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Greenpeace

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Greenpeace demonstrating against Esso, international trade name for US oil giant ExxonMobil and its related companies, on March 6, 2003.
A bunch of tree-huggers
Environmentalism
Wigoworld.svg
Save the rainforests!
Watch that carbon footprint!
We exist to expose environmental criminals, and to challenge government and corporations when they fail to live up to their mandate to safeguard our environment and our future.
—Greenpeace[1]

Greenpeace is an influential international environmentalist organization[2] and environmentalism cult with presence in 40 countries across Europe, the Americas, Asia, Africa and the Pacific. It was founded in 1971.[1] Headquartered in Amsterdam, Greenpeace has 2.8 million supporters worldwide.[3]

The organization is known for its flagship carrier Rainbow Warrior, a sea vessel used to protest nuclear testing which was destroyed in a bombing by French agents. After the sinking of the first vessel, it started operating a second vessel also named Rainbow Warrior, sometimes called Rainbow Warrior 2.

The organization estimates that approximately 150,000 people die every year due to climate change.[2] Greenpeace is known for using eye-catching demos in protest gatherings.[4] There have been incidents of human rights violations against Greenpeace anti-whaling activists.[5][6]

Stated mission[edit]

Its mission is:[7]

  • Catalysing an energy revolution to address the number one threat facing our planet: climate change.
  • Defending our oceans by challenging wasteful and destructive fishing, and creating a global network of marine reserves.
  • Protecting the world’s remaining ancient forests which are depended on by many animals, plants and people.
  • Working for disarmament and peace by reducing dependence on finite resources and calling for the elimination of all nuclear weapons.
  • Creating a toxic-free future with safer alternatives to hazardous chemicals in today's products and manufacturing.
  • Campaigning for sustainable agriculture by encouraging socially and ecologically-responsible farming practices.
Who we are

The good[edit]

Greenpeace is a prominent voice for reduction of anthropogenic global warming,[8] monitors climate change,[9] and opposes whaling. In February 2010, the organization opposed a proposal by the International Whaling Commission (IWC) that advocated reintroduction of commercial whaling in the Southern Ocean.[10] It also organizes many local initiatives, such as the campaign to strengthen the laws protecting the Białowieża Forest, the last primeval forestWikipedia's W.svg in Europe.[11]

Greenpeace is also active economically by selling renewable energy and actually building new renewable energy power plants (as opposed to legacy energy providers who just "label out" their decades old hydropower plants to do a bit of greenwashing)

The bad[edit]

Unfortunately, Greenpeace is also engaging in some anti-science actions. The most important ones are the dissemination of propaganda against nuclear power based on recycled, thoroughly discredited studies,[12] and while campaigns for strengthening GM labelling laws may garner a "meh" reaction,[13] its nearly dogmatic opposition to all forms of genetically modified food is much more sinister.[14][15]

The latter includes publicly funded or humanitarian uses, such as the Golden Rice Project, an attempt to cure chronic vitamin A deficiency in the developing countries using a genetically modified variety of rice that contains a high level of β-carotene.[16] The organization has sabotaged fields and deliveries of GM crops.[17][18] In at least one instance, Greenpeace was legally forced to retract an anti-nuclear advertisement that was found to contain misinformation.[19] In another incident, Greenpeace accidentally distributed unfinished leaflets that demonstrate their approach to informing the public:

In the twenty years since the Chernobyl tragedy, the world's worst nuclear accident, there have been nearly [FILL IN ALARMIST AND ARMAGEDDONIST FACTOID HERE][20]

One of Greenpeace's founders, Patrick MooreWikipedia's W.svg[21] quit the organisation in the 1980s and became one of its more vocal critics. He has made appearances on Penn and Teller's Bullshit! and PragerU[22] criticising how the group has turned more anti-government/anti-science and less pro-environment since its founding; nonetheless he likes to take some bullshit positions as well.

In general, Greenpeace's modus operandi can be characterized as "act first, do the science later." While their actions are well-intentioned, this is not always the best approach. It has caused the organization to remain committed to a few positions of very dubious scientific credibility.

Against evidence-based policy[edit]

In November 2014, Greenpeace had a key role in scrapping the post of European Union's Chief Scientific Adviser.[23] This was a direct reaction to the Adviser, Anne Glover, expressing views unapologetically supporting the scientific consensus on the safety of genetically modified food. Greenpeace opposed the existence of this position ostensibly because it 'concentrated too much influence in one person'. In reality, a Chief Scientific Advisor would severely limit Greenpeace's ability to use bullshit 'reports' from fellow think tanks as misrepresentations of consensus, which would in turn make it much harder for them to push unscientific policies at the European level.

December 2014 Nazca lines stunt[edit]

In December 2014, members of Greenpeace laid out enormous yellow cloth lettering right beside the hummingbird design in the Nazca lines in Peru. The message, very visible from the air, was TIME FOR CHANGE! :: THE FUTURE IS RENEWABLE :: GREENPEACE. Public reaction was extremely negative, and led to an official apology. This demonstration also caused potentially irreparable damage to the Nazca site. [24]

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. 1.0 1.1 About Greenpeace
  2. 2.0 2.1 Humans - biggest cause of climate change Archive copy at the Wayback Machine
  3. http://www.greenpeace.org/international/about/history
  4. http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5iippL2GTtpdF2VS5hLwXUMZfa-lQ
  5. http://www.smh.com.au/environment/whale-watch/japan-breached-human-rights-of-greenpeace-protesters-says-un-20100208-nn9y.html
  6. http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/02/08/2813750.htm?section=justin
  7. http://www.greenpeace.org/international/about/our-mission
  8. http://www.greenpeace.org/international/campaigns/oceans/globalwarmingoceans
  9. [1]
  10. http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/02/23/2828112.htm?section=justin
  11. [2] (in Polish)
  12. Example http://www.nuclearfaq.ca/ReviewofGreenpeacereport_Final.pdf
  13. http://news.smh.com.au/breaking-news-national/gm-food-labelling-laws-weak-greenpeace-20100305-pojo.html
  14. http://www.greenpeace.org/australia/take-action/online/genetic-engineering/our-right-to-know-gm-food-lab
  15. http://news.smh.com.au/breaking-news-national/gm-food-labelling-laws-weak-greenpeace-20100305-pojo.html
  16. http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/news/features/failures-of-golden-rice/
  17. http://www.spiked-online.com/index.php?/site/article/2843/
  18. http://www.cosmosmagazine.com/news/4551/police-raid-greenpeace-headquarters
  19. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/greenpeace-accused-of-telling-lies-in-advert-watchdog-bans-antinuclear-image-1447196.html
  20. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/06/01/AR2006060101884.html
  21. Not the monocled British astronomer guy.
  22. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BpBnJq19R60
  23. Juncker axes Europe's chief scientific adviser
  24. "This Greenpeace stunt may have irreparably damaged Peru's Nazca site" io9, by George Dvorsky, 11 December 2014