Book Review – Green, Inc.

Joanna Schroeder

tidal-wave-324x205With the tidal wave rushing in a new green economy, companies are attempting to ride the waves. But many are being pulled under by the tow, including many of the very groups who are supposed to be the top surfers. “Green Inc,” is an expose about how the world of conversation and those who swim in it, are crashing.

Green, Inc. was written by author Christine MacDonald, who left her job as a journalist to join the public relations team with one of the largest environmental groups in the world, Conservation International (CI). It was during this time she discovered that something was “deeply wrong” in the world of conservationism. MacDonald was disturbed so much so that when laid off, she wrote a book about the serious issues embedded in environmental groups.

phpthumb_generated_thumbnailjpgOne of the biggest conundrums she tackles is whether it is morally and ethically wrong for an environmental organization to take money from the groups that it is trying to police. Some environmental groups argue that taking money from companies like Exxon Mobil, Bunge, International Paper, and others, is a way to “influence corporate leaders to change their polluting ways”.

Yet these environmental offenders believe that donating money to groups like CI, World Wildlife Fund, Environmental Defense, Natural Resources Defense Council, and others, will give them “reputation insurance” or a “get out of jail free card” on their environmental rap sheet. Oftentimes, MacDonald cites, these groups actually give these environmental offenders awards for their “sustainability” programs.  Now that’s an oxymoron if I’ve ever heard one.

This is a well-written, well-documented piece on the underbelly of conservation. But despite the problems MacDonald “outs” she is still an optimist that these issues can and must be changed. She writes, “we need our environmental organizations more than ever today. But the biggest and best funded of them are failing us. By taking corporate dollars and giving corporate executives the keys to the boardrooms, these nonprofit groups have abandoned their missions at a critical time in history.”

Don’t lose hope citizens of the world, there are more than 12,000 registered environmental groups worldwide for you to support. However, in the spirit of MacDonald, you’ll want to dig a little deeper before writing that check.

You can read this book or any book I review by clicking here.

book reviews