Friday, 12 October 2007

How to make an appeal with one's foot in one's mouth

America's National Wildlife Federation - a widely respected body -- sent out "An Urgent Message today about Global Warming" urging its one million members to make a donation to the organisation. AND, "For $30 you'll get a handsome fleece vest." AND " for $50'll get the vest and an adorable penguin plush" I don't know what a 'penguin plush' is, but it looks a bit like a kids toy in the photo.

Now clearly Jeremy Symons, The Executive Director of the National Wildlife Federation's Global Warming Campaign (who signed the appeal) has not made the connection between the overt consumerism of the USA and the causes of global warming. It does not take an enormous amount of brain-power to work out that the manufacture and distribution of one million 'fleeces' and a 'plushes' would actually be contributing to global warming.

There are far too many businesses jumping on the green bandwagon, but it is depressing to find a conservation group not thinking things through.

I know they will justify it by saying they are reaching out to new audiences etc etc etc. But frankly, I don't believe it; they are appealing to their existing one million supporters. And I doubt very much that any of them actually NEED a fleece or a plush penguin. To me it is simply a sympton of the consumerisim which is so deeply embedded in the cultures of the developed world, that it is almost impossible to erradicate -- and therein lies one of the fundamental causes of global warming. It would be nice if an organisation like the NWF promised to give away free family planning literature instead..... but therin lies another tale.


  1. Clearly I'm partial since I work for the WLT, but anyway: I think one of the refreshing things about the World Land Trust is that it doesn't offer all these "freebies". Yes you get a certificate with your acre donation, but what the Trust really emphasises is the satisfaction of having helped, of having made a practical, tangeable difference.

  2. I was hoping I would get a fleece made from John's alpacas if I bought enough acres........

  3. only just noticed this. They are LLamas (Albert, Nader and Raymond) not alpacas