|Progressive Calendar 12.16.07||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: David Shove (shove001tc.umn.edu)|
|Date: Sun, 16 Dec 2007 07:42:33 -0800 (PST)|
P R O G R E S S I V E C A L E N D A R 12.16.07 1. Enviro authors/TV 12.16 10am/2pm 2. AWC craft sale 12.16 10am 3. Art open house 12.16 12noon 4. Cuba/Venez/Rev/US 12.16 1pm 5. Stillwater vigil 12.16 1pm 6. Impact potluck 12.16 3pm 7. EXCO free college 12.16 5pm 8. KFAI Indian 12.16 7pm 9. Gay playwright/TV 12.16 11pm 10. Community shares 12.17 5pm 11. Joyeux Noel/film 12.17 6:30pm 12. 3CTC/env speaker 12.17 7pm 13. GP 3CD meeting 12.17 7pm 14. E-tools 12.17 7pm 15. Standard Shaefer - The greening of Big Tobacco (part 1 of 2) --------1 of 15-------- From: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at] visi.com> Subject: Enviro authors/TV 12.16 10am/2pm SUN.DEC.16, 10am(Cent.) and 2pm(Cent) CSPAN 2/Book TV (channel 19 in Minneapolis--check local listings) Break Through: From the Death of Environmentalism to the Politics of Possibility Ted Nordhaus and Michael Shellenberger expand on their 2004 essay Death of Environmentalism in their book ;Break Through."; The authors argue for a new politics that embraces investments and innovations in clean energy to deal with environmental issues.</p> --------2 of 15-------- From: Meredith Aby <awcmere [at] gmail.com> Subject: AWC craft sale 12.16 10am Anti-War Committee Annual AWC Craft Sale at Global Gift Fair SUN, 12/16 @ 10am to 1:30p @ First Universalist Church, 3400 Dupont Ave S, Mpls We are seeking donations and shoppers. If you have a talent for any sort of craft, please contact us, and donate a few items to the AWC. Volunteers are needed to work during the sale. And, of course, please come shop with us, and support a great cause. Our crafts will be part of the larger "Global Gift Fair" - many vendors will be selling a variety of wonderful items. Just shop the AWC table first! --------3 of 15-------- From: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at] visi.com> Subject: Art open house 12.16 12noon Gayla Ellis' Artists' Open House Sun Dec 16 12-5pm 3212 10h Ave S- across street from Powderhorn Park, Mpls Gayla is a local photographer well-known for her photos of the Mayday celebration and Maine. A couple times a year she opens her Victorian South Minneapolis home to feature 12 or so local artisans. Complimentary food & beverages, homey, low-key atmosphere! --------4 of 15-------- From: Becky Ellis <bellis48_205 [at] msn.com> Subject: Cuba/Venez/Rev/US 12.16 1pm Militant Labor Forum: The Cuban Revolution, Venezuela and Revolutionary Perspectives for the U.S. Speakers: Róger Calero - Militant staff volunteer who has visited and written extensively on Venezuela. Camilo Sanchez meatpacker, Socialist Workers Party. Both participated in the recent Third Venezuela International Book Fair, in Caracas on November. Come join them in a discussion on: The U.S.: a possible revolution - the central theme of the Venezuelan International Book fair. The example of the Cuban revolution. Results of the constitutional referendum vote in Venezuela . Sunday December 16 1311 ½ E Lake St Suite 201 Minneapolis Brunch 1:00 PM Program 2:00 PM For more information call (612) 729-1205 or e-mail Militant.Labor.Forum [at] gmail.com Suggested donation: $8 dinner (high school students $2), $7 program Traducción al español --------5 of 15-------- From: scot b <earthmannow [at] comcast.net> Subject: Stillwater vigil 12.16 1pm A weekly Vigil for Peace Every Sunday, at the Stillwater bridge from 1- 2 p.m. Come after Church or after brunch ! All are invited to join in song and witness to the human desire for peace in our world. Signs need to be positive. Sponsored by the St. Croix Valley Peacemakers. If you have a United Nations flag or a United States flag please bring it. Be sure to dress for the weather . For more information go to <http://www.stcroixvalleypeacemakers.com/>http://www.stcroixvalleypeacemakers.com/ For more information you could call 651 275 0247 or 651 999 - 9560 --------6 of 15-------- From: vegan14ever [at] riseup.net Subject: Impact potluck 12.16 3pm Ideas to Mobilize People Against Corporate Tyranny (IMPACT) Sunday, Dec. 16, 3pm: Community Potluck / Discussion / Resource Swap Mayday Bookstore, 301 Cedar Ave. Mpls. Bring food if you can, ideas if you've got 'em, and a great resource (zine, book, video, music) to exchange or share with somebody. We will eat and commune together. Awesome door prizes, including Mayday Bookstore gift certificates and dvds, for participants. IMPACT meets on the 3rd Sunday of every month @ 3pm IMPACT (Ideas to Mobilize People Against Corporate Tyranny) is a grassroots group of concerned citizens whose purpose is to raise awareness about the impact of corporations on our society, promote sustainable lifestyles, and mobilize ourselves and our communities to take cooperative action. We believe another world is possible: a world where people and the earth are more valued than profits! --------7 of 15-------- From: Betsy Barnum <betsy [at] greatriv.org> Subject: EXCO free college 12.16 5pm The AFSCME strike earlier this semester made many of us think more critically about what it means to be a "public" university. In response to these recent events and other long-standing issues here at the U, a group has formed to experiment with a model of a truly public university. This new organization is called the Experimental College (EXCO). EXCO will offer classes that the public can take and teach for free starting this spring. I am writing to invite you to teach or take classes through EXCO, and to spread the word to your students and colleagues so that they can do the same. The Experimental College (EXCO) is an autonomous university that resists the increasingly corporatized and exclusionary university by both envisioning and enacting a "public" university. EXCO offers both a model of what the U might be, and a tool to make it so: EXCO is both an alternative university outside the U of M, and a subversive university that seeks to change the U of M from within. To learn more about us, please go to http://blog.lib.umn.edu/pawl0068/exco/ Here's a list of other classes we're working on: Theory and Practice of the Coop The Politics of Urban Space How to Organize Public Access Issues at the U Theorizing the University Intellectuals in a Time of War Yoga If you're interested in being a part of EXCO in some way, please attend our informal info session and potluck on Sunday, December 16, at 5pm, in room 303 of Coffman Union. I'd also be happy to chat over e-mail about it, or schedule a meeting with you to discuss it. If you're ready to submit a proposal, you can go through our sister organization at Macalester: www.excotc.org. Classes start in February, and we'd like to hear from you by Dec. 31 if you'd like to teach. If you're interested but swamped, let me know so I can keep you in the loop. Please spread the word if you think this is worthwhile, and thanks for taking the time to read about EXCO. Lucia Pawlowski Graduate Instructor English Department University of Minnesota pawl0068 [at] umn.edu --------8 of 15-------- From: Chris Spotted Eagle <chris [at] spottedeagle.org> Subject: KFAI Indian 12.16 7pm KFAI¹s Indian uprising for December 16, 2007 from 7:00 - 8:00 p.m. CST COBELL v. NORTON IS A CLASS-ACTION LAWSUIT filed on June 10, 1996, in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C. to force the federal government to account for billions of dollars belonging to approximately 500,000 American Indians and their heirs, and held in trust since the late 19th century. www.Indiantrust.com. Through document discovery and courtroom testimony, the case has revealed mismanagement, ineptness, dishonesty and delay by federal officials, leading U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth to declare their conduct "fiscal and governmental irresponsibility in its purest form." Then-Secretary of the Interior Bruce Babbitt, Assistant Secretary of the Interior Kevin Gover and Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin were held in contempt of court in February 1999 by Judge Lamberth for their departments' repeated delays in producing documents, destruction of relevant documents and misrepresentations to the court in sworn testimony. As the case proceeds, new revelations of false testimony, financial misconduct and bureaucratic retaliation have continued to surface. The facts underlying the litigation involve a broad sweep of United States history. Although U.S. policy in the 1870s was to locate Indians on reservations, hunger for the land by non-Indians led to a break-up of most of the reservations starting in the 1880s. Thousands of individual Indians generally were allotted beneficial ownership of 80- to 160-acre parcels of land in the break-up. As trustee, the government took legal title to the parcels, established an Individual Indian Trust and thereby assumed full responsibility for management of the trust lands. That included the duty to collect and disburse to the Indians any revenues generated by mining, oil and gas extraction, timber operations, grazing or similar activities. As a result of more than a century of malfeasance, the United States government has no accurate records for hundreds of thousands of Indian beneficiaries nor of billions of dollars owed the class of beneficiaries covered by the lawsuit. The suit encompasses approximately 500,000 Indian beneficiaries. The purpose of the litigation - which was filed by Elouise Cobell, a member of the Blackfeet tribe in Montana, and her co-plaintiffs - is two-fold: to force the government to account for the money, and to bring about permanent reform of the system. For lawsuit overview: http://www.indiantrust.com/index.cfm?FuseAction=Overview.Home. Guests are: Elouise Cobell (Blackfeet), Lead Plaintiff in Cobell vs. Kempthorne. A great granddaughter of Mountain Chief, one of the legendary Indian leaders of the West, Ms. Cobell is the Executive Director of the Native American Community Development Corporation (Montana) a non-profit affiliate of Native American Bank. Her work on the Individual Indian Monies Trust Correction and Recovery Project is to reform the U.S. Government's management of Individual Indian Trust Assets. More: http://www.indiantrust.comindex.cfmFuseAction=Overview.Bio. Keith Harper (Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma) is a partner in the Litigation department of Kilpatrick Stockton LLP (D.C. office) and heads the Native American Affairs practice group. Mr. Harper has since inception of the case represented the plaintiff class of 500,000 individual Indians and continues to serve as class counsel in the landmark Indian trust funds lawsuit, Cobell v. Kempthorne. More: http://www.kilpatrickstockton.com/attorneys/detail.aspx?ID=13797 Indian Uprising a one-hour Public & Cultural Affairs program for and by Native Indigenous People broadcast each Sunday at 7:00 p.m. CST on KFAI 90.3 FM Minneapolis and 106.7 FM St. Paul, Minnesota. For more information about KFAI and to listen to programs via the internet visit www.kfai.org. Programs are archived for two weeks. --------9 of 15-------- From: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at] visi.com> Subject: Gay playwright/TV 12.16 11pm PBS documentary series POV features a film about Gay playwright TONY KUSHNER, author of "Angels in America", his growing up in Louisiana and coming ut to his parents. SUN.DEC.16, 11pm channel 2 MON.DEC.17, 8pm on channel 17 --------10 of 15-------- From: "wamm [at] mtn.org" <wamm [at] mtn.org> Subject: Community shares 12.17 5pm Community Shares of Minnesota Holiday Sizzle at Victoria Crossing Monday, December 17, 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. Ten Thousand Villages, 867 Grand Avenue, St. Paul (Shopping) and Axel's Bonfire, 850 Grand Avenue, St. Paul (Reception). Since 1946 Ten Thousand Villages has supported the work of literally tens of thousands of artisans in over 30 countries in Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East, making it one the largest fair trade organizations in North America. Working with more than 100 artisan groups, they purchase fine pieces from craftspeople with whom they have longstanding, nurturing relationships. 20% of all sales will be donated to Community Shares of Minnesota. Across the street at Axel's Bonfire, complimentary appetizers and desserts will be available, as well as a cash bar. Free and open to the public. Please note that every donation receive that night will be matched dollar-for-dollar by a generous $12,000.00 challenge grant from a Community Shares donor. WAMM is a member of Community Shares of Minnesota. --------11 of 15-------- From: "wamm [at] mtn.org" <wamm [at] mtn.org> Subject: Joyeux Noel/film 12.17 6:30pm FREE Third Monday Movie and Discussion: "Joyeux Noel" Monday, December 17, 6:30 p.m. St. Joan of Arc Church, Hospitality Hall, 4537 Third Avenue South, Minneapolis. "Joyeux Noel" commemorates the legendary 1914 Christmas truce during World War I. The film focuses both on the human side of war, and on the collusion between religion and the state in promulgating stereotypes of enemy and ally, good and evil. Sponsored by: WAMM Third Monday Movies. FFI: Call 612-827-5364. --------12 of 15-------- From: Christine Frank <christinefrank [at] visi.com> Subject: 3CTC/env speaker 12.17 7pm Paul Wotzka, MPCA Whistleblower and government hydrologist, will speak at the December 3CTC Environmental Forum on atrazine levels in our aquatic ecosystems and water. Mr. Wotzka monitored water quality on the Middle Branch of the Whitewater River in the Southeastern Driftless Area of Minnesota for the state Department of Agriculture (MDA). While doing so he found that the widely-used corn herbicide, atrazine, showed up constantly in the tested samples. From 2001-2006, the levels rose dramatically because of the increased cultivation of corn for ethanol. He was asked to testify before the state legislature about his findings. After requesting permission to do so from his supervisor at the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, to where he had transferred, he was put on investigatory leave. Several weeks later he was fired due to massive pressure from agribusiness concerns. Wotzka has since filed a whistleblower suit in federal court over the MDA's continued commitment to corn ethanol. The event will be held on Monday, December 17th at 7:00 PM at Mayday Books, 301 Cedar Avenue South, West Bank, Minneapolis. It is free and open to the public. The forum is sponsored by the Climate Crisis Coalition of the Twin Cities whose business meeting is at 6:00 PM. All are welcome. For further information, Email: christinefrank [at] visi.com or Phone: 612-879-8937. --------13 of 15-------- From: "Allan Hancock" <3rdcdgreenparty [at] gmail.com> Subject: GP 3CD meeting 12.17 7pm 3rd Congressional District Green Party Members, I have reserved Rm 172 at Ridgedale Library for this coming Monday, December 17 at 7PM. Perhaps someone you know might be interested in the Green Party and wanting to meet some others in our district who would like to share in our Green Party values. Agenda: To meet others in our district, plan for energizing this local, look towards endorsing a GP candidate for U.S. House of Representatives, other issues that might be brought up concerning our local. Allan Hancock, Chair 3rd Congressional District, Green Party Minnesota --------14 of 15-------- From: Jonathan Barrentine <jonathan [at] e-democracy.org> Subject: E-tools 12.17 7pm New Tools for Public Participation Workshop at Rondo Library Rondo Library (University and Dale) Monday, December 17 7:00 - 8:30 pm FREE As part of our ongoing E-Tools For All series at the Rondo Library, St. Paul E-Democracy will be offering a workshop on New Tools for Public Participation, Monday, December 17, 7:00 - 8:30 pm. In this workshop, E-Democracy.org founder Steve Clift and other St. Paul E-Democracy volunteers will demonstrate powerful internet tools for organizations and individuals wishing to be more active in their communities. Bring your ideas and questions! As always, the workshop is free, all are welcome to attend, and no registration is required. Please go to http://pages.e-democracy.org/Rondo_Workshop_Schedule for a complete schedule. --------15 of 15-------- [Excerpts from the article below: For every 300 cigarettes made in the developing world, one tree is burned in the curing process. Phillip Morris document: "PM products are the largest contributor to the nation's packaging waste stream and a major user of agricultural and water resources." Cigarettes are the major cause of fires, in homes and in the wild.] Rachel Carson Kills Millions? (part 1 of 2) The Greening of Big Tobacco By STANDARD SHAEFER CounterPunch December 15 / 16, 2007 "Instinctively we caught the spirit of the times. It was the era when Rachel Carson's book on the environment came out. It was an era when the people on our planet became aware. It was an era of the freedom movement - when the young people, the students during the 60s were protesting. The Marlboro advertising symbolized a free spirit who was not chained to a time-clock, it symbolized freedom without being controlled by a computer. On the other hand, our advertising fit into the idea of nature that was clean and unpolluted, so we reached the wishes and longings of many environmentalists, tramps, and adventurers." Georg Weisman, The Marboro Story Director Emeritus, Philip Morris. In May of 2007, near the eve of Rachel Carson's 100th birthday, as Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md) was preparing a congressional bill that would honor the iconic environmental activist, there was sudden surge of opposition. The issue was genocide. Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot. Rachel Carson dwarfed them all, according to The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The New York Sun, and New York Times Magazine. Over decades, they had run opinion pieces by authors associated with rightwing think tanks suggesting she was responsible for killing one child every 15 seconds, three million people annually, and over one hundred million since 1972. Her personal responsibility for the US ban on DDT allegedly caused untold deaths in the developing world where restrictions on pesticide hampered agriculture and set off a chain reaction of needless environmental regulations that threatened economic freedom. The issues brought up in 2007 were not in any way new claims or new findings, just recycled accusations from those papers, but it was enough. Cardin pulled his bill because pro-DDT Senator Tom Coburn (R-Ok) threatened to block it. Why so much fuss over a symbolic act and who was behind it all? Grassroot activists, bloggers, and scientists lit up their glowboxes, especially the greens who have always been the closest readers of rightwing smear campaigns. Tim Lambert, a computer scientist at the University of New South Wales and widely heralded "expert" on DDT thought he had the answer. The only force evil enough to attack his hero Rachel Carson was Big Tobacco. He began to search the public archive of Tobacco Legacy Archive, a collection of formerly secret company documents released only recently thanks to the court cases surrounding their products. Some of the story Lambert got right. In 1998, the new Director-General of the World Health Organization, Gro Harlem Brundtland had established the Tobacco-Free Initiative, an effort to establish an international treaty to enhance tobacco control and promote public health initiatives to reduce smoking. Horrified, Big Tobacco did what they always did when their profits were in jeopardy. They paid third parties to attack their enemy. As Lambert realized, this worked best if some other issue, so-called larger issue could be used to distract attention, as had happened in the well-known efforts by the FDA to regulate nicotine. But Lambert kept investigating. He announced that he had found the man behind the Carson smear - Roger Bate. Bate had started a fake grassroots group called Africa Fights Malaria and used it to criticize the WHO as implementing an inept approach to the malaria crisis. Bates attempted to get Big Tobacco to support the group, citing his ability to triangulate. The idea was to use the DDT issue to distract people from tobacco and the debate around environmental tobacco (ETS or second-hand smoke). The key elements of Africa Fights Malaria strategy were articulated as: "Simplify our arguments. "Pick issues on which we can divide our opponents and win. Make our case on our terms, not on the terms of our opponents - malaria prevention is a good example. ... "this will create tensions between LDCs and OECD countries and between public health and environment. The idea was to make the choice appear to be a question of people or birds. That such a strategy would appeal to Big Tobacco was certainly true, and Lambert found documents connecting Bate to Philip Morris, but that is where Lambert began to go awry. Philip Morris never hired Bate, or at least there is no such record. There are only records proving that he tried to pitch a smear campaign but did not get far. In fact, there is some indication that Helmut Reif, Philip Morris' Director of Science & Technology for it's R&D facility in Neuchatel, Switzerland (Fabriques de Tabac Reunies), was not thrilled that Bate had approached other tobacco companies. More importantly, Reif had been successfully undermining the World Health Organization's science throughout the 1980s and 1990s; and as one report suggests, he had developed a host of tactics far more sophisticated than the one's Bate proposed. Reif had no need of a freelance shill and he no doubt knew better than to risk exposure by going head to head against someone like Rachel Carson, whether she was alive or not, especially by using an amateur. Bate got tobacco money anyway, just not from Philip Morris and not until after the Africa Fights Malaria campaign. RJ Reynolds documents show that they paid (via a front group) for the publication of What Risk?, a book Bate edited that had a chapter on secondhand smoke. Even then, documents suggest RJR wanted to be sure they had their kind of person handling the chapter of ETS. Bate would later work for the Competitive Enterprise Institute, an organization that Philip Morris had used during their expensive anti-FDA campaign, where he would oppose environmental regulations, but he was by no means an agent provocateur for Big Tobacco. He was just a free-market fundamentalist and avowed enemy of environmental regulation. Though Bate denied that he was personally behind the Carson attack, he was attached to several rightwing think-tanks and would eventually join the Competitive Enterprise Institute, the force behind several laughable "CO2: We call it life" ads. Also, by the time Lambert had pieced together his story on the popular Grist environmental news site, The Union of Concerned Scientists had already exposed the tobacco industry's role in denying global warming in January of 2007 and connected the Competitive Enterprise Group to both Big Tobacco and Big Oil. The real impact of Lambert's digging is that it reveals how Big Tobacco's malfeasance had become so widely known that there is almost an army of freelancers like Roger Bate begging to get in on the game. Lambert is quite right, though, to point out that Bate was using Africa Fights Malaria to bolster his credentials with rightwing think-tanks. But, Lambert's suggestion that Big Tobacco is a monolithic entity so greedy and corrupt that it willingly takes on its enemies in bold, public fashion is at best a distraction. True, it has been the case from time to time, as Alan Brandt made clear in The Cigarette Century, that Philip Morris will embrace flamboyant tactics such as embracing the bill of rights, even arranging to distribute copies of it to undermine anti-smoking activists. But the bulk of Big Tobacco's strategy has been to work in the shadows, using its own PR firms, its own "safe science" advocates. Even when Big Tobacco has suffered major setbacks, they have striven to maintain their invisibility, creating a corporate culture arguably as secretive as the CIA and a business model of undermining efforts to expose their other damage. Tobacco is without a doubt one of the most destructive plants on the planet even before it hits the lungs. Only when anti-tobacco advocates understand how the tobacco industry has deflected notice of these other evils will they be able to widen the war. And the environment is good place to start because it is easy to document and already a hot issue. "The time is now for anti-tobacco advocates and environmentalists to unite," according to Judith McKay, senior policy consultant for the World Health Organization. If so, then it is crucial to x-ray the secret documents and see how Big Tobacco has been able to keep environmental threats separate from public health concerns, and keeping their actions as opaque as possible. SMOKE PRINTS EVERYWHERE Big Tobacco hardly twitched on the release of Rachel Carson's Silent Spring in 1962. They were certainly aware of the book. They did not, however, attack it or fear it might draw attention to their own massive use of pesticide. They embraced it through the public relations firm of Hill & Knowlton, Inc., one of the most notorious PR firms in the world having played a hand in everything from greenwashing the chemical industry to deceiving the US to the start of the first Gulf War. Confidential documents reveal that they boasted to the Tobacco Industry Research Committee (TIRC) about how they had influenced the content of several science journalists covering tobacco issues. The TIRC was an industry funded entity that granted awards to study the link between smoking and disease. In effect, it was part of a four-decade effort to spread scientific disinformation about the link, but as these minutes from Hill & Knowlton reveal, they liked their doubt cast in nonscientific terms as well. Hill & Knowlton had a long going effort to influence media coverage of tobacco issues, but they also liked to find opportunities to contrast the tobacco industry with other problem industries. One of the jobs Hill & Knowlton was most proud of concerned a journalist named George Dusheck, who was not writing about tobacco at all, but reviewing Silent Spring. After consulting with H & K, Dusheck inserted a passage about the tobacco industry into his review: "The reaction of the pesticide industry (to the book) is a sharp contrast to that of the tobacco industry, when it faced what it feared was an economic threat from the American Cancer Society's report of smoking and lung cancer. "The tobacco companies did not panic, did not abuse ACS scientists as writers of science fiction horror stories, did not seek to influence any newspaper's publications or handling of the story. "They did create a Tobacco (Industry) Research Committee headed by a respected scientist, Clarence Cook Little, which has worked quietly and with adequate funds to get at the cause of lung cancer. "In doing so it has got its viewpoint before the public without hysteria. And it has continued to sell cigarettes - more cigarettes today than in 1954 when the ACS findings were first reported." The Duschek example proves both more typical of Big Tobacco's modus operandi and more enlightening than the Bate/Carson episode. Of course Clarence Cook Little was exactly the kind of shill anti-tobacco forces love to vilify and rightfully so. Few have done more to undermine the concept of "sound science" than he. But here he appears the voice of reason and moderation. What is more noteworthy, however, is how the missteps of the chemical industry are used as an occasion for contrast with the tobacco industry. The tobacco industry appears socially responsible, prudent, and respectful of its opposition. Even more remarkable is the fact that Silent Spring was almost devoid of tobacco references. Carson had mentioned - almost as an aside - that arsenic content in tobacco increased six hundred percent since the mid-1940s as result of DDT remaining in the soil even after its use on tobacco had ceased. Her point was simply that pesticide residue remained in the soil and was in no way critical of tobacco itself. There was no necessity to bring the tobacco industry into the review unless the intention was to substitute one health crisis for another, and deflect attention from Big Tobacco's connection to the pesticide issue entirely. Amusingly enough, in 1964, a stockholder wrote to A.H. Galloway, the president of RJ Reynolds about Silent Spring. The stockholder suggested the book might be helpful. He wanted the company to fund the natural foods movement or what is now thought of as organic or local food movements. He thought doing so would distract from the crusades against the golden leaf. No doubt environmentalists like Lambert would have preferred that Big Tobacco follow that more salacious and more risky route. Should RJR have distributed the book or promoted it, it might easily have caused readers to wonder about what they were really smoking. But even if RJR had done so quietly and with plausible deniability, it would have been entirely consistent with the industry's pattern of divorcing public health from larger environmental issues, and in particular, its pattern of triangulation. It seems, as is often the case, the stockholders understood the business model well before the business' critics. ASTROTURF AND SECONDHAND HOT AIR Even the best attempt to link tobacco with environmental crisis has garnered little attention: the January 2007 report by the Union of Concerned Scientists, for example, is arguably the best and boldest salvo on record. That report documented, much more carefully than British journalist George Monbiot's recent work "Heat", how Big Oil is now using not only Big Tobacco's disinformation techniques to contest global warming, but also the very same public relations firms, and in many cases the same bogus scientists. However, subsequent UN reports on the need to act now include not one word about the 1 billion people slated to die from cigarettes and certainly not a word about the well-documented role of the tobacco industry as a leading cause of deforestation, desertification, and thus global warming. Well-documented is not well told, it seems, especially when the subject is disaster. The task is not to just tell the story about how Big Tobacco used deception in both health and environmental matter, but to show how Big Tobacco managed to separate health and the environment in the public discourse insofar as their products were concerned. An internal Philip Morris memo from 1996 shows the general trend continued long after the health risks had become clear. In discussing the increasing pressure on corporations to pay for the environmental damage their product manufacturing might cause, an unidentified Philip Morris executive writes: "There has been a recent report of the President's Commission on Sustainable Development which we're concerned about. There's also a U.N. group looking at this. "One big issue is the ICC (International Chamber of Commerce ) Charter for Sustainable Development. PM is the only major company not to sign it. Why? Because it equates environment with health, and obviously PM doesn't want to put itself in a position of saying we won't sell products that have health implications to their consumers." The Philip Morris statement could easily describe the modus operandi of the entire industry since the early 1970s, a time in which health professionals had largely agreed that smoking itself was the cause of many diseases, but during which the controversy around ETS ("environmental tobacco smoke" or secondhand smoke), was just beginning. As tobacco historian Alan Brandt points out in The Cigarette Century, Philip H. Abelson, the editor of Science became one of the first and most prominent voices in the United States to describe secondhand smoke as "air pollution," in 1967. Abelson specifically placed emphasis on the fact that nonsmokers often had no choice about accepting its risks. That emphasis seems prescient today given that so much of the controversy around smoking has hinged on the fact smokers have felt they were only endangering themselves. But Abelson was one man sitting on high, an elite editor. He could have been neutralized with methods like the ones Hill & Knowlton had bragged about to the TIRC or with the usual quote mining that is the modus operandi of oppositional research. Abelson's finest contribution was to inspire grassroots activists such as GASP (Group Against Smoking Pollution). By virtue of their very name they deployed the word "pollution" in public discourse more than anyone else. During the 1970s, they were the ones who pushed and got local laws to restrict smoking. Of course, they were somewhat offset at least initially by Astroturf organizations (fake grassroots groups) such as the smokers-rights groups funded by Big Tobacco. To be clear, the smoker's rights groups were not a pure PR invention. There was legitimate anger among smokers as they began to feel more and more like third-class citizens. But if they found smoking turned them into pariahs, it had as much to do with the flimsy defense that tobacco companies offered as it did anything relating to a New Puritanism. To counteract secondhand smoke concerns, Big Tobacco first produced reports suggesting that building ventilation would offset indoor smoke. The suggestions ranged from simply opening windows to installing air filters in offices. However, by 1981, thanks to the National Academy of Sciences, the industry could no longer effectively compartmentalize this issue. By the end of the 1980s, ETS had been implicated in everything from children's earaches, childhood asthma, cervical cancer (often in nonsmoking wives of smokers), sudden infant death syndrome, and cardiopulmonary disorders. Even Philip Morris lawyers conceded this and more in 1994. Even as smoking was banned on airplanes and other common areas, the industry kept hoping to keep the issue compartmentalized as an issue of nuisance and personal decorum, especially in the US and the UK. When Philip Morris began to reflect on who and what threatened their efforts to divorce the environment from health issues, it issued an "Executive Summary of Paper on PM Environmental Giving" that acknowledged that it was the largest contributor to the nation's packaging stream and that it was well aware that environmental activists were beginning to make cigarette executives uncomfortable. It insisted: "Grassroots mobilizations and environmental politics are not to be underestimated. Our products have been boycotted by environmentally-concerned groups as diverse as state Public Interest Research Groups, recycling advocates, and the "Wise Use" movement."v What is striking is the concern over boycotted products, rather than in mobilizing for local laws and regulations that was historically the real catalyst for Philip Morris' decline in stature. The second striking aspect of this report is how throughout it repeatedly states that appearing green is crucial to sustaining their business model. It also reveals that by 1994, citizens had come to regard the environment as "second only to guns and crime." In essence, the furor over ETS did not rank as a major concern either to Philip Morris or what it called "citizens." Furthermore, the stakes would forever seem higher if opposition were focused on the environment: "Everything we produce relies on agricultural production." This document even acknowledges that Philip Morris' Corporate Affairs had a five-year plan that emphasized environment, image, and corporate contributions. Why then did people like Ableson or even GASP not then widen the terms of the debate? Why did they not start investigating exactly what kind of environmental contributions the companies had in mind? Or, put another way, why did they not attack the very idea of Philip Morris as a legitimate business? Were they exhausted even in victory from the prolonged battle over ETS? Activist-journalist Alexander Cockburn, who had written about Big Tobacco's impact on developing countries in the 1970s, described the problem like this, "The left generally didn't get involved in taking on the tobacco companies because they all smoked like chimneys, and many still do." But part of the answer might also do with the experts, who felt perhaps hemmed-in by their field of expertise, usually health related. But what experts do best is draw attention to the unseen externalities, the fallout and the spillover such as the role tobacco plays in deforestation and global warming. They could have reached out to people involved in those struggles. If the truth is told, though, the greens and anti-tobacco advocates were behind the curve by 1977, not 1994. Secret documents from that year reveal that already Big Tobacco had anticipated a wider assault on its environmental impact and particularly that its environmental impact could be easily shown to affect people on a global scale. Nowhere perhaps is this clearer than in inter-office correspondence from 1977 in which Murray D. Rosenberg briefed Philip Morris executives on the "greenhouse effect." Rosenberg credited Helmut Wakeham, Vice President and Director of Research & Develop at the time, and arguably one of the most cold-blooded characters in the entire tobacco saga, for anticipating the issue. Rosenberg's report tutored the other executives on the potential threat to the tobacco industry. Unlike Big Oil's contention that carbon dioxide is a natural component of the atmosphere and thus harmless, Rosenberg's report acknowledged that man-made carbon dioxide is a dire threat to life on the planet, particularly the amount produced from fossil fuels. Rosenberg calculated the annual contribution of cigarette-produced carbon dioxide at 0.0018% of the annual total generated by man. The 0.0018% figure while seeming to exonerate the tobacco industry could easily be shown as incomplete and that is probably why it was never released to the public - why attract attention to an issue no one was paying monitoring? The figure did not take into account issues like deforestation, paper waste, fuel used to ship tobacco and cure it, nor did he mention that smoking also releases methane, another greenhouse gas. Currently, the anti-tobacco advocates estimate smoking across the globe generates about 2.6 billion kg of CO2 and 5.2 billion kilograms of methane every year. It takes one acre of forest to cure (dry) an acre of tobacco , which is quite a separate calculation from the amount of forest consumed in packaging, newsprint ads, and paper to wrap the cigarettes. In Uruguay and South Korea and Uruguay, forty percent of the annual deforestation is tobacco-related. In Malawi, where only three percent of farmers grow tobacco, almost 80 percent of the trees cut down for curing it. These are more recent numbers than Rosenberg's but even then, the best deforestation estimate is over a decade old. That is precisely the problem. It's safe to say that by the late 1970s, anti-tobacco advocates had fallen behind, drained in part by the necessary struggle against second-hand smoke, and unaware that Big Tobacco anticipated a much larger war. Philip Morris, for example, claimed in a 1997 document it gave its first environmental grant "to help create Keep America Beautiful," in 1956. In fact, the organization began in 1953. Nevertheless, Philip Morris received a letter from K.A.B. in 2000 that allowed them to maintain the language "founding member" for its timeline advertisements. The discrepancy would hardly be worth mentioning except that Keep America Beautiful was from the start a greenwash vehicle started by business executives in the beverage and packing industry. At the time, they were afraid Congress might start requiring them to be responsible for the litter their products contributed. Though often credited as a successful anti-litter advertising campaign, Keep America Beautiful was really a lobbying arm of the packaged products industries, designed to make those industries look responsible, names and dates forever not withstanding. According to Wally Lamb's investigation of secret tobacco documents, Keep America Beautiful's own anti-butts policy was molded by Philip Morris and even then reluctantly embraced. This is but one example of the industry's attempts to enhance its opacity even as it tried to address the question of litter that was just starting to be raised. Even without the secret documents available today, Keep America Beautiful's famous crying "Indian" billboards and commercials should have been enough to build some outrage. The history of 19th century conservation is the history of not only the genocide of Native Americans, but also the ecocide of the Great Plains and the overgrazing of pastoral lands by westward settlers. It may be that to oppose the corporations sponsoring those ads would have required a collective introspection few imperial nations ever approach. Nevertheless the exploitation of the crying Indian on that 1971 billboard was undeniable proof that among Americans, the only environment that mattered was the one beneath their own feet. Outside the US, where secondhand smoke had hardly been a mobilizing issue, there were rumblings about deforestation and environmental devastation as early as 1914, when World War I brought smoking into vogue. SMOKING TREES AND COOKING NUMBERS In lesser developed countries where increasingly more and more tobacco was grown only to end up being shipped to the US and England for processing, indigenous people noticed that the crop altered their traditional agricultural heritage. One of the earliest mentions of how tobacco affected Africa comes from the Director of Agriculture in Nyasaland (currently Malawi). He cited the tobacco industry's environmental hazards as early as 1914 when he declared: "Eucalyptus is undoubtedly the fuel tree for Nyasaland and steps are now being taken by the Chief Forest Officer ... to establish fuel plantations in the villages under the various chiefs and headmen to try and put a stop to the rapid deforestation." There are a few more scattered mentions of the problem in the developing nations after this one, but almost entirely they consist of anecdotes like the one above. The first concerted wave of documented, quantitative attention by Westerners does not occur until the 1980s. The sporadic attention given to the issue in the 1970s on issues such as deforestation, pesticide use, and the industry's effects on the "third world" was met by an active campaign to undermine the few statistics being compiled by anti-tobacco forces, most vociferously in the pages of Tobacco Briefing, an industry publication devoted almost exclusively to confronting environmental research into tobacco. One of their main tactics was elementary use of misdirection. For example, in order to minimize reports on forest acreage lost to tobacco farming, Tobacco Briefing would cite a greater amount of wood lost to fuel cooking in lesser-developed countries, thus finessing the fact that cooking is essential to feeding humans and tobacco is not. Just as with the Rosenberg report never being released to the public, despite its seeming exoneration of the tobacco industry, the propaganda within Tobacco Briefing remained largely in-house. Big Tobacco understood clearly that fighting on the terrain of incomplete science and cooked numbers - while helpful to the morale and control of its subordinates such as growers and their advocates - opened them to jeopardy in the larger public discourse. It was better for Big Tobacco to attack its opponents from within more opaque institutions such as advertising regulative bodies. The anti-tobacco advocates, however, felt brash ads and salacious statistics would help them win the war for public opinion. Sometimes it would, but often they were all too willing to narrow their focus whenever Big Tobacco attacked from behind bureaucratic machinery. A case of brash assault, followed by timid withdrawal began on June 5th, 1978 when an independent television agency in the UK broadcast a report by "World in Action," roughly the UK equivalent to "20/20". The event coincided with the publication of "Tobacco and the Third World: Tomorrow's Epidemic?" by journalist Mike Muller, one of the first to draw mass attention to the industry's environmental impact. Muller drew attention to many economic injustices in regard to tobacco farming such as the tobacco crops replacing food crops. He also produced eye-catching environmental statistics. He estimated that cigarette manufacturing machine use four miles of paper per hour to roll and package cigarettes. But his most sensational statistic was that for every 300 cigarettes made in the developing world, one tree is burned in the curing process. The World Health Organization in 1980 (WHO) and the World Bank in 1984 both reprinted the statistic. But in 1993 tobacco industry forces had sufficiently undermined its legitimacy that ads using it and likeminded statements were pulled from the air in the United Kingdom. "World in Action" continued for over a decade producing hard-hitting shows about the tobacco industry's advertising to children and the dangers of secondhand smoke. It did not, however, return to the environmental impact of Big Tobacco, nor ever mention the occasional academic papers quietly piling up that held far harsher verdicts on Big Tobacco's contribution to deforestation or environmental degradation. The most glaring evidence that anti-tobacco forces had failed to embrace Muller's innovation occurred in July of 1983 when Simon Chapman produced a 64 page pamphlet called The Lung Goodbye, A Manual of Tactics for Counteracting the Tobacco Industry in the 1980s. A deliciously noirish piece of agitprop full of concrete suggestions, the pamphlet contained not a word about expanding the fight to include environmental alliances; this was true despite Chapman's insistence that the best tactic of all was to inflict constant scorn on the industry with the hope of "radicalizing the movement." His suggestions were so aggressive that he felt compelled to remind readers that most of his tactics were legal. The omission of environmental alliances seems even more of historical significance given the fact that Simon Chapman, an Australian sociologist, would later win the World Health Organization's World No Tobacco Day Medal in 1997, along with many other accolades. More importantly, he later produced Tobacco in the third world: a resource atlas in 1990. That publication, perhaps more than any other, marked the single strongest and most widely cited environmental assault on Big Tobacco to date. It contained an entire chapter dedicated to the issue, albeit culled from several admittedly thin but frequently cited sources. It also included references to other environmental issues such as overuse of pesticide as well as its debilitating effect on farmers. It certainly could have marked the moment when Big Tobacco became tagged an environmental menace. Instead it serves to document how little the issue had been studied. In 1992, however, US Surgeon General Novello issued what the industry perceived as a denunciation of the deforestation claim, specifically the 300 to 1 statistic. It came almost ad hominem in a report issued primarily to address smoking and health in the Americas, and it occurred not in a section about the environment, but in a section on "economic externalities," about which it was generally favorable to the industry as a whole. Still, Novello noted in no uncertain terms that data on tobacco and deforestation was relatively slim, often produced by the industry itself, and that most of it was out of date. Regardless, Novello, much to the industry's delight, concluded "deforestation associated with tobacco curing cannot currently be considered a significant negative externality." The statement, taken out of context, would quickly become a major talking point in tobacco industry publications such as Tobacco Briefing, published by the International Tobacco Growers Association (IGTA), a shadowy, quasi-governmental alliance organized around little more than the idea of actual growers. Despite the fact that Novello clearly contradicted what the industry declared was the "definitive report," the ITGA declared 300 to 1 statistic dead. It would resurface occasionally often in independent journalists' broader stories about the tobacco industry, but anti-tobacco advocates simply passed over it in silence. They concentrated on fighting youth smoking and second-hand smoke almost exclusively throughout the 1990s. What is remarkable, however, is that after the Surgeon General's Report of 1992, rather than publicize the other damaging articles about tobacco and deforestation that began to come out, anti-tobacco advocates rarely returned to the theme. Nevertheless, the industry's targeting of children and the obfuscation they manufactured around secondhand smoke sufficiently damaged their image, and anti-tobacco advocates deserve a great deal of the credit for that. As result, during the 1980s until about 1992, the tobacco industry continued its meager environmental giving, as a glance through their annual reports reveals, but they remained reserved about publicizing it. Evidently, they did not want to overstate their environmental record and receive further scorn. HOW GLOBAL IS YOUR WARMING? By 1993, the tobacco industry had to address deforestation more directly at least within the United Kingdom. An organization with a title more officious than official, the Health Education Authority (HEA) began a series of magazine ads that linked tobacco to the destruction of the rainforest. The timing seemed exactly right for an organization devoted largely to issues of youth smoking. Their target was a generation of kids growing up in the aftermath of Earth Day and "save the rainforest" campaigns. Artists such as Sting and a commercially resurgent, MTV-oriented Grateful Dead were prominent donors to rainforest campaigns at this time and their influence on fans and younger bands brought great visibility to the rainforest issue. None of the celebrities, however, drew attention to the role of the tobacco industry in deforestation. That fell to the rather puny HEA. These ads are nearly impossible to track down, but they were pivotal from the point of view of the tobacco industry. From ITGA propaganda there remain hints about what the ads contained. For example, one slogan was "When tobacco companies burn the rainforest only one plant survives." The plant in question was not, as one might expect, the tobacco plant, but the cigarette manufacturing plant; perhaps a slightly awkward play on words, but with visual aid, perhaps poignant overall. The UK's Advertising Standards Authority, the regulative entity charged with handling reckless promotional claims, (and prompted by the IGTA) ruled that the ads were too broad. Too many other factors and industries caused rainforest devastation. The law simply would not allow the type of scorn Simon Chapman favored to be piled on any business. As result, the Advertising Standards Authority pulled the ads and as confidential "media response" documents show, the tobacco industry was prepared to use the incident to intimidate other like-minded tree-hugging upstarts. The HEA continued to push the deforestation issue and published a booklet in which it alleged 150 large trees were cut and burned down to cure one acre of tobacco. Perhaps so. The HEA also alleged that the average smoker thus causes one tree every two weeks to be felled. Here their bold assertions backfired because they assumed one tree per 5.56 kg of tobacco, equivalent to 5,600 cigarettes in two weeks time or 397 cigarettes each day. A smoker would then have to consume 12 cigarettes every hour for more than 33 hours in order to fulfill the HEA's claims. This kind of bloated rhetoric opened the HEA up for what would become a typical IGTA attack. Not simply a matter of choosing a less outrageous number of trees per cigarette, the issue became a matter of why a health advocacy group should be able to pronounce on environmental concerns. From that point on, the HEA dissipated, eventually swallowed by another entity called the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) and most importantly, it no longer focused on the intersection of health and the environment. In retreating from the tobacco/environment debate, the HEA missed an opportunity to raise the stakes because nearly every document the industry produced in response to deforestation claims reiterated that wood was not the main source of curing fuel. Coal was. The logical move would have been to link tobacco curing not simply to deforestation, but to the greenhouse effect. In a 2000 World Health Organization report outlining, among many other cloak-and-dagger episodes, how the IGTA undermined several tobacco control efforts within the UN, it becomes clear that the IGTA learned a great deal from the HEA episodes. Essentially, the ITGA argued that health organizations had no business discussing business. Once again the signature tactic was triangulation. The IGTA was the tobacco industry's greatest asset in forcing tobacco control outside the bounds of the WHO. The ECOSOC or UN Economic and Social Council became a rival of the WHO due to the IGTA's relentless lobbying efforts. The best summation came from internal correspondence from British American Tobacco: "Up until now, it has been the World Health Organization which has provided the major thrust in international anti-tobacco activities. "It has, however, been persuaded that some of the issues - particularly those to do with economic, environmental, and social aspects - are beyond its competence. We can therefore expect a number of UN agencies to get into the act. It is to be hoped that they do not bring to their participation any prejudicial anti-tobacco sentiments and that we can expect a rational and objective treatment of our common concerns." Of course, of the three areas mentioned here - economic, environmental, and social - the economic became central. By exaggerating the economic benefits of tobacco farming to lesser developed nations, Big Tobacco could easily foment more bureaucratic divisions, recasting health and environmental concerns as elitist concerns on the part of "First World" busy bodies. Anytime Big Tobacco could say, "Rich countries care about trees. Poor countries care about jobs," it would do so, the Director of Agriculture in Nyasaland be damned. Needless to say, it was exactly along this set of reasoning that the smear job on Rachel Carson took place, and for that reason, excessively defending her against a baseless attack only reinforces the perception that rich countries look at the environment from a place of profound privilege. In this way, the tobacco industry was able to appear more leftwing, more socially conscious than its opponents. Because of the history of bureaucratic infighting and because that infighting has been the result of dividing the economic, environmental, and social aspects of tobacco, Dr. Judith McKay, a senior policy advisor to the World Health Organization has argued, "Every tobacco meeting should have a sector on the environment, and every environmental meeting should have a section on tobacco. "Surely the logic at work in such a statement applies not only to the UN, but also to those mysterious radicals Simon Chapman, the doctor of scorn, sought to inspire. [end part 1 of 2] ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- - David Shove shove001 [at] tc.umn.edu rhymes with clove Progressive Calendar over 2225 subscribers as of 12.19.02 please send all messages in plain text no attachments To GO DIRECTLY to an item, eg --------8 of x-------- do a find on --8 impeach bush & cheney impeach bush & cheney impeach bush & cheney impeach bush & cheney
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