Saturday, January 1, 2011

How Green Became the Color of Money

A Concise History of the Rise and Fall of the Enviro Establishment

By Jeffrey St. Clair

Jay D. Hair
In the early summer of 1995, Jay Hair quietly resigned as head of the National Wildlife Federation. This Napoleonic figure had transformed a once scruffy, apolitical collection of local hunting and gun clubs into the cautious colossus of the environmental movement with more than four million members and an annual budget of nearly $100 million. By the time Hair left, the Federation enjoyed more political clout in Washington than the rest of the environmental groups combined.

Hair, a former biology profession who also served as a special assistant to Secretary of the Interior Cecil Andrus during the Carter Administration, was the architect of this astounding transformation. Under the firm hand of Hair’s leadership the Federation’s membership doubled and it’s budget tripled. His strategy was simple: market the Wildlife Federation as a non-confrontational corporate-friendly outfit. Hair created the Corporate Conservation Council and forged relationships with some of the world’s most toxic corporations: ARCO, Ciba-Giegy, Dow Chemical, DuPont, Exxon, General Electric, General Motors, IBM, Mobil Oil, Monsanto, Penzoil, USX, Waste Management and Weyerhaeuser. The corporations received the impriatur of the nation’s largest environmental group, while the National Wildlife Federation raked in millions in corporation grants.

Read more HERE.
Part Two HERE.

1 comment:

  1. This of course is a US account of the Greens. In the 90s there began a course, where the Greens were heralded in liberal Toronto publications such as the TO Star and the popular "Now" Paper
    heralding entrepeneurs of the "Green" revolution. How being "Green" could be profitable. The Canadian Greens selected a former corporative marketing executive as their leader.

    This had been the achilles heel of the German Greens which was a broad coalition of disparate political convictions, who rose quickly to political prominence and just as quickly fell into voter disaffection
    when they couldn't address the problems of the ordinary German working-class.

    The canadian Greens became just another party vying for the support of the middle class, and were rejected. IIRC the Sierra Club even urged voters to support the NDP.

    With the election of Elaine May as leader the Grreens have regained some credability because she addresses some societal faults, but it is still for the most part, a single issue party, and can not answer the ever-more pressing needs of most working class canadian families. Nor does it for the main part even recognise those needs.