will spend most of this year trying to put an ever-more hollow-sounding positive spin on yet two more failed climate meets (Bonn last month & Doha in Nov.); and the corporate piranhas like GE. and Goldman Sachs et. al. are going to sooner or later go down with this sinking Titanic.
    Jo, please please keep up the good work.
    Regards, reformed warmist of Logan


  • #

    Several months ago GE sold 51% of NBC/Universal to Comcast. So they are at minority owners.

    That does not detract from the point of article. GE even had/has GREEN WEEK on NBC.

    GE last year paid no taxes and that really bugs some folks in congress. Lest congress forget they wrote the tax code that allows GE to pay no taxes that year.


  • #

    A few other things. . .
    The Fukushima plants were GE.
    GE are the ones pushing to shut down the coal fire plants.
    The proposed numerous nuclear plants to be built across America (when renewables fail as planned) are all GE.
    The banning of light bulbs (by 2013?) in America is pushed by GE. The only bulbs to be allowed, by law, are only manufactured by GE at about $30 each.
    The whole climate change thing is pushed by GE.


  • #
    Cole Pritchard

    Hey Joanne!
    Great article it inspired me to do some digging into what I could find in Canada.

    Ever wonder why there is so much climate propaganda in the media and the coverage is so one sided? Here’s why:

    Spot the Conflict of interests.

    J.R. Shaw is chairman of the board for and owns the majority of shares in SHAW communications which owns:
    CFRE Regina • CFSK Saskatoon • CHAN Vancouver • CHBC Kelowna • CICT Calgary • CIHF Halifax • CIII Toronto • CISA Lethbridge • CITV Edmonton • CJBN Kenora • CKMI Montreal • CKND Winnipeg

    Cable television/ specialty channels
    Action • BBC Canada • Cable 141 • CPAC • DejaView • DIY Network • Food Network • Global Reality Channel • HGTV • Historia • History Television • IFC • MovieTime • Mystery TV • National Geographic Channel • Nat Geo Wild • Séries+ • Shaw PPV • Shaw TV1 • Showcase • Showcase Diva • Slice • The Cave • TVtropolis • Twist TV
    Shaw Broadcast Services • Shaw Business Solutions • Shaw Direct • Shaw Media • Shaw Rocket Fund • Shaw Tracking, Global News, Global national, and Corus Entertainment (Which runs most of the radio stations in Canada).

    J.R. Shaw is also a major investor in and chairman of the board for Suncor a major renewable energy company…

    Note the year he was elected to Suncors’ directors, and think back to when it really hit the news in Canada.


  • #

    GE and Jeffrey Immelt could be straight out of the pages of “Atlas Shrugged”. A once great company whoring itself to the government.


  • #
    Kevin Moore

    When you look at the pyramid it seems that the Rothschids sit on top of it.
    This is a bit dated but you get the picture.

    There Were 88 Media Companies…
    Now There Are 6

    These are the 6 media companies that exist today. There used to be 88. These 6 all get their news from Reuters and the Associated Press. Reuters owns the AP and Rothschilds own Reuters.

    The following information is in circulation on the net. The originating source is not known, nor have all the statements below been fully verified. However, the general overview provided appears to be accurate.

    GENERAL ELECTRIC ­ (donated 1.1 million to GW Bush for his 2000 election campaign)

    Television Holdings

    * NBC: includes 13 stations, 28% of US households.
    * NBC Network News: The Today Show, Nightly News with Tom Brokaw, Meet the Press, Dateline NBC, NBC News at Sunrise.
    * CNBC business television; MSNBC 24-hour cable and Internet news service (co-owned by NBC and Microsoft); Court TV (co-owned with Time Warner), Bravo (50%), A&E (25%), History Channel (25%).

    The “MS” in MSNBC means microsoft. The same Microsoft that donated 2.4 million to get GW bush elected.

    Other Holdings

    * GE Consumer Electronics.
    * GE Power Systems: produces turbines for nuclear reactors and power plants.
    * GE Plastics: produces military hardware and nuclear power equipment.
    * GE Transportation Systems: runs diesel and electric trains.

    Chart of who “owns” the Federal Reserve –


  • #

    Correct me if I am wrong here, but isn’t Laos still covered with GE product?


  • #

    And don’t forget the massive GE Finance arm.
    I guess that GE might not only make money flogging wind turbines and all the rest, but they will also be able to spin a dollar or two trading the carbon market derivatives.
    A pity that the carbon trading markets, at least in the EU, already appear to have been ‘burnt’
    I wonder if the joke about selling refridgeration to eskimos was referring to a GE marketing strategy?


  • #


    “President Obama has named Jeffrey Immelt as the chair of The President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness. Immelt is the ninth chairman of GE, a post he has held since September 7, 2001.”
    Bloomberg: 21 January 2011
    President Barack Obama named Jeffrey Immelt, General Electric Co.’s chief executive officer, to head his outside panel of economic advisers.
    Sorry if I have insulted anybody’s intelligence.


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    […] Spot the conflict: GE owns NBC, the Weather channel and lots and lots of wind turbine factories […]


  • #

    The nexus between GE,the White House, and green energy was exposed two years ago by Glenn Beck.

    [For the record, this ED is not me the moderator ED] ED


  • #

    Magic, exspecially when considered against the refusal to allow Gina Rinehart a seat on the Fairfax board


  • #

    GE – Pure as the driven snow.

    GE – A finger in every pie.

    Large scale Wind turbines, now working on the possibility of manufacturing wind turbines in the 10 to 15MW range, current large turbines around 5.5MW and most economical average around 3.5MW.

    Large scale Nuclear power plants from reactors to steam generators to turbines to generators.

    Large scale generators capable only to be run by Nukes and, er, large scale coal fired power plants. (Umm! CO2 emitting)

    Large scale turbines for Natural gas fired plants, both for short run time Peaking power applications and full time run large scale Natural Gas plants with their F series turbines and H series turbines, best used for large scale Natural gas fired power plants up to a single unit with up to 500MW generator attached. (Umm! CO2 emitting)

    Large scale producer of jet turbines for military and commercial aircraft.

    It’s sort of like covering all the bases eh!



  • #
    Bob in Castlemaine

    In March this year Alan Kohler interviewed GE Vice Chairman John Rice on Inside Business.

    ALAN KOHLER: What do you think of Australia’s decision to impose a $23 per tonne carbon tax on July 1?

    JOHN RICE: Look, I think that ends up being a market, a kind of a market thing. I applaud the Australian Government for having the courage to go through with it because I think over the long run the world is going to be better served, if there is a cost associated with the production of carbon.
    And whether it’s a tax or some kind of a parading mechanism that allocates resources toward the effort that goes into carbon reduction, the development of new technologies and things like that, we have believed for a long time that you have to have that.

    Some of GE’s business interests:-

    GE Energy – Wind Turbines

    GE Solar

    GE US cap-and-trade politics

    “Cap-and-trade also achieves the age-old Marxist goal of wealth redistribution through the back door. It does this by creating two classes: those with carbon permits, and those without. Companies like GE, which has positioned itself to take advantage of a cap-and-trade system, bidding for billions of dollars in federal contracts, will dominate the new America. On a side note, evidence has surfaced that GE misused its ownership of NBC to catapult Obama into the Presidency for financial gain. Is it any coincidence that GE execs went to CNBC headquarters to silence criticism of the President’s economic policies? What’s good for Obama is good for GE. Is what’s good for GE still good for America?”

    I understand GE has a 49% holding in NBC.


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  • #

    you can apply that whole theory to 9/11 ie,GE+MDC+the tame media = huge profits from the war nobody wants.


  • #

    So how long will it be before GE wind turbines compensate for the CO2 their aero engines have been pumping into the atmosphere for the last 50 years.


  • #
    John Kettlewell

    Yes, GE went all in with the euphoric atmosphere back in 2008; but, had lined up for several years. Immelt is undoubtedly an American left-winger. Also, as has been noted above, the incestuous relationship with the Administration. What was left unmentioned is GE’s hand in pushing for a Smart Grid and a portion of the electric car market via chargers.

    Business-wise, it was brilliant: Have a portion of every energy sector, yet push to your strengths, plus the ‘accessories’. It was full-steam ahead. The reality was that it felt like they were going to seriously “transform” these United States by pushing thru all legislation. The feeling was also of populist momentum, honestly it was all a bit scary. There was no pushback at all and the all-encompassing ‘racism’ hadn’t started yet; neither had the Tea Party movement. I can almost sense what the GE boardroom felt like, JACKPOT.

    In summary, GE was pushing it’s business covertly (they say they don’t tell news what to do, unknown about the other entertainment outlets they owned). They positioned themselves to make the most sought/required devices for the ‘green revolution’. Maybe they truly believe in CAGW and then it reinforced their all-in green strategy. Didn’t they move their CFL bulb factories to China? Or maybe it was someone else.


  • #

    I had always thought that the whole GE/NBC thing was just made up for jokes in 30 Rock!


  • #

    31 May: MSNBC: Neha Chamaria: This Is Where General Electric Is Betting on Growth
    Is GE’s move to acquire a pair of mining equipment makers justified?
    Australia-based Industrea and Virginia-based Fairchild are the two mining equipment makers General Electric has plans of taking over. The megaconglomerate is certainly interested in pushing further into the mining market…
    Take the case of some of the major equipment makers, whose recent numbers are probably the best hint of how the mining equipment market is doing lately. Caterpillar’s mining business reported a staggering 73% jump in first-quarter sales, while Joy Global’s first-quarter sales climbed 21% on higher shipments. So high is the demand for mining equipment globally that at current capacity, Cat is quoting delivery times extending up to 2014 for some products…
    Industrea, in particular, which GE will buy for $700 million, has a strong foothold in one of the mining hot spots of the world — China. The nation is the biggest producer and consumer of coal in the world. An upswing in the demand for commodities has encouraged China to peg its 2015 coal output at 3.9 billion tonnes. That’s up more than 10% from 3.52 billion tonnes of coal produced last year…
    Australia, where Industrea is based, is coming up as a big market for mining. Sample this: Australia’s central bank feels the mining sector could soon be responsible for nearly half of the new jobs generated in the country!…

    nevertheless, there is little doubt our govt and the unions will continue the vicious attacks on our successful aussie miners – twiggy, gina and clive, while ignoring all the big foreign companies who are also making a killing out of the mining industry, here and elsewhere.


  • #

    the piece is undated, but we know how well the Chicago Climate Exchange did!

    GreenChipStocks: Carbon Trading: The World’s Next Biggest Market
    Already, corporate behemoths like General Electric, DuPont, Johnson & Johnson, and others have come together to form the United States Climate Action Partnership.
    Even oil juggernauts like Shell, BP, and ConocoPhillips have joined this coalition, which calls itself “an expanding alliance of major businesses and leading climate and environmental groups that have come together to call on the federal government to enact legislation requiring significant reductions of greenhouse gas emissions.”…
    **The United States has a version of a carbon market as well. . .
    Established in 2003, the Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX) is one of North America’s only voluntary and legally binding greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction and trading systems

    such a CAGW-concerned membership:

    U.S. Climate Action Partnership (USCAP) Web Site


  • #

    the govt in action encouraging business during the global financial meltdown:

    1 June: SMH: AAP: Govt cautions business over carbon tax
    Climate Change Minister Greg Combet has warned that businesses which hike the cost of their goods under the guise of the carbon tax will be caught.
    “I heard about one pie shop for example that was going to put their pies up some extraordinary amount,” Mr Combet told ABC television, noting food prices will increase by less than half a cent in the dollar.
    “If you are a business person thinking that you are going to use this as an opportunity to put prices up I would be very, very careful, because we will have the ACCC (Australian Competition and Consumer Commission) on you,” he said, referring to the consumer watchdog…
    He also conceded that there could be implementation problems when the carbon price takes effect.
    “I’m working hard to make sure that there are not … but you never know, something might emerge.”…


  • #
    Geoff Sherrington

    A while back my lawyers were arguing with GE’s lawyers about alleged patent infringement. I was told at the time that GE was the most frequent applicant for patents of all companies and that it was among the most zealous in their legal defence. This might not have been the case and it might not be the case now. In one way it’s good that we have so many inventions, but in another (like the one we contected) it was full of prior art and disclosure and not worthy of wasting time. 3M was another frequent inventor, Xerox another, but they seemed to be more open and respected.
    So copyright anything you write here, doubly, after seeing your lawyer. (c)(c).


  • #

    “How much money does GE make from green philosophies? I don’t know”, well I will tell you. In Australia, GE ENERGY HOLDINGS AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, made a Net Profit before Tax in FY10 of $13,156,000.

    GE Energy Holdings Australia Pty Ltd is a Sydney-based smart grid technology and water solutions company. The company is ultimately wholly-owned by the American-based, publicly listed General Electric Company. GE Energy business, and offers Australia-based and New Zealand-based clients access to smart grid technology across transmission and distribution, as well as waste water treatment and wind power technologies. The company operates through a number of business segments, including energy services; and oil & gas. It employs around 532 staff.

    Energy Services
    In the energy services area, it operates through power generation services, digital energy, measurement & control services, industrial services and environmental services. It also provides combined cycle power plants, power generation, power economics, temporary power solutions and total plant optimisation.

    Oil & Gas
    In the oil & gas area, it operates through gas boosting, gas engines, gas storage, gas turbine inlet systems, gas to liquid, generation solutions, land drilling & production, LNG receiving terminals, methanol, reinjection, refining, subsea and gasification, among others. It also offers offshore production platforms, offshore drilling and production, industrial cogeneration and oil boosting.


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    […] Spot the conflict: GE owns NBC, the Weather channel and lots and lots of wind turbine factories Posted on June 2, 2012 by admin Jo Nova […]


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    peter azlac

    Hi Jo

    This is off topic but I tried your direct email address and it was rejected as “person unknown” – apparently the Aussie climate police have made a start already on their new policy of gagging dissenters!

    I much enjoyed watching the video of the presentation by Professor Salby on the sources of atmospheric carbon dioxide and the implication for the IPCC CAGW “theory”that you featured on your site. Today I came across a similar but much more extensive evaluation that effectively drives a stake into the heart of the IPCC CAGW “monster”. The presentation is by Fred Haynie a retired environmental scientist who, like Salby, shows that fluctuations in atmospheric carbon dioxide are linked to fluctuations in SST. But he goes much further in showing the links to short and long term climate cycles and the role of changes in Arctic sea temperature/ice extent as the driving factors. Since we know that these are linked to solar effects via the geomagnetic link to NAO this gives good support for the influence of solar-planetary cycles. This presentation deserves a
    wider audience so I hope that you will promote it by adding it to your list of important climate facts. The source of the information was David Hagan in a comment on the most recent paper on this subject at WUWT – “What can we learn from the Mona Loa CO2 curves” by Lance
    Wallace – you may well have picked up on it already. Keep up the good work,nature is on the side of the sceptics – here in Europe we have snow in Sweden in June and the lowest June day temperature in Holland in 84 years!! Source:

    *David L. Hagen* says:

    June 2, 2012 at 4:58

    “For some detailed CO2 data and analysis with latitude and time see:
    Fred H. Haynie, Future of Global Climate

    And CO2 & OLR <


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    Jack O'Farrell

    ‘It has beautiful sentence construction’ (!) THis is the best that can be said about the book… Thank you for your eight-grade English teacher expertise, Jo. Now stop being so self-deceptive on climate change.


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    […] being kind enough to read my book and say some very nice things about it indeed. From Joanne comes this: [The book] might make just the perfect gift for that slab of the population who would have happily […]


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    […] JO NOVA BLOG Spot the conflict: GE owns NBC, the Weather channel and lots and lots of wind turbine factories June 1st, 2012… […]