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Green Inc: An Environmental Insider Reveals how a Good Cause has Gone Bad

By: Christine MacDonald

265 pages, B/w illus

Lyons Press

Hardback | Feb 2009 | #179899 | ISBN-13: 9781599214368
Availability: Usually dispatched within 2-3 weeks Details
NHBS Price: £14.99 $20/€17 approx

About this book

In spring 2006, Christine MacDonald left journalism for a dream job at Conservation International, one of the world's largest environmental organizations. Soon after reporting to the group's Washington offices, however, she realized that something is rotten in today's clubby world of conservationists. "Green, Inc." is a riveting account of an eco-warrior's travails at the crossroads of the nonprofit and corporate worlds.

Environmental NGOs that once dedicated themselves solely to saving pandas and parklands today vie for the favors of mining operations, logging companies, and energy conglomerates. Being a top conservationist today means partying with corporate execs aboard private jets, yachts, and Land Rovers. A scandalous snapshot from inside a good cause gone bad, "Green, Inc." unfolds at a time when global warming nears the point of no return and more people than ever are awakening to the consequences.

No matter if the science of global warming is all phony... climate change provides the greatest opportunity to bring about justice and equality in the world,"" --Christine Stewart, former Canadian Minister of the EnvironmentAn angry expose claims that leading environmental organizations are now headed by overpaid chief executives who solicit contributions from companies that tout their greenness while continuing their predatory ways.
Freelance journalist MacDonald begins by pointing out that, unlike other activists such as labor organizers or feminists, early conservationists were not radicals but respectable gentlemen like John Muir and Theodore Roosevelt. Matters changed in the 1960s, when outrage over pesticides, toxic waste and nuclear power led to an influx of young militants. They changed even more in the '80s, when a proliferation of self-made billionaires, many of them former '60s militants, opened their wallets. From hand-to-mouth organizations existing on membership fees and the occasional bequest, groups such as Conservation International, the Nature Conservancy, World Wildlife Federation and the Sierra Club grew to own skyscrapers, private jets and overseas offices while employing tens of thousands of workers who oversee billions of dollars in spending. Fighting the still-losing battle to save the environment energizes the rank and file, but their leaders have adopted the lifestyle and priorities of private industry: increase revenue, expand markets, outstrip competitors. These leaders are taking advantage of the fact that it is no longer acceptable to sneer at conservationists. Mining and power companies, Wal-Mart, Exxon and Shell now proclaim their concern forthe environment, backing this up with a little bit of action and a lot of generous contributions. These come with strings attached, MacDonald emphasizes. She offers depressing examples of polluters who contributed, announced that they were mending their ways, then enjoyed support from their beneficiaries as they proceeded with destructive projects fiercely opposed by local conservationists.
Readers who take for granted that environmental organizations are made up of long-haired tree huggers and wilderness buffs will receive a jolt to learn how Green Inc.'s newfound prosperity has led it astray. --Kirkus Review ""Green Inc." is a must read. Christine McDonald reveals the seedy underbelly of the greenwashing movement where brand-name environmental groups provide a PR bonanza for some of the worst polluters in corporate America, and get paid to do it. Americans will never look at many environmental groups the same way after reading "Green Inc." "Green Inc. "should stir a revolt among the dues-paying membership of the environmental movement against those who believe working with oil companies to improve their image is the way to save the earth. --Jamie Court, President, Consumer Watchdog, and author of "Corporateering: How Corporate Power Steals Your Personal Freedom and What You Can Do About It "" ""[A] scathing indictment of the surprising profligacy and complacency of some of the world's top environmental organizations...impossible to ignore." --Publishers Weekly ""

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