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True Cost of the “Toxic Effect” Social Media Stunt

Rafael Correa - president of Ecuador

It has been reported that Toxic Effect’s attempt to disrupt Chevron’s annual stockholder meeting by promoting a Twitter hashtag cost $200,000. The group purports to “fight together for the welfare of our planet.”

According to the Ecuadorian advocacy group ClearWater, which has received financial support from Rainforest Action Network and promotional support from Amazon Watch, this $200,000 could have been used to fund:

  • 133 new water systems for families living in the Amazon, including materials, transport, and labor

–or–

  • Water quality monitoring and assurance for 4,000 clean water systems

–or–

  • Hundreds of sets of tools for local technicians to install and maintain water systems, numerous water quality and maintenance workshops for communities, and a large volume of river transportation for system installation materials.

To put these numbers in perspective, ClearWater has built 290 rainwater catchment systems across six Ecuadorian communities to date, according to their website. Toxic Effect, which is likely to be funded by the Republic of Ecuador, chose to spend this money on a social media stunt rather than give 133 Ecuadorian families access to clean water.

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