CI Official Caught Offering to “Green” Arms Dealer’s Rep

The U.K. website, The Ecologist, has posted a video exposing a Conservation International official offering her group’s public relations services to a big arms dealer. According to the Ecologist story, the undercover video was shot by producers at the online magazine, Don’t Panic. They posed as Lockheed Martin executives in a meeting with a person they describe as a senior CI official. The phony corporate executives dangled a hefty donation in exchange for helping the weapons maker link its brand name with saving endangered species.

The sting is the latest in a wave of recent corporate impersonations, an activist genre pioneered by The Yes Men that usually involves spoof websites, fake corporate executives and meetings in swank surroundings. From conservative filmmaker James OKeefe, who embarrassed National Public Radio earlier this year by posing as a potential donors from the Muslim Brotherhood, to the Men’s new Yes Lab, impersonations are fashionable among guerilla activists and vidoemakers.

Of course, it’s no secret that CI and its chief rivals such as The Nature Conservancy and World Wildlife Fund get lots of funding from polluting corporations — even arms dealers. These corporate ties were a major part of my 2008 book, “Green, Inc.,” which the video producers allude to in passing.

In fact, it’s not that surprising that CI was eager to sign up Lockheed as a corporate sponsor; The Conservancy has already taken money form the arms giant. CI has funding ties to B-2 bomber maker, Northrup Grumman, and Northrup’s President and CEO, Wes Bush, sits on CI’s board of directors.

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About greendistrict

I'm Christine MacDonald, a journalist and the author of the book: "Green, Inc., An Environmental Insider Reveals How a Good Cause Has Gone B

Posted on May 11, 2011, in Corporate Citizenship, Corporate Social Responsiblity, Corporate sponsorship, greenwash. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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