By JR on Friday, November 11, 2011
Review of "Environmental Organizations in Modern Germany" by Prof. W.T. Markham
Review By William Walter Kay
Professor Markham’s nine-year project, Environmental Organizations in Modern Germany, is another inside job. Markham thanks Professor Wiesenthal for opening doors to the German environmental movement and to the Green Party. He also thanks: two officials from the German Nature Protection League, the former President of the German League for Environment and Nature Protection, and the faculty at Wageningen University’s Environmental Policy Group. While writing this book Markham was supported by the German Academic Exchange Service and the Wageningen Institute for Environment and Climate Research. He spent weeks at Neubrandenburg’s Study Archive for Environmental History and Bonn’s Federal Nature Protection Library. He interviewed two dozen German enviro-organization leaders and he watched a lot of German TV. As ever with enviro-scholars, Professor Markham knoweth not what he hath wrought.
* Germany is driving the Climate Change campaign.
* Many major international enviro-organizations (Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace, Birdlife International, etc.) are controlled by their German chapters.
* Several militant leaders of Germany’s confrontational early-1980s environmentalist protests were, a decade later, running government ministries.
* While Germany’s big enviro-organizations masquerade as citizens’ crusades, they are in fact top-down bureaucracies full of cynical well-paid careerists who work in tandem with state and corporate elites.
* Only 40 (forty) persons within Greenpeace-Germany’s half million members may vote for the board of directors. WWF-Germany has a self-perpetuating board and zero internal democracy.
* The League for Homeland and Environment, League for Nature Protection, and League for Environment and Nature Protection have intertwined histories, memberships, and goals. They were reactionaries before, and raving Nazis during, the Third Reich. Collectively they now have one million supporters spread over 4,000 local clubs. These are “mainstream” German enviro-organizations.
* Although it came as a revelation to Professor Markham, beneath the surface of Germany’s 9,000 “mainstream” enviro-organizations lurks a huge sub-movement that can only be described as Neo-Nazi. Markham concludes this sub-movement retains the potential to take over the entire movement.