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Green, Inc.: An Environmental Insider Reveals How a Good Cause Has Gone Badby Christine Macdonald
Synopses & Reviews
In spring 2006, Christine MacDonald left journalism for a dream job at Conservation International, one of the worlds largest environmental organizations. Soon after she reported to the groups Washington offices, it became all too apparent to her that something is rotten in todays clubby, well-upholstered world of conservationists.
Green, Inc. is a riveting first-person account of an eco-warriors travails at the crossroads of the nonprofit and corporate worlds—one that will shock anyone who has ever made a donation to an environmental group.
NGOs that once dedicated themselves solely to saving pandas and parklands today vie for the favors of mining operations, logging companies, and homebuilders. Among the most generous donors are the biggest environmental scofflaws of all—energy conglomerates. Being a leading conservationist today means (in addition to a six-figure salary) scuba diving with rock stars and partying with corporate scions and celebrity journalists aboard gas-guzzling private jets and yachts.
How do conservationists justify such dealings? The most common refrain: being tight with corporate leaders will help them change their polluting ways. However, argues MacDonald, the companies are benefiting far more than endangered species. While providing an essential overview of the global environmental movement, she centers her story on what goes on inside the worlds top conservation groups, examining the truth to claims that they have allowed themselves to be silenced by corporate dollars as environmental crisis looms.
MacDonalds fast-paced narrative flows from carefully checked facts, her own powerful first-hand anecdotes, and interviews with other insiders. A scandalous snapshot from inside a good cause gone bad, Green, Inc. comes at a time when global warming nears the point of no return and more people than ever are awakening tothe consequences.
"In this scathing indictment of the surprising profligacy and complacency of some of the world's top environmental organizations, journalist MacDonald, a former media manager at Conservation International, exposes the 'clubby, well-upholstered world of conservationists.' The posh headquarters and six-figure compensation of top environmental leaders (from the Wildlife Conservation Society's $825,170 to the Sierra Club's $229,000) gall the author, but she's most outraged by organizations routinely accepting donations from oil, lumber and mining industries and corporate behemoths such as Wal-Mart without holding them accountable for ongoing pollution practices. MacDonald singles out BP's 'Beyond Petroleum' campaign as a particularly egregious example of 'greenwashing' (the label for corporations marketing themselves as green while paying lip service to environmental concerns) and lambastes Ikea for failing to ensure that the goods it imports are manufactured from sustainably harvested timber. Her lament at the loss of activist edge among top-tier environmental groups is heartfelt — MacDonald exhorts them to 'stop being such lapdogs and start acting like the watchdogs they were conceived to be' — and her umbrage and ample evidence are impossible to ignore. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
Book News Annotation:
Journalist MacDonald takes on the role of whistleblower in this fast-paced book that goes behind the scenes of many conservation organizations synonymous with the word "green." Corporate CEOs with six-figure salaries, cozy relationships with mining and logging companies, and the acceptance of large donations by conservation groups from companies typically referred to as "The Toxic Ten" are some of the topics covered. Based on interviews and in-depth research, this book will be fascinating reading for anyone with an interest in the evolution and business practices of the conservation movement. Annotation ©2008 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Revealing a scandalous snapshot from inside a good cause gone bad, "Green, Inc." reveals the reality of today's clubby world of conservationists. MacDonald pens a riveting account of an eco-warrior's travails at the crossroads of the nonprofit and corporate worlds.
In spring 2006, Christine MacDonald left journalism for a dream job at Conservation International, one of the worlds 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.
In 2006, journalist Christine MacDonald began a dream job at
one of the worlds largest environmental organizations.
She was in for a shock.
In Green, Inc. she lays bare the truth about the well-heeled lifestyles of the worlds top conservationists and their dubious relationships with the corporate world. This scandalous snapshot from inside a good cause gone bad scrutinizes the dealings of:
Environmental organizations that together have more than 15 million members and operate in over 100 countries—including Conservation International, World Wildlife Fund, The Nature Conservancy, The Natural Resources Defense Council, The Conservation Fund, Environmental Defense Fund, Sierra Club, Defenders of Wildlife, National Audubon Society, and Greenpeace
Leading conservationists, such as Peter Seligmann, Conservation Internationals cofounder, chairman, and CEO—renowned for his jet-setting ways and his finesse at cultivating ties with big corporations; and Adam Werbach, the former Sierra Club president, who defected in 2006 to work as a consultant for Wal-Mart, which hed once called a virus, infecting and destroying American culture.”
E. I. du Pont de Nemours & Co., General Electric, Eastman Kodak, ExxonMobil, Nissan, and Dow Chemical—which donate millions of dollars to top environmental groups in return for their lavish praise despite being named as among Americas top ten worst corporate air polluters.
About the Author
Christine MacDonald, a journalist who has written for the Boston Globe, Los Angeles Times, and Chicago Tribune, was formerly manager of the Media Capacity Building Program of Conservation Internationals Global Communications Division. She lives in Washington, DC.
Table of Contents
Table of Contents
Chapter One: From Gentlemans Hobby to Multi-Billion Dollar Industry
Chapter Two: The Double Lives of Conservationists
Chapter Three: The Conservation Corporation
Chapter Four: The Marketing Enterprise”
Chapter Five: Excess and Oversight
Chapter Six: Oil, Gas and Conservation
Chapter Seven: Wal-Mart Corporate Villain or Hero?
Chapter Eight: Green Building” or Greenwashing?
Chapter Nine: Conservation Dictators and Refugees
Chapter Ten: Carbon Credits and Critics
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