Corporate communications groups are handicapped by their own shame at being in business at all, so they have created a policy of 'do not engage', leaving the cultural discourse to be controlled by activists who spend $1 billion a year making sure science and technology is spun as the enemy of the public.
One group is fighting back.
Resolute Forest Products of Canada is one of the largest producers of newsprint and pulp. Most people know by now that wood is actually a renewable resource and many in the industry are great about sustainability - but not Greenpeace donors and their marketing team. They have been in a war on Resolute for years with their Resolute: Forest Destroyer campaign. And now Resolute is suing them for racketeering.
Greenpeace is a giant corporation. If they were in the private sector, they would be in the Inc 4000 list. Claims are that 94 percent of Greenpeace parent company revenue goes to non-programs, such as salaries, administrative costs, fundraising expenses and other support for the fundraising machine.
Those apparently include black hat Internet terrorism tactics to take down companies who won't play ball with them.
With Resolute, they came to a joint agreement on forestry practices but then Greenpeace found it did not sit well with their base (whereas a Greenpeace executive commuting by plane has been just fine), so they bailed on it and then pressured certification organizations to withdraw Resolute's compliance. Then they threatened companies like Best Buy, Proctor and Gamble, Hearst Newspapers and 3-M with attacks on their brands if they did not stop doing business with Resolute.
If that sounds like mafia racketeering or the sort of corporate conspiracy that would put a private sector CEO in jail, it is. So was their behavior when no one caved.
Best Buy refused to give in to the demands of Greenpeace and their website was hacked on Black Friday, the biggest shopping day of the year, and suddenly there were 50,000 product reviews claiming Best Buy was "fueling the destruction of the Canadian Boreal Forest."
Just coincidence, said Greenpeace, but Best Buy stopped doing business with Resolute.
Eco-terrorism tactics clearly worked and the public has been trained to give an ethical halo to environmental lawyers and activists, at least compared to companies. Though there is no net loss of forest because Resolute replants trees, Greenpeace insists the company is depleting the forest, and its donors believe them.
Who has yet to plant a tree there? Greenpeace.
Hey, when only 6% of your money is actually used to protect the environment, you have to choose your projects carefully. Planting trees won't make the cut most of the time.
Things were going to look bad for Resolute going up against that kind of hate-filled machine. Add in Greenpeace staging fraudulent photos and blaming damage from nature on the company and what do you have? You have Natural Resources Defense Council and Center for Science in the Public Interest taking notes, that's what.