Monthly Archives: January 2012

Awwwww yeah!

By | Inept Activism | 3 Comments

Annnnnd the NWF said “Um. Right. Toxic birdseed, you say? Well, never mind then.”

Now, realistically, I’ll bet you dollars to daffodil bulbs that what REALLY happened is that the internet got really mad at the NWF and the NWF said “Oh dear, didn’t think you’d notice…” did the math of PR outrage, and took this as an excuse to bow out before the hate mail reached epic proportions. There’s no way they didn’t know this was coming, particularly since a major focus of the NWF’s efforts with Scotts was the birdseed thing, and I’m very sure that Scotts got them on board specifically as damage control, because “Scotts Sells Toxic Birdseed” as a headline is only slightly better than “Scotts Products Made Of Puppies” or “Scotts CEO Says (Your Beloved Regional Cuisine Here) Tastes Like Sheep-turds.”

However, any excuse is a good excuse in cases like this, and however annoyed we may be that the NWF got to that stage, it behooves us to praise them for having pulled back. (You have to praise people for doing the right thing just as much as you yell at them for the wrong thing—otherwise you’re just yelling and people eventually buy earplugs.)

Am I happy they were willing to partner in the first place? No. Have I lost a lot of faith in the NWF? You betcha. Would I love the NWF to come out and start cataloging all the bad thing Scotts has done and vow to stop them? I would love that more than pie.

But that’s clearly not gonna happen, and at the end of the day, a bunch of people yelling on the internet made the NWF pull out of the partnership. And in my book that’s a win.

You’ve Got To Be Kidding Me

By | Inept Activism | 5 Comments

So y’all heard me complaining a few days ago about the National Wildlife Federation partnering with Scotts Miracle-Gro, purveyers of fertilizers and bug-sprays and other things that make ponds and wetlands Very Sad, kill helpful bugs, etc, etc, ad deathium.

The blog-o-sphere was not happy about this, although the NWF is going out of its way to dismiss the complaints as all coming from crazy fringe organic gardeners. (I think it’s probably more widespread, but as I myself am a crazy fringe more-or-less organic gardener, I am hardly able to make a case.)

Today, we get the word that Scotts just got fined for—I kid you not—selling toxic birdseed.

And also they apparently falsified EPA numbers on their pesticides, so it looked like things had been approved that maybe kinda sorta were never actually approved by the EPA. Which is arguably much worse—hell, they recalled the birdseed—but if one were looking for a visceral argument about Why The NWF Should Not Climb Into This Bed, I don’t know that it gets any more visceral than “By the way, we sold killer birdseed!”

Well, it’s obvious to me at least that Scotts saw this coming and said “Crud! Who can greenwash us before this hits the news?” and jumped on the NWF. My real question is whether the NWF knew it was coming, or whether they got blindsided, which more or less works out to “Were you dumb and naive?” (arguably forgivable) vs. “Were you completely out of your ever-lovin’ MIND?”

Meanwhile, the amount of PR babble coming out of NWF is so thick that I feel the need to up my Corpspeak skill. Aztechnology’s got nuthin’ on these guys…

Get Off Their Lawn!

By | Inept Activism | 6 Comments

I’m on hold to the National Wildlife Federation. I’m cancelling my membership and getting off their mailing lists (or trying) because they have announced that they are partnering with Scotts Miracle-Gro…the primary pushers of unnecessary lawn fertilizer, which turns into runoff, which kills ponds and streams and the wildlife in them (and those are only the most obvious effects.) This is greenwashing of the most blatant kind, and the gardening-o-sphere is furious, but of course, there’s only so many gardeners in the world, and our collective outrage probably can’t compete with the kind of money Scotts has to throw at them.

…and I’m off hold, and the nice woman said she’s cancelled everything and made a note in the file as to why I’m upset. Then she apologized twice. Poor woman. She’s gonna get a lot of this today, I expect.

If you’d like to express your outrage, you can probably find the NWF on Facebook, and you can definitely find them on Twitter at @NWF. They were answering tweets until sometime last night, mostly trying to get people to take the conversation off Twitter, but have now stopped. Nevertheless, I suspect they’re reading. You can also call them at:

1-800-822-9919 ; M-F 8 a.m to 8 p.m. EST

and leave comments for them directly at

(As always, if you do choose to do these things, I suggest being firm and angry but not abusive. People stop reading if you start off with “You dumb shits…” Let ’em know you’re pissed, though.)

I’d take down my NWF certified habitat sign, but it fell over in the last hard rain anyway. Now I need a new sign that conveys “The reason we have all those butterflies is because I don’t mow this bit” without the NWF logo all over it.  Hmm. Maybe I should get a Squash’s Garden sign printed…