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Thu, 2012-10-04 20:13Graham Readfearn
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From Kermit to Coal, Book Reveals How World's Top Brands Greenwash The Public

“I GUESS it is easy being green,” said Kermit the Frog as he bounced around a Ford Escape Hybrid in a 2006 television ad campaign.

During the ad, Kermit displayed his innate talent for not blinking which, it has to be said, is due essentially to his congenital lack of eyelids.

But had Kermit blinked, he would have missed the small print at the bottom of the ad which showed that at the time, this “green” vehicle had a fuel consumption slightly worse than the US average.

But that seems to be the rule when it comes to claims of climate-friendliness made by some of the world's biggest brands.

Check the small print, and the responsible green hue soon fades to something resembling bullsh*t-brown (or whatever color denotes hypocrisy). At least that's the conclusion after reading Australian author and researcher Guy Pearse's latest book. Pearse spent close to four years immersing himself in some 3000 TV commercials and viewing about 4000 print and web adverts, all of which make claims of climate friendliness (I disclose here that I had a small paid role as a fact-checker on the book).

After checking the brand's actual contribution to climate change (or their lack of transparency) in more than 700 company reports, Pearse finds in Greenwash: Big Brands and Carbon Scams that the green revolution is being either grossly overblown or faked.

Tue, 2010-03-09 14:49Richard Littlemore
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Lorne Gunther: Denial (and dumb analogies) are us

In a wonderfully silly update of the (Canadian newspaper the) National Post’s campaign of climate change denial, columnist Lorne Gunther (picked up here in the Edmonton Journal) argues that global warming has ended - and to prove it, he imagines the earth as an out-of-control Toyota which he decides has run out of gas.

What good fortune that might be (running out of gas in time to stop before you hit the cliff). But how can we think that our careering planetary heating system - which appears to have it its top speed and has been holding steady for more than a decade - is “out of gas” when we’re pumping the stuff into the atmosphere at an unprecedented rate?

Tue, 2009-10-06 13:41Brendan DeMelle
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Apple Quits U.S. Chamber of Commerce Over Climate

Apple became the fourth company in recent days to completely sever ties with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce over the business lobby’s backwards stance on climate change.

In a letter to the Chamber obtained by the New York Times, Apple states [PDF]:

Wed, 2009-09-30 15:08Kevin Grandia
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Toyota's Two-Faced Stance on Climate Change

As the old saying goes: “You can’t have your cake and eat it too.” Or in the case of Toyota: “You can’t have your green and fight it too.”

With a well-earned reputation as a leader in the development of fuel efficient cars it boggles my mind that Toyota continues to be a supporter of the US Chamber of Commerce - an organization that is leading the charge against President Obama’s clean energy agenda.

Other big supporters of the Chamber of Commerce have been distancing themselves from the organization over their archaic standpoint on the issue of climate change.

Wed, 2009-09-30 09:49Brendan DeMelle
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NIKE Quits Chamber of Commerce Board Over Climate Rift

The exodus continues.  Nike announced today that the company simply cannot stand by and watch the Chamber of Commerce continue its campaign to derail much-needed action to address climate change.  So Nike Just Did It.

Here is Nike’s statement [PDF copy courtesy of NRDC here]:

Nike believes US businesses must advocate for aggressive climate change legislation and that the United States needs to move rapidly into a sustainable economy to remain competitive and ensure continued economic growth.

As we’ve stated, we fundamentally disagree with the US Chamber of Commerce on the issue of climate change and their recent action challenging the EPA is inconsistent with our view that climate change is an issue in need of urgent action.

We believe businesses and their representative associations need to take an active role to invest in sustainable business practices and innovative solutions.

It is important that US companies be represented by a strong and effective Chamber that reflects the interests of all its members on multiple issues. We believe that on the issue of climate change the Chamber has not represented the diversity of perspective held by the board of directors.

Therefore, we have decided to resign our board of directors position. We will continue our membership to advocate for climate change legislation inside the committee structure and believe that we can better influence policy by being part of the conversation. Moving forward we will continue to evaluate our membership.

Wed, 2009-07-08 13:04Kevin Grandia
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U.S. Auto Industry Finally Succumbs to Inevitable Defeat on California Emissions Standards

The Obama administration recently granted California the right to enforce its first-in-the-nation greenhouse gas emissions standards for cars and trucks, after announcing plans in May to boost federal fuel efficiency standards.  Thirteen other states will also implement the California emissions standard until 2012 when the U.S. government will adopt the California standards as federal law. 

The move will collectively slash emissions by 30 percent in 2016.

But California’s long overdue victory on emissions standards didn’t come without a protracted legal and public relations effort by the auto industry, which spent untold millions (billions?) trying to derail the California Clean Car program that would reduce global warming pollution from cars and trucks.

Wed, 2008-09-03 07:17Richard Littlemore
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"Green" funding for Ford: Why Government Shouldn't Pick Winners

The Canadian government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper is reported to be on the verge of giving $200 million from a “green initiatives fund” to Ford and General Motors - to help those failing companies continue to build really big (and increasingly unpopular) cars and trucks.

Ford, which lost $8.7 billion in the second-quarter of this year as its truck-dominated fleet crashed into oily reality, is advertising its latest Ontario production facility as “green” because it features a “more fuel-efficient V8 engine.” And Stephen Harper, in a pre-election vote-buying frenzy, is using taxpayers money to prop up this stupidity.

Fri, 2008-01-04 10:18Jim Hoggan
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Obama named SmogMaker of 2007

Prize honors those who sow confusion and delay on Climate Change

Update: DeSmogBlog withdraws Obama Award
 

Presidential hopeful Barack Obama has captured the inaugural 2007 SmogMaker Award for blowing smoke on global warming, the DeSmogBlog announced today.

Global warming is an environmental problem, not a political one. And people who try to ‘solve’ it with political or public relations spin are just making the problem worse,” said James Hoggan, co-founder of the DeSmogBlog.

Wed, 2007-10-03 13:09Bill Miller
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In a classic display of corporate cynicism, Toyota fights stronger emission standards in U.S.

As the U.S. Congress debates the first substantial fuel-economy boost in decades for automakers, Toyota has joined Detroit in the fight to sustain the practices that have imperiled the planet and driven American car manufacturers to the brink of bankruptcy.

Why would the industry leader in fuel-efficient cars take such a reckless path amid growing awareness of global warming? Because there’s a lot more money to be made if Toyota can slow innovation in Detroit and sustain gas-guzzling.

Tue, 2007-09-18 10:01Kevin Grandia
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California vs. Automakers dropped - bickering continues, greenhouse gas emissions rise

A federal judge has dismissed the lawsuit filed by the State of California against auto manufacturers. The suit claimed damages against automakers for the environmental damage being caused by excessive greenhouse gas emissions from automobiles. 

Or in other words, the automakers named in the lawsuit (General Motors, Toyota, Ford Motor, Honda Motor, Daimler Chrysler and Nissan) can continue to pump greenhouse gas into our atmosphere and taxpayers will continue to foot the bill to study, plan, monitor and respond to the impacts of global warming.

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