Learnings from Johann Hari’s The Wrong Kind of Green

The blogging world is currently abuzz over Johann Hari’s The Nation article, The Wrong Kind of Green, a biting indictment of the US green movement’s “addiction to corporate cash.” These are Hari’s points that I find most interesting:

  1. The world’s worst polluters have been huge sources of revenues for environmental groups since the 1980s. These “corporate donations” have impacted the US green movement’s policy approaches, especially with regards to the climate change issue.
  2. US environmentalist groups have become “PR satellite offices” of corporations, a deodorizer of sorts to help improve corporate image. Elsewhere, this practice is termed as part of the overall greenwashing strategy of big companies.
  3. The green groups’ political pragmatism is ineffective considering the influence of Big Oil and Big Coal in the US political system. This approach is futile when confronted with the urgency of the climate change issue.
  4. Policy-wise, direct action reaps fruitful results as shown in the experience of other climate change protesters in other countries.
  5. Grassroots organizations can be reformed from within to adopt a more radical policy approach towards climate change issues.
  6. Lastly, as a counterpoint to Hari’s piece, here is an old article on corporate environmentalism, whether business companies can also be changed from within. Another article also discusses about going green is good business.
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