Progressive Calendar 12.17.07
From: David Shove (
Date: Mon, 17 Dec 2007 02:11:33 -0800 (PST)
              P R O G R E S S I V E   C A L E N D A R   12.17.07

1. Wartime/Germany/US/CTV 12,18 8am/5pm
2. Vigil vs Wal-Mart      12.18 5pm
3. Surviving/salon        12.18 6:30pm
4. StP schools/changes    12.18 7pm
5. Women writers          12.18 7:30
6. Nader/unreasonable/TV  12.18 9pm

7. Alliant Tech vigil     12.19 7am
8. Driscoll run-off       12.19 11am
9. Enviro issues show     12.19 2pm
10. Less Xmas waste       12.19 6pm
11. Vets for peace        12.19 7pm RedWing MN

12. Paul Busch       - Ask McCollom to help impeach Cheney
13. Standard Shaefer - The greening of Big Tobacco (part 2 of 2)
14. ed               - Scum  (poem)

--------1 of 14--------

From: Eric Angell <eric-angell [at]>
Subject: Wartime/Germany/US/CTV 12,18 8am/5pm

Dearest Minneapolis Television Network (MTN 17) viewers:
"Our World In Depth" cablecasts on MTN Channel 17 on Saturdays at 9pm and
Tuesdays at 8am.  Households with basic cable can watch!

12/18 8am "Wartime in Germany and the U.S."  Interview of Dr. Sigrid
Bachman, who was raised in Germany during the rise of Hitler and WWII and
is now living in Minnesota during the rise of US militarism.  Hosted by
Eric Angell.  (a repeat)

Most excellent St. Paul Neighborhood Network (SPNN 15) viewers:
"Our World In Depth" cablecasts in St. Paul on Tuesday evenings at 5pm and
midnight and Wednesday mornings at 10am.  All households with basic cable
can watch!

12/18 5pm and midnight and 12/19 10am "Wartime in Germany and the U.S."
Interview of Dr. Sigrid Bachman, who was raised in Germany during the rise
of Hitler and WWII and is now living in Minnesota during the rise of US
militarism.  Hosted by Eric Angell.  (a repeat)

--------2 of 14--------

From: <llwright [at]>
Subject: Vigil vs Wal-Mart 12.18 5pm

[Walton is just another name for Grinch -ed]

Third Annual Candle Light Vigil to Change Wal-Mart!

Join Us as We Call Upon Wal-Mart to Improve the Working Conditions For Not
Only Their Workers, But Also for Those That Make the Products That They

This past summer between 80-100 workers at Best Brands, a bakery in
Lakeville, were fired from their jobs without warning. These were long
term dedicated employees that were making upwards of $16.45/hour with
great benefits. Best Brands repaid their dedication by terminating them
unexpectedly putting workers in danger of home foreclosure and extreme
debt. Now new workers at Best Brands can expect to make $10/hour without
any benefits.

Wal-Mart is one of the biggest clients that Best Brands has. In addition
to not paying the majority of their workers a living wage or providing
adequate health care, Wal-Mart buys product made by employees that are
also treated in an undignified manner.

We will be sending a message to Wal-Mart that an injury to one is an
injury to all!

Join us - Tuesday, December 18th at 5:00pm in front of the Midway Wal-Mart
in St Paul on University between Hamline and Snelling. Questions -

UFCW 789 believes that ALL workers deserve fair and just treatment by
their enployers!

Visit the web address below to tell your friends about this.

If you received this message from a friend, you can sign up for St. Paul
Area Trades and Labor Assembly at:

--------3 of 14--------

From: patty <pattypax [at]>
Subject: Surviving/salon 12.18 6:30pm

The authors of the book, Willow in a Storm, James Taylor and Kathleen
Murphy-Taylor will be with us and read from their new book.  After James
was released from federal prison after 45 years, he and Kathy met and

The book is the story of their work together to write this book, and also
of James's life which seemed like a wasted one, but because of perhaps
miraculous circumstances, he was able to live and survive, not only in
prison, but afterward.  The lesson for all of us it one we can garner from
listening to them and reading the book.  \

Pax Salons ( )
are held (unless otherwise noted in advance):
Tuesdays, 6:30 to 8:30 pm.
Mad Hatter's Tea House,
943 W 7th, St Paul, MN

Salons are free but donations encouraged for program and treats.
Call 651-227-3228 or 651-227-2511 for information.

[Perhaps they will tell us how to survive Bush, Hillary, & constantly
being lied to by our faithless politicians. -ed]

--------4 of 14--------

From: Bill Poulos <wgspoulos [at]>
Subject: StP schools/changes 12.18 7pm

St. Paul / Forum to focus on status of Homecroft
Pioneer Press
Article Last Updated: 12/06/2007 11:02:15 PM CST
by Doug Belden

The Highland District Council has scheduled a meeting for next week to
hear from the public about the proposed termination of Homecroft
Elementary's grade-school program.

Under a proposal approved Tuesday by the St. Paul school board in a
committee vote, the neighborhood elementary school would cease teaching
grades K-6 after this school year, and a variety of special-education and
alternative programs for secondary students would be moved into the
building. The board is scheduled to vote officially on the issue Dec. 18.

The meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. Wednesday in the cafeteria at
Homecroft, 1845 Sheridan Ave. School board members and school district
administrators have been invited to attend, said Bill Poulos, president of
the district council.

Homecroft is one of several schools in St. Paul in "corrective action"
under federal accountability guidelines, meaning it has failed to meet
testing benchmarks for four years. Additionally, the district says
enrollment has been declining at the school, though numbers from the
district's Web site show enrollment has been steady at about 250 - its
current level - since 2001-02, with the exception of one year.

--------5 of 14--------

From: Julie Bates <julie [at]>
Subject: Women writers 12.18 7:30

The Carol Connolly Reading Series
Readings by Writers
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
7:30 PM at the historic University Club of St. Paul
420 Summit Ave, St. Paul
Hosted by Carol Connolly
Free and open to the public

This month we are honored to present a line-up of premier women poets
and novelists, all widely published, all recipients of many prestigious
awards, living and writing their exceptional work in these Twin Cities.
At least one of them has to be your personal favorite. They are:
And, as far as we know, CYNTHIA FRENCH is the only poet appearing this
month who is a professional roller skater, knocking people over as
Dottie Hazzard. She is a member of the Dagger Dolls roller derby team,
skating with Minnesota Rollergirls.

Readers will have their books available to sell and sign, perfect for
holiday giving!

Readings last one hour, never more.
MEMBERS and NON-MEMBERS welcome for these events.
5:00 Dinner OPTIONAL reservations necessary
Some University Club reading sites are handicapped accessible; please
inquire in advance: or 651-222-1751.

This Carol Connolly Reading is sponsored in part by the University Club
of St. Paul.
For more information, call (612) 871-4444 or visit

--------6 of 14--------

From: PRO826 [at]
Subject: Nader/Unreasonable/TV 12.18 9pm

Over the last 50 years, Ralph Nader has done more than anyone to change
the way we view ourselves, our government, and our domination by corporate
power.  He has been responsible for more progressive legislation than any
congressman, senator, or president. Yet he has been ferociously attacked
not only by the corporate political establishment, but by many of those
who most agree with him. Has Nader abandoned the progressive cause, or
have progressives betrayed their principles?

Hear from his strongest critics and his most dedicated admirers during the
national broadcast premiere of "An Unreasonable Man," perhaps the most
highly acclaimed political documentary of our times;

Tuesday, Dec. 18 at 9 PM/8 PM Central, on PBS's Independent Lens series
What does the life of Ralph Nader tell us about this one man, about
ourselves, about our times?

Ralph Nader Documentary, An  Unreasonable Man

PBS viewing dates and times:
Tuesday, 12/18/07
8pm   Lakeland Public Television
8pm  Pioneer Public Television
9pm  Twin Cities Public Television

From: Richard Dechert <ldechert [at]>

On Twin Cities Public Television (tpt) this two-hour Independent Lens
special is scheduled as follows:
tpt-2 and tpt-2 digital: 12/18, 9-11pm; 12/19, 3-5am; 12/23, 11pm-1am
tpt-17 and tpt-17 digital: 12/14, 8-10pm

For those who may not be aware, both of these over-air channels are also
carried by cable TV services and the DirecTV and Dish Network satellite
services in most of Minnesota and west central Wisconsin. Their digital
feeds can also be received on computers and other digital devices that
have an antenna and digital TV card.

If there are schedule changes, they will be posted on or can be
checked via (651) 229-1330.

To my knowledge all of Minnesota's public TV stations in Duluth,
Fargo-Moorhead, Bemidji-Brainerd, Appleton and Austin carry Independent
Lens per their local schedules. They're available via:>.

The show has an excellent Website at that includes a
preview clip. No DVD is apparently available at this time, so crank-up
your recorders.

From: PRO826 [at]

Dear Draft Nader supporters,

Now is the time to step up and get active in the Draft Nader campaign. We
anticipate an announcement from Ralph Nader by the end of the month on his
plans for the 2008 presidential campaign.

An important factor in his decision will be whether there is a  demonstrable
base of support and volunteers ready to hit the ground running if  he

We are calling on Nader supporters to get to work now on two efforts:

1. "An Unreasonable Man" Encourage people to view the PBS showing of the
documentary on Ralph Nader, "An Unreasonable Man," on Tuesday, December 18
and repeat showings during the following week. This documentary is a great
way to introduce younger folks and remind older folks of the Nader's
50-year career fighting for justice and democracy.

2. Draft Nader Petitions and Volunteers at Encourage people
to sign the Draft Nader petition and fill out the volunteer from at
_www.draftnader.org_ ( . Remember, there are
millions of people who are angry at the corporate-sponsored bipartisan
consensus for militarism abroad, austerity at home, and lip service for
the environment. Many are just waiting for someone to enlist them in a
movement for real change. They have never been asked. The next one you
recruit may the one who makes all the difference. Every person counts!

--------7 of 14--------

From: "wamm [at]" <wamm [at]>
Subject: Alliant Tech vigil 12.19 7am

Vigil's Annual Holiday Peace Photo at Alliant Techsystems (ATK)
Wednesday, December 19, 7:00 to 8:00 a.m. Alliant Techsystems, 5050
Lincoln Drive, Edina.

Join the weekly vigil in their annual holiday photo in front of the
largest Minnesota-based military contractor, Alliant Techsystems (ATK).
ATK produces cluster munitions, landmines, rocket motors for the Trident
II and Minuteman III nuclear missiles, and depleted-uranium munitions. ATK
sued this past summer by the U.S. Justice Department for "delivering
defective products knowingly." This will be the last photo in front of
ATK's Edina location. The company announced in April they wanted to
"fortify" their building against the weekly vigilers and are moving to a
new location in Eden Prairie in the spring of 2008. FFI: Visit <>. Endorsed by WAMM.

--------8 of 14--------

From: Andy Driscoll <andy [at]>
Subject: Driscoll run-off 12.19 11am

SOMETHING IN THE WATER: Are We Polluters, Too?
Are we unintentionally polluting our river and streams with our fertilizers,
lawn shavings and leaves?

TTT's Andy Driscoll and Lynnell Mickelsen talk with state experts and
young scholars about the pollution we all add to the waters of our state
and region with our discarded leaves and grasses and the chemicals we use
to keep them green.

JOIN THE DISCUSSION. CALL 612-341-0980 during the show.
 PAUL WOTZKA  Hydrologist, water quality specialist, late of Minnesota
Department of Agriculture and Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.
Whistleblower on atrazine run-off and dangers of corn-cultivated ethanol.
 FOUR HIGH SCHOOL SCIENCE STUDENTS reporting on urban nonpoint pollution
(run-off)  Aura Scherbel; Priyal Goonathilika; Russell Heer; and Zach
Wilkowski (Teacher: Liz Scheidel)

[Do we choose urban nonpoint pollution when we have run-off elections?
God, we're all guilty! What about run-off at the mouth? Damn, guilty
again! -ed]

--------9 of 14--------

From: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at]>
Subject: Env issues show 12.19 2pm

A gathering of folks interested in applying for the Tue.night KFAI slot
for an ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES SHOW! I'll be there to offer support and
answer whatever questions I can. Please come if you can!

ON East Franklin at 23rd ave south
south Minneapolis

Hope to see you there!
Lydia Howell, host of "Catalyst", KFAI Radio

--------10 of 14--------

From: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at]>
Subject: Less Xmas waste 12.19 6pm

Do It Green! Minnesota would like to take this time to wish you the
happiest of holidays! Please take a moment to think about spending quality
time with friends and family and not getting hung up over gift shopping
and party planning. Friends and family will just be glad to know you care
about them through a hug, spending time in conversation with them and
eating good, local, organic food together.

To help you in having a truly 'green' holiday season this year, we have a
few opportunities for you:

WORKSHOP: Celebrate the Holidays with Less Waste - Wed, Dec 19th 6-7pm
presented by Tara Roffler and Tina North

From Thanksgiving to New Year's, Americans produce 25% more trash than any
other time of the year. Learn how you can celebrate the holidays with less
waste. Get easy tips for green gift-giving and party planning, and even
create your own recycled gift tag.

To RSVP for this event, send your name and email or phone number to: [at] or call 612-345-7973

The workshop will be located at our Resource Center located inside Twin
Cities Green at 2405 Hennepin Ave. S. in Uptown, Minneapolis.

Twin Cities Green

WEB LINK: Tips for Reducing Waste over the Holidays

Giving a gift from the heart doesn't have to pack a wallup to your wallet
or the planet. Instead of asking, "How much should I spend?" Think about
asking, "Does it make a minimal impact on the planet?" A gift of time
spent together out-of-doors, membership to a museum or a refinished
rocking chair might be more meaningful than anything bought in a store.

Visit this link for tips and resources on reducing waste and green gift
giving over the holidays:
Green Holidays Tips

--------11 of 14--------

From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at]>
Subject: Vets for peace 12.19 7pm RedWing MN

Wednesday, 12/19, 7 to 8:30 pm, Red Wing Vets for Peace meeting at home of
Charles Nicolosi, Red Wing.  tuvecino [at]

--------12 of 14--------

From: Paul Busch <pobusch [at]>
Subject: Ask McCollom to help impeach Cheney

Title: Call Betty McCollum to ask her to co-sponsor HR 333 for the
impeachment of Dick Cheney

I've been calling Betty's office daily to ask her (or implore her) to
co-sponsor the resolution to impeach Cheney. As an individual doing this,
I may seem eccentric. If 100 (or 200 or 300) of us did this every day, it
would be impossible to ignore. It only takes about 20 seconds. Here is the
number to her local office: (651) 224-9191

Sample script: Hi, my name is ___________, and I'm calling to ask Rep.
McCollum to co-sponsor House Resolution 333 to impeach Dick Cheney and to
call for an open House debate on impeachment. Thank you.

The folks I have talked to have always been courteous. Sometimes they ask
for my address, but not always.

It is my understanding that Betty was an original co-sponsor of the bill
to impeach Alberto Gonzalez, so she's shown a willingness to use this
important tool. She must know that Cheney and Bush have committed numerous
impeachable offenses, but she hasn't been convinced of the fact that they
*need* to be impeached. When elected, members of Congress swear an oath to
protect the Constitution. Any member of Congress who is not co-sponsoring
the resolution to impeach is derelict in their duty.

If you have any questions, please feel free to call me at 651-646-4656 or
email me at pobusch [at] (It would be great to have an idea of how many
folks are doing this.) -Paul Busch

--------13 of 14--------

Rachel Carson Kills Millions?          (part 2 of 2)
The Greening of Big Tobacco
December 15 / 16, 2007

                     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

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.


Given not only the colossal environmental damage but also the history of
cover-up perpetrated by the tobacco industry, a reasonable person might
assume that any attempt by Big Tobacco to dive into green marketing would
be a quixotic venture. But Big Tobacco knows no limits and nearly each
company sooner or later test marketed the concept of environmentally
friendly cigarettes.

They wanted to see if "green" products, even from a tobacco company, might
sell, because as a Philip Morris document from 1994 put it, "Few issues
today are as popular as The Environment" (italics mine). Popularity or
profitability was tied to going green, at least according to Philip
Morris' pollsters. But even more bold is the opening talking point in
their internal executive summary on environmental giving: "PM products are
the largest contributor to the nation's packaging waste stream and a major
user of agricultural and water resources." Everywhere else throughout
Philip Morris' executive summary, the words "competitive" and "expanding
markets" surface as well as "sustainability." Those are crucial points to
keep in mind for anyone studying what Big Tobacco says its doing for the
environment, especially in their annual reports or on their websites where
every indication is given that they are first and foremost concerned not
with profits or markets, but on sustainability. A close look at the
environmental history of these corporations soon reveals that
"sustainability" in this context means sustainability of its business

The most famous example of green marketing by a tobacco company suggest
that the big multinationals were afraid that a couple of parvenus from
Santa Fe might well be a challenge to the business paradigm. In 1982, The
Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Company, drawing "inspiration" from the local
Native American population started marketing Natural American Spirit
cigarettes as "100% Additive-Free Tobacco." They made claims about the
organic content and thus its environmental sustainability. They also
emphasized its lack of animal testing. And in the 2002, American Spirits
were bought by Reynolds America for a chief's ransom of $340 million.

In hindsight, American Spirits appears almost a modest effort at
exploiting the category, and an unlikely target for one of the biggest
tobacco companies since it brought attention to the fact that there were
additives in their brands.

Nine years earlier, RJ Reynolds had already market tested the category of
ecological cigarettes, and they learned from it that Americans, for the
most part, had no idea there were additives in cigarettes at all. The
"Ecology Program" as that round of testing was called, provides a peek at
what appears to be a land donation program. There are no records of the
program ever getting beyond initial planning nor can the subsequent phases
be ascertained, though the documents suggest gradually moving beyond mere
land conservation. Much can be surmised however, particularly when
compared with Philip Morris' later, similar, but more aggressive program,
the Marlboro Conservancy. The Salem program, however, has historical
importance because it shows Americans as early as 1973 - smokers or not -
relatively open to the idea of greening Big Tobacco. This was well before
the industry's image suffered its worse hits. It also reveals the themes
that would guide this entire marketing direction for all the big
companies, and most importantly, the potential for backlash:

More than three-fourths (79%) of the smokers and nearly two-thirds (65%)
of the non-smokers expressed favorable attitudes toward the Ecology
Program by rating the idea 70 degrees or above on a 0-100 thermometer
scale. This compares quite favorably to the SALEM "Vacation Home"
Sweepstakes which was also asked about for benchmark purposes (only 40%
gave "Vacation Home" a favorable rating). Additionally, nearly twice as
many smokers claimed they would participate in the Ecology Program as
would in the Sweepstakes - and over half (58%) said they would encourage
other people as well as clubs and organizations they were members of to
get involved.

When asked what they liked about the Ecology Program, most smokers (84%)
said they liked the idea of preserving the land/environment. Other
favorable comments of significance were: "shows people company is
concerned" (24%); "makes people aware of land problems" (19%); and, "good
for the ecology" (16%). A small number (11%) also said, "people are going
to smoke - this gives them something constructive to do in connection with

On the unfavorable side, some (18%) thought the promotion would encourage
people to smoke, and an equal number thought it inconsistent that a
cigarette company could "pollute" on the one hand and yet want to save
land on the other. However, it is significant that only 2% of both smokers
and non-smokers thought of the Ecology Program as simply an act in the
Company's self-interest, one that would help its image - nearly two-thirds
(64%) of the smokers said that the program would enhance their feelings
about the Company, and more than one-fourth (285) said their attitude
toward SALEM would be more favorable.

The document ends with a footnote about the "Vacation Home" promotion
being one of Salem's best ever, drawing more than three million entries.
Curious then that there is no record of its implementation of ecological
programs either in the archives or on the internet, as the Salem ecology
project test results suggested that the ecology program would be even more
successful than the vacation home giveaway. Perhaps RJR was still nervous
about a backlash should its execution falter (thus explaining the interest
in American Spirits who had already got the marketing right). Or perhaps
the lawyers had other suggestions about structuring a land conservation
program, one that would enhance the opacity of the true nature of its
contributions. One thing is clear: just like with Keep America Beautiful,
any greenwash would be centered around the vague notion of protecting
land, especially land that looks good in photographs. But enhancing the
opacity of their real contributions would have also made sense. In fact,
that is exactly what Philip Morris' similar land conservation plan tried
to do, enhance opacity, even when going green seemed even more certain to
be profitable.

At first glance, Philip Morris' Marlboro Conservancy with its "Keep it
Wild" campaign seems a mere extension of Leo Burnett's notorious Marlboro
Country campaign. But where Marlboro Country was understated in its
ecological overtones - as a place where tobacco's dangers, health or
environmental were never brought up because tobacco products themselves
are natural - "Keep It Wild. Keep it Free." was from inception a brash
Young and Rubicam public relations firm invention. It evoked all the
familiar associations with the American West, but true to the expansionist
ideology inherent in that history, extended them; as Young and Rubicam
documents say "'Marlboro Country' isn't just 'The West', it's any place
still wild and free. These belong to everyone and each of us should do our
part to help preserve it." Its imagery was meant to evoke ideas of
personal freedom and with the campaign's "Keep it Free" component, it also
resonated with Philip Morris' Bill of Rights promotion, one of its earlier
efforts to promote "smokers' rights" efforts. The concept included
features ranging from a "Save Your Butts" filter disposal program (no
doubt a reaction to efforts to stop cigarette litter) to music festivals.
In 1992, secrets documents show, they even considered creating a
"Conservancy Rescue Team" that would be a Marlboro sponsored, SWAT
team-like force that would aid in clean-up efforts in disaster areas.
Consumers, presumably needing a reason to feel good about their nicotine
habits, would be invited to participate. The "Marlboro Environmental SWAT
Teams" would be called upon to perform "heroic" clean-ups and respond to
natural disasters such as Hurricane Andrew. As one document put it, "There
appears to be strong appeal for the idea of modern-day Marlboro Men
performing strenuous 'good deeds.'"

But there was much more to it than at first meets the eye. For one thing,
"any place" it was not. Philip Morris thought only land in the US worthy
of inclusion and the land purchased for the Conservancy would be made
available for shooting Marlboro ads when the deal was structured. However,
Philip Morris would not manage the land directly, preferring to gain
legitimacy by teaming up with established "mainstream conservationist
organizations" such as Ducks Unlimited, Worldwatch Institute, Nature
Conservancy and Wildlife Habitat Enhancement Council. Even though these
organizations would have some nominal say about which land to protect,
consumers were also encouraged to nominate sites. Getting customers to
communicate directly with the company and provide personal information
that could further be used in marketing was central. To that end, PM would
establish a UPC redemption program through which customers returned a
portion of a cigarette box, not the whole box as would be appropriate for
a recycling program. Customers would thereby gain access to a loyalty
program of t-shirts and other logo-saturated products. Of course, this
meant sharing personal information that would allow the company to "manage
customers individually." Thank you letters would be sent out with further
promotions and whenever possible other corporations would be encouraged to
also contribute, particularly those with more wholesome images whose logos
on a "thank you" letter or in other promotional material would appear
along side that of Philip Morris, allowing PM to garner some of the other
companies' prestige, all of which would immunize them from any legal
issues that came up in managing the land.

This last point was especially critical since it would be open to
recreation, generally of the sort known to be environmentally disastrous -
dirt bikers, three wheel ATVs, Jet Skiers and hunters, all of whom would
likely be smokers - whose butts have been known to start massive
wildfires. In fact, cigarettes are the major cause of fires, in homes and
in the wild.

But this was no concern with the preferred legal structure. As explained
in internal Philip Morris documents, a "conservation easement" would make
Philip Morris literally fire proof, and legally inoculated because Philip
Morris would not be the owner. Not only would such a legal entity protect
Philip Morris from liability, but it also had the added benefit of falling
under "brand management," rendering it a business expense for tax purposes
and protecting Philip Morris from the type of reporting requirements a
private foundation would incur. The land itself often belonged first to a
family estate or trust. By placing the land within a conservation
easement, the family, such as the Gunnisons, who were one of the first
beneficiaries of Philip Morris' plan, would be allowed to maintain access
to the land while saving on estate taxes for successive generations - in
some cases, making the difference between a family keeping the land or
being forced to sell it. As it turns out, this legal contrivance proved
profitable for the PR firms as well. One internal document revealed that
of the proposed $40 million promised by Philip Morris to funding
conservation easements over five years, $18 million (45%) would go to
"Communications" and "Media PR Plan."

>From the Rocky Mountains to the Mississippi to the halls of Tripoli, no
one could rope customers like the Marlboro Man. The conservation plan was
clearly nothing more than a marketing campaign designed to corral its
customers, increase sales, and keep political pressure on the other side
of the Mississippi. Today, under the name Marlboro Foundation, the company
flies loyal customers in to places such as The Crazy Mountain Ranch in
Montana, a stone's throw from the Yellowstone River, for a week of
horseback riding, fly-fishing, and dress-up. Customers often take photos
of their free vacation and gush about their experience on weblogs,
essentially creating a fresh avenue of unpaid advertising.

                      TECHNOLOGICAL EXORCISM?

To this day, most consumers - smokers or not - do not realize that today's
cigarette is a careful construct of high technology and agribusiness, as
complexly designed as an Apple Iphone and as consistent as the taste of
McDonalds. Whether in Belfast or Beijing, each of the trillions of
cigarettes manufactured every year is engineered to taste like every other
one in the pack, and just like the ones in the pack a year earlier,
whether the tobacco comes from Brazil or Malawi or the Philippines. But
even for those who understand the technological sophistication of these
products and their designers, all too frequently hope emerges that a
technological solution might be found through which the cigarette curse
might finally be exorcised.

Of course, chief proponents of such hope have been the tobacco companies
themselves with their alleged concern with "sound science," by which they
usually mean their science. For that reason, the industry's history of
undermining its own scientists seems germane. For instance, William Farone
- the top "applied" scientist for Philip Morris for eight years during the
1980s - researched, oversaw and consulted on at least three promising
avenues to a "safer cigarette".

The first one was to increase tobacco de-nitrification. Tobacco leaves are
put through a process called crystallization that removes 90% of the toxic
nitrates from the leaf, although leaving plenty of other types of toxins.
Farone believe he could remove the other 10% of the nitrates and thus
significantly reduce the toxic nitrosamines produced when the cigarette

The second project involved several attempts at genetically modifying
tobacco. Some alterations included producing tobacco plants with reduced
nitrosamines. Others prevent it from picking up the radioactive element
polonium 210 that occurs naturally in all tobacco. Still others involved
reducing nitrosamine byproducts when the plant metabolizes fertilizer. In
the case of polonium 210, the belief was that it occurred in fertilizers
with minute amounts of uranium series degradation products as well as in
certain soils. One of Farone's subordinates, a Dr. Rosene, experimented
not only with altered tobaccos, but also with alternate fertilizers and
soils. He was able remove some radioactivity, but Philip Morris killed the
projects sometime between 1984 and 1994.

The third project that Farone lead and believed most promising was a
cobalt-based filter that reduced carbon monoxide considerably, but it
involved the consumer attaching the filter to the cigarette after opening
the package. Philip Morris preferred but never produced an internal filter
that people did not need to think about installing after the sale. Still,
as early as 1981 or 1982 Farone proved he could reduce a key toxin and was
amazed that, even as an intermediary step, the product never saw the light
of day. It's hard to believe some marketing expert did not see the
potential as an "upsell," a product placed next to the main product often
to stimulate impulse buys. The filter could easily have sold along side
lighters, matches, and cigarette cases. A segment of the tobacco market
loves accessories such as expensive lighters and cigarette cases. This
product had marketable potential, especially among more health conscious
consumers, at least if all the marketing studies Philip Morris had relied
on in the past are considered. Every one of them indicated seemingly safer
products and seeming more environmentally-friendly products held wide
appeal, but the industry never wanted to imply its products were not safe
because it would open them to legal jeopardy.

A fourth, more controversial, solution was a cigarette entirely composed
of cellulose. Cytrel, the pure cellulose material, could then be enhanced
by adding purified nicotine, according to Farone. Pure nicotine had other
benefits - lower nitrates and lower nornicotine, another toxic alkaloid
closely related to nicotine and sometimes used as a pesticide.

Farone understood clearly none of these cigarettes was going to taste
right, but he saw that as only another technological hurdle, and one the
company was entirely familiar with since it had been adding sugars,
whiskey, and other flavorings for years. Farone was confident taste could
be improved but he quickly realized that releasing a "safer cigarette"
would crush sales of the top line product Marlboro and spook Wall Street.
By the time he realized the company had no interest in his research as
anything but a PR stunt (an accessory to their "sound science" image) and
that the industry's lawyers would never stomach those products anyway, he
was fired.

The saga of the quest for a safer cigarette, regardless of its viability,
reveals the history of the industry's technological suppression, but it is
only a slice of the overall picture. The industry has a further history of
technological malpractice, and again, the IGTA plays a prominent role.

For years, the tobacco industry's use of wood to cure tobacco has drawn
attention to the resulting deforestation. The IGTA, however, has been
countering that "the tobacco-growing sector accounted for less than 1% of
all wood consumed in the developing world." The statistic was widely
disputed, but what is important is the IGTA's own explanation:

"Fuels used to cure the types of tobacco which need an artificial source
of heat include coal, oil, gas and wood. The most widely used fuel for
curing is coal, although oil, gas and wood are also popular energy
sources, especially in Europe, North America, Latin America and Africa."

Coal, oil, gas and wood are all used to cure leaf. Evidently, the IGTA
never saw the internal Philip Morris report by Rosenberg, although it is
hard to imagine they would accept any other source citing of fossil fuel
use as the leading cause of manmade greenhouse gasses. The defense against
the charge that curing tobacco uses too much wood is simple then: more
mountain top removal, more hydrocarbons, and more plundering of the
forests to run gas pipelines, and, of course, hoping no one notices that
each of these alternatives is more expensive than burning whatever foliage
lay at hand.

In response to charges of deforestation, the IGTA's mode has been to point
out that tobacco is grown only six months out of the year, leaving the
newly deforested regions available for other crops half the year, although
this raises supply of these alternative crops, thus lowering prices.
Furthermore, the IGTA has long contended that tobacco is essentially a
good "starter" crop, the care of which will teach farmers in the
developing the skills they need for other crops. The insinuation is that a
little deforestation is a reasonable trade off since tobacco growing will
teach farmers "to treat all their crops with similar care."

Turning aside from the paternalism for a moment, what is most obviously
missing in the IGTA's discussion of curing is that there was one
technology that could have made curing much more sustainable - the
invention of the solar barn. Not even when addressing barn modifications
such as better sealing furnace doors that would enhance fuel efficiency
did the industry seem particularly compelled to assist farmers in paying
for the better technology. In fact, secret documents show that when Philip
Morris briefly instituted a grant program called the Curing Barn
Conversion Fund for farmers it was primarily for corporate farmers in the
US and the impetus was not fuel savings but reduction of nitrosamine. RJ
Reynolds actually instigated the entire industry move and encouraged the
industry to assist with financing. This clearly undercuts the declared
rationale for not instituting solar barns - that they were too expensive.

According to B.K. Huang who invented the Quonset hut shaped solar curing
barn in 1974, the first prototype used 25% less energy and still
flue-cured, but Huang's modifications eventually cut energy use to 50%. It
was expensive at about $10,000, but it had features to offset the price.
Since tobacco is grown typically six months out of the year, it could
convert to greenhouse for other crops or even be used to dry peanuts, thus
producing income while other barns would essentially just sit there
unused. That such barns were never built is even more curious given that
the industry made claims that designing more efficient curing barns was a
priority. In fact, the seminal, if slightly paternalistic expos on
tobacco's full range of damages "The Smoke Blows South" explained that
even though a British American Tobacco spokesman declared the solar barn
as providing a good cure, the barns were not encouraged. This was,
according the the BAT official, because they would cost the farmer more.
In BAT's case, the company often sold its farmers the seeds, fertilizers,
pesticides and equipment the farmer needed. It was, therefore, part of
their business model to pass expenses on to individual farmers. This meant
the company knew quite well what a farmer could and could not afford - the
company very likely would have had to forced to subsidize the solar barn.
Forcing such a subsidy appears not to have occurred to any anti-tobacco or
environmental activists at the time, but could certainly be attempted now.

Even more striking, however, is that a technological solution was not
necessary to reduce curing fuel. A logistical solution would have been to
centralize the process; everything farmers produced could have been
shipped to one location and cured collectively, again eliminating wood use
and perhaps reducing other fuel use as well. Centralization would not
require more transport fuel because so often the cigarettes are produced
far from where the tobacco is grown anyway. Solar barns at a hub site
could offset some of the fuel used for transportation. However, the
tobacco industry generally displaces curing expenses onto the farmers
themselves, rather than incurring the expense at the corporate level.

The importance of offloading expenses on to the farmer cannot be
overestimated. It had the effect of forcing farmers to find ways to get
the most tobacco out of the limited amount of land they had access to and
that often meant cutting down more forest.

In Brazil, however, there was another option - fumo luoco, or Crazy
Tobacco, code named Y-1. Designed by DNA Plant Technology of Oakland
California for an initial $100,000, fumo luoco, was a biologically
engineered tobacco strand - something in which the major tobacco companies
had repeatedly denied having any interest. Fumo luoco grows six to seven
feet tall, has stalks as thick as a man's arm, and broad leaves two-feet
wide. Most importantly, it has twice the typical nicotine level. The idea
was to create tobacco with added addictive power, but without adding extra
tar; thus, the hope was it tasted better than other technological attempts
to boost the nicotine content while cutting tar levels during the process
of introducing additives and re-engineering other aspects of the
cigarette. Brown & Williamson was so taken with the technology that they
tested the best farming practices for Y-1 by smuggling the seeds into
Brazil and other countries in Latin America. The plant produced so much
tobacco and with such high nicotine content and with less acreage that
farmers quickly realized they could enhance their yields by using it
exclusively, or by adding it to their lower quality tobaccos so that it
would enhance the punch of their weaker strands. Every indication points
to farmers continuing to do so even after the plant became outlawed.

The question, though, is what the environmental impacts of the new strain
might be? If forced to imagine a possible upside to Y-1, one might
contemplate a confidential set of 1996 talking points Philip Morris
produced outlining the regulatory hurdles to growing "transgenic" tobacco.
The company denied any intention to produce bioengineered tobaccos.
However, it also pointed out that were they to do so, it would likely to
be because they found a way to produce a strain that grows sufficiently
with much fewer fertilizer or pesticide inputs. Might this be an advantage
of Y-1?

In light of the criminal abuse of technology, the blatant disregard for
state or ecological borders and a history of suppressing their own most
promising technology, it would take a whale-size imagination to believe
Big Tobacco would ever do anything strictly because it might have some
environmental benefit. Such corporate responsibility would take the kind
of moral imagination all too rare in these most neoliberal days. One is
tempted to think a Rachel Carson of tobacco would be required before any
such alteration in the zeitgeist were possible. Carson herself, however,
was too timid when it came to tobacco and seems to have ignored the

It may be more suitable to ponder the words of a historian of shipping
technology, himself a legendary pipe smoker, and author of a grotesque
paean to smoking called "Herba Santa." The reader shall be spared any
lines from Herman Melville's lousiest work, and in exchange offered these
lines of his: "In this world, shipmates, sin that pays its way can travel
freely, and without passport; whereas Virtue, if a pauper, is stopped at
all frontiers." Now, however, the time has come for tobacco control
advocates and environmentalists to realize they are one and the same in
the struggle against a very lucrative enemy.

STANDARD SCHAEFER is a writer in San Francisco. He can be reached
standardschaefer [at]

--------14 of 14--------

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   rhymes with clove         Progressive Calendar
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