Behind the scenes of American politics, the powerful American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) has been quietly pulling the strings of state legislatures. "The organization's reach is impressive: More than one-third of state legislators are ALEC members, and about 100 hold senior leadership positions," writes Nick Penniman.
"Greenpeace, which is urging a boycott of ExxonMobil because of its anti-global warming treaty stance, has been sued by the energy giant in France for trademark infringement. That has provided a rich PR opportunity for the media savvy environmental group," O'Dwyer's PR reports. Greenpeace altered the Esso logo by replacing the "ss" with dollar signs. ExxonMobil says that the Greenpeace-altered logo resembles the insignia of the elite Nazi SS army and that it is a "repulsion." According to O'Dwyer's, ExxonMobil fears the E$$O logo "will drive consumers away from its brand."
During the recent meeting of the US Conference of Mayors, DuPont received special attention as a partner with the mayors in Cities United for Science Progress (CUSP).
Radio stations won't let environmentalists at the Sierra Club run a radio ad urging the US car industry to build more fuel efficient cars. The ad spot specifically names Bill Ford Jr. of Ford Motor Company, an executive who excels at greenwashing his company with rhetoric, while failing to 'walk the walk.' Ford gives lip service to fuel efficiency, but staunchly opposes laws that would require it. Radio stations doing business with Ford and running its car ads are refusing to run the Sierra Club's radio spot.
The news media is generally failing to report the historic verdict against the FBI in the 1990 bombing of non-violent environmental activists Judi Bari and Darryl Cherney. That would not surprise Judi, were she alive today. In her book Timber Wars she described how the news media eagerly parroted the FBI's lies and deception, casting Bari and fellow bomb victim Cherney as terrorists. "The news quickly went national, with newspapers across the country screaming about Earth First!ers carrying bombs. It was the only time we ever made the front page of the New York Times.
"What's good for big business is good for the earth," proclaims the EarthSummit.biz web site, which is spoofing corporate greenwashing in the buildup to the Earth Summit in Johannesburg, scheduled for August of this year. EarthSummit.biz is accepting nominations for "Green Oscars" -- "the world's premiere awards for those acting green" -- to "dramatize the lack of real progress by the world's governments at two Earth Summits in holding corporations accountable for their environmental and social behavior."
A federal jury has awarded $4.4 million to Judi Bari and Darryl Cherney, two Earth First! activists who accused the FBI and the Oakland, CA, police of framing them for a 1990 bomb blast that severely injured them. Who really blew up their car? What was Hill and Knowlton PR's role in smearing Earth First! as eco-terrorists?
A year after the Canadian Supreme Court's landmark ruling allowing municipalities to ban the use of lawn pesticides, the chemical industry is fighting back. "In many cases they have been successful in out-organizing the local communities," says Alex Cullen, a member of the Ottawa City Council. In Toronto, for example, public meetings last week on a proposed pesticide ban were overwhelmed by representatives from lawn-care companies sporting T-shirts, handing out pamphlets and offering quick comebacks to any question.