BP, Shell, Chevron Spewing Oily Lies

May 25 2010

As pointed out by Bristol (UK) Indymedia, Shell has tried to cleanse its dirty business with cultural grants. It sponsored the Bristol Natural History Museum’s Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition (2007) while simultaneously menacing wildlife, like the bird pictured here. In Africa, Shell’s environmental record in the Niger Delta is the stuff of civil war. At least 6,800 spills have been recorded by the UN Development Agency.

Likewise, Chevron/Texaco has actively denied its criminal negligence. The documentary Crude depicts the attempts of indigenous people of South America to attain some measure of justice from Chevron/Texaco, which has decimated whole ecosystems and forced the relocation and near extinction of villagers in regions ‘developed’ by Texaco in Ecuador.
Meanwhile, BP, which spent hundreds of millions of dollars on promoting its green image in the lead up to the 2010 spill in the Gulf of Mexico, must answer for the inadequate precaution and cleanup associated with that disaster. What’s more, the tar sands of Canada pose an even greater threat. BP’s plans to extract oil from the tar sands pose an enormous environmental threat due to the vast amount of carbon that the project would release into the atmosphere.
All told, the virulent efforts of these companies’ marketing departments to convince the public that they’re all fine corporate citizens would be laughable if they weren’t working. Polls in the wake of the failed Copenhagen round of climate accords have found that the number of citizens in the US, UK, and Germany who are concerned about global warming has been dropping significantly. Nevertheless, it is clear that sea levels are rising, if only because BP has managed to inject millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico.

Nuclear Broadcasting

Jan 07 2010

The Better Business Bureau demanded that the Nuclear Energy Institute pull its misleading ads from The New York Times, Washington Post, and other major newspapers and magazines, because its claims were misleading.

The NEI claims that “Nuclear energy generates electricity without polluting the air and water” and that it is “environmentally clean.”

Independent researchers, however, concluded that nuclear plants do cause thermal water pollution and that the processes needed to produce the uranium-enriched fuel for nuclear plants cause air pollution.

A few print ads are nothing compared to the 24/7 spin on the corporate controlled broadcast networks. Consider the media activities of GE, under the guise of MSNBC, NBC, etc. Glenn Greenwald’s analysis of the truce between Fox and MSNBC/GE is a measure of how corporate interests dictate programming. Issues that might otherwise have come to light as a result of the mudslinging are once again resigned to a silence by consent.

General Tricks

Jan 07 2010

G.E. blatantly rips off the style and content of Samurai Jack to lure people to its greenwashing site.

G.E.: Ecomagination or just bad conscience?

The company that has brought a lot of bad things to our lives, like inedible fish in the Hudson River. Byproducts of the plastics, aircraft engines, nuclear reactors haunt our environment. No wonder it’s trying so hard to convince people it is the knight in shining armor that will take us away from all of our environmental problems (G.E. “Ecomagination” website, not to mention the media spin through NBC, CNBC, Telemundo, and msnbc.com). After years of pressure and litigation, the E.P.A. finally demanded that G.E. pay to dredge the Hudson River to clean up the tons of PCB toxins it dumped into the river. But the cleanup has not started, over two years later. That hasn’t stopped G.E. from spending lots of money promoting its questionable environmental credentials.

The videos G.E. has made about solar and wind power technology are enticing. If only their aspirations weren’t so low. They
can “imagine” that only “10 to 20 percent” of the electricty we use might come from solar power in the future. Why aim so low? Habit? If G.E. was such an agent of good, would American tax payers have had to spend millions of dollars in legal fees to get the company to comply with the E.P.A.’s mandate that it clean up the PCBs it dumped in the Hudson river? Thanks to hard work, G.E. was forced to disclose that it spent $800 million to delay the cleanup of toxic PCB discharges in New York, Massachusetts and Georgia — money that, with a bit more imagination, it could have used to clean up the Hudson.

Making animals happy

This commercial prompted the following…

Although it presents itself as being a friend to the environment, G.E. continues to delay removal of PCBs from the Hudson River. In 1977, GE dumped 1.3 million pounds of PCBs into the Fort Edward and Hudson Falls. PCBs are organic and carcinogenic compounds that have been linked to the underdevelopment and damage of embryos and female reproductive systems in females. In males especially, PCB can lead to damage of the stomach, liver and/or thyroid.

Further Reading

* Cleaning up after G.E.
* PCB Article

No More Atlantic Cod? No Problem!

Jan 06 2010

2008-2009 Wendy’s ad campaign for a fish sandwich claims that its ‘north pacific cod’ come from an idyllic area with lots of floating sea ice. Unfortunately, according to recent climate science the summer sea ice in the Arctic is in danger of melting in the summers in the next few years. As if that weren’t problematic enough, the pristine ocean Wendy’s conjures is also menaced by a gyre of plastic detritus — over 7 million tons of plastic spanning an area twice the size of Texas. In some parts, plastic is six times more abundant than the plankton which forms the basis of the cod’s food chain. While cod in the north Pacific are not endangered, according to Greenpeace,

The cod fishery off Newfoundland, Canada collapsed in 1992, leading to the loss of some 40,000 jobs in the industry. The cod stocks in the North Sea and Baltic Sea are now heading the same way and are close to complete collapse. Instead of trying to find a long-term solution to these problems, the fishing industry’s eyes are turning towards the Pacific – but this is not the answer.

Wendy’s depiction of the arctic Plastics in Pacific Gyre water

As if all that weren’t enough, the placid image of the ‘north Pacific’ shown in the Wendy’s adverisement cam from stock footage of **Antarctica**. You can find it here http://www.fotosearch.com/ATB702/van113/

Let’s hope someone at Wendy’s actually knows where its fish actually comes from.

Green Waste Mountains

Feb 23 2009

Waste Management, Inc. is known to most Americans by their diesel smoke-spewing trash trucks. But the company has been urging viewers of its greenwashing ads to “think green.” Here’s what PR Watch had to say about them:

“Waste Management, Inc. (WMI), the nation’s largest waste hauler, owns and operates at least 115 landfills nationwide. The company owns a part interest in many other dumps. At a time when it is univerally recognized that landfills pollute the environment, WMI is our most aggressive and committed landfiller. Many, if not all, WMI landfill sites seem likely to become superfund sites in the future.

Coal Front, Power Hype

Jan 06 2009

These clowns have been advertising in the New York Times and elsewhere that fossil fuels are “advanced” and “new” solutions for our 21st century energy challenges. Right. The coal industry wants us to believe “clean coal” is a smart energy solution. They don’t have anything to say about global warming, though, since fossil fuels produce the carbon dioxide that causes the greenhouse effect. While the highly publicized coal industry sites hype “clean coal” even their own best examples of the potential of carbon sequestration admit that they are years away from “A full-scale system” because “developing such a system is likely to be very expensive.”

The coal industry front “organization” called americaspower.org features a blog by “balanced energy” flak Joe Lucas, who cautions his readers about over-dependence on wind power (http://www.americaspower.org/News/Behind-the-Plug/Gone-With-The-Wind, 3/15/08)

This is the same man who, in an interview with the Advocate, said carbon dioxide — also the gas that humans breathe out — isn’t a contributor to global warming because if it were, he rationalized, “the government would have to ask us all to stop breathing.” (http://www.greenwashing.net/, 3/15/08)

This raises the question of titles. Technically Lucas is “ABEC’s vice president of communications.” Or according to another bio online, he’s “the Executive Director of Americans for Balanced Energy Choices.” Should citizens who are interested in exposing the industrial propaganda of the greenhouse gas emitting industries also adopt impressive sounding names and titles? Would it lend authority to their work?

The Human Element?

Jan 07 2008

Dow

The company that has sought to distance itself from Bhopal (whose tragic catastrophe it
assumed responsibility for when it bought Union Carbide) now insists that it is promoting
“the Human Element”. Link