Don’t’ just watch the bar, raise itNews
A couple of weeks ago the Federal Trade Commission released their revised Green Guidelines, which – among other improvements – embraced a more stringent stance on false or misleading sustainable claims made for products. Over 10/6 /10 & 10/7/10, that news deservedly got a fair amount of digital and actual ink ranging from the NY Times to The Huffington Post. It is a really admirable move that the FTC (along with consumers and the green community) want to curb the exploitation of public awareness about ecological issues by unscrupulous companies for profit. We talked last year (way back in our blogspot days) about how much damage “Greenwashing” does to actual eco-friendly efforts. Fighting that trend is great, and we’ll do well if we can get companies to focus more on Terra firma than the bottom line. However, the issues we face are much too great and far too advanced for our regulatory bodies to spend time and treasure on small steps like stemming the tide of companies who can’t tell the truth.
Bill McKibben’s Eaarth has startling facts about how we have fundamentally changed our planet in ways that make humanity’s road much more difficult. The planet can make it through a major Ice Age, but we might not be as easily adaptable.
Despite the dire circumstance, there’s reason for hope because of organizations like 350.org that recognize the severity of our problems, and are trying to push the bar beyond policing false claims and unethical marketing. The FTC’s revised guidelines are a small and necessary step to help address green issues. Let’s hope, though, that their next step is much bigger, and comes much quicker. Let’s hope that their next round of guidelines focus not on those below the bar trying to cheat their way over, but on trying to help those actually concerned about the state of our planet raise that bar for us all.