February 03, 2012

Neoliberal environmentalism - big bucks and cheapness

Or, the greatest example to date of how Gang Green enviromentalism's top dog, the Sierra Club, shows how a jokingly self-referential moniker from the start of the Clinton Administration well earns its deeper meeting.

So, Chesapeake, one of the biggies in natural gas fracking, was a biggie in funding Sierra Club's "Beyond Coal" campaign, eh? And, former executive director Carl Pope was fine with sucking up to Sierra execs? (What, no Clorox branding campaign?) And, kept a lot of Chesapeake giving to Sierra secret.

Fortunately, new executive director Michael Brune has put the kibosh on such money, though there's no word if he'll also kill the Clorox branding. But, I wouldn't hold my breath.

As the story notes, Brune is only talking about this decision 18 months after it happened. Plus, he's claiming the decision was Sierra's alone while Chesapeake says it was mutual.

Maybe it was mutual because Chesapeake knows it's part of a giant Ponzi scheme. (Having previously lived at the edge of the Barnett Shale in Dallas-Fort Worth, I have little doubt this is true,at least to a degree, from what I know about shale gas.)

So, while Brune, who came to Sierra from Rainforest Action Network, may be step up on Pope, how much of a step up, and how co-opted he has been, remains to be seen.

That said, with all this money, Sierra Club, even before the recession, was cheap. I know that because I applied for a job copy editing "Sierra," the club's magazine, back in 2005 or so. And, they were offering $33,000 a year for a job located in San Francisco. Really.

Then came the Clorox branding fiasco, the suspension of the charter for the Florida chapter for protesting that and other things, and more. Before that application, IIRC, came Sierra being asked if the tschotschke backpack it was peddling came from China, and Pope telling members "trust us, it's ethically made," but not saying more.

Sierra's got a long ways to go. David Brower is surely turning over in his grave.


JM said...

Actual, Bower's a tad guilty too,he started Friends of the Earth with money from an oil exec:

and was pretty big on the Malthus theory:

Gadfly said...

I knew he was a Malthusian; didn't know the oil part.

JM said...

Yeah, but at least Friends of The Earth is one of the more sane environmental groups these days.