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.
EcoPledge.com, a coalition of environmental organizations that uses boycotts to put pressure on environment-abusing companies, has joined Earth Day Resources in putting out a report titled "Don't Be Fooled: The Top 10 Misleading Environmental Claims of the Year." The report calls attention to the companies that have made the most misleading claims about the environmental benefits of their products and industr
"Florida's environmental bureaucrats are in the process of removing 600 bodies of water from the state's 'impaired' list by changing the rules. They redefined impaired," Palm Beach Post editorial writer Sally Swartz reports. When a lake or river is classified "impaired," explains Swartz, the state is required to set a limit on how much pollution can be dumped into the water. If a body of water isn't on the "impaired" list, there are no limits. Large developers, corporate farms, and other industry would benefit from the redefinition.
Curtis Moore looks at corporate-funded think tanks like the Cato Institute and Citizens for a Sound Economy whose anti-environmental messages permeate the news. "Fashioning themselves after the very university research centers they deplore (or old-style "think tanks" that are only a step removed from universities), these groups have neither the neutrality nor the expertise of their academic counterparts," Moore writes.
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."