How the Sierra Club Learned To Stop Worrying About The 99% And Love Wall Street

John Muir

John Muir

Via the Earth First! Newswire:

Greenwashing—[a compound word modeled on “whitewash”] a form of spin in which green PR or green marketing is deceptively used to promote the perception that a company’s policies or products are environmentally friendly.

John Muir must be rolling over in his grave.

The organization he founded in 1892, the Sierra Club, America’s oldest and largest environmental group, have been in cahoots with the worst of the worst corporations in recent years. They’ve been paid tens of millions of dollars by the fossil fuel industry, tyrannical billionaire mayors and Wall Street in exchange for cleaning (and greening) up their public images.  Not only have they acted as a green public relations firm for the bastions of wealth and power, but have also sold out frontline communities most impacted by extractive industry.

Corporations rule our world with an unyielding iron fist. They poison and literally explode local communities with fracking and mountaintop removal. They profit off of dirty extractive industry with multi-billion investments. They empower a police state to repress democratic people’s movements drawing a line in the sand against Corporate America.  But they also insidiously mitigate the power of grassroots resistance movements with a complicit non-profit industrial complex. Most environmental non-profits actively serve as a buffer zone between our people’s movements seeking real change and a corporate state hell bent on sucking every last bit out of the planet and its people before the impending ecological collapse.

In recent years, there has been an expanding critique of the big greens. Corporate executives and the super wealthy occupy the donor rolls and boards of many green non-profits. Organizations like Environmental Defense and Natural Resources Defense Council have actively partnered with the fossil fuel industry in the U.S. Climate Action Partnership, a front group that helped stop climate legislation in 2010. A 2010 expose in The Nation by Johann Hari revealed that Big Oil made large donations for decades to organizations like Conservation International and The Nature Conservancy to negate bad press over human rights and environmental abuses. Essentially, the big institutions of the environmental movement have been bought and sold.

Sadly, the Sierra Club which boasts a democratic governance system and a healthy grassroots base of local chapters have become part of the corporate world’s equation for control. They’ve partnered with, and been funded by, natural gas corporations to promote gas as a “bridge fuel.” They’ve taken large donations from New York’s Mayor Michael Bloomberg even as he’s attacked labor unions and Occupy Wall Street (OWS) and released his racist police force to harass and demonize the Muslim community. They’ve even been business partners with the worst of the worst Wall Street banks, Bank of America, in greenwashing schemes to repair the bank’s damaged public image to the environmental community.

Read more here.

  • Jin The Ninja

    it’s either gaia or capitalism, 200+ years of unrepetant environmental destruction have demonstrated you can’t have both.

    • Liam_McGonagle

      “Gheobhaidh an fharraige a cuid fein”, as they used to say.  “The Sea always takes her own,”  A kind of fatalistic folk proverb recognizing the dependence of fisherfolk on their environment and that their way of life comes with some inevitable, tragic cost.

      It may look bad for Gaia right now, but it is literally a fight that capitalism cannot win.  D’ya ever see “Life After People”?

      Gaia will eventually take her own, make no bones about it.  It’s just a question whether Humanity will be around for the final act.

      • Jin The Ninja

        i know gaia will be able to survive, thrive and evolve past our self-destructive ways, i guess my own fatalism stems from optimism in the hope that humanity can learn to co exist and not exploit her, rather than die out from our own social structure(s).

        great proverb. i’ve always loved gaelic folk culture. and thanks for the link, i have seen a few of the episodes, but i can always revist for the unseen parts.

        • eyeoftheaxis

          I could see, at best an H.G. Wells Time Machine, Molocks and Eloi sort of world happing, and at worst ( at least for people ) extinction.

          I was on the begging list until they started pushing to buy a new car so they could get $500 from the manufacturer, and tell your friends to buy stuff now that nature gets a cut. I replied with a huge rant about bicycles and how I have a perfectly good pick-up truck leftover from the last century, if I must drive. I went on and on about the consumer culture and waste. About how they have a lot of nerve to call themselves environmentally minded. I felt a little crazy in replying to a begging email like that. This article makes me feel better about ripping on them like I did. — They didn’t reply to the email, and they still send me begging snail mail at Christmas with a bunch of paper products I have no need for.

      • Anarchy Pony

        It’s not much of a consolation though.

        • Jin The Ninja

          no, it really isn’t…

    • Amilcar

      It is either humanity or capitalism: that was proved from the very beginning.

    • Anarchy Pony

      As I like to say, you can’t have your planet and eat it too.

      • Jin The Ninja

        permaculture planet?

        • Anarchy Pony

          I’ve just been saying that for a while now, I don’t doubt someone else thought the same thing.

          • Jin The Ninja

            it’s a great saying! i was being cheeky and referring to turning the world into a giant permaculture garden where we could pluck the fruits of the earth – not very clever in hindsight. my written nuance has no subtly online…lol

          • Anarchy Pony

            Anyway Jin, check this vid on peak oil and so on. 
   The title is a little melodramatic, but the film is good.

          • Jin The Ninja

            i will check it out right now, and i am sure as you know, i have never been one to shy away from melodrama:P

          • Jin The Ninja

            just watched it. extremely informative, statistical, scientific. i liked her irish lilt. as you know i am pro alt energy, but i recognise the severe limitations of these resources. it has so many implications- it’s astounding. if we can keep the internet after collapse, i’ll be very happy. i am pretty okay with getting rid of everything else. i did like the conclusion quite a lot, i already buy mostly local, all small biz, eat mostly organic (mostly veg). i can’t really fathom ever eating industrialised food, and my stomach wouldn’t be able to take it either. i dunno if i’ve ever linked you this before, but it’s a favourite of mine-


          • Anarchy Pony

            Well, we could possibly keep the simpler functions of the internet running in a low energy future, namely communication and the sharing of information. But that wouldn’t be easy considering the scale of the network.

          • Jin The Ninja

            i guess we’ll have to base all servers in iceland, feed off the geothermal broadband a bit…

  • Amilcar

    It is silly to expect a solution for the 99% coming from the 1%, wether we call it enviromentalism or charity, if it is not organized in a transparent, horizontal and democratic manner, any movement is suceptible to corruption and extorsion, and will become part of the propaganda machine, if it wasn´t so in the first place.

  • Phantom Menace

    The EPA is just another Money Hungry Corporation like any other business.  The use their Green Influence (which is just a Ruse) on the public to lobby new laws.  Every thing they do now is just to accumulate and obtain more money for their pockets.

    Don’t be fooled with environmental fees, where is that money really going?  I been telling people for decades now and not too many people believe that the EPA is also corrupt.  Want to pollute or have your way with the environment?  Then just then just give the EPA lots of money and you’ll get to do what you want.

    EPA does not provide a product or service and yet makes Millions of Dollars each year.  For a NON PROFIT organization they sure make a lot of money.

  • Calypso_1

    This is one of the big problems I see with the Libertarian Party’s concept of environmental stewardship.

    From the Party’s website issue page on the environment  – “Wouldn’t we be better served if naturalist organizations, such as the Audubon Society or Nature Conservancy, took over the management of our precious [National] parks? The Audubon Society’s Rainey Wildlife Sanctuary partially supports itself with natural gas wells operated in an ecologically sound manner. In addition to preserving the sensitive habitat, the Society shows how technology and ecology can co-exist peacefully and profitably.”  “The environment would benefit immensely from the elimination of sovereign immunity coupled with the privatization of “land and beast.”
    As sited in this article the Nature Conservancy is one of the non-profits in the pocket of Big Oil.  The aim is to gut public land for private profit. 
    While I fully support restructuring of sovereign immunity, especially in regards to environmental accountability for the federal government and untenably vague interpretations of the 11th amendment, basing property right on privatized dominion over common land trust is destructive of the concepts of nationhood, shared humanity and intergenerational equity.

  • rtb61

    Reality here is, either the psychopaths go or all of us (including the psychopaths). Psychopaths will burn the world to the ground to feed their ego and lusts.