Fri, 2006-10-27 08:19Richard Littlemore
Richard Littlemore's picture

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!
Thu, 2006-10-26 20:54Sarah Pullman
Sarah Pullman's picture

Cornering Ford at SEJ2006

First night at the SEJ Conference, and things started off with a small bang as representatives from several major auto manufacturers – all men – took the stage for a panel discussion about alternative fuel vehicles, moderated by Jim Motavalli, Editor of E/The Environmental Magazine. Also speaking was one lone woman – representing the ethanol promotion board.

After they had all spoken, the audience was asked for questions. DeSmogBlog's Kevin stood up and asked his question of the Ford rep (paraphrased here). “If you say that you're so concerned about climate change, and acknowledge that it's happening, and are involved in things like Terrapass and alternative fuels, then why are you still funding think tank groups like the CEI, who have a position that climate change is not happening and is nothing to worry about?” The audience was as appreciative of his question as they had been of a couple of other pointed questions calling the auto companies on their apparent greenwashing.

Remarkably, Ford's senior representative up on stage didn't even attempt to answer the question, and instead turned it right over to one of his PR people, seated in the audience. “We completely divorced ourselves from that particular campaign,” she claimed, while members of the audience muttered in obvious disapproval and disbelief. She went on to say that while Ford does fund the Competitive Enterprise Institute – though not that campaign – they do acknowledge that climate change is a reality.

Kevin commented that that was the same answer he had received back when Ford had been revealed as a CEI donor during the time of the ridiculous ads.
Thu, 2006-10-26 13:56Sarah Pullman
Sarah Pullman's picture

Morano vs Revkin Ready to Face Off!

While the SEJ Conference is packed with people and sessions that sound interesting, we're most looking forward to Friday night's session just pre-dinner – “And Now a Word from Our Critics.” This session, hosted by Christy George, will feature four speakers: Bill Blakemore, Dan Fagin, Marc Morano, and Andrew Revkin.

Marc Morano, as many of you may know, is a staffer for Senator Inhofe in all his current notoriety. Andrew Revkin is a long-time environment writer for the New York Times. It'll be interesting to see what Morano says, and equally interesting to see how his spin is received by the audience of environmental journalists.

The DeSmogBlog will be liveblogging from the session, reporting out on all the action. We'll also be posting a raw audio recording of the debate – so stay tuned to the site for that.
Thu, 2006-10-26 13:56Sarah Pullman
Sarah Pullman's picture

Morano vs Revkin – Ready to Face Off!

While the SEJ Conference is packed with people and sessions that sound interesting, we're most looking forward to Friday night's session just pre-dinner – “And Now a Word from Our Critics.” This session, hosted by Christy George, will feature four speakers: Bill Blakemore, Dan Fagin, Marc Morano, and Andrew Revkin.

Marc Morano, as many of you may know, is a staffer for Senator Inhofe in all his current notoriety. Andrew Revkin is a long-time environment writer for the New York Times. It'll be interesting to see what Morano says, and equally interesting to see how his spin is received by the audience of environmental journalists.

The DeSmogBlog will be liveblogging from the session, reporting out on all the action. We'll also be posting a raw audio recording of the debate – so stay tuned to the site for that.
Thu, 2006-10-26 12:29Sarah Pullman
Sarah Pullman's picture

DeSmogBlog at the SEJ Conference

The DeSmogBlog team are in Burlington, Vermont this weekend, for the Society of Environmental Journalists (SEJ) Annual Conference.

Vermont is cold and the famous foliage is fading, but we're excited about this weekend. There are some great sessions lined up, and lots of interesting journalists to meet. Plus, some of our best friends also have booths here – the CEI and the Heartland Institute, for instance.

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