The Unsuitablog

Exposing Ethical Hypocrites Everywhere!

Archive for February, 2009

Random Greenwash Generator Goes Crazy

Posted by keith on 25th February 2009

Former Technology

It’s time for a buttock-clenchingly terrible email from a PR company who have found a brilliant way of promoting lots of companies’ products at the same time – yes they are telling the recipients of spam emails how green these products and services are! What? Are you not overcome by the exciting possibilities of this wonderful new concept? How very cynical: anyone would think you see this every day…

Dear Sir or Madam,

Green is all the talk around the globe these days, whether it’s about making green, saving green or protecting green (the earth that is). We’ve come up with a list of top websites and new technology that are must have green gadgets that save both money and the planet’s resources – for families and businesses alike. And if you’re smart enough – there’s a money game bonus that may allow for extra discretionary spending – like a family vacation at the end of the year!

Right, so that’s four uses of the word “green” in the first sentence; and who are you, anyway? And this “money game bonus” makes no sense at all – you save money and then you spend it; that makes lots of sense.

Gadget & Website Round-Up That’ll “Save Green”

What the f*** does “Save Green” mean??!!! You have just inserted a random verb in front of the word “Green” in order to…I’ve no idea, my head hurts.

#1: Don’t blink when you open your monthly bills! Reduce every one of your utility bills by 10%. Automatically save 3% on your energy bill by lowering your thermostat by one degree. You’ll never notice the difference in your house, but you will notice the difference on your bill. Change your calling plan or get rid of your landline unless it’s a must have. One upcoming gadget that will help you detect just where you need insulation is the Thermal Leak Detector from Black & Decker. It’s a small hand-held device that measures the temperature as you move along walls, floors, ceilings and so on, and tells you when there’s a drop in temperature, helping you hone in on any drafts.

First plug, for that purveyor of leaf blowers, leaf suckers, electronic wotsits and mechanical gizmos that every year we are tempted to buy and which will sit in the shed or attic for years having used them once. It’s the disposable economy, except it just fills up your own home rather than the beaches and riverbanks of India.

Now, I have a brilliant Thermal Leak Detector idea: it’s called YOUR HAND!

#2: Even Oprah’s doing it. Video chat and “virtual boardrooms” are emerging as a viable and budgetary solution for businesses families and job seekers alike, as well as other communities, (such as the deaf, students, military), and is becoming a daily routine that allows for free “face-to-face” communication that allows you to see everyone, without leaving your home! ooVoo (is a unique video communications solution as it allows up to six people to participant in the same conversation (3 people for free), offers file sharing and the ability to record video chat sessions.

Oh well, that’s it! If Oprah’s doing it then there’s no question at all that every person on Earth must do it as well. And what the hell has this got to do with “Saving Green” (or maybe it has lots to do with it, because I still have no idea what it means)

#3: Flying these days can be very expensive and damaging to our environment. Start-up, global car rental company VroomVroomVroom helps consumers go green while saving green. The site allows rates and amenity comparisons for all classes of vehicles from major car rental companies-Alamo, Avis, Budget, Enterprise, Hertz, National and Thrifty-with a lowest price guarantee. And no matter what the needs of your trip – a hybrid or compact car for better fuel efficiency, or an SUV to fit the family and your luggage– the site offsets carbon emissions for every car rented through the site, at no cost to the customer.

Yes, flying is damaging to the environment; and how precisely is this linked to car rental? You don’t say. I went to VroomVroomVroom (presumably “VroomVroom” was already taken) and what do I see on the front page? Car hire from London Heathrow Airport – way to go!

#4: Buy used gadgets. Buying a pre-owned electronic accomplishes two excellent goals. First, you help to extend the lifetime of the gadget, lowering its carbon footprint, and secondly, you save money. With the rate at which manufacturers churn out new gadgets, buying barely used gadgets in great shape is an easy task and usually is much less expensive, even for the latest gear. There are great buyback companies such as TechForward that sell refurbished electronics, and places like Craigslist and eBay are also good places to look. Of course, the manufacturers usually offer refurbished gear at reduced prices as well. You might even find what you’re seeking free of charge on networks like Freecycle.

What lovely comforting words, and she is having a go at the manufacturers who “churn out new gadgets”. Let’s go to the TechForward website: oh! They are saying “Accelerate Your Digital Lifestyle”. That’s not going to “Save Green” is it?

#5: Play a money game. Pick a quarter, a nickel or even a penny. Whenever you get that spare change, put it aside. You’ll have more money saved before you miss a dime. While, most banks will no longer count change for you, they will accept pre-rolled coins as deposits. CoinStar, on the other hand, will cash out change for you, but they have a 10% surcharge. Why not just sort and roll them yourself? Use FastSort Electric Coin Sorter and when you go to the bank, take in a bunch of coin rolls and deposit them. Over time, the device pays for itself over the amount you would lose using CoinStar.

“Oh bugger”, says Alyssa, “I forgot to send out the promos for CoinStar. How can I do it on the cheap? I know, I’ll include them in this “Green” email and maybe people won’t notice that there’s nothing green at all about them. And as a bonus, because they are in an email which is all about being green people might think CoinStar are a bit green, even though they are not.”

For more information, hi-res images or interviews with leading CEOs that are seeing a “green return” on their eco-friendly business models, please contact me at Alyssa@pjinc.net or call me at 212-629-8445.

Thanks!

Alyssa

Go on, give Alyssa a call, or send her an email, telling her how much you enjoyed reading her email.

Posted in Corporate Hypocrisy, Promotions, Techno Fixes | 5 Comments »

Up Yours, Admiral Insurance!

Posted by keith on 23rd February 2009

Admiral Two Cars

There’s a great Monty Python sketch centred around an actor called Arthur Jackson, who happens to have two sheds. The interviewer siezes upon this fact and constantly refers to him as Arthur “Two Sheds” Jackson, much to the chagrin of poor “Two Sheds” who is desperate to talk about his acting work rather than the size and content of his sheds. I have three sheds and, up until my insurance expires in a couple of weeks time, have car insurance with a large company called Admiral.

Admiral “Two Cars” Insurance.

At this point I must place a short disclaimer: Yes, we do have car, the same one we’ve had for 8 years, which we originally bought before our views on environmental damage hardened. It is driven about once every week or two, so we have to insure it. It’s very likely that we’ll be getting rid of it soon, because it does feel hypocritical having one and, as I say, it’s hardly ever used. Still, it gives me a chance to talk about this…

Admiral are running a series of television adverts in the UK espousing the availability of a special deal for households with more than one car; basically you can insure the second (and presumably third, fourth, fifth etc.) for less than the first one:

Single, married or sharing a house – you can save with MultiCar as long as the cars are registered at that address. Even someone with two or more cars is eligible for great discounts with Admiral MultiCar.

This same stance is repeated on the main page of their web site — actually it virtually is the main page of their web site. Now, car insurance is insurance for cars; but this is quite clearly an endorsement of those very many households who, in their flawed wisdom, have decided that they have to have two or more cars in order to live their lives. And to think, I feel bad about having one car!

For that, and that alone, I’m transferring our insurance to a company that at least makes a decent effort to get people out of their cars rather than living their lives enclosed in polluting metal boxes. If I were slightly less hard-line then I would probably even tell you their name…

Posted in Corporate Hypocrisy, Revenge | No Comments »

Watch Out! Earth Day Greenwashing On The Loose Again

Posted by keith on 19th February 2009

Earth Day Money

I want you to forget about April 22, 2009. Just do whatever you normally do on that day; don’t write anything in your diary; don’t put a circle round the date on your calendar; don’t make a special effort to talk about the environment. Why should you? If you are not a hypocrite then Earth Day will mean nothing special to you because like all other days it will just be sustainable living as usual.

Alternatively – like the idiot businessman who gives up his daily aircraft commute to “respect the Earth”, but just on that one day – you could treat it as something special, a day to make huge symbolic waves that, miraculously, make no one wet, and leave no one with a long-lasting feeling that they are living lives that are not their own. If you think I’m being overly cynical, don’t forget that Earth Day 2008 was a horror story of excessive consumption on behalf of The Planet™, and it is looking like Earth Day 2009 is going to be even worse:

April 22 will mark Earth Day, an annual event celebrated around the world as the greenest of holidays. Established in 1970, it was created to call attention to the environment.

Earth Day coverage has grown exponentially over the past decade and will get substantial coverage in most media outlets — including national television, radio, newspaper, magazines, blogs, etc.

Earth Day creates an excellent opportunity for companies to promote their environmental activities and concerns to a broad base, as well as to their local community.

What will your company do for Earth Day to stand out to its base and capture the attention of its public? How will you let your customers, prospects, employees and/or shareholders know about your efforts to reduce carbon emissions, use more eco-friendly materials, reduce waste in packaging, start a recycling campaign, cut emissions, etc?

My suggestion: Don’t forget the kids. Children are Our Future.

A national research study commissioned by the National Environmental Education Training Foundation noted that children placed the environment third in a list of 10 issues behind only AIDS and kidnapping. This contrasts greatly with adults, for whom the economy, crime, and drugs are of greater concern. Children worry about long-term issues such as damage to the ozone layer and destruction of the rain forest.

Did you know that 99% of children in America today have access to environmental classes in school, and 31 states require schools to incorporate environmental concepts into virtually every subject in all grade levels?

Reach out to children. Children have influence over parents’ buying habits. as well as being an influencing force for recycling and conservation activities.

If you have a local business, work with a school district and get imprinted eco-friendly promotional items, which are educational, into the students’ hands. Try to target elementary or middle schools for best response and maximum impact.

I genuinely feel sick, reading this. I encourage you to post your own blogs, and send your own letters in about what you think of this kind of cynical, bloated marketing behaviour. Earth Day has become the perfect example of why business has no place in the future of this planet!

Posted in Corporate Hypocrisy, Media Hypocrisy, Promotions | 6 Comments »

The Severn Barrage: It’s All About The Money

Posted by keith on 13th February 2009

Severn Barrage

Over the past few years my views on renewable energy have been cooling, as the planet warms: I used to be an enthusiastic supporter of renewable energy, obviously in the face of the growing emissions from non-renewable sources, but also in that I actually liked (and still do like) the sight of lots of wind turbines. My views were somewhat tempered a couple of years ago by the fact that most of the largest investors in renewable energy (for the sake of clarity, I do mean “electricity” when I talk about energy here) were and still are the large construction and energy corporations, and so I wrote about it.

In the last year or so I have realised that almost all of the talk about large scale renewable energy is a smokescreen. When politicians refer to the need for an increased amount of renewable energy they are (a) reacting to public opinion in order to look better, (b) reacting to international agreements that are forcing their hands somewhat, but most of all they are (c) ensuring that demand for energy can continue to rise, so long as the percentage of energy produced by renewable means also goes up. This is all about economics, and its the only reason that corporations invest in renewable energy and why, for instance, Shell pulled out of the project for the largest wind farm on Earth and pumped their money (and our natural gas and water) into the Athabasca Tar Sands instead. The oil price has dropped since the Summer of 2008, so you can bet that they and the other oil companies are starting to see wind, solar and (OH!) tidal energy as the latest cash cow.

So it’s the politicians riding the wave of corporate irresponsibility that ensures that energy policy is driven by the market; and it’s here that the Severn Barrage comes in.

The Severn Tidal Barrage is a scheme, or set of schemes, that have been designed to produce electricity out of tidal energy. The River Severn, which also marks part of the political boundary between England and Wales, has one of the largest tidal flows in the world, funnelling huge amounts of oceanic tidal energy into a gently narrowing and shallowing estuary. You can read all the technical details here; but the point is that if that energy could be captured, it would be able to generate an awful lot of electricity.

It also so happens that the Severn Estuary is one of the most important wetland habitats in Europe and, to state the obvious, is part of a living river ecosystem that initially rises in the Cambrian Mountains, and is then joined by myriad tributaries and other rivers stretching halfway across England and deeply into Wales before emptying into the Bristol Channel and finally the Atlantic Ocean. This is not just a stretch of energy rich water – it is not just anything, for rivers are the source of a countless variety of natural ecosystems and habitats, yet are probably the single most abused geographic elements on Earth.

When, in January 2008, the UK Government announced that it had shortlisted five proposals to go forwards to the next stage of a tidal energy study for the Severn Estuary. Not utilising this source of energy was not an option; after all the UK’s consumption of electricity has remained pretty static over the last 5 years, despite the obvious need to dramatically reduce energy consumption, and all but one of the UK’s nuclear power stations is due to be decommissioned in the next 10 years or so. Notice that static figure: despite all of the posturing about the UK Government being at the forefront of reducing carbon emissions, the amount of electricity being used isn’t going down. The reason?

It does not make economic sense to reduce energy consumption.

Remember that. Now, the favoured project, according to the UK Government, is the huge concrete barrage, stretching for 10 miles across the estuary. Observant readers will notice that on the press release the wording is skewed towards the larger Cardiff-Weston scheme, using such phrases as: “twice that of the UK’s largest fossil fuel power plant” and “it could generate nearly 5% of UK electricity.” Not exactly neutral wording, I think you would agree.

And of course it’s not neutral, because the construction of this project will require huge amounts of capital, huge amounts of energy, huge amounts of materials, huge amounts of backhanders…sorry, how did that last one slip in? I think it might also have something to do with the nature of the consortium proposing this scheme: The Severn Tidal Power Group. This organisation comprises the following members:

Balfour Beatty
Taylor Woodrow
Sir Robert McAlpine
Alstom

Four of the largest engineering and construction corporations in Europe. For the last 10 years, and probably more, the construction industry has been effectively setting UK Government planning policy; most starkly illustrated by the presence of lucrative PPI schemes in major infrastructure projects. Patrick Kron, the Chairman of Alstom holds the Légion d’Honneur; effectively a knighthood. The group, as of 1999, also included Rolls Royce and Tarmac Construction. This a group that has serious influence on government policy.

Notice also that on the Severn Barrage Proposal analysis report, the funding for the study came not from English Nature, the Department for the Environment or any other body that might have objections: it came from “The Department of Trade and Investment, the Welsh Assembly
Government, the South West Regional Development Agency, the Scottish Executive and the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment, Northern Ireland.” All offices whose interest is most effectively served by ramping up economic growth and the promotion of economic investment.

Don’t be fooled that a consultation is taking place: it has already taken place, in secret, and the only things stopping a huge barrage from being constructed are either a complete lack of money to build the damned thing, or (and this is down to you) ripping apart the links between the way the UK is run, and the financial interests of those who currently have the real power. Somehow I don’t thing wading birds cut any ice when it’s all about the money.

Posted in Government Policies, Political Hypocrisy, Techno Fixes | 3 Comments »

If You Don’t Trust Governments Then You’re In Good Company

Posted by keith on 11th February 2009

Carbon By Country

There’s a lot to be said for having progressive targets in all sorts of things, foremost among these is reducing the amount of climate changing gas being poured into the atmosphere; so when, for instance, a government (like that of the UK) says that it will aim to reduce the amount of carbon the nation is sending into the atmosphere by 80% by the year 2050, then it’s good to know that somewhere down the line people are going to check that they are on target. That said, of course 80% by 2050 is hopelessly inadequate, given that that only a net reduction in the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere – as distinct from the amount being emitted – by, say, 2050, will have any chance of preventing the worst effects of climate change.

You would think that, even with the rather modest reduction of 80% by 2050, a regular check would be made, say once a year, just to make sure the current government in power can’t blame the previous one or the next one, or be blamed by the next one, etc. But that requires committment; it requires sticking by your policies; it requires continuity of action – all the kinds of things that the governments of the industrial West are very, very bad at. And that’s why you never see year on year targets and audits.

Another reason you never see such things is because, to be quite frank, the recent performance of governments in the industrial West in reducing emissions has been crap. For instance, if we look at the two great Kyoto bashers, the USA and Australia (based on DoE statistics), we see that between 2001 and 2006 the USA increased its emissions by 2.4% and Australia had increased by 11.5%.

So what about the keenest signatories of the Kyoto Protocol:

Germany reduced its emissions by 2.3%
France increased its emissions by 2.9%
Britain increased its emissions by 1.8%
The Netherlands reduced its emissions by 6.4%
Spain increased its emissions by 12.4%

Five years of “action” and only one country out of five so-called advanced European nations — all of which fought with the USA to get it to sign the Kyoto Protocol — has managed to reduce its emissions by more than 5%. “Blair’s Britain”, the most vocal of the governments pushing the Kyoto Protocol has utterly failed, showing quite clearly that in the battle between the corporate-political agenda and the real needs of the planet, it’s the corporate-political agenda that comes out on top. The system is not going to permit annual targets, or even 5 year targets, because that makes it extremely hard to pull the wool over peoples’ eyes: in this era of greenwashing excellence, that’s a definite no-no.

When a politician says that they are going to fix things, then you might want to consider in whose favour the fixing is being done. When thay say they are making progress, you might want to wave a few statistics in their face and shout: “Why don’t you show me!”

Posted in Government Policies, Political Hypocrisy | 1 Comment »

Mark Steel – What’s Going On? Environmental Groups Take Note

Posted by keith on 9th February 2009

What’s Going On?

I already love “What’s Going On?” by the political comedian Mark Steel, and I’ve only just started reading it, having spotted it earlier today in my local library (I’m sure Mark will approve of being borrowed rather than bought). Like Mark Thomas’ magnificent “As Used On The Famous Nelson Mandela“, Mark Steel’s book shows just how important comedians are in getting important messages to large numbers of people – something I could only dream of being capable of.

The quotation I have picked is beautifully pertinant to The Unsuitablog:

There’s nothing especially novel about large companies eagerly making vast profits with little regard for the consequences; what is new, is that it appears to be universally accepted by all major parties that it can’t be any different. The world must be run by big business. We can’t confront them, we must involve them. For example, if Tesco are able to buy computers for schools in return for their mass advertising campaign inside classrooms, why wouldn’t it be possible to compel the company to do the same without giving them the right to plaster their logo at the eyeline of the nation’s children? It wouldn’t be that unfair, would it, if the tax system were such that the major supermarkets had to cough up a portion of their profits (made from the parents of those children) towards education.

Similarly, throughout the debates on global warming, every initiative seems to include ‘bringing business onside’, with complex formulas to try to persuade big corporations not to continue destroying the planet. No one suggests this with less serious crimes. Imagine if someone announced, ‘The important point in dealing with street crime is coming up with a plan that can bring the muggers on board.’

Take note Sierra Club, WWF, Nature Conservancy and their ilk: just because business is the biggest cause of environmental destruction doesn’t mean you have to involve them in the solutions. Do you really think businesses give a fig about the state of the planet when (to quote Mark Steel again) ‘success’ is another word for ‘profit’?

Posted in Advice, Corporate Hypocrisy, NGO Hypocrisy | No Comments »

New Award Aims To Expose Techno-Fix Greenwash

Posted by keith on 5th February 2009

Pie In The Sky

The Techno-Fix is one of the most pernicious forms of greenwashing; it is not only a way of pulling the wool over peoples’ eyes while companies and governments keep the consumer machine running, but Techno-Fixes are also catastrophically dangerous, leading people to think that the greatest crisis humanity has ever experienced can be resolved without addressing the root cause of the problem — Industrial Civilization.

I strongly recommend you take this test, and pass it on to everyone you can: some decisions are really very easy, unless you are being brainwashed into making the wrong choice.


I have great pleasure in bringing you news of a unique award, very close to my heart, which has been created by ETC Group. Here are the details:

ETC Group Launches First-ever “PIE-IN-THE-SKY” Contest for Budding Geoengineers

The first ever “Pie-in-the-Sky” contest for the wackiest geoengineering scheme to combat global warming is taking off just as controversial planetary techno-fixes are heating up. Since the beginning of the year, an Indo-German ship has launched itself into the Southern Ocean and dumped tonnes of iron sulphate overboard in a dubious attempt to drive CO2 to the ocean floor;[1] a madcap corporate venture is preparing to spread urea in the Tasman Sea for the same purpose;[2] a British university has issued a ratings list for different geoengineering practices;[3] and the UK’s Royal Society is about to issue its own geoengineering assessment.[4]

The Canadian-based ETC Group is introducing its international “Pie-in-the-Sky” competition to spotlight the wackiest proposals for intentionally manipulating the earth, oceans and/or atmosphere. “The proof of principle is well-established,” says Kathy Jo Wetter of ETC Group. “Industrialization geoengineered us into the climate mess in the first place, and some companies and scientists are crazy enough to think they can geoengineer us out of it.”

In the real world, geoengineers are already working on a frightening array of weird ideas with plans to wrap deserts in plastic, sequester CO2 in the ocean by ‘fertilizing’ its surface, not to mention placing solar shades above the clouds to deflect sunlight. “These corporate and government-backed experiments really deflect society’s attention from vital policy and lifestyle changes needed to reduce emissions,” adds ETC’s Silvia Ribeiro, “by touting profoundly hazardous, extremely expensive yet potentially profitable technological Band-Aids.”

Anyone anywhere with a macabre sense of the ridiculous and a concern for the future is invited to enter the contest. The winning submission will be original, ludicrous and contain at least a nano-shred of perverse logic. Since the truth of geoengineering is stranger than fiction, contestants will not be penalized for hatching a nutty idea that scientists have already proposed. Submissions should be sent to geoengineer@etcgroup.org before April Fools’ Day (April 1 2009). The winner will be announced on Earth Day, April 22 2009, on www.etcgroup.org.

Geoengineering competition submissions should be no longer than 200 words and can be submitted in English, Spanish, French or Portuguese. Sketches and designs that help explain the technological strategy – or impact – are welcome. The winning techno-fix will be crafted into a cartoon that ETC will publish on its website and elsewhere. The winner will receive a T-shirt emblazoned with his/her winning geoengineering scheme.

This is the latest in a series of annual or biennial contests launched by ETC group. Its best known is the biennial Captain Hook Awards for Biopiracy. In 2007, the Washington Post reproduced in color a selection of its favorite designs submitted to our International Nano-Hazard Symbol Design Competition.

Contestants need look no further than the real world for inspiration. See for example:

http://www.etcgroup.org/en/materials/publications.html?pub_id=608
and
http://www.biofuelwatch.org.uk/docs/cnbe/cnbe.html

Download a full-color poster by Stig, which includes contest details and an illustration of a “pie-in-the-sky” launch, ETC’s own geoengineering bright idea:

A print quality version is available here: http://www.etcgroup.org/upload/body_image/53/02/piesky_webposter_big.jpg

Endnotes:
[1] See http://www.etcgroup.org/en/materials/publications.html?pub_id=719
[2] See Ben Cubby, “Climate scientists seek a urea moment,” Sydney Morning Herald, January 21, 2009; available online: http://www.smh.com.au/news/environment/global-warming/climate-scientists-seek-a-urea-moment/2009/01/20/1232213646774.html
[3] T. M. Lenton and N. E. Vaughan, “The radiative forcing potential of different climate geoengineering options,” Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 9, 2559-2608, 2009; For podcast by Lenton: http://www.uea.ac.uk/lentongeoengineering
[4] See http://royalsociety.org/page.asp?id=2556

Posted in Company Policies, Government Policies, Revenge, Techno Fixes | No Comments »

The Climate Group: Nothing But A Bunch Of Businesses

Posted by keith on 2nd February 2009

Squeezing Money From The Earth

The Climate Group, The Climate Group, The Climate Group…if you say it enough times then it starts to sound familiar: a bit like a business, or the kind of organisation funded by businesses to provide advice to businesses. But is it?

Take a look at some of the web sites and organisations that are waxing lyrical about them:

- John Laumer at Treehugger.com said, of their keynote report: “The most important report you’ll read all year……You’ll not find a better capsule summary of what we face and what needs to be done for the rest of your life – and your childrens’ lives. Honestly. Read the report. The details are gripping.”

- The heads of both Greenpeace UK and Friends of the Earth are happy to be associated with The Climate Group, turning up at events and speaking as one.

- WWF has partnered with The Climate Group on a number of major environmental projects.

Associating and being praised by the great and good within the “environmental movement” (I think those quotes are well earned) is necessary for The Climate Group because they are clearly determined to get things done. Their establishment comes off the back of an urgent need to reverse the appalling state of the atmosphere and other carbon sinks, and they have gone to great efforts to acknowledge the problem and give it the highest possible profile – launching their most significant report with the support of Tony Blair and being highlighted by Ban Ki-moon (United Nations Secretary General) as part of the global solution to climate change.

Regular readers of The Unsuitablog will realise that, while on the surface seeming like significant endorsements, these things really don’t mean as much as they appear; as you will see from this link, this link and this link. Ban Ki-moon went on to say that, “Scientists have given us many tools to make carbon-based fuels cleaner and more efficient, and they are working on many more. At the same time, we are also becoming much better at harnessing the renewable power of the sun, wind and waves. Due in part to these advances, governments, businesses and civil society are all discovering that the move towards a low-carbon economy, far from costing the Earth, can actually save money and invigorate growth.”

Likewise, The Climate Group’s goal is to help government and business set the world economy on the path to a low-carbon, prosperous future.

Now, if you are anything like me then you will straight away see a dichotomy: “low-carbon” is low-carbon; it means not emitting or causing to emit much carbon, which is obviously the only game in town for the next 50 years and more. Then you have “prosperous”, meaning to create financial wealth, and “help government and business” which most certainly sits in the “growing economy” camp. Have you ever heard of a government or business that doesn’t want the economy to grow? Take a look at this (only partial) list of Climate Group Members, a list that is growing all the time, and see if you can find a name that deeply and genuinely wants the planet to return to pre-industrial levels of greenhouse gases:

Arup
Austin Energy
Baker & McKenzie
Barclays Bank
Better Place
Bloomberg
BP
The Province of British Columbia
Broad Air Conditioning
British Sky Broadcasting
British Telecommunications
Cadbury
The State of California
Catalyst Paper
Cathay Pacific
CB Richard Ellis Group, Inc.
The City of Chicago
China Mobile
The Coca-Cola Company
Dell
Deutsche Bank
Dow Chemical
Duke Energy
Florida Power & Light Group

Some stunning names here, and that’s only A-F — leaving out Nestle, Nike, PepsiCo, Tesco and Virgin Atlantic among others.


If all that seemed rather frenetic and complicated, then that is just the appetizer. Wait until you read what is in their report, “In the black: The growth of the low carbon economy”

The climate change cause has turned a corner. It used to be seen only in terms of the costs of action; now, astounding profits and rates of return are catching the eye of entrepreneurs and investors around the world. Almost overnight, an ugly duckling of the world economy has grown into a swan.

Climate change action can bring “astounding profits” for “entrepreneurs and investors”. Can it really?

This is from an article of mine, entitled “If The Economy Doesn’t Shrink, We’re Finished!

The loudest voices during any kind of economic downturn come from those people who have most benefited materially from economic growth: the urban and suburban rich, the corporate leaders and the political elites who judge the quality of their lives by the size of their house, the size and number of their cars, the expense of their vacations, the amount of consumer goods they own and the number of people they control. To them, recession means the unimaginable prospect of a more frugal and less powerful lifestyle; Economic depression is lifestyle meltdown. If their place in civilized society is threatened then the whole of society must be made to feel their own fears: by exploiting their position in the hierarchical structure, they manufacture a universal fear of Economic contraction. We become scared because they want us to be scared.

There is a clear dichotomy between acting on climate change and benefitting business; so much so that businesses and their serfs in government will do anything to ensure that theirs is the only game in town.

They don’t want to save us — they just want to make money. Don’t let them.

Posted in Astroturfs, Corporate Hypocrisy, NGO Hypocrisy, Political Hypocrisy, Sponsorship | No Comments »