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Re: [GreenYes] A Tale of Two Strategies
thanks Peter... I think we're about to see a global demonstration of your
first example...

I hope everyone will watch very closely the kind of "industry/environmental"
partnerships that might come out of the upcoming World Sustainability Summit
(RIO plus 10) in South Africa.   It is my concern that cheerleading
headlines about small and insignificant steps forward (relative to the
global death-spiral) will make the meeting look like a success, and serve to
placate common folks and give politicians an excuse for shelving global
environmental issues.

I hate to say that "incremental change" isn't important...we all know that
it is ... but we need to develop a new way of speaking about social change
and the "scale & impact" of what we're discussing.  We need a language that
makes it clear that very few corporations will participate in "Level One"
changes (new laws, new green taxes, new take-back and EPR requirements, etc)
that would force them to actually change the way they make their money.  But
at "Level Two" they will play all day... pilot projects, community education
grants, joint demonstration projects on a local level, giving money to local
schools, etc ...

So how do we do this?  Even Martin Luther King lost his halo with the
American public after his early and easier victories in "the South" (which
we all knew was full of racists and easy targets) ... cause he went North
and started talking about the more subtle institutional racism and classism
in our culture, and he started talking about social equity for poor whites
too ....

So here we are ... we've slayed the easy dragon and gotten America to start
recycling ... now we're going upstream to the more subtle institutional
"wasting" culture and they don't like that and are starting to call us
names.  We're not their darlings anymore ... cause we're not happy with the
"boutique" recycling programs most communities are running (including my
own).  Now we're talking about the foundations of a culture that lives on a
throw-away consumerism and a subsidized, fantasy-economics
landfill/incinerator infrastructure that makes it all possible.

We need a new language to show all this ...

Eric Lombardi

-----Original Message-----
From: Peter Anderson <>
To: GreenYes <>
Date: Tuesday, July 30, 2002 2:53 PM
Subject: [GreenYes] A Tale of Two Strategies

>Here are two approaches to social change: one inside and the other outside
>the system, "ripped from the pages" of the Wall Street Journal...
>Warm Relationship Between
>GM, Green Group Hits Pothole
>"In the early 1990s, the world's biggest auto maker and a then-obscure
>environmental group tried something new: talking.
>"The unlikely relationship between General Motors Corp. and the Coalition
>for Environmentally Responsible Economies, or Ceres, resulted in GM
>decreasing pollution at some of its factories -- a step that the company
>says is saving money by cutting energy bills and precluding expensive
>government-mandated cleanups. The tie also sheltered the auto giant from
>some criticism of its environmental record. Along the way, the
>became a high-profile example of a growing trend within the environmental
>movement: using quiet negotiation rather than noisy protest to change
>boardroom behavior.
>"Some environmentalists, however, warned from the outset that GM was taking
>advantage of Ceres (pronounced: see-reez) and never would accept changes
>that cut into profits. The skeptics felt vindicated this spring, when GM,
>along with other auto makers, successfully fought off a Senate proposal to
>raise federal fuel-economy standards.
>"Now, under pressure from some environmentalists to stop "greenwashing" GM,
>the group is threatening to end its detente with the auto maker. Ceres
>leaders say they will revive an earlier strategy: appealing to investors as
>a means to pressure corporations to pay more heed to the environment.
>"The cloud over the Ceres-GM relationship could damp enthusiasm for the
>broader movement that coalesced in the 1990s: environmentalists,
>dissatisfied with the pace of government regulation, increasingly working
>directly with big corporations. Two Ceres members, the World Wildlife Fund
>and Environmental Defense, run their own separate programs, in which
>tional Business Machines Corp., DuPont Co. and other companies have begun
>reduce emissions of carbon dioxide, one of the "greenhouse gases" thought
>many scientists to contribute to global warming.
>Chevron Settles With Protesters,
>Offers More Jobs, Infrastructure
>"Vandalism, machete-wielding youths and hostage-taking are old hat to
>international oil companies operating in Nigeria.
>"But when a group of women recently broke through a perimeter fence at a
>Chevron facility and occupied it for 10 days, bringing operations to a
>standstill, executives were caught off guard.
>"You can't send in baton-wielding police or army on unarmed women. Nobody
>wants to go down that road," says Kojo Bedu-Addo, senior Africa analyst at
>Control Risks Group in London.
>"Instead, Chevron negotiated, reaching settlements with two separate groups
>of women -- the second deal reached Thursday -- that included more jobs for
>locals and spending on infrastructure.
>"Protests led by women, with children in tow, represent a new twist in the
>oil-rich Niger River delta. The difference between haves and have-nots in a
>region where few benefits of development have trickled down into local
>communities has long sparked attacks on oil facilities. But such
>have customarily involved knots of disenchanted, angry young men. Now oil
>companies are wondering if the protests led by women will spread. And no
>appears quite sure what to do about it.
>"It's something new at this level, something that, if it's not properly
>managed, its impact could spill to other companies and facilities," says an
>executive with Royal Dutch/Shell Group who has negotiated with protesters
>similar situations.
>"Chevron's experts, tied up with the most recent dispute, haven't been able
>to begin planning their future strategy, says Oluwole Agunbiade, Chevron
>spokesman in Lagos.
>"We'll have to pull together the right people, government, [nongovernmental
>organizations], communities and us and take things forward," says Andrew
>Norman, London-based spokesman for Chevron. "We're looking at how to
>these issues and not just in Nigeria."
>"Nigeria is the fifth-biggest oil supplier to the U.S.; besides Chevron
>Texaco Corp., other companies operating in the country through joint
>ventures with the government include ExxonMobil Corp., Italy's Agip SpA and
>France's TotalFinaElf SA.
>"In an indication of the importance to Washington of West African oil
>supplies, the State Department's top official for Africa, Walter
>met Thursday with Nigeria's President Olusegun Obasanjo after a swing
>through Angola.
>"The leader of the recent protests is Rita Lori Ogbebor, a wealthy hotelier
>educated in Nigeria and London who knows a bit about what makes headlines.
>Ms. Ogbebor was once a television program director -- the first woman to
>hold such a post in Nigeria. Her demands from the oil companies are
>"We are very emphatic on the education of our children and the fact that
>oil companies should put back [into the community] the equivalent of what
>they have taken out," she says.
>Peter Anderson
>4513 Vernon Blvd. Suite 15
>Madison, WI 53705
>Ph:    (608) 231-1100
>Fax:   (608) 233-0011
>Cell:   (608) 345-0381
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