Seeing the forest: a "greenwash" example.

So, one of the first things that Dave made me hip to was how the right has spent billions creating a vast array of “front” organizations to push it’s message – and that one of the first things I should do whenever I see something suspect was to check it out on

So, I got this in my mailbox today (a posting to the Politech list):

——– Original Message ——–

Subject: IHS Environmental Art/Film Contest

Date: Wed, 28 Jul 2004 11:18:09 -0400

From: Max Borders

To: Declan McCullagh


This is Max Borders at, a project of the Institute for Humane Studies. I may have sent you information about some of our environmental programs in the past, since I think your blog, like our website, is open to innovative approaches to environmental challenges, including utilizing market solutions and property rights.

I think your audience might be interested in our latest art/film contest. We are conducting an “EnviroAds” contest to encourage innovative thinking about the environmental challenges we face. We are looking for clever, outside the box thinking about some very old problems.

Here’s a description of the contest you could pass along:

$6,000 Enviro-Ads Film/Art Contest

A total of $6,000 in awards will be given to the creators of the best EnviroAds, as determined both by visitors to website and by our distinguished panel of judges. Create and submit an ad that’s funny, satirical, creative, inspiring, ironic, sexy or dramatic. Win the top prize of $3,000, or one of the runners-up prizes of between $250 and $1,000.

We’re looking for original material that causes people to think about environmental issues in different ways. The goal is not persuasion per se, but to start a conversation. Make us think. Make us cry. Make us laugh out loud. For contest details, go here

Deadline for submission is September 30, 2004. Winners will be announced in October.

If you have any questions, please contact Max Borders at

Thank you very much, and good luck with your writing.


Max Borders


$$$ for environmental films/ads… sounds pretty cool, right?

Well, maybe… but: “innovative approaches to environmental challenges,

including utilizing market solutions and property rights” raises a red flag for me. These are right wing key words (as I’m sure most readers of this blog know). … and Declan has some pretty strong libertarian tendencies.

So, let’s see what MediaTransparency has to say

Institute for Humane Studies

Fairfax, VA 22030

Be sure to see the grants to George Mason University. The Institute for Humane Studies’ mission is to support “the achievement of a freer society by discovering and facilitating the development of talented, productive students, scholars, and other intellectuals who share a commitment to liberty and who demonstrate the potential to change significanly the current climate of opinion to one more congenial to the principles and practices of freedom.”

Among its many objectives, the Institute seeks “to enhance [young peoples’] career skills and their understanding of strategically targeted career paths through seminars, mentoring, internshps, and networking.” Toward that end, IHS holds summer seminars for students on free market economics and libertarian thought. Participation at these seminars is free. The Institute is also well enough funded to offer student fellowships of up to $17,500 for continued Study. Awards more than $400,000 a year.

… and how much moola has been rained on these folks? $5,600,500

Makes you wonder why they’re being so cheap about the prize money, eh? 🙂

Thomas Leavitt, posting from Santa Cruz, CA