Ministry of Controversy

National Wildlife Federation Responds to Your Comments

In case you don't check back to the comment stream, which I never do myself, this just arrived from an Internet marketing staffer at NWF.

As an employee of NWF and probably one of it's biggest fans – I really appreciate your comments. I know this is "Garden Rant" so the comments tend to be a little on the angry side, but the comments you have made have been heard.

That being said — It's important to realize that
NWF has wildlife's best interest in mind always (and believe me I
wouldn't be as in love with my job if we
didn't).
Danielle
Brigida

Should we be offended?  Does that mean our opinions mean less because we're angry anyway?

Posted by on May 18, 2009 at 8:06 am, in the category Ministry of Controversy.
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19 responses to “National Wildlife Federation Responds to Your Comments”

  1. Offended ?
    I don’t get why you would be.
    The woman simply stated her viewpoint.

    Take into consideration that you have named your blog Garden RANT and the implications of that word combined with your manifesto , you better have developed thick skins to handle the comments that are invited.

  2. tai haku says:

    I’m not sure throwing her email up there to get spammed to high heaven is the best tactic

  3. Michelle says:

    I let myself fall for the scam of getting my garden “certified” by the NWF so that I could get a cute sign saying my yard was a wildlife habitat. I am not surprised that the organization would consider something so inappropriate as to team up with companies that make chemicals. However, I am less likely to display my cute “certified wildlife habitat” sign now, because I do not wish to advertise this organization any more.

  4. susan harris says:

    Tai Haku, good point, and I removed the email address. I forgot that they’re not visible to the public.

  5. 'nora says:

    The only thing which annoys me in the NWF commenter’s statement is that disingenuous tag about really having the wildlife’s interests at heart. “Trust us! We’re here to help!”

    I work for an arm of the USDA. We really do have people’s — and animals’ — best interests at heart too. But saying that is not an effective defence against criticism and it certainly doesn’t mean bad decisions are never made in the pursuit of those interests. NGOs like the NWF aren’t any less likely to make mistakes, and they shouldn’t be held less accountable for them when they do.

  6. Christine says:

    Reading all this a bit late, so sorry for the late comments.

    For what it’s worth, I worked at NWF in the late ’80s. Wonderful work, wonderful dedicated people making basically NO money (the money part was the reason for my departure). Way back then, they had a Corporate Conservation Council, where various corporations would pay a hefty annual fee to be on the Council. It would meet a few times a year. Having a corporation like Chevron (or, I think it was Mobil at the time)on the Council in no way altered the Federation’s policies or research. It was a way for them to promote that they “cared” for the environment and a way for the Federation to work with the corporation’s environmental quality divisions to influence and seek common ground. Did some of them pull out when we came out with environmental research against a particular group? Yes.

    That said, I have no idea what the new “partnering” would entail.

  7. Michelle says:

    Thank you for that information, Christine. Interesting.

  8. Katie says:

    That’s really condescending. This website could be called “Garden Tiptoe Through the Tulips,” and some people would still brand us with the word “angry.”

    Anyway-I had a great talk with some people at lunch today, who questioned my ability to get all of my weekly “foodstuffs” from the local co-op (milk, eggs) and the farmer’s market (veggies, fruit, bread, meat), saying they would still need “real groceries.” HelLO. The stuff at the farmer’s market IS REAL GROCERIES.

    I’m not sure when plastic, pesticides and GMO food became “REAL GROCERIES” or in the “BEST INTEREST OF WILDLIFE.” Maybe it worked five years ago to have Chevron people on your “environmental council,” but in the age of social media, when we all don’t have to just eat what is spoon-fed to us by corporate advertising, it doesn’t work any more.

  9. Carolyn says:

    I wonder if Ms Brigida knows the definition of “rant?”

  10. Susie says:

    I thought her comments were somewhat condescending….like we can’t see thru that. My feeling is that if they truly cared, they would not even consider a partership. Surely there are plenty of other companies to partner with……maybe just not those with big bicks!

  11. Susie says:

    bucks, I meant bucks!!!!!!

  12. tai haku says:

    since they are asking the question about how y’all feel about it before doing it isn’t this criticism a little harsh. Its not like they just came out and said “we’ve partnered with Johnny Pesticide cos we care about the wildlife more than you”. I think there is some gunjumping going on amongst the ranters here.

  13. JT says:

    I think NWF certification is not worth doing unless you really really need the little sign in your yard to make you feel better about yourself. That said, I think their request for comments was a fishing expedition for approval, and now NWF will spin it as they wish. Maybe they don’t have big bicks, but they follow a corporate model, don’t you think? Imagine a jug of pesticide with the NWF logo and a smiling otter or perky blue jay on it.

  14. zephyr says:

    Why take offense?
    You are being heard and opinions expressed here are taken seriously…and you do define yourselves–right at the top–as ranters. Rant is defined as: “to speak or write in an angry or violent manner”
    So, how can you take offense, when you define yourselves as angry bloggers?

  15. Michelle says:

    “unless you really really need the little sign in your yard to make you feel better about yourself”

    I could tell you where to put those words, but I don’t think that would be appropriate here.

  16. Plantanista (Maureen D) says:

    Though I do take offense at Ms. Brigida’s misuse of an apostrophe, the rest of it just makes me say, “meh”.

    Interesting that she appears to be the one personalizing the whole thing, taking personal offense at our questioning the wisdom of the NWF getting in bed with chemical companies.

    If the NWF wants to be in the business of handing the brush to a company that wants to greenwash its way into our hearts and minds, then that is their right. However, for them to imagine that it would not taint the opinions some hold of the organization would be totally unrealistic.

    In the end, it’s their choice, which will probably be weighed in consideration of the good they can do with the funds they’re receive, vs. the damage to their reputation among those who disagree with their choice. I expect they’ll partner-up, Scott’s will get another stroke of green paint on their bedpost, and we’ll keep on “ranting”. It’s actually a relatively balanced ecosystem when you think about it…

  17. Leah says:

    This sounded familiar to me. I remembered something on NPR about the Sierra Club, Chlorox and Greenwashing.

    http://www.publicradio.org/cgi-bin/movabletype/mt-search.cgi?blog_id=81&tag=Sierra%20Club&limit=20

  18. JT says:

    Ouch, Michelle. No offense, I believe in gardening for the critters first and foremost. I just think putting out a sign announcing your achievement (based on NWF’s lightweight requirements) a little pretentious and/or silly. Let the garden and its inhabitants speak for themselves.

  19. Abner Dobe says:

    Tonight I was phoned by an obvious phone bank (a roomful of conversations could be overheard) operation from the National Wildlife Federation. The caller was aggressive and demanding, saying “You used to be a supporter. Why don’t you want to talk to me?”

    I was a member for one year and was disappointed in the membership because NWF sold or otherwise distributed my name to 15 charities who solicited me–and still do. I did not renew my membership. I am on the do-not-call registry. I do not want to be contacted again by NWF. My complaint is the aggressive manner of the phone call, obviously contracted out to a boiler room. I hope you can register this complaint, as I am sure others have been offended by this NWF calling operation. Thank You

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