Environmentalism: Corporate Style I

Exhibitors at the Society of Environmental Journalists conference in Burlington, Vt., offer a broad and surprising view of what “environmentalism” can mean in different minds.

For example, who would have expected that the first thing you would see walking into the plenary session was an “environmentally friendly” SUV? Admittedly, it’s a hybrid, but you have to hand it to the U.S. automakers. Many people would have balked at the prospect of selling cars to environmentalists, especially the kind of cars that have come to epitomize unnecessary over consumption. Really, bravo!

Not to be outdone, you have the folks from RidgeProtectors, who are standing up for the rights of birds and bats to fly free of interference from wind farms. Aside from disrupting the landscape and creating irritating “shadow flicker,” the farms threaten to block access to some of the Northeast’s excellent bird-hunting habitat. (If we’re going to be killing birds, apparently we should be doing it purposefully, with guns, not inadvertently with a form of energy generation that generates no greenhouse gases.)

The conference also boasts exhibitors including the Competitive Enterprise Institute, still boldly proclaiming that CO2 is “life.” These people would stand on a melting ice floe and deny that the sun shines yellow.

More on this later.