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How Alton Jones Foundation Switched from Art and Culture to Radical Green 

by Environment and Climate News, November 1998

W. Alton Jones Foundation, now known as Blue Moon Fund

"The Blue Moon Fund currently ranks as the world's tenth largest financier of international causes"

List of some grants and grantees from 2003
BELOW (way below) grantees from 2009

The metamorphosis of the W. Alton Jones Foundation has transformed the 54-year-old charity from supporting the arts and culture to warning of environmental Armageddon. And because of its new mission statement, Americans now are saddled with an " . . . apparatus necessary to embark on another expensive and probably pointless 30-year inquisition against man-made chemicals . . . ." 

So argues environment writer Ronald Bailey in "Leading the Charge: The W. Alton Jones Foundation's environmental scare tactics" in a recent issue of Philanthropy magazine. 

Bailey estimates that the foundation, based in Charlottesville, Virginia, boasts an endowment of about $323 million, and gives grants exclusively to environmental and anti-nuclear causes. 

Founded in 1944 by W. Alton Jones, who began life on a Missouri farm and rose to become the top executive of Cities Service Co., the arts-and-culture foundation "radically changed its direction in 1982 at the behest of the younger generation at a time when the nuclear freeze furor was in its heyday," Bailey writes. 

Jones' environmental crusade began in earnest with the hiring of John P. Myers as the foundation's executive director in the early 1990s. Myers, recruited from his position as a vice president of the National Audubon Society, co-authored a Jones- promoted book, Our Stolen Future: Are We Threatening Our Fertility, Intelligence, and Survival? which contained a forward by Vice President Al Gore. 

The book's coauthors, Theo Colborn, a senior fellow at the foundation, and Boston journalist Dianne Dumanoski, were widely touted by Environmental Media Services, a public- relations firm headed by former Gore staffer Arlie Schardt. The book receive wide acclaim, and its authors were lionized by much of the media. 

Stolen Future advances the argument that "some man-made chemicals interfere with the body's own hormones." Such chemicals are responsible for medical problems that include low sperm counts, infertility, genital deformities, breast and prostate cancers, and neurological disorders in children. Even wildlife cannot escape the effects of these chemicals, say the book's authors. 

Despite opposing views, put forth by the National Academy of Science among others, that nature's own chemicals present a much greater danger to humans, the book's claims were put to the test in the laboratory by a researcher at the Xavier/Tulane Center in New Orleans. The results of the research, which were enthusiastically published in the June 1996 issue of Science magazine, claimed that man-made chemicals, while not a health threat when used individually, became more potent and dangerous when combined. 

Congress and regulators picked up on the report as they were considering the Food Quality Protection Act of 1996, and the resulting legislation reflects the biases and assumptions in Stolen Future. 

But Jones, Science and the federal government are looking downright foolish these days because subsequent tests by the original Xavier/Tulane researcher others and have not been able to duplicate the findings. 

In the end, Science repudiated its earlier article and published a total retraction. 

The retraction received virtually no media coverage, Bailey notes. 

"There is just no doubt about it that (Stolen Future) had a very profound and very bad effect on the regulatory system," said Philip Abelson, a former Science editor. "There was legislation put in (the Food Quality Protection Act of 1996) that is going to cost billions of dollars." 

Bailey noted a slogan that once appeared on the web site for the Xavier/Tulane lab, "The quality of our lives will depend more than ever on the quality of our science." He concludes his report, "Sadly, this is a message that certain crusading foundations are quite willing to ignore." 

PolicyFax: For the complete text of "Leading the Charge: The W. Alton Jones Foundation's Environmental Scare Tactics," call PolicyFax at 312/377-3000 and request document #2323145 (5 pp.). 



 W. Alton Jones Foundation, now known as Blue Moon Fund

"The Blue Moon Fund currently ranks as the world's tenth largest financier of international causes"

433 Park Street
Charlottesville, VA
Phone :804-295-5160              804-295-5160      
Email :Info@bluemoonfund.org
URL :http://www.bluemoonfund.org/
Blue Moon Fund's Visual Map
  • Assets: $173,631,303 (2009)
  • Grants Awarded: $9,735,736 (2009)

W. Alton Jones, who was a top executive at Cities Service Company, created the original Foundation bearing his name in 1944, for the purpose of financing artistic and cultural ventures. The W. Alton Jones Foundation changed its funding priorities in the early 1980s when it became interested in the nuclear freeze issue, a Soviet-sponsored initiative that would have frozen Soviet nuclear and military superiority in place, and would have rendered the new American President, Ronald Reagan, unable to close that gap by any appreciable degree. A decade later, the Foundation hired the zoologist John Myers, who had previously worked for the National Audubon Society, to be its Director, and thenceforth began to earmark much of its philanthropy for organizations committed to the anti-capitalist agendas of radical environmentalism, whose ultimate goal, as writer Michael Berliner has explained, is "not clean air and clean water, [but] rather . . . the demolition of technological/industrial civilization."

In 2001, the W. Alton Jones Foundation was restructured into three separate foundations. One of these was the Blue Moon Fund, which  Diane Edgerton Miller (granddaughter of W. Alton Jones) and Patricia Jones Edgerton (daughter of W. Alton Jones) together established in April 2002. The other two newly created entities were named the Oak Hill Fund and the Edgerton Fund.

The Blue Moon Fund currently ranks as the world's tenth largest financier of international causes; many of its grants are intended to help build the resources, infrastructure, and food production capabilities of Communist China.

The Blue Moon Fund condemns the fact that the U.S. has only 5 percent of the world's population but accounts for 25 percent of all energy consumption and (allegedly) one-fourth of all air pollution: "There is a complex relationship between human consumption, economic advancement and the condition of the natural world that profoundly affects human quality of life. Consumption is the engine of growth, but it can also fuel misery. Demand for cheap food leads to chemical use that can cause human disease; demand for goods leads to natural resource depletion; and demand for energy leads to pollution and global warming. Communities, economies, and the natural world all suffer.

Among the many recipients of Blue Moon Fund philanthropy are: the Energy Foundation; the Tides Foundation; the Tides Center; the Sierra Club; Rainforest Action Network (affiliate of the World Wildlife Fund); the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace; Planned Parenthood; the Natural Resources Defense Council; the Union of Concerned Scientists; the American Friends Service Committee; the Environmental Working Group; Environmental Media Services; Greenpeace; the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy; the Western Organization of Resource Councils; the National Environmental Trust; Conservation International; the Nature Conservancy; the Brookings Institute; EarthJustice Legal Defense Fund; Friends of the Earth; the National Wildlife Federation; the Worldwatch Institute; the Council for a Livable World Education Fund; the Environmental Defense Fund; the Rainforest Alliance; the Earth Island Institute; the World Wildlife Fund; the Western Environmental Law Center; Consumers Union; the League of Conservation Voters; the Rocky Mountain Institute; Physicians for Social Responsibility; the Environmental Law Institute; the Institute for Social Justice; Earth Day Network; the Alliance to Save Energy; the World Resources Institute; the Conservation Law Foundation; the Earth Trust Foundation; the EarthWays Foundation; Focus Project; the Center for Rural Affairs; Clean Water Action; the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights; the Foundation for Global Sustainability; Citizen Action; Lighthawk; Public Citizen; the U.S. Public Interest Research Group (U.S. PIRG); the Blue Mountain Native Forest Alliance; the Center for Science in Public Participation; Ecotrust; the Center for Environmental Citizenship; and the Association of Forest Service Employees for Environmental Ethics.






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