It is apparent to me that in order for an organization to be perceived as an independent voice in environmental matters it must surrender its independence by drinking from someone else’s trough. Be that corporate or government. In order to be a “credible” presence, we must, so we are told by our critics, have reputable scientists or ‘experts’ on board either on payroll or as consultants who have supported our position with “peer-reviewed’ research, or registered as a legitimate non-profit educational agency or foundation. And lately, we have been told implicitly by ostensible allies that we must become a detective agency with a staff of researchers who would expend the necessary time to produce a “smoking gun” to “prove” our allegations about the corporate corruption of environmental NGOs.
Folks, all of this requires money, money to fund a permanent bureaucracy. But once we become a foundation, or a “green” think tank, our focus would change from pursuing our original objectives to chasing and maintaining donations. Job security for ourselves would eclipse our raison d’etre. Case in point: David Suzuki’s first priority appears to be to secure $2.6 million in donations and subscriptions JUST TO KEEP HIS STAFF AT THE DAVID SUZUKI FOUNDATION IN BUSINESS. The $4 million raised above that maintenance cost can then be deployed in fighting environmental battles, PROVIDING THOSE ACTIONS DO NOT OFFEND HIS DONOR BASE. He thus can arrange it so, conveniently, the DSF does not, according to the testimony of one its spokesman, “have the resources to address the population issue”. No danger then, of the DSF angering its number one Sugar Daddy, the Royal Bank of Canada by thwarting the bank’s project of stuffing Canada with more foreign born consumers than our environment can handle. So the DSF is just a cop on the take, making a great deal of noise about jaywalking (climate change), but remaining mum about homicide (biodiversity loss from mass immigration).
The Sierra Club similarly manages to be quiet about population growth too, whether it is through immigration or child birth incentives. Of course the fact that the Toronto Dominion Bank and the Van City mortgage lending empire support it with their dollars is completely coincidental. And how much of their timidity is based on the need to keep charitable status for their “educational” Sierra Club Foundation, which permits them to entice tax-deduction donations under the Charities Act so that it support the Club’s politically partisan activities?
Moral of the story: He who pays the piper calls the tune. Accept outside money in any form from a corporate or government source, and you customize your agenda and pronouncements to harmonize with your benefactor’s. Is that what we are business for? How many benefactors do you know who would subsidize a no-growth think tank when the resources of benefactors are sustained by growth? That would be like a Vegetarian restaurant chain or health food agency looking for funding from the Cattlemen’s Association.
Here’s the alternative. We tell all of them TO GET STUFFED. We say what we want to say in our own words.