image via YouTube screengrab
I think I am in love with this video. Or rather, I am in love with the clever courage and ethics that went into creating it. Anna Lappe was contacted by Dow Chemical to create a 60-Second video for the "Future We Create" conference. Of course the company wanted something shiny, inspiring, something that would make the audience clap both at what Lappe had to say, and at Dow for bringing such a wonderful voice to the discussion. But what Lappe submitted not what the company hoped for. In fact, it was rejected altogether. Check out the unexpected -- and therefore all the more awesome -- video Lappe put together.
Lappe writes on Huffington Post:
I believe in inclusiveness and engagement, but I also believe we must pursue those principles within a context that is honest. To do otherwise is to participate in what is popularly called "greenwashing," painting a veneer of environmentalism on an otherwise unchanged product or practice -- a corporate strategy many of us are all too familiar with.
In this spirit, I felt it would be disingenuous to engage in a conversation about water sustainability for a campaign paid for by Dow Chemical without pointing out the direct relationship between Dow's core business products -- a source of its $8 billion in profit last year -- and toxins in our environment.
Well, Anna Lappe, Dow requested you be inspiring, and you accomplished that with flying colors, reminding all of us to say what's true and real rather than the glossed-over, prettified near-truths the big companies prefer.
Lappe writes, "The future we should be creating is one in which everyone has access to clean water. No one should worry whether their water is tainted with endocrine disruptors, carcinogens, or neurotoxins -- produced by Dow or any of the country's other biggest chemical manufacturers. Dow has the power, and resources, to do more than create a faux "inclusive conversation" about water sustainability. The company should discontinue its most toxic products and pay to clean up communities it has contaminated. Until it does, I will not be complicit in its greenwashing."
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