Oil Sands Truth: Shut Down the Tar Sands

Greenpeace International hires torchbearer Tzeporah Berman as chief climate campaigner

Greenpeace Greenwash
Greenpeace International hires torchbearer Tzeporah Berman as chief
climate campaigner

by Macdonald Stainsby →2010 Olympics

As the world turned their attention to the spectacle of the 2010
Olympics, Greenpeace International played another kind of game,
appointing Tzeporah Berman as their new energy and climate campaign
director. As a result, she may gain undue influence over the “Stop the
Tar Sands” campaign in Canada and take responsibility for 110 Greenpeace
climate campaigners in 28 countries. In the last few years Berman has been
known to accommodate corporate interests, provided they make minor concessions
and release joint statements. Greenpeace itself, by teaming with Olympic
corporate sponsor Coca-Cola, has made clear this strategy also falls
within their overall corporate strategy.

Berman, a former Greenpeace BC campaigner, was recently appointed to the
BC Liberal government as an “adviser” on free market-based “green
energy” initiatives. She immediately conferred an award to BC Premier
Gordon Campbell’s “leadership” in fighting climate change while at the
Copenhagen negotiations. This, even though BC was the only province in
Canada whose tally of greenhouse gas emissions for the year 2009 was
higher than the year before. While Berman was on the inside at
Copenhagen handing an award to Premier Campbell (whom she now worked
for), tens of thousands of activists calling for real action on climate
change were being arrested, beaten and tear gassed. According to the
Vancouver Sun, Berman “decided to apply for the job after reconnecting
with Greenpeace representatives at the Copenhagen climate conference
last December.” Her decision came roughly the same time as Greenpeace
International was releasing their statement with Coca-Cola.

On February Fifth, Berman, whose birth name was Suzie Faye Berman,
carried the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic Torch Indigenous and
grassroots environmental activists have been blocking, through
Brackendale, near Squamish BC. In a statement released prior, she said
she carried the torch to “make the connection between the hope and
inspiration of the Olympics and the promise of electric vehicles and
clean energy.” Berman rode an electric scooter with the torch, escorted
by police.

Greenpeace itself has refused to oppose the 2010 Winter Games despite
their massive carbon footprint and the dynamiting of mountains to expand
a highway from Vancouver to Whistler for the same Games.

She has previously demonstrated in both word and deed that her strategic
deployment is to work in tandem with corporations and neo-liberal
governments, not to oppose or resist them in any way. Berman’s likely
corporate engagement strategy, which could include tar sands giants and
experienced greenwashers Shell and Suncor would negate the possibility
of carrying out the chant of anti Olympics demonstrators to “shut down
the tar sands.”

In December of last year Greenpeace released a joint press release
with Coca-Cola, one of the larger corporate sponsors of the 2010 Olympic
Games. The announcement was timed as world attention shifted to
Copenhagen, Denmark for the international climate change discussions.
The release, among other things, stated: “This announcement is a direct
result of work with Greenpeace that began in 2000, and a demonstration
that phasing out the use of HFCs is a tangible and near-term action
corporations can take to protect the climate.” There is no way to
determine if this was a part of a push from Coca-Cola to get official
endorsement rights to the COP15 negotiations.

While the press release ignored Cokes record of complicity in the murder
of multiple trade union activists in Colombia, it was said to show
however that the release was “a direct result of discussions with
Greenpeace that began in the run-up to the 2000 Sydney Olympics.
Greenpeace challenged Coca-Cola to go HFC-free in all of the equipment
it supplied to the Games. By the Torino Games in 2006 and the Beijing
Games in 2008, the Company was using all HFC-free technology at Olympic
venues. For the past five years, the relationship between Greenpeace and
Coca-Cola has become increasingly cooperative [...]”

Greenpeace & Coca-Cola also had zero comment on the destruction of clean
water aquifers within India, notably Kerala, rendering the land where
much of global Coke's bottling plants fill up parched of water and
contaminating what's left.


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