A satirical annual award event “honoured” the worst perpetrators furthering the progress of climate change. Winners of the Fossil Fool Awards included CEOs of Bank of America and General Motors, and President George W. Bush.
Digital Journal — Bank of America, General Motors and the President George W. Bush were named the unlucky recipients of the Foolies, Fossil Fool Awards 2008,, presented by enviro groups Energy Action Coalition, Co-op America and Rainforest Action Network. The Fossil Fool of the Year goes to the individual who has made “the most significant contribution over the past year to the development and dissemination of fossil fuel-related pollution.”
So who is this year’s big winner? Ken Lewis, CEO of Bank of America, for “the global financial institution's massive support for dirty coal. Bank of America is the leading financial backer of mountaintop removal coal mining in the United States and a top funder of new coal-fired power plants.” The Foolies team had also nominated the CEOs of ExxonMobil, Dynergy Corporation and General Motors for the shameful award, while also adding Alberta Premier Ed Stelmach to the mix because of his support for tar sands oil extraction.
Other winners included agricultural processor Archer Daniels Midland, whose CEO Patricia Woertz won Most Inauspicious Newcomer for bursting into the scene as a “major contributor to global climate change.” ADM is critiqued for clear-cutting rainforests around the world to make way for industrial biofuels that produce more emissions than traditional fossil fuels.
Sometimes, companies say they want to make a positive difference. But the Fossil Fool Awards organizers don’t buy the rhetoric. They created the award for Outstanding Performance in Corporate Greenwashing, given this year to CEO Rick Wagoner of General Motors. Why? The company launched GMNext.com as “an online attempt to promote its environmental progress even as the automaker has worked diligently to block the efforts of California and other states to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and national fuel efficiency standards.”
As expected, politicians got some pseudo-love at the Foolies. President George W. Bush and Vice-President Dick Cheney were awarded a lifetime achievement award for their dedication to “furthering the progress of climate change.” They took in a whopping 4,005 votes compared to the next runner-up, West Virginia Governor Joe Manchin (1,774 votes).
On March 10, the nominations were announced for the 2008 Foolies, and enviro-action activists voted online for the various nominees in each category. Energy Action Coalition also founded Fossil Fools Day, occurring annually on April 1 to encourage youth to challenge the fossil fuel industry.