Sierra Club : In Their Own Words
After 17 years as chairman of the Sierra Club, Carl Pope stepped down at the end of 2011 and Michael Brune (who joined the organization as its Executive Director in 2010) replaced him. In an interview with the LA Times, Mr. Brune said, Before starting at the Sierra Club, I worked at Rainforest Action Network for about a decade [12 years], where we helped to protect millions of acres of forest by changing the behavior of corporate giants like Home Depot, Lowes, Citigroup, Kinkos and others.
Mr. Brunes Rainforest Action Network (RAN) engages in direct action targeting a company, making demands, and then initiating a campaign of negative publicity, boycotts, and high-profile acts of civil disobedience that continue until the company finally withers under the pressure and makes concessions. Something he must have learned during his 4 years with Greenpeace.
Under Mr. Brunes leadership, RAN participated in protests during a 2000 meeting of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, which caused over $5 million in damages and led to more than 1,300 arrests. The San Francisco Chronicle wrote that RAN activists wear their arrest records like a badge of honor (Brune has been arrested more than a dozen times). In 1999, again under Mr. Brunes leadership, RAN proclaimed May 25 a day of ethical shoplifting activists stole lumber from Home Depot stores.
The Sierra Clubs charter states that the organization wont practice civil disobedience stark contrast to Mr. Brunes legacy. Perhaps he felt that willfully disregarding the truth was a happy compromise? Under his leadership as the Clubs executive director, the Beyond Coal campaign conflated the tuna fish sandwich he eats with coal on whole wheat. Not only is this patently false, implying that its unsafe to eat seafood actually hurts the very people the Sierra Club purports to protect: pregnant women and children. The science on this is clear: babies whose mothers eat no fish during pregnancy are 29 percent more likely to have abnormally low IQs.