Friends of the Earth Scotland statement on Channel 4’s “What The Green Movement Got Wrong”
Friends of the Earth Scotland was never approached by the makers of this programme. We have neither had the opportunity to contribute to it, nor to comment in advance on its contents. We understand from press coverage and communications from other environmental groups that it features individual environmentalists being highly critical of organisations that oppose the use of nuclear power and genetic modification (GM) technologies in particular.
Friends of the Earth Scotland welcomes constructive debate and sees the diversity of views in the green movement as a strength. We recognise and understand that others might reach a different judgement on the pros and cons of issues such as nuclear power and GM food. However, we are pleased that the current Scottish government shares our pragmatic and ethical stance that neither is necessary nor desirable here in Scotland.
On a wider scale our views on these technologies, as well as other matters, are framed by our understanding of environmental justice – that everyone should have access to a clean and healthy environment, and to the resources they need for a dignified life. We cannot therefore consider technologies in the abstract without considering the distribution of costs and benefits, and without considering who controls the use, and determines their application of these technologies.
As part of an international federation we seek to enable grassroots activists to speak out on environmental concerns all over the world. Time after time they tell us that the corporate interests promoting technologies such as GM endanger food security and democracy in their societies. In practice the potential benefits of such technologies for people are not being delivered. Indeed research and development typically focuses on modifications designed to benefit food retailers and distributors, and wealthy consumers, rather than those which might benefit poor growers and consumers in the global South.
Friends of the Earth Scotland is an independent Scottish charity with a network of thousands of supporters and active local groups across Scotland. We are part of the largest grassroots environmental network in the world, uniting over 2 million supporters, 77 national member groups, and some 5,000 local activist groups – covering every continent.
Our sister organisation Friends of the Earth England, Wales and Northern Ireland was allowed to preview the programme and has issued this comment
More info about Friends of the Earth Scotland’s stance on