Home > Uncategorized > With Expanding Green Mafia Corruption, We Must Expand Our Mission And Motto

With Expanding Green Mafia Corruption, We Must Expand Our Mission And Motto

We’re Now: “Holding Polluters, FAUX GREEN, And Government Accountable”

“Conservation Resources, Inc.”

green-mafia1 (1)

Take a good look at the above schematic “business model”. At best, it’s a corrupt and conflict ridden kick back scheme – rife with opportunistic self dealing and public manipulation. That’s how our “intermediary” NJ environmental and conservation groups now interact with DEP and various corporate polluters and developers. This business model was created by one of NJ’s leading “conservationists”, Mike Catania. It’s not from an FBI indictment or mob handbook. More Wall Street finance than Ecology 101.

I’ve long criticized the overt fundraising driven corporate corruption that dominates groups like NJ Audubon (corruption right out in the open and made explicit in their “Corporate Stewardship Council” – and unapologetic partnership” with and praise of Trump golf courses).

But although I’ve used the phrase “Green Mafia” to describe the corruption, those criticisms were largely anecdotal, not systematic and they were limited to the worst examples and groups (e.g. NJ Audubon, Sustainable NJ, NJ Future, NJ LCV, ALS, et al).

But now, the fundraising and corporate greenwashing model I’ve criticized has been institutionalized and become the governing model of virtually the entire NJ environmental community, with the NJ Chapter of Sierra Club becoming the latest example.

A former corporate lawyer as DEP Commissioner and a former ExxonMobil hack as CEO of NJ Audubon is really bad, but for the NJ Chapter of the Sierra Club to capitulate completely to this corporate agenda takes things to a whole new level of corruption.

Unfortunately, the institutionalization of this abuse forces me to alter the mission and motto here, to expand out accountability work explicitly to include FAUX GREEN:

“Holding Polluters, FAUX GREEN, And Government Accountable”

The schematic above, created a decade ago by Green Mafia Don Mike Catania (of Duke Blood Money), has become the operating business model of virtually the entire NJ environmental community.

The priorities and issues they work on, the issues they don’t work on, the positions they take, the messages, tactics, and strategy they use, the decision-makers they target, etc, virtually everything these groups now do is either directly dictated by, driven by, or unduly influence by three things:

1) corporate and/or Foundation money and fundraising;

2) government grants; and

3) the politics of access – to: a) invitations to the Gov.’s press events; b) to DEP secret meetings; c) to quotes in DEP press releases; d) to appointments to Stakeholder groups or Legislative Task Forces; e) to the “reasonable” voices that get quotes in NJ Media (like NJ Spotlight, who also is beholden to some of the same Foundation and Corporate donors and fundraising objectives).

[Update: the same dynamics have corrupted “the corporate University”:

Academic freedom and free speech on campus serve corporate university imperatives.  It reflects a brand it wishes to sell. For Christian or conservative colleges as for private or public liberal institutions, whose speech and viewpoint is protected or privileged is a byproduct of which students it wants to recruit or donors or foundations it wishes to solicit.   Protecting students from ideas that offend them is less about ideology than it is about recruitment for a target market.

The free speech or academic freedom that is protected is the one that furthers the bottom line of the specific school in question.  Few schools, if any truly have enough money to really be neutral, and in truth, do not want to be. They are selling a viewpoint or perspective and hoping that it will further their market niche.~~~ end update]

I am so glad that Mike Catania’s business model flow chart above depicts the flow of money, issues, access, and policy in green arrows.

That so honestly depicts exactly what is going on, as regulated corporate polluters and Foundation donors “sponsor”, fund and use “Faux Green” groups as intermediaries with the DEP – and the relationships are all reciprocal and transactional.

DEP has the same political motives as the corporate polluters: fund and use the Faux Green groups for green cover.

They even hang out with each other socially now (Eileen Murphy of NJ Audubon is a former long time career DEP staffer and Anjuli Ramos at Sierra Club is also a short term DEP staffer). Look at the smug smiles on their faces:

image (1)

Does Doug O’Malley – who participated in DEP’s secret briefing to manufacture Green cover on the BASF NRD sweetheart deal – even know that his predecessors and NJ PIRG successfully sued DEP and Ciba Geigy under the Clean Water Act to shut down the illegal chemical discharge to the ocean? (Hello Ed Lloyd – perhaps you should give Doug a call).

The recent controversies over the Pinelands Preservation Alliance and NJ Conservation Foundation aggressively supporting and doing coordinated media events in support of DEP’s logging plan and that DEP BASF secret briefing were perfect examples of how corporate polluters, DEP and Faux Green groups use each other under Catania’s business model.

But the BASF/Ciba-Geigy sellout by Sierra Club was really the last straw for me.

And it wasn’t just Jeff Tittel’s leadership that Ms. Ramos-Busot betrayed – the Sierra Ocean County/Shore Group volunteers had long been involved at that site. I was aware of that battle in the 1980’s while I worked at DEP and got involved with Sierra by fighting the Whitman DEP budget cuts that would have eliminated the DEP laboratory that isolated and identified the unregulated chemicals that caused the childhood cancer cluster.

It is remarkable that Ramos-Busot went along with DEP and BASF in sweeping a childhood cancer cluster under the rug, while whitewashing the entire issues of the health risks of unregulated chemicals.

There’s a longtime and huge and legacy of leadership and activism that Ms. Matos casually just threw under the bus to suck up to her corporate DEP Commissioner friend.

I proudly worked at Sierra for almost 7 years as Policy Director (including as Acting Director over a year before Tittel arrived).

Sierra was a leader on so many issues and had enormous influence for good.

I really find it hard to believe that Sierra members and volunteers support the complete co-optation of the organization under its new “leader” Ramos. Here’s an email I got from a Sierra member complaining:

On the logging issue, she has been completely bamboozled by Eileen Murphy in an attempt to form a better relationship with NJAS.  She is now totally aligned with NJAS and repeating their false-science arguments.

Here’s a letter to Sierra National complaining:

I received your membership renewal letter.  While I support the many causes Sierra Club addresses, I will longer continue to contribute at any level, due to the NJ Chapter support for logging in NJ. 

I am very dismayed to see the NJ Chapter of Sierra Club decide to change course on the issue of logging on NJ public lands.  Under Jeff Tittel, the Chapter was clearly and adamantly opposed to this practice.  Now, under Rich Isaac and Anjuli Ramos the NJ Chapter has clearly (and even enthusiastically) stated its support for logging for “ecological” benefits even though the science clearly shows this to be of great ecological harm in many ways and of minimal to no value for even the purported benefit of songbird biodiversity.  Unfortunately, Chapter Director, Anjuli Ramos, who claims to be guided by science, has accepted the false biodiversity arguments of the New Jersey Audubon Society and ignored the science based arguments of SC members and other experts demonstrating the need to prioritize maximal carbon sequestration in order to address climate change, the false notion that ecological restoration requires removal of wood from NJ public forests and the net damage caused by so-called ‘ecological’ logging.

I predicted that NJ Audubon would expand its mission and corporate whoring, but I never thought they could capture and co-opt Sierra, see:

Take a look at the new face of Faux Green – celebrating a BASF corporate PR stunt in East Newark – the guy on the right is DEP Commissioner LaTourette. The attractive women third from the left is Gov. Murphy’s wife. The un-named US Senator next to the DEP Commissioner should be in federal prison.

East-Newark (1)

Categories: Uncategorized Tags:
You must be logged in to post a comment.