A greenie magazine has posed this question: Who is watching the environmental watchdogs? It’s a legitimate question, and the answer is what you would expect – except for the occasional congressional hearing, pretty much no one.
There is no shortage of groups like the Sierra Club, Greenpeace, League of Conservation Voters, or Food and Water Watch running around the country claiming to be the arbiter of which companies or politicians are doing a good job. American Rivers actually grades the environment.
So why isn’t anyone grading the green groups on important issues such as funding sources or their actual accomplishments?
GuideStar is pretty much the only outlet to find IRS returns, but rarely do groups disclose their funders.
For instance, those anti-fracking groups that insists they want to better your local community, are they funded by Russian petroleum interests as some in Colorado are?
And, do they have any real accomplishments in saving the environment, or do they just bluster from one fundraising scheme to the next in order to pay their six-figure salaries and high-rise office rent?
Do they proliferate like puppy mills, creating dozens of specialized offshoots of the exact same organization with trendier victims in order to draw false sympathy, and even more cash? Are some of these organizations anything more than just a webpage front?
A fairly recent trend we’ve noticed is the naming of groups to suggest they back the interests of hunters and anglers, when in reality they are funded by environmental foundations tasked with designating new endangered species to actually prevent hunting and fishing.
When the question was posed by the online magainze Ensia, which focuses on “environmental solutions in action,” their goal was to better define the accomplishments of environmental groups for foundation donors to give them even more cash.
We agree transparency is desperately needed into the motivation and actions of green groups, as well as funder disclosure as to where these millions of dollars pouring into the “environmental movement” come from every year.
We would suggest a disclosure registry, a website where everyday folks can click on the newest group in their neighborhood to reveal whether it’s a big green scam.