Burson-Marsteller's newest PR hire, Lord Peter Melchett, has been forced to resign from the board of Greenpeace International. Melchett blind-sided his fellow Greenpeace board members and eco-activists this week by taking a consulting job with one of the PR world's most notorious anti-environmental propaganda firms, Burson-Marsteller. Apparently Melchett has convinced himself that accepting a paying position with B-M will somehow help him change corporate behavior.
Catherine Bennet examines a "deal with the devil," asking "Has Lord Peter Melchett been genetically modified? ... And what other explanation can there possibly be for the decision of Lord Melchett, quondam destroyer of GM crops, to join Burson-Marsteller...? Anyone who believes Lord Melchett's insistence that there is nothing contradictory about his appointment ...fails to appreciate Burson-Marsteller's fabulous coup in signing him up. ...
A longtime Greenpeace activist sent the following comments to PR Watch: "The Lord Melchetts of the activist (and now corporate) world are only one symptom of a broader contagion. Is there even a real environmental movement anymore? How accountable are NGOs to their own base? ... Look how little is being accomplished in addressing Global Warming in the U.S. at a time when it's obviously a national security issue and a global security issue. I think this is in part because the environmental groups don't believe in mass movement building like they used to.
The Guardian Unlimited reports that "Lord Melchett, the former head of Greenpeace UK ... (has) taken a job at a PR company which has represented Monsanto and the European biotech industry. ...(T)he former Labour minister and farmer, who is on the board of Greenpeace International, is to become a consultant for Burson-Marsteller....
ABC News correspondent John Stossel comes under harsh scrutiny in a January 7, 2002 Nation article. Journalist Mark Dowie looks into Stossel's rise from humble consumer-interest reporter to million-dollar network star. As network news divisions were forced to become profit centers in early 90s, network executives wanted "talent" to sell the new news product. "Professional attention-grabbers ... became free-market winners. By cleverly blending blue-collar social values with Wall Street economic values, they got rich," writes Dowie.
Washington Post reporter Michael Grunwald uncovers a decades-long campaign by Monsanto to hide its extremely toxic PCB pollution in Anniston, Alabama. Monsanto held a monopoly on PCB production in the United States until they stopped making them in 1977. For nearly 40 years while producing PCBs at the Anniston plant, Grunwald reports, Monsanto knew that the PCBs they were dumping into an Anniston creek and open-pit landfills were toxic and they concealed that knowledge.
"Bjorn Lomborg's new book, The Skeptical Environmentalist, brings us glorious news. The world's environment is getting better, not worse. ... If this sounds too good to be true, that's because it is. The Skeptical Environmentalist presents itself as a work of impartial scholarship, an attempt to test the validity of various environmental concerns through a careful analysis of the evidence. In fact, it's a polemic, an intellectually dishonest tract filled with glaring omissions, appalling errors of fact and analysis, and inaccurate characterizations of contrary arguments.
John D. Graham founded the industry-funded Harvard Center for Risk Analysis that last week issued a whitewash report on mad cow risks in the US. Now Graham has a new government post at the Office of Management and Budget where he is leading the Bush administration's assault on environmental, health and safety regulations. The secret plotting between business lobbyists and Graham has even angered a lobbyist who leaked information to the Washington Post. The documents "provide another glimpse of behind-the-scenes strategy-setting by business lobbyists" such as the U.S.
In October 2001, captains of industry from around the world marked the tenth anniversay of the United Nation's environmental summit in Rio de Janiero by gathered in Paris for a major strategy meeting, hosted by Business Action for Sustainable Development (BASD).
Rep. Scott McInnis of the GOP wants leading green groups to denounce eco-terror, though they're already on record against it. Is he using Sept. 11 to crack down on groups he disagrees with? Environmental activist Ray Vaughan responds to McInnis: "We have long fought against those secretive multi-national organizations that have sponsored 'environmental terrorism' in America. Throughout our great land, these groups are poisoning our air, our water and our food supply. Children have been hurt. People have been killed. ...