Magazine article Earth Island Journal

Tarnished Medals

Magazine article Earth Island Journal

Tarnished Medals

Article excerpt

Environmental campaigners in the UK have launched a campaign to expose what they say is the greenwashing of the upcoming Olympic Games in London. Activists say that the Games' sponsorship deals with BP, Rio Tinto, and Dow Chemical are tainting the "Olympic spirit" that is centered on "building a peaceful and better world" and "a spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play."

"The Olympics are about so much more than how fast Usian Bolt can run or how many medals Britain's finest athletes score," says Meredith Alexander, who resigned from the Commission for a Sustainable London 2012, an organization set up to ensure that the London Games will be the greenest ever. "The Olympics is big business. There is an expensive machine behind the Games that is funded by corporate sponsors. Sadly, when these sponsors are selected, money talks much more loudly than words."

Alexander was especially angry over Dow Chemical's involvement in the Games. Dow is the parent company of the Union Carbide Corporation, the chemical manufacturer responsible for the 1984 toxic gas explosion in Bhopal, India. At least 3,000 people died the night of the explosion, and another 12,000 more have since died from health complications related to the disaster. The International Olympic Committee invited Dow to be a sponsor of the Games and Dow is manufacturing a giant, plastic decorative curtain for the main Olympic stadium.

Jeremy Hunt--Britain's Secretary of State for Culture, Media, and Sport --defends Dow's involvement: "The fact that they did not own Union Carbide at the time of the Bhopal disaster in 1985 [sic] nor at the time of the final settlement with the Indian Government in 1989--that has been upheld three times by the Indian Supreme Court--makes me confident that it was a very reasonable decision. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.