This long but very engaging article in the US magazine The Nation outlines what the author sees as overly cosy relationships between some of the big environmental NGOs and big business.
In particular the piece covers Conservation International, WWF and the Sierra Club.
Certainly the writer, Johann Hari, makes many important points, and he does not mince his words:
“But these conservation groups increasingly resemble the forces of ecocide draped in a green cloak. If we don’t build a real, unwavering environmental movement soon, we had better get used to a new sound–of trees crashing down and an ocean rising, followed by the muffled, private applause of America’s “conservationists.””
He gives the British environmental movement perhaps a little more credit than it deserves. But I do agree, from what I know at least, that the grassroots environmental movement in the US needs a major stimulus, and that many of these big groups, WWF included, are getting far too friendly with big companies.
That’s great for business, and for jobs in the NGOs, but as Hari asks, is it really good for the planet?