|Progressive Calendar 12.17.07||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: David Shove (shove001tc.umn.edu)|
|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] riseup.net> 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: stpaulunions.org <llwright [at] stpaulunions.org> 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 Sell. 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 - 651-216-3827. 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. http://www.unionvoice.org/join-forward.html?domain=stpaul&r=B1_DtxY1Axtt If you received this message from a friend, you can sign up for St. Paul Area Trades and Labor Assembly at: http://www.unionvoice.org/stpaul/join.html?r=B1_DtxY1AxttE --------3 of 14-------- From: patty <pattypax [at] earthlink.net> 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 married. 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 ( http://justcomm.org/pax-salon ) 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] msn.com> 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] intermediaarts.org> 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 Featuring: 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: PATRICIA BARONE JILL BRECKENRIDGE CANDY CLAYTON PHEBE HANSON FREYA MANFRED MADELON SPRENGNETHER CYNTHIA FRENCH 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: www.universityclubofstpaul.com 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 www.intermediaarts.org. --------6 of 14-------- From: PRO826 [at] aol.com 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 (http://www.anunreasonableman.com/) 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] webtv.net> 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 tpt.org 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: http://www.pbs.org/stationfinder/index.html?dest=%2Fstationfinder%2Findex.html&step=2&edit_st=y&state=MN&x=24&y=7>. The show has an excellent Website at http://www.pbs.org/independentlens/unreasonableman/ that includes a preview clip. No DVD is apparently available at this time, so crank-up your recorders. ----- From: PRO826 [at] aol.com 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 announces. 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 draftnader.org Encourage people to sign the Draft Nader petition and fill out the volunteer from at _www.draftnader.org_ (http://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] mtn.org" <wamm [at] mtn.org> 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 < www.alliantaction.org>. Endorsed by WAMM. --------8 of 14-------- From: Andy Driscoll <andy [at] driscollgroup.com> 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. GUESTS: 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] visi.com> 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! NEXT WEEK:WED.DEC.19, 2pm SECOND MOON ON East Franklin at 23rd ave south south Minneapolis Hope to see you there! solidarity, Lydia Howell, host of "Catalyst", KFAI Radio --------10 of 14-------- From: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at] visi.com> 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: do.it.green [at] hotmail.com 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 <http://cts.vresp.com/c/?twincitiesgreenguide/9745dbb32d/86dcb67924/81b6715206> 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 <http://cts.vresp.com/c/?twincitiesgreenguide/9745dbb32d/86dcb67924/16b36f305b> --------11 of 14-------- From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com> 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] redwing.org --------12 of 14-------- From: Paul Busch <pobusch [at] msn.com> 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] msn.com (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 By STANDARD SHAEFER CounterPunch 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 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. GREEN SHOPPERS AND BLACK HATS 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 model. 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 it." 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 burns. 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 problem. 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] sbcglobal.net. --------14 of 14-------- Capitalism. 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