Is there an inevitable journey for professional environmentalists from impecunious youthful idealists to zealous hustlers loyally serving industrial interests?
Greenpeace GreenwashDesmogblog writer Richard Littlemore made a generous effort to defend friend Berman mostly by slagging her critic Macdonald Stainsby. That weak effort attracted legitimate and powerful reproof for Littlemore in the Desmogblog comments, including this statement by yours truly:
Greenpeace International hires torchbearer Tzeporah Berman as chief climate campaigner
by MACDONALD STAINSBY
As the world turned their attention to the spectacle of the 2010 Olympics, Greenpeace International played another kind of game, appointing Tzeporah Berman as their new energy and climate campaign director. As a result, she will inherit their “Stop the Tar Sands” campaign and take responsibility for 110 Greenpeace climate campaigners in 28 countries. In the last few years Berman has been known to accommodate corporate interests, provided they make minor concessions and release joint statements. Greenpeace itself, by teaming with Olympic corporate sponsor Coca-Cola, has made clear this strategy also falls within their overall corporate strategy.
Berman, a former Greenpeace BC campaigner, was recently appointed to the BC Liberal government as an “adviser” on free market-based “green energy” initiatives. She immediately conferred an award to BC Premier Gordon Campbell’s “leadership” in fighting climate change while at the Copenhagen negotiations. This, even though BC was the only province in Canada whose tally of greenhouse gas emissions for the year 2009 was higher than the year before. While Berman was on the inside at Copenhagen handing an award to Premier Campbell (whom she now worked for), tens of thousands of activists calling for real action on climate change were being arrested, beaten and tear gassed. According to the Vancouver Sun, Berman “decided to apply for the job after reconnecting with Greenpeace representatives at the Copenhagen climate conference last December.” Her decision came roughly the same time as Greenpeace International was releasing their statement with Coca-Cola.
. . . She has previously demonstrated in both word and deed that her strategic deployment is to work in tandem with corporations and neo-liberal governments, not to oppose or resist them in any way. Berman’s likely corporate engagement strategy, which could include tar sands giants and experienced greenwashers Shell and Suncor would negate the possibility of carrying out the chant of anti Olympics demonstrators to “shut down the tar sands.”
"Reputed environmentalists quite properly have credibility questioned after they start cashing cheques from governments and private industry and when they are seen to be promoters of questionable projects and organizations. Particularly groups that aid greenwashers or astroturfers.By the way, I retract the statement about Stainsby being unqualified. His website Oil Sands Truth is a worthwhile site that has been around for some years. Recommend this post
"I agree with your comments on Stainsby and think CBC was unconscionably careless in presenting an unqualified guest to slag anyone. Nevertheless, you are too gentle with Ms. Berman who deserves criticism for becoming a BC Liberal partisan and a promoter of river despoilment. IPPs have used their financial muscle to reward a handful of former environmentalists and media pundits. Recipients are worthy of disrespect."