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Lunch » Tags » Books » Reviews » Green, Inc.: An Environmental Insider Reveals How A Good Cause Has Gone Bad » User review

Green Inc.

2008 non-fiction book by Christine Catherine MacDonald

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Corporations are not the only organizations with questionable ethics.

  • Nov 25, 2009
  • by
Rating:
+3
Big cars, fancy office, lots of talk and nothing to show for it."  This scathing indictment of the environmental group Conservation International was made by United Nations investigators during a 2006 probe into the disappearance of funds earmarked for a community marine center in the island nation of Papua New Guinea.  It seems that the project ran out of money while Conservation International executives were squandering huge sums on frivilous things.  There is mounting evidence that this was by no means an islolated incident.  Christine MacDonald is a journalist who has worked for such prominent newspapers as The Boston Globe, The Los Angeles Times, and the Dallas Morning News.  In 2006 MacDonald decided to give up reporting to accept a job as a manager with Conservation International's Global Communications Division.  What she would discover during her brief stint with this organization would greatly disturb her. "Green Inc.: An Environmental Insider Reveals How A Good Cause Has Gone Bad" chronicles what Christine MacDonald has uncovered about some of the world's largest and best known environmental organizations.  What she has to say will likely shake your confidence in these organizations to the core!

"Green, Inc" focuses the spotlight on some of the most familiar and trusted environmental organizations in the nation including Conservation International, World Wildlife Fund, The Nature Conservancy, The Natural Resources Defense Council, The Conservation Fund, Environmental Defense Fund, Sierra Club, Defenders of Wildlife, National Audubon Society, and Greenpeace.  What Christine MacDonald discovered is that many of these organizations accept donations from some of the world's most notorious polluters including E. I. du Pont de Nemours & Co., General Electric, Eastman Kodak, Nissan, Dow Chemical, Wal-Mart and even ExxonMobil of Exxon Valdez fame.  The highly compensated leaders of these environmental behemoths justify these relationships by making the argument that such relationships only serve to encourage these companies to operate in a more environmental friendly manner.  Sadly, the preponderance of available evidence would suggest otherwise.  Most of these companies appear to enter into such agreements primarily for public relations reasons.

In the meantime, Christine MacDonald spends a considerable amount of time in "Green, Inc." focusing on the pay, perks and extravagant lifestyles of many of the CEO's and top executives of these same environmental organizations.  Many of these individuals earn salaries in excess of $350,000 placing them in the top 1% of all U.S. taxpayers. Even more outrageous is the fact that the CEO of the Wildlife Conservation Foundation, Steven Henderson, and James Maddy at the National Park Foundation both earn in excess of $800,000 in salary and fringe benefits!   Is the Obama administration going to control their salaries?  And when you discover some of the frivolous perks and exotic junkets that some of these folks partake in one really does have to wonder just what the priorities are.

In the book, Christine MacDonald points out that there are more than 12,000 environmental non-profits operating in America today.  One has to wonder why we need so many of these organizations in the first place.  What "Green Inc.: An Environmental Insider Reveals How A Good Cause Has Gone Bad" makes crystal clear is that considerable reform is needed in the structure and oversight of many of these organizations.  "Green Inc." also serves as a warning to those who donate to such groups: Donor beware!  At this point I would certainly refrain from financially supporting many of these organizations. This a real shame because there are a great many dedicated people hard at work in the lower echelons of these organizations who will suffer from the negative publicity generated by this book.  Other pertinent issues covered in the book are open-pit mines, urban sprawl, the whole idea of "sustainable growth" and something called "greenwashing""Green, Inc." takes a comprehensive look at these and many other important issues.

Is "Green, Inc." nothing more than sour grapes from a disgruntled ex-employee or is Christine MacDonald on to something here?  Read her book and judge for yourself.  In my opinion, "Green, Inc: An Environmental Insider Reveals How A Good Cause Has Gone Bad" is a book well worth your time and careful consideration.      Recommended.
Corporations are not the only organizations with questionable ethics.

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January 28, 2010
You hit this one right on the head. Harold
 
November 29, 2009
Thank you Paul, once again an eye opening book you are reviewing! I never really thought of this, hm, maybe I should rethink having that Sierra Club ad on my blog. If only I had the time to read this book... but that's where you come in! Thanks for the great summary and for sharing your insight :)
 
November 25, 2009
This shows you that corruption is rife throughout society. I am sure if you look at most charities you will find similar instances of corruption. Do you ever wonder about organiztions against specific diseases? What would happen if a cure is found? The organizations would go out of business and those high priced directors would be on the street. Thus there is only incentives to fund research for treatments to "control" a disease not "cure" it. It is the same Catch-22 built into drug company research. They make a ton of money off people that need to take their drugs for years and very little if a person could take something in one shot that would cure them for life.
 
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About the reviewer
Paul Tognetti ()
Ranked #2
I guess I would qualify as a frustrated writer. My work requires very little writing and so since 1999 I have been writing reviews on non-fiction books and anthology CD's on amazon.com. I never could … more
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Wiki

In 2006, journalist Christine MacDonald began a dream job at
one of the world's largest environmental organizations.
She was in for a shock.
In Green, Inc. she lays bare the truth about the well-heeled lifestyles of the world's top conservationists and their dubious relationships with the corporate world. This scandalous snapshot from inside a good cause gone bad scrutinizes the dealings of:

• Environmental organizations that together have more than 15 million members and operate in over 100 countries—including Conservation International, World Wildlife Fund, The Nature Conservancy, The Natural Resources Defense Council, The Conservation Fund, Environmental Defense Fund, Sierra Club, Defenders of Wildlife, National Audubon Society, and Greenpeace

• Leading conservationists, such as Peter Seligmann, Conservation International's cofounder, chairm an, and CEO—renowned for his jet-setting ways and his finesse at cultivating ties with big corporations; and Adam Werbach, the former Sierra Club president, who defected in 2006 to work as a consultant for Wal-Mart, which he'd once called a "virus, infecting and destroying American culture."

• E. I. du Pont de Nemours & Co., General Electric, Eastman Kodak, ExxonMobil, Nissan, and Dow Chemical—which donate millions of dollars to top environmental groups in return for their lavish praise despite being named as among America's top ten worst corporate air polluters.



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Details

ISBN-10: 1599214369
ISBN-13: 978-1599214368
Author: Christine Catherine MacDonald
Genre: Environmental
Publisher: The Lyons Press
Date Published: September 16, 2008
Format: Hardcover
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