all right

Occasionally adding corroborative details to add verisimilitude to otherwise bald and unconvincing,
but veridicous accounts
with careful attention, indefatigable assiduity, and nice discrimination.

14 December, 2011

Earth Hour Unearthed

In “Untangling the ownership of EarthHour”, Boy on a Bike reveals that Fairfax Media has neglected to divulge to the few remaining readers of The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald that it partly owns the Earth Hour it heavily promotes each year:
According to the 2011 Annual Report from WWF Australia, Earth Hour is a “grassroots environmental campaign that had its humble beginnings in Sydney in 2007.”
Grassroots?  How can it be “grassroots” when it was conceived and run by a major multi-national media corporation and a huge muti-national environmental outfit?  [...]
What exactly is the "sponsorship arrangement" that Fairfax Media has with Earth Hour?
A quick delve into a few years worth of Fairfax annual reports shows that it is a lot more than a "sponsorship agreement".  Fairfax Media actually owns 33% of Earth Hour Limited. 
WWF and Leo Burnett each own a third of Earth Hour.
Boy on a Bike also reveals that it’s a rewarding gig administering the allegedly charitable WWF Australia:
What I did discover from searching the WWF reports is that the top three managers at WWF Australia took home total compensation of just under $500,000 between them last year—that’s from a total income of $19.4 million for the entire organisation.  In other words, the top three managers creamed off 2.5% of all donations.  Also, they took home a whopping $65,000 more in 2011 than 2010—a 19% pay rise.
See also Prof. Bunyip’s “Sprocket Rocket’s Latest Scoops” and Asian Correspondent’s “Shouldn’t Fairfax-properly declare its interest in Earth Hour?”.
On a slightly similar note, see my “Defrauding Schools, Teachers and Schoolchildren”.

UPDATE I (27 March, 2012):  see “The Wealthy Corporations behind Earth Hour”, by Donna Laframboise:
people who participate in this annual lights-out ritual are demonstrating their support for corporate-orchestrated environmentalism.  They’re also saying it’s OK for media companies to stage-manage the news rather than merely report on it.
UPDATE II (28 March):  see “Earth Hour: Corporations Preaching Morality”, by Donna Laframboise:
it’s OK for multinational insurance companies—such as Britain’s RSA—to urge “customers and employees to sign up to Earth Hour.”  An intrusive, meddling statement on that corporation’s website goes so far as to suggest that we “mark the hour with a candlelit dinner for friends and family”  [...]
Who do these people think they are? Banks and insurance companies have no moral authority to preach to the rest of us.  About A N Y T H I N G.
The world, it seems, has turned upside down.  Once upon a time, activists intent on making a difference viewed corporations with healthy suspicion.
Burning candles, of course, whether made of paraffin or beeswax, would produce more CO2 for the equivalent light than would be produced by coal-burning stations.

UPDATE III (29 March)Donna Laframboise is on a roll; see The Enormous CEO Salaries Behind Earth Hour”.  See also Jo Nova’s The Hour of Power: Celebrate Human Achievement This Saturday”.

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