Environment

On the Green Stump, Down Under

The environment is "the sleeper issue of Australia's October 9 election," and Prime Minister John Howard, "once regarded as the nemesis of conservationists - [is] vigorously courting the green vote." Howard pledged Aus$2 billion for "the country's ailing river systems, prompting Labor leader Mark Latham to respond with a billion-dollar package of his own." At the same time, Howard's Deputy Prime Minister attacked the Green Party, saying

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I'm Responsible, if I Do Say So Myself

The environmental group Friends of the Earth will hold "a mock awards ceremony aimed at exposing the green spin and corporate social responsibility failings of UK companies." CSR is big business; a recent APCO Worldwide survey of more than 400 people in 10 countries found that "corporate social responsibility

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Dusty Deception

"Up to 400,000 New Yorkers breathed in the most toxic polluting cloud ever recorded after the twin towers were brought down three years ago, but no proper effort has been made to find out how their health has been affected. [A] US government study provides the latest evidence of a systematic cover-up of the health toll from pollution after the 9/11 disaster, which doctors fear will cause more deaths than the attacks themselves," the Independent writes.

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Greening ExxonMobil

"Weber Shandwick is handling the 'greening' of ExxonMobil Corp. by promoting an alliance forged between the energy giant and Earth 911, a government/private sector entity with the motto of 'making every day Earth Day,'" O'Dwyer's PR Daily writes. "The partnership aims to educate consumers about the importance of recycling used motor oil.

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Gone Fishing for Publicity

Anglers on their way into the north woods of Wisconsin this Labor Day weekend won't be seeing one important message about the Bush administration's environmental record. This month Environment 2004 tried to place an advertisement on two billboards along a Wisconsin highway that declared, "Mercury. It's what's for dinner.

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Greenwashing Ford's SUVs

"The launching of the 2005 Ford Escape Hybrid this fall marks an auto industry first: the coupling of a hybrid electric engine, containing the most energy-efficient fuel system available, with an SUV, the least efficient class of passenger vehicle," writes Geoffrey Johnson. The Escape Hybrid won't do much to improve the environment, and Ford isn't expected to make money on it either. Johnson concludes that Ford, which has the worst fleetwide fuel economy of any major U.S.

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Full Court Press Release

"Over the past few weeks of Presidential WrestleMania MMIV, the Bush campaign has fired off more than a dozen press releases about John Kerry's policies on energy, nuclear-waste storage, forest and water protections, and other environmental issues - a hodgepodge of smears, exaggerations, and obfuscations intended to besmirch Kerry's pro-environment reputation," Grist Magazine's Amanda Griscom writes. Polls indicate that swing-state voters are concerned about things like pollution and wilderness conservation, prompting the Bush campaign to "neutralize" the environment as an election issue.

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Bush Administration Pressures EU On Chemical Rules

It used to be that the U.S. chemical industry lobbied lawmakers in Washington. Now the White House is aggressively lobbying on the industry's behalf in Brussels, opposing new European Union regulations on chemicals. The EU's proposed Registration, Evaluation, and Authorization of Chemicals or REACH would require chemical makers to publicly report the potential harmfulness of their products - both for new chemicals being introduced and those already available.

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High-rise Blitz

Ed McGovern, a Democratic political consultant in the San Francisco Bay area, is helping local developer Glenborough-Pauls as the company fights environmentalists opposed to a controversial condominium project. The PR campaign, calling itself the "Know All the Facts Coalition," is using print advertising and bringing together union representatives, elected officials and government employees in an effort to stymie a petition drive that seeks to halt the project.

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