Environmental activist Dave DeRosa snuck into the March 22, 2001 meeting of the Vinyl Formulators Environmental Forum and caught industry representatives discussing ways to limit bad publicity connected with Bill Moyers exposT of the chemical industry.
"The Korean War veteran stares out from the television screen, an American flag waving behind him. 'Environmentalists are telling us how to live our lives ... preventing us from driving cars, and forcing us to live downtown,' he says. 'In America, these are still personal choices. Tyranny didn't win in South Korea,' he concludes. 'Don't let it get a foothold here.' The message, brought to you by the Georgia Highway Contractors Association, began airing on metro Atlanta television stations last week. Similar messages have been airing for months across the country..."
People join the American Automobile Association because they think it's a nice way to get Triptiks, traveler's checks and emergency towing, but what most members don't know is that AAA is a lobbyist for more roads, more pollution, and more gas guzzling vehicles. AAA weighs in on highway funding, suburban sprawl, mass transit, car design and safety, air pollution, and global warming. Almost without exception, critics say, it advocates policies that damage the environment and endanger health.
In a recent Manilla Times article, Canadian timber industry apologist Patrick Moore, identified as a co-founder of Greenpeace and an ecologist, accuses Greenpeace of "abandoning science and following agendas that have little to do with saving the Earth." Is there really "trouble in the house of Greenpeace" as the Manilla Times headline suggests or are Moore's comments an industry supported attempt to undermine and discredit anti-biotech NGOs?
John Graham, who has been nominated by President Bush to the top regulatory oversight position in the United States, is an an industry ally who has a long record of crusading against health, safety and environmental standards through the industry-funded Harvard Center for Risk Assessment. Public Citizen recently authored a 130-page report (available as a free PDF download) exposing his decade of efforts on behalf of the corporations that fund him.
The Center for Defense of Free Enterprise, led by anti-environmental "Wise Use" organizers Alan Gottlieb and Ron Arnold, has created this website which claims to "unmask" the Rainforest Action Network for its "ties to other radical groups," "anti-capitalist ideology" and "lawless and dangerous activities." To "unmask" Gottlieb and Arnold themselves, read the Environmental Working Group's excellent backgrounder.
The prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize has been awarded to Jane Akre and Steve Wilson, TV journalists who researched the potential health risks of rBGH (recombinant bovine growth hormone), the genetically modified hormone injected into U.S. dairy cows to stimulate milk production. The hormone is one of the first genetically modified products approved by the FDA. It is banned in Europe, Japan and most other industrialized nations. The story by Akre and Wilson proved too hot for their local Fox TV network affiliate for which it was produced and ultimately led to their firing.
Greenpeace accused the European Union Council of greenwashing for attempting to classify an established health hazard as a source of renewable energy. The EU is advocating incineration of biodegradable waste, despite clear evidence that it produces virtually no useful energy. In addition a new Greenpeace report points to independent scientific research which identifies links between incineration and a variety of human health impacts.
The oil and gas industry has launched the Energy Stewardship Alliance, aimed at winning access to the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. ESA claims to be a non-profit coalition of "professional organizations" and "individuals" who believe opening the Refuge to oil drilling is worth the human and environmental risk.
Arctic Power, a self-described "grassroots" organization, has laid down $4 million dollars to hire Qorvis Communications. The mission? To promote President Bush's plan to expand oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. How grassroots is Arctic power? Their website vaguely refers to people from all walks of society, without much in the way of details. But their board includes representatives from such business groups as the Alaska State Chamber of Commerce, the Resource Development Council, and the Alaska Oil & Gas Association. Grassroots? You make the call.