Thursday, September 8, 2011

Dear Greenpeace, re Tzeporah Berman (RERUN)

Tzeporah Berman was at Capilano University Wednesday evening performing at the North Shore Credit Union Centre for the Performing Arts. Her act was promised to be an exploration of the past and future of the environmental movement. In view of her controversial lobbying on behalf of independent power producers and her pre-election support of Gordon Campbell, I look forward to reports on her reception. I wonder if she has gained any sense of the financial disaster she helped IPP's impose on BC Hydro customers.

In 2009, Bill Tieleman wrote a piece that explained Berman's lack of candour in claiming she had been a "long-time" NDP supporter who "quit" over the gas tax and had no connection to the B.C. Liberals. He also quoted angry words of Alexandra Morton, British Columbia's wild salmon protector, directed at David Suzuki, Berman and others:
"As the living systems of this part of the world are under the final assault by the B.C. Liberal government, you make headlines. You seem to have no idea of what Gordon Campbell is bringing down on us."
Berman in recent years has been the target of much criticism by former allies. She is perceived by some as having sacrificed idealism for the taste of an international jet-set lifestyle, flitting between Europe, North America and Scandinavia, making appearances at pro-business events aimed at financial heavyweights. She is compared to Patrick Moore who exclusively serves commercial interests but always while trumpeting his history of long past involvement in Greenpeace, in the days when it was a dedicated organization of youthful volunteer environmentalists.

No doubt pleased with Berman sharing their support for Liberals and IPP's, Vancouver Sun last week published a hagiographic profile. As a contrast, I thought it worth re-posting this open letter from the Valhalla Wilderness Society, a copy of which I first published in March of 2010.

An Open Letter

Tzeporah Berman and her organization ForestEthics [in Canada, a division of Tides Canada Initiative] introduced into British Columbia a new kind of environmentalism called the collaborative movement. This approach means environmental groups collaborating with some our most destructive corporations and most anti-environment governments.  It is based on the fact that corporations are always willing to give a little to conservation in order to get a lot. 

And corporations have gotten a lot from it. ForestEthics and its allies endorsed a plan to log two-thirds of the Great Bear Rainforest under "Ecosystem-based Management" with logging standards that make a mockery of the name, followed by an endorsement of a plan to recover the endangered mountain caribou without appreciably reducing the rate of logging of its habitat.

Last year Bermann shocked many BC environmentalists by becoming the leading advocate of private power projects on BC's rivers and streams at a time when most of the environmental movement and a large swathe of the general public were fighting them tooth and nail.  Many of these were projects with huge carbon footprints that would do devastating damage to rivers and coastal ecosystems.

During the election, Berman, ForestEthics and allies shocked many in the province with their outspoken support of the current government's plan to privatize our rivers, while totally ignoring the government's plan to pipe dirty tarsands oil across BC and load it into oil tankers in BC's vital coastal waters - all under the claim of concern about climate change.

Berman then shocked many around the world by giving Premier Gordon Campbell an award at the Copenhagen climate change summit, despite the fact that BC's climate action remains minuscule and the government remains committed to piping the tar sands oil to the coast. This was viewed by many as a publicity stunt at a time when there was world focus on Canada's obstructionism of climate change reforms, and the protests by many international activists against the tarsands.

Whatever one thinks about the merits of private power projects as "green energy", there is no question to anyone that tarsands oil is not green energy. Berman's ability to ignore the Campbell government's role in planning to pipe tarsands oil to a huge oil terminal on the coast has made it astonishing and hugely objectionable to many in the BC environmental movement (including myself and my colleagues) that Greenpeace has chosen Berman to head its energy campaign.

Sincerely,

Anne Sherrod
Valhalla Wilderness Society

Anne Sherrod has been a director of the Valhalla Wilderness Society for 25 years.

Valhalla Wilderness Society
P.O. Box 329, New Denver, British Columbia, V0G 1S0
Phone: 250-358-2333; Fax: 358-7950; vws@vws.org; www.vws.org

February 25, 2010
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Note from Northern Insights / Perceptivity:

  See also Save Greenpeace: Stop Tzeporah Berman
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13 comments:

  1. Great letter Anne! And as always good work Norm.

    This Tzeporah Berman is a real piece of work isn´t she! Hypocrisy is the most blatant form of evil in my mind.

    Needless to say things are no different here in Ecuador.

    The oil companies are raping the country in the oil rich east and a private power development planned for the Rio Quijos will destroy San Raphael Falls....truly one of the most beautiful falls in South America and the highest in Ecuador.

    I guess the only difference is the corporations and governments at work here are more blatantly corrupt and they don´t have to buy phoney bitches like Berman to promote their devastation.


    Doug Pyper
    from Baños, Ecuador

    (after four months I fly home to the Kootenays in 10 days)

    www.dougpyperphoto.com

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hopefully Greenpeace donation numbers suffer to the point where Berman is asked to move along.

    Thanks for keeping your eye on this issue Norman.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Well said. I note that the board of Tides Canada Initiative includes Jodi White, who has a wealth of knowledge garnered from her many years as Vice President in the tobacco industry. Yup, the company that hid truth about tobacco health impacts, designed clever ways to market tobacco to new smokers [some have even suggested targetted youth], etc etc. I wonder if Tzeporah will be able to help Green Peace make connections with that kind of company.

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  4. Interesting connection. It is fair to examine the associates and funders of anyone doing public advocacy. Elsewhere in Northern Insights, we looked at those who lend their names to the Fraser Institute. With so many representing the energy industry and private healthcare providers, you can be certain the FI will write the expected reports and even have them peer reviewed by reliable peers.

    It is no secret that money has pulled a number of environmentalists to the dark side.

    Tzeporah can sit in the Patrick Moore memorial chair when she serves Greenpeace.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Are collaboration and compromise the same thing?

    Which ever word we use, with corporation mind sets it's always, give 'em an inch and they'll take a yard.
    The immorality needs to be addressed.Aggressively.
    Class action suits say I.
    Look at the automobile industry. They got it so our whole society has been designed to support the use of their wares. We pay for all this in lives, injuries,stress, bad air, daily noise and overburdened hospitals,courts, emergency response services,rehab,police and very high social costs so that we are left without money for other things like better health care and affordable housing and funding for the arts.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Welcome Oemissions. I'd like nothing better than to welcome a self-described raging granny as a regular contributor. Young folks in our family think of us as older folks. We think of ourselves as wiser folks.

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  7. Earth being compromised to death.

    Berman is just trying to firm up her career.

    At least that means she's leaving Canada after her payoff.

    Ken Barth

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  8. QUOTED FROM DAVID SUZUKI “METAMORPHOSIS” PUBLISHED IN 1987

    REFERRING TO PETROCAN
    “ I CAN UNDERSTAND THE IMPORTANCE OF CONTROL OVER NATIONAL ENERGY. I CAN UNDERSTAND THE IMPORTANCE OF CLARK’S PROPOSAL AS A POLITICAL SYMBOL OF HIS GOVERNMENT’S COMMITMENT TO FREE ENTERPRISE AND THE ULTIMATE GOOD OF MARKETPLACE FORCES. BUT I BELIEVE THAT PEOPLE, THROUGH GOVERNMENT, MUST HAVE CONTROL OF THEIR OWN NATURAL RESOURCES, SO THAT PUBLIC INTEREST, NOT PROFIT, SETS THE POLICY”

    GENERAL COMMENT
    “SPECIES EXTINCTION AND HABITAT DESTRUCTION ARE GOING ON AT A TERRIFYING RATE. IT IS AN UNTENABLE CONCEIT TO BELIEVE THAT WE CAN MAINTAIN OUR CURRENT RATE OF CONSUMPTION OF ENERGY AND AMOUNT OF POLLUTANTS AND DEBRIS WE DUMP INTO IT. IT IS A DELUSION TO THINK THAT WE KNOW ENOUGH TO CONROL, MANIPULATE AND MANGE NATURE. ALL PROJECTIONS OF HUMAN ACTIVITY LEAD TO PREDICTIONS OF ENERGY DEPLETION, MASSIVE SPECIES EXTINCTION AND THE DISAPPEARANCE OF ALL WILDERNESS BY THE FIRST YEARS OF THE NEXT CENTURY.

    REFERRING TO THE CBC
    “FIGHTING THE CBC, HOWEVER, IS DIFFICULT. FOR ONE THING, YOU DON’T KNOW WHO IS SENDING OUT THE EDICTS; YOU ONLY KNOW THE PEOPLE WHO DELIVER THEM”


    Note in the above one could substitute IPP’s for PetroCan.

    and....one could substitute the BC Environmental Assessment Office for CBC, though one could also substitute any level of government that has been influenced by private corporations.

    Note also the Clark he refers to was long before the Clark we have here now.

    ReplyDelete
  9. YOU DON’T KNOW WHO IS SENDING OUT THE EDICTS; YOU ONLY KNOW THE PEOPLE WHO DELIVER THEM

    That statement applies in so many situations when a government, such as the one in Victoria, is determined to serve the needs of its favoured narrow interests rather than the broad community.

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  10. She's an asshole and a sellout. Pardon the language

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  11. you do great work Norm. You're better than all three of our provincial papers rolled together.

    Thank you, it keeps me inspired and motivated. Very reassuring to see like-minded souls.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I second Off-the-Radar's comments, Norm. Your work is very much appreciated. Sincere thanks for all you do.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Thanks. The steadily growing readership here and at other sites offering personal commentary demonstrates disaffection for the mainstream media as it performs today.

    We in the alternative media aim to bring issues into the public forum that the political and economic elites would prefer to keep off the radar.

    That is why readers can play an important role by spreading these links far and wide. Encourage your friends and acquaintance to participate in online discussions. We are driven here, not by financial gain, but by principles that are important to us as individuals

    ReplyDelete

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