Earth Day: Making the Business Case for Conservation

Monday, April 22, 2013

Mark Tercek, president and CEO of The Nature Conservancy and co-author of Nature's Fortune: How Business and Society Thrive by Investing in Nature (Basic Books, 2013), says  the profit motive should be all the incentive needed for conserving natural resources.


Mark Tercek

Comments [23]

(It's a great show as we all know but BL definitely chokes on some of his most potentially newsworthy guests, imagine if he manhandled this guy. In the past we've seen this w CEOs and members of the US executive branch as well, as I recall. Sort of hits the ceiling w congresspeople. But he has gotten much better over the years w economic matters and some business people.)

Apr. 22 2013 10:57 PM

yea great string, btw those articles remain live on the wp site, here:

an expose would not be hard as i happen to know long time staffers there are utterly disgusted, over exactly these issues. it's less of an explose and more of a "follow up friday," minus a greenwasher and plus a journalist.

brian could do it in his sleep if he was motivated and not too busy with "politics."

Apr. 22 2013 10:52 PM

The Washington Post investigative pieces about the Nature Conservatory referenced by superf88 above are not available any more, but there is a page with capsule reviews of each piece. A lot of dirt, apparently. And that was in 2001, before Tereck's reign. From every word he said, I assume things have gotten worse. I also assume Brian Lehrer did not bother to do any research before the "interview". If he did, obviously it did not show.

Apr. 22 2013 05:18 PM

Well, the feedback from wnyc listeners is unanimous. I'd like to see a reply from wnyc. How about on the Brian Lehrer show?

Apr. 22 2013 05:11 PM
B.M. from Brooklyn

Thanks Brian for giving Mr. Tercek (salary $493,332, probably a mere pittance after Goldman Sachs) ) a voice on your program on Earth Day.

I will immediately buy products from Dow and Coca Cola, because they support and work on projects of this wonderful organization. I did not buy Avon (Sponsors of Breast Cancer Walk) products before, because they contain carcinogens, but will from now on (Avon advertises on The Nature "Conservancy" website).

Sometimes I feel guilty that I stopped contributing to NPR (because of this type of programming) but you just confirmed my decision.

Stick to general chit chat programs, please. Years ago NPR was not afraid to do investigative reporting, but sadly, no more. Nothing but talking heads.....

Apr. 22 2013 01:28 PM
Barb from Montclair

Brian's mud green tie was the only thing green about this. I am APPALLED.

oh this was the WORST thing I've heard on the BLS for years. So upsetting not only did I have to turn it off but I just stopped my sustaining membership. This was like asking a nun to listen to some wacko sect leader talk about murdering the evangelicals -- and on Christmas morning to boot. Whoever came up with this appalling greenwashing piece for EarthDay needs to be fired. And Brian you should be ashamed for including it.

and for those wondering about how he's the CEO of TNC -- this greenwashing is what they do; they need large money to buy up land (that's what they do), and to do that they've sold their souls to the corporate devils. Look it up.

Brian I am ashamed of you -- you should have asked him how many trees it would have taken to offset the Bhopal disaster -- since they bought Union Carbide...

wikipedia: "A release of an email cache related to intelligence research organisation Stratfor was leaked by WikiLeaks on 27 February 2012.[86] It revealed that Dow Chemical had engaged Stratfor to spy on the public and personal lives of activists involved in the Bhopal disaster, including the Yes Men. Regular, even daily emails to Dow representatives from hired security analysts list the YouTube videos liked, Twitter and Facebook posts made and the public appearances of these activists, including the Yes Men.[87] Stratfor released a statement condemning the revelation by Wikileaks while neither confirming nor denying the accuracy of the reports, and would only state that it had acted within the bounds of the law. Dow Chemical also refrained to comment on the matter.[88]"

How many trees should Exxon plant to offset that spill in AR? How many should West Fertilizer plant to offset those killed by their explosion?

Apr. 22 2013 11:37 AM

Pauly: It's radio. It's not a visual medium. No amount of eye rolling or wearing of a green tie by Brian Lehrer makes any difference if he doesn't utter a peep against this kind of high priced well rehearsed bull. unfortunately eye rolling is about as far as challenging guests generally goes on wnyc and in particular on the Brian Lehrer show. Quite pathetic actually.

Apr. 22 2013 11:18 AM
Daryl from NYC

There's a naïve disconnect here between the real history of environmental protection in the US and this fantasy of business taking leadership --even taking over?? -- the protection of the environment. The corporations are the source of much of the problem, but Mr. Tercek barely mentions this fact. -- The record shows business acting in its own interest, not that of the community or larger population. Now the formerly respected Nature Conservancy has married big business, granting them the mantle of environmentalism while providing the research and arguments they want to promote themselves and their bottom line. Mr. Tercek's optimistic pride in having lunch with Dow Chemical seems to have seriously blurred his vision.

Apr. 22 2013 11:17 AM

How did this corporate shill get to be the Nature Conservancy CEO? Was there some sort of board of directors coup, or was it a slow devolution? He was on the show just long enough to unload his well honed load of corporate happy talk PR, without of course the least bit of pushback from Brian Lehrer (as usual).

This is clearly a rock that needs turning over. I'm not so foolish as to think wnyc has any interest, and certainly not Brian Lehrer. I hope some investigative reporters get interested. There is clearly a story there.

Apr. 22 2013 11:12 AM

next earth day please ask him some stuff?

Apr. 22 2013 11:08 AM

this guy is shamelessly full of it

when I was a young student in NY, I would scrimp and save to send a yearly contribution to Nature Conservancy. A decade or so later, I dated one of their CFO's in the San Francisco office. Guy had an MBA from Harvard, Harvard undergrad, and his bathroom was bigger than my entire apartment.

That's when I realized the Nature Conservancy was just a Harvard cabal. Catholic, Jewish, religion irrelevant, but power-brokering management-consulting-loving Harvard cabal nonetheless. And now they're in with Goldman Sachs? Ganug on this bull!

Apr. 22 2013 11:01 AM
Jf from Reality

Dow chemical is responsible for destroying nature in every way imaginable. Look iit up. No amount of greenwashing can make up for that. They need to be broken up to mitigate their exponential harm.

Apr. 22 2013 11:01 AM

What a natural conversationalist this fella is! Thanks for coming on and reading us a press release, I could just imagine Brian rolling his eyes during that.

Apr. 22 2013 10:59 AM
antonio from baySide

The reason government appears dysfunctional is the poisonous effect corporations have on government. And the revolving door between the two...

Answer this...
"Who would you rather have as your Fed Chair or Treasure secretary...Paul Krugman/Richard Wolf or Henry Paulson/Timothy Geithner?"

Apr. 22 2013 10:59 AM

How has TNC changed since this Washington Post TNC expose:

Please don't let him say, "it was before my time." this expose, 2 or 3 years in the making, was existential for TNC -- or ought to have been.

Apr. 22 2013 10:58 AM

ah, another "zero-sum game" goldman sachs exec telling us that saving our skins isn't enough of a motivation to avoid sh&tting where we drink. Ultimate in cynicism. Anyway, I thought TNC specialized in negotiating with companies (1900 of "whom" are TNC sponsors) to carve parks out of forests, so we remember what the forest once looked like? The correct name for the group would legitimately be called "Nature-Museum Conservancy, or simply "Noah's Ark Sustaining Trust." Not evil but not really a donation to "nature" conservation.
For context:

Apr. 22 2013 10:57 AM

The Nature Conservancy:

Because there just isn't ENOUGH regulatory capture.

Because Goldman Sachs needs a new way to pretend to help the world while actually destroying it.

Because our Greenwashing is the Most Prestigious Greenwashing.

Apr. 22 2013 10:56 AM
Brian from brooklyn

He drank the kool-aid and liked it.

Apr. 22 2013 10:56 AM
Marie from Brooklyn

He is reading...

The Nature Conservancy and Dow Chemical.


Apr. 22 2013 10:55 AM


Apr. 22 2013 10:54 AM
Andrew from Bk

This guy sounds like he is reading from his press release

Apr. 22 2013 10:53 AM
Susan from nyc

How can you stop Monsanto from taking over and poisoning our food supply?

Apr. 22 2013 10:52 AM

"The environmentalists" need to do a better job cooperating with business.

Kind of like the regulators did by cooperating with Goldman Sachs.

Apr. 22 2013 10:51 AM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.

Get the WNYC Morning Brief in your inbox.
We'll send you our top 5 stories every day, plus breaking news and weather.