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#542#543#544#545 Episode #546 - How The Environmental Movement Died of Success
(And What To Do About It)



Sat 9 April 2011  Steve Best, John Stauber
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Download Hour1 Download Hour2The show this week looks at the soft underbelly of the corporate system - the growing awareness that it is destroying the planet. First we hear from the ALF/ELF spokesman, Steve Best, who advocates any and all kinds of direct action to defend the earth and prevent its plunder. Then it's a talk from John Stauber on how the environmental movement died as a result of cooptation by big corporations.
This week's show is on why most people are not defending the earth as if their lives depended upon it, and why large environment organizations seem content to challenge only the most egregious and blatant aspects of ecological destruction but never make fundamental challenges to the system that carries it out routinely. Why, in spite of so many people's best efforts, is environmental damage continuing at an ever increasing rate?

Our first speaker, Steve Best starts by describing his book, Igniting A Revolution. He explains the green scare and why he attaches importance to revolutionary environmentalism, which uses any and all means necessary to defend the earth. He highlights two schools of thought in the environmental defense movement - the legalists and the pluralists. Legalists, he explains, limit their action to what is deemed legal by the government of the day, while pluralists are ready to use whichever methods they deem necessary, both legal and illegal. Best gives a brief history of concern for animals, from the earliest ideas about improving animal welfare, to animal rights movement to the more militant forms of direct action which he says befit the dire situation. He highlights that the struggle against speciesism is one aspect of the greater struggle against hierarchical oppression which has many facets such as racism, sexism, homophobia, and exploitation in all forms.

Our second speaker, John Stauber, gives a talk to the 20th national conference on the coalition against the misuse of pesticides. He compliments the Steve Best interview by explaining in detail why we can expect little serious effort from the large (and heavily-funded) environmental organizations, some of which have become little more than agencies to carry out corporate greenwashing. He tells how Billee Shoecraft was radicalized after a US government plane sprayed her with phenoxy herbicide, a chemical found in Agent Orange. Those who have made real change, he argues, are not well-paid experts, but people with a passion who are not diverted from following it.

The very success and mass appeal of the environmental movements, he says, lead to their death as effective forces for real change. He gives details of his research into corporate public relations techniques. He describes how large corporations learned greenwashing and how they transformed grassroots organizations into well funded corporate style hierarchies which had lost commitment to their original agenda.
Music: Judi Bari by David Rovics
Thanks to PirateTV Seattle for the John Stauber interview.
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