Would you trust Dow Chemical, best known by eco-activists for tainting the groundwater in Bhopal, India — and still not cleaning it up 25 years later — to undertake the “largest solutions-based initiative aimed at solving the global water crisis in history”?
Dow made a valiant effort to win that trust — not by actually cleaning up Bhopal, but by putting its name and money behind the Dow Live Earth Run for Water, an outdoorsy entertainment-filled series of events that happened across the country yesterday.
Of course, this ironic move on Dow’s part mobilized eco-activists. Many staged a straight-up protest at the events, letting people know about Dow’s chemical spills and subsequent evasions of responsibility. But The Yes Men — eco-pranksters who’ve not only impersonated a Dow Chemical spokesperson on BBC but also created “B’eau-Pal water to “help” Dow profit from its eco-sins — decided this time to aid Dow in improving its image with a small horde of public relations reps!
Watch the video below to see how “Dow representatives” came to the chemical giant’s defense — by pointing out that mother nature can be trusted to clean up Dow’s mess “over millennia,” by “absolutely” agreeing with a journalist who asked if Dow made mistakes during the Vietnam war, and by chanting a Dow rallying cry en masse: “What do we want? Profits! When do we want them? Now!”
I actually have friends who participated in Dow’s runs, but am personally disturbed that an eco-motivated group like Live Earth would team up on a clean water issue with a company best known for tainting water — especially when many activist groups have continuing and current campaigns to get Dow to clean up its messes. I think green groups need to work together — and that big corporations need to be first pushed to spend its money actually correcting its mistakes before “altruistically” donating a much smaller sum to greenwash over it.
Other environmentalists clearly feel the same way — and in fact managed to get some of these Dow-happy events canceled in some spots around the world. Find out more about the protest activities at these Dow races at The Yes Men’s website.