Just an innocent bystander?

The more I look into the story of the family that owned a Tesla powerwall (see previous four posts), the more I get the impression that there is more to the story than what meets the eye. In the article (and also the video that was linked to), it was the man of the family who did the talking. He was portrayed as a family man from Kermt (a tiny village with a population of 4.122) who installed a powerwall and this allowed him and his family to reduce their dependence on the power grid.

Yet, I was not really convinced. He looked indeed as an ordinary family man, but he sounded knowledgeable, the video was well made and only the advantages were highlighted, avoiding the disadvantages altogether. It seemed more like a slick sales pitch than an objective news item.

Later I learned that he signed in for the new model of the Tesla (the car). It is a hyped status symbol, not something that an ordinary family man would go for and he probably would have a higher than average salary.

There was also the puzzling tagline on his Facebook account:

Translation:

Here you find all details on the home battery of Tom Nijsen and his strive for an inter-dependent energy landscape.

His strive for an inter-dependent energy landscape?

These are not the words that I would expect from a simple family man.

Also, seeing his interactions with the Eneco CEO, I had the impression that they interacted more like peers than as what one would expect from a supplier/client relationship.

All this made me suspect that there was more to it than just a simple family man who got himself a powerwall and was so happy with his new toy that he want to share the news with the rest of the world. Initially I suspected that it was a media campaign of Eneco (an energy provider). They also want to profile themselves in the segment of selling powerwalls and their CEO did a plea to the government to support people purchasing these powerwalls.

So I began to wonder: who is that guy?

I already knew he had a Twitter account and a Facebook account, but in none of both was told what he did professionally.

Then I got the idea to fire up a search engine and do a search for “tom nijsen kermt”. The first entry in the result list was LinkedIn and I immediately recognized the photo from his twitter account.

Bingo.

He is an Enterprise Architect at … Infrax.

Infrax?

Isn’t that the Belgian … energy distribution company? Indeed, the company logo reveals it.

That explains a lot!

Infrax is managing the infrastructure of our grid and one of their goals is to promote end users to be flexible with energy, meaning using energy when it is plentiful available (when there is a lot of sun and wind) and avoid using when it isn’t (when there isn’t much sun or wind).

So if I understand that correctly, the thing he promotes is helping to achieve one of the goals of his own company. Confirmed by the Eneco CEO who claimed that the more people with solar panels own a powerwall, the less investments the energy sector has to make. Probably also the energy distribution companies, among which is Infrax.

If he told both sides of the story and provided the readers with the tools to come to their own conclusions, I couldn’t care less who he is or what company he works for or what his position is or who his relations are.

That is obviously not the case here. Their goal of getting many people interested in purchasing the powerwall could only be reached by presenting it in a one-sided way and that is what happened.

Neither Nijsen nor the Eneco CEO are innocent bystanders in this story, yet they got plenty of support from the media. It is a alternative energy subject, so the journalist ran it uncritically and even disguised this advertisement as a news item.

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3 thoughts on “Just an innocent bystander?

  1. poitsplace

    You’ve heard me mention how much the greens have infiltrated everything, often being paid spokesmen themselves while complaining of “paid deniers”. It is like this at all levels. Most of the time it really isn’t an attempt to infiltrate and control (like PNewell talking with the mods of the science subreddit). Most of the time it was simpler and even seemed like a good idea. The government might need someone for a regulatory job…”Hmmm, who should I hire? Oh look, this man has years of experience with environmental groups that fight polluters.” The same happens with environmental reporters…it made perfect sense to hire an active environmentalist. But in reality, in today’s environment this is like hiring a member of a religious cult to be a religious correspondent. Everything they touch will be tainted by their dogmatic faith.

    Oh, a totally unrelated point, but perhaps one you would find interesting. I was actually looking at information for pnewell (since I hate that smug, morally bankrupt, shill) and noticed this little line in his BIO “Phil also leads on our rapid response and denier monitoring work.”

    Now I knew about the rapid response network. But I do wonder what exactly is their “denier monitoring” program?

    Reply
    1. trustyetverify Post author

      I have no reason to believe that he was paid for making this promotional video or these articles. My only point is that the company he works for will benefit from what he is promoting, therefor he is not the innocent bystander that he was painted as in the media. None of those journalists seem to have made this simple query or if they did, they were not bothered by what they found.

      Reply
      1. poitsplace

        But if he worked for an oil company, even if he made a point against climate alarmism that was obvious and well supported by all data, they’d call him a shill and ignore him because he stands to profit. You’ve seen how it works, they’ll call YOU a shill even if you have no affiliation with anyone that stands to gain. I know I’ve been called a shill many times just because I’m passionate about the subject and comment quite often. BUT…If he’s the head of a green company and makes a claim, not only will they not accuse him of being a shill, they won’t even fact check and will in fact add some additional, positive hyperbole and opinion.

        Reply

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