Mark Ruffalo Used in “Water Defense” Scam

delaware riverkeeper - Tom ShepstoneTom Shepstone
Natural Gas NOW


Special interests behind the fractivist movement have used Mark Ruffalo in a “Water Defense” scam that has turned out to be a water offense.

Mark Ruffalo, as we wrote here several months ago, may be America’s shallowest celebrity, although he was smart enough to rip off New York ratepayers and taxpayers for an expensive solar system in his second-home backyard that he could have easily afforded without any help. Mark Ruffalo has also been used by bigger players of the special interest game – players from the NRDC gang – to advance a scam taking advantage of the people of Flint, Michigan. They set him up as their patsy, as they do with any shallow celebrity willing to lend their pretty face to a scam masquerading as a moral cause.

Mark Ruffalo waterbug

The story, which just appeared in Slate but builds on other work in the Huffington Post and elsewhere, speaks for itself in most respects. Titled “Mark Ruffalo Is Helping a Fake Scientist Use Flint to Promote His Sponge Business,” it details a sordid attempt by Ruffalo’s “Water Defense” outfit and its Chief Technology Officer & Investigator, Scott Smith, to take advantage of the Flint, Michigan water crisis by marketing  something called a “Waterbug” and another product called “Aquaflex” that can supposedly turn the water potable. The story is well worth reading and here is one of the key points it makes:

More than one actual scientist—including Marc Edwards, the Virginia Tech researcher who is in part responsible for exposing the Flint crisis in the first place, and a UMass expert that HuffPo spoke to—say the levels of “contaminants” that Water Defense claims to have found in Flint are not, at the moment, actually unusually high. (Edwards and others involved in the Flint Water Study activism group have written extensively about the questionable claims made by Smith and Ruffalo’s group. They believe that Water Defense may itself have helped cause a spike in gastrointestinal problems by convincing residents not to use tap water to shower or wash their hands, basic acts of hygiene that help prevent the spread of disease.)

More details are offered in a story (also linked above) entitled “In Flint Water Disaster Response, Ruffalo is a Bad Actor.” Nothing is held back about the nefarious role of the guy we’ve often referred to as “The Little Green Bully” for the fractivist hype that is such a big part of his celebrity marketing campaign. But, let’s be honest, Mark Ruffalo isn’t the real con man here. He’s just another useful idiot celebrity, like Leonard Dicaprio, latched onto by the NRDC gang to promote their special interests. They know putting shallow celebrity types out front feeds starved-for-attention celebrity egos and lets them do a bit of virtue signaling, while also advancing the personal interests of the gang under the cover of self-righteousness.

Fully appreciating this requires an understanding of what exactly “Water Defense” is. It was created as a not-for-profit corporation at the time the EPA was investigating Dimock and set itself up as an advocate group around the issue, later even delivering water to homes there, all as if it was Mark Ruffalo’s initiative, except that it wasn’t and still isn’t. He’s just the front man, duped by the NRDC gang. The application Water Defense, Inc. made for Federal tax exemption in 2014 (some two years after it claimed it was tax-exempt) tells the story. It identifies, on pages 28-29, four key people who serve as directors and officers. They include Mark Ruffalo, his accountant, his attorney and Ramsay Adams.

Ramsay Adams, of course, is the son of NRDC founder, John Adams, who’s tight with Larry Rockefeller and lives in the Beaverkill community the family created as a Catskill enclave for themselves and their friends. John also created the Open Space Institute (now headed by Rockefeller descendant Kim Ellian) and served as Joe Martens’ boss before, during and after his stint as DEC Commissioner. Finally, he set up his son Ramsay up with a make-believe job as Catskill Mountainkeeper, where he and Ramsay’s sister (Honeywell executive Katherine Adams) who also serves with Elliman on one of the other Rockefeller boards, could keep an eye on him.

Ramsay has many interests, among them being the Catskill Brewery, and he’s cultivated a relationship with Mark Ruffalo, putting him on his Catskill Mountainkeeper board. Ramsay Adams also now serves as the Executive Director of Water Defense, Inc. according to its website.

mark buffalo

Screenshot from Water Defense, Inc. “About Us” web page

More to the point, the application to the IRS for tax-exemption was signed by Jay Halfon, the Fractivist Rasputin, who serves on the Park Foundation, and Earthworks boards, while also managing the Sustainable Markets Foundation for the Rockefellers and friends. He’s as tied into the NRDC gang as anyone could be, while operating mostly own the background. Halfon and the Foundation are, too, the conduit between these folks, the trial lawyer community and the radical PIRG enterprise – all designed to promote very special interests using an environmental/social justice theme. The Foundation also provided grants totaling  $161,250 to Water Defense, Inc. at the front end, which accounted for 98% of the organization’s revenue in 2012 (all but $3,875).

Yes, Water Defense, Inc. is another NRDC gang scam, with Mark Ruffalo putting himself out front as the face of the thing for public consumption. Once the EPA declared the Dimock water safe, Water Defense, Inc., essentially closed up shop, taking in no new revenue in 2013, and apparently shifted the focus to another different sort of scam. Someone brought in Scott Smith as “Chief Scientist” (his degree is apparently in business). Here’s a video of Smith doing some his proselytizing:

Who brought in Smith? Was it Ruffalo? Or, Ramsay Adams? That requires more investigation but enough is clear at this point to know one thing at least; Mark Ruffalo was used by Ramsay and/or Smith and he ought to shut up and go back to acting. No one’s taking him seriously at this point, especially the people of Flint, Michigan. He’s simply one more example of how special interests are using the fracking debate to advance their own personal agendas to the detriment of those for whom they deign to speak and the Upstate and Upper Delaware landowners they have deprived of any opportunity for economic development.

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13 thoughts on “Mark Ruffalo Used in “Water Defense” Scam

  1. Tom trying to defend our homes and property from a industrial ( never Safe ) operation that causes health,environment,and property value loss is in No way a scam.Don’t group all that have issues with HVHF as a movement ! It’s more like a defense .

      • What’s so stupid about wanting to stop a heavy industrial operation next to our homes ….either you’ve never been on sight of a HVHF operation ( from pad development to completion ) …Having over 6 yrs of hands on my position comes from direct contact and observation …I believe the term is more fitting to someone who would think industrial operation can be done safely next to people’s homes ….when in fact it creates multiple nuisances that will be challenged ….for sure !

  2. Dr’s are not free. where is home land security, what if this was a terrorist attack…????

    It wasn’t. It was poor government and its own policy implementations that poisoned the water in Flint. Had nothing to do with fracking all though the anti’s want to use this tragedy as another step to their fearmongering.

    as reported all homes will be checked for level of contamination at a cost to the city

    all blood sample will be processed at state cost

    This was a domestic mishap with nothing but ignorance to blame, Home land security would serve no purpose here

    The fear mongers will use this and any little problem as a tool to make a match look like a flame thrower. thank God the people who follow the news and important state newspapers are after 8 years, are seeing the truth through the Hollywood actors, the NRDC, and other billionaire heavily invested in their failing green energies


    Fraud is rampant in the antifracking pipeline resistance movement. Please see the letter (and there is a link to it) to senators murkowski and cantwell where Facebook pages or defunct “coalitions” are signed on as purportedly representing the views of millions of Americans on an energy bill. Although frankly I would not put much faith in anything written in huffpo or slate.

    Do you know what else is widespread? Flawed reporting on many things relating to natural gas like pipelines and powerplants, how the federal energy regulatory commission works or doesn’t work and on and on. Also widespread are reporters and editors of newspapers refusing to make corrections to factual errors when asked to do so more than once. HUGE problem in the field of journalism. Reporters cannot distinguish the truth from lies or a credible source or claim from a wildly incredible source or claim.

  4. Bernie Sanders has also given antifracking natural gas activist leader bill mckibben an important place in the convention in Pennsylvania this summer.

    Bill mckibben is seen as an expert advocate on climate change as he has long written about this issue so his anti natural gas activism which is prolific is alarming in that sense. Most reporters simply call him a climate activist or champion and don’t pay attention to his history of anti natural gas organizing, activism and writing. The he helped found 350org which purportedly is focused on reducing carbon dioxide emissions and climate action is also a major player in the antifracking natural gas pipeline resistance movement.


    Also democracy now have covered the latest from resist aim and beyond extreme energy and occupy the pipeline. Basically a small part of the antifracking pipeline resistance movement. No surprises as it is an art stunt/ public resistance and pr event all wrapped up in one including arrests. Elsewhere religious leaders are also getting arrested over a permitted natural gas pipeline.


    One might be tempted to say the left news like democracy now’s Amy Goodman do spectacularly terrible reporting on natural gas and pipelines. That’s true but most reporting on pipeline controversies is pretty terrible in my opinion.

    This piece at least gives a real indication of what the activists say, who they are etc.


    You might think that Amy Goodman and Democracy now are the only reporters covering natural gas pipelines or FERC as if ZERO paperwork is filed on projects that take years to move through planning and approval but you would be wrong. You might think that after years of review or coverage people would know more but you would be wrong. The confusion grows over time and the worst reporting on pipelines often occurs after they are approved and under construction. At least that is the trend I have see over the last 4 years.


    And in other news clergy getting arrested over Fracked gas pipeline construction. Only they didn’t drag in a flatbed container and lock themselves in it.

    So much antifracking natural gas resistance news and so little time. No worries though if you follow one pipeline resistance it’s enough to get a taste for how the script goes.

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