Submitted by SfB.Website on Wed, 06/08/2011 - 11:19
June 7, 2011
GREENWASHING: false expressions of environmental concern especially as a cover for environmentally-unsound products, policies, or activities (adapted from Merriam Webster).
"Join 60 leading thinkers as they explore the future of water for our world today. Covering global systems and specific "megatrends," featuring personal stories from the frontlines as well as reflections on the human dimension of water, The Future of Water will examine how different fields, sectors, and stakeholders can meet the challenge of supplying a growing global population with clean and sustainable water." http://www.futurewecreate.com/
Sounds benign, even commendable, right? The so-called leaders asked to join the conference were in fact perpetrators of drinking water contamination and unjust privatization of water worldwide. Involved parties in the conference included Coke, BottledWaterWeb.com, and the infamous Dow Chemical. Surprisingly, Dow Chemical had contacted Anna Lappe, world-renowned author, public speaker and activist, with a request for a 60-second video for the virtual conference. Her response was more honest then the company would have hoped for, and obviously was rejected:
Where does the Bhopal Gas Disaster fit into this story? Dow acquired Union Carbide in 2002 and thereby acquired its assets and liabilities. You can read more on the legal background of Dow's liability. By refusing to clean up in Bhopal, and allowing water and soil contamination to seep deeper into an aquifer, Dow is committing crimes against humanity.
As for the Future We Create conference, the "personal stories from the frontlines" it advertises should sound more like young Bhopali Amir's story. "The Human dimension of water" in reality looks more like these picture I took at the eerie Union Carbide pesticide factory in Bhopal this past February, where it continues to leak its water toxins:
Don't let these greenwashing attempts go unnoticed. To take action, tweet something clever @Futureswecreate or post something on its Facebook page. Check out Justice4Bhopal's twitter account for ideas.
1. Supreme Court Decision: ‘Another Black Day for Justice’ in Bhopal Earlier this month, the Supreme Court of India dismissed the Indian Government’s Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) appeal for heightened punishment of eight Union Carbide employees charged with causing death due to negligence as part of the 1984 disaster. The eight men were convicted last year by a Bhopal court, which handed down a sentence with a maximum of 2 years in jail. The Supreme Court gave their original decision in 1996, diluting charges that were left in limbo until they were addressed by last year’s Bhopal court conviction. The CBI petition sought to elevate the charges to culpable homicide (not amounting to murder), which carries a jail term of up to 10 years. Pointing to the well-documented use of untested technologies at the factory and implementation of cost-cutting measures that compromised safety as solid evidence of the accused putting profits over people, the survivors’ organizations called this judgment ‘another black day for justice’ and said they will be weighing their options for further legal examination of this decision. For more information on the judgment, read the survivors’ press statement or activist Shalini Sharma’s blog on the courtroom developments.
Last week, while a near-bankrupt Irish state provided the spectacle of two visits from members of the transnational ruling class, Elizabeth Windsor and Barack Obama, visitors from the other end of the global class system also came to Ireland. On Sunday night some 50 people assembled in Glenmoy Community Hall in Erris, Co. Mayo, to share their experiences of the rough end of the global capitalist system: local residents and members of the Rossport Solidarity Camp came out on a stormy and wind-battered night to hear Gary Whitedeer of the Choctaw Indian Nation, Juan Carlos Contreras from Guatemala (both guests of Afri who took part in the annual Famine Walk) and Satinath Sarangi of the Bhopal Group for Information and Action and Rachna Dhingra of the International Campaign for Justice in Bhopal (who were on a private visit to Irish friends) and Mary Corduff of Pobal Chill Chomáin speak.