The New York Times examines BP/Amoco, the world's second largest oil company, and its $200 million PR and advertising campaign to greenwash its image. It is an "enormous corporate rebranding exercise, shortening its name from British Petroleum to BP, coining the slogan "Beyond Petroleum" and redesigning its corporate insignia. ... in came a green, yellow and white sunburst that seemed to suggest a warm and fuzzy feeling about the earth. ... But ...
Outside the World Summit on Sustainable Development held in August in Johannesburg, there were poor street vendors and farmers holding signs and wearing t-shirts reading: "Save the Planet from Sustainable Development", "Say No To Eco-Imperialism", "Greens: Stop Hurting the Poor" and "Biotechnology for Africa." The problem, according to environmental reporter and activist Jonathan Matthews is that the anti-environmentalist demonstration was organized by the corporations that environmentalist wanted to be held accountable.
"The Forest Products Industry National Labor Management Committee, a group that says it wants to 'balance economic and environmental concerns' when it comes to managing America's timber, paid Ogilvy PR Worldwide $100,000 during the first-half of this year to make its case in Washington, D.C.," O'Dwyer's PR Daily writes. The group lobbied against EPA regulations on new industrial emissions. "The Committee members include the American Forest & Paper Assn., and forest industry groups in California, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Louisiana and the Rockies. It also counts the International Assn.
"What are they thinking? GM's 'Introducing the Saturn VUE' ad, which ran in Newsweek magazine, compares their new SUV to endangered arctic species," the public interest group CorpWatch writes. "Never mind that SUVs produce carbon emissions that contribute to the global warming that's melting polar ice floes like the one pictured in their ad. And never mind that General Motors vehicles alone account for about 1.65% of the world's carbon emissions -- a significant amount for a single company.
Congressional Democrats accuse the Bush Administration of stacking the Center for Disease Control's Advisory Committee on Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention with "individuals who are affiliated or openly sympathetic with the views of the lead industry." Their report "Turning Lead Into Gold: How the Bush Administration is Poisoning the Lead Advisory Committee at the CDC" details recent changes to the panel, noting the removal or rejection of several academic experts on lead poisoning.
"More than 35,000 fish lay dead in the bed of the Klamath River and the death count continues to rise. These are not just any fish. They are wild salmon, both coho and chinook, the very totems of the Northwest. They suffocated from lack of cool water," writes Jeffrey St. Clair. "As the death toll mounted, Gale Norton, the grim boss of the Interior Department, acted befuddled and suggested that the die-off in these foul waters was a strange natural mystery.
A week after the 9/11 attacks, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Director Christie Whitman issued a news release claiming that air pollution caused by the collapse of the World Trade Towers was no big deal. "I am glad to reassure the people of New York and Washington, D.C. that their air is safe to breath and their water is safe to drink," she said.
U.S. AID Administrator Andrew Natsios has accused environmentalists "of endangering the lives of millions of famine-threatened Africans by encouraging their governments to reject genetically modified U.S.
"Sustainable Development is dead. Its demise came, ironically, at the World Summit on Sustainable Development," CorpWatch's Kenny Bruno writes in his report from the UN meeting in Johannesburg. "It's not that the phrase wasn't invoked. It was, ad nauseum. But it was hardly discussed. Instead, sustainable development was deemed to be whatever compromise governments happen to reach on trade, subsidies, investment and aid, and whatever projects corporations see fit to finance. 'Sustainable Development' is now officially meaningless."
Coinciding with the World Summit on Sustainable Development taking place in Johannesburg, the Green Oscars announced this year's winners. In the category of Best Green Actor for achievement in Corporate Greenwash, the award goes to BP, for their Beyond Petroleum rebranding campaign, and their "Oil is old news" ad.