Philip Radford

Philip Radford is the executive director of Greenpeace USA.

Companies like Mattel are still pushing Sumatran tigers to the brink

Mattel’s paper purchasing polices are weaker than Ken’s plastic handshake. Poor Barbie. She’s survived fifty years of bad outfits, sudden beheadings at the hands of younger brothers and the wrath of feminists everywhere. Underneath that fixed smile is a steely determination that has pushed this character to the front of American popular culture and kept her there for generations. It’s one hell of a fairytale, but right now she’s caught in a scandal that threatens to shake the Dream House to its foundations. On Tuesday Greenpeace released a dossier of new evidence showing how Mattel is wrapping the world’s most …

Barbie's fairytale interrupted by the roar of a thousand chainsaws

A long time ago, in a land far, far away, Greenpeace sent Mattel a letter. Our researchers had discovered Barbie’s not so magical secret: her packaging is linked to the destruction of Indonesia’s rainforests. For some reason, it took America’s biggest toy company two months to send any kind of substantial reply. Perhaps they were busy perfecting Ken’s summer wardrobe.  When it eventually arrived at our San Francisco office we tore it open with interest.  “As the leading innovator in the toy industry,” the letter opens breathlessly, “Mattel approaches business with a forward-looking commitment to the world in which we …

Coal

In Chicago, coal is the real crime

Greenpeace activists climbed the smokestack at the Fisk coal plant.Photo: GreenpeaceA sad fact of living in an American city like Chicago is that every time we open a newspaper or switch on the local news, we hear of some senseless, tragic crime that has claimed an innocent life. We become outraged, and we demand justice for those who have lost their children, their parents, their siblings or spouses. In 1982, Chicago acted to stem the tide of gun-related violence when confronted with a disturbing rise in homicides. In fact, between 1980 and 2006, some 32,300 Americans died every year due …

Students Gear up to Protest Exxon Graduation Speech

As college students around the country are wrapping up their semesters, graduating seniors at Worcester Polytechnical Institute (WPI) find themselves in the midst of an ethical controversy. On Saturday, WPI’s commencement speaker is none other than oil baron Rex Tillerson, CEO and chairman of ExxonMobil, although perhaps you’re more familiar with his role as the national president of the Boy Scouts of America. ExxonMobil has donated generously to WPI and has an executive on the school’s Board of Trustees. WPI students protesting their administration’s choice in commencement speaker question the social and environmental record of Rex Tillerson’s company, with emphasis …

Salem citizens win against Big Coal

This week the people of Salem, Mass. got the news they’ve been waiting for years to hear: the 60-year-old, dirty coal plant in their community that leads to 53 premature deaths per year is shutting down. The Harvard School of Public Health reported [PDF] that pollution from the Salem Harbor Coal Plant not only leads to 53 premature deaths per year, but also 570 emergency room visits a year, 14,000 asthma attacks a year, and nearly 100,000 daily incidents of upper respiratory irritation. This victory for our health and the health of our children would not have been possible without …

Oil

A battle for the Earth’s last remaining frontier

In the Arctic Ocean, Big Oil is taking bigger risks than ever before.Photo: U.S. Geological SurveyThere are clear signs that a new Arctic oil rush has begun. Earlier this month, Shell submitted plans to the U.S. government for new drilling in the icy waters off Alaska’s north coast, and now a Scottish company has won permission to take a similar gamble near Greenland. Tomorrow, Hillary Clinton will fly to the picturesque town of Nuuk in Greenland to discuss how spill response equipment might work in one of the world’s most extreme and beautiful environments. I can save her the trip …

Discovery of Fukushima contamination in areas identified by Greenpeace

TEPCO, the owners of the damaged Fukushima nuclear power plant in Japan, just announced that they found contamination levels 100 to 1,000 times higher than normal in sediment from the Fukushima coast. TEPCO did the sediment testing late last week — in areas Greenpeace identified for testing in our research plan — after we were denied permission to research inside Japan’s 12 mile territorial waters. The buzz around Japanese Twitter has been saying that Greenpeace is the reason why the authorities have actually done this research. Following this announcement, Greenpeace Japan Executive Director Junichi Sato said: Our flag ship the …

Nuclear

What would a Chernobyl or Fukushima disaster at Indian Point mean?

Twenty-five years ago, the Chernobyl nuclear power plant exploded, sending plumes of radiation around the planet and devastating the area surrounding the plant to this day. The world learned firsthand then about the dangers of nuclear power. Today, the ongoing nuclear disaster at Japan’s Fukushima nuclear plant is a tragic reminder of the threat that nuclear plants pose to nearby communities and the environment. Yet many in Washington appear so captured by the nuclear industry that they are still seeking to run old nuclear reactors longer and harder than ever before, and still trying to subsidize the nuclear industry so …

Protecting our oceans, one supermarket at a time

Last month, a group of Greenpeace volunteers in Denver trekked to over 30 Colorado supermarkets to investigate the sustainability of the seafood being sold inside. Armed with an “endangered fish check-list,” what they found–a thousand miles away from the nearest ocean–was shocking. In the freezers, wet cases, and can aisles they discovered nearly every species on their list, including Chilean sea bass, Atlantic cod, swordfish, orange roughy, hoki, red snapper, shark, and other environmentally unsound seafood options. Today, these volunteers, along with supermarket chains, industry, scientists, and consumers, are working to change the state of our planet through our seafood …

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