Apr 112010
Authors: Ian Bezek

Many of us have long known that Greenpeace is a fraud of an organization that uses extreme rhetoric and alarmist tactics to try to scare people into having irrational concerns about the health of the environment.

Take for example the following quote that Greenpeace put out in a fact sheet regarding nuclear energy in 2006. According to the Washington Post, the memo stated, “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].” Greenpeace claimed the memo was a joke that was “mistakenly” released to the public.

The company has had advertisements banned in the United Kingdom due to having blatant factual errors, and their recent report titled, “The Guide To Greener Electronics,” which brazenly declared that almost all computer manufacturers are failing to be good environmental stewards, appears to have been based on almost no factual research.

I could go on about their routine abuses of the truth and facts in favor of the spouting of biased alarming ideological nonsense, but that’s not why I decided to write this column.

What caught my eye was that last week on their blog, Greenpeace posted a threat to those who don’t go support its radical agenda.

I understand their frustration. After pushing their radical environmentalism for many years with a relatively high degree of success, the recent setbacks have to be frustrating. Dropping public belief in the dubious theory of global warming has slammed the breaks on climate change legislation.

In light of falling public support, Greenpeace may be seeking to take matters into their own hands. I quote from a now-edited blog post off their Web site: “The proper channels have failed. It’s time for mass civil disobedience to cut off the financial oxygen from denial and skepticism.”

I have no problems with that. Civil disobedience is fine. But what comes next isn’t. The blog continues, “If you’re one of those who have spent their lives undermining progressive climate legislation, bankrolling junk science, fueling spurious debates around false solutions, and cattle-prodding democratically-elected governments into submission, then hear this: We know who you are. We know where you live. We know where you work. And we be many, but you be few.”

Those are fighting words.

As someone who has attempted to undermine foolish climate legislation and fuel useful debates about Greenpeace’s “solutions” to fabricated problems, I do believe they might be talking to me. And while I’m a very peaceful guy, I don’t like being threatened. After a torrent of public outcry, Greenpeace edited the offending blog post and is now trying to calm everyone down by claiming that the blog poster was misinterpreted. For the sake of “transparency” –– yes, you may roll your eyes now –– they moved the offending post off their Web site to some obscure corner of the Web not affiliated with their main site. Transparent indeed.

But despite moving the threatening post to a very obscure location, Greenpeace has been unable to alleviate concerns that they still do intend to launch violent actions. You see, it’s what people are thinking that’s dangerous, not what they say. And at least some members of Greenpeace apparently want those of us who oppose their agenda to be scared, and they apparently know where we live and work.

Greenpeace has a history of criminality, but they have generally been peaceful, at least compared to true environmental terrorist organizations such as the Earth Liberation Front and Animal Liberation Front.

Past Greenpeace campaigns, such as destroying British farms testing genetically-modified crops, were foolish and illegal, leading Irish Times columnist Kevin Myer’s to say, “Ignorance and magic are (Greenpeace’s) shield and their armour, which is fair enough: the right to be invincibly stupid is inalienable. But invincible stupidity does not confer the right to damage other people’s property, to wreck scientific inquiry by midnight vandalism, to oppose the rule of democratically created law by organised criminality.” But their campaigns weren’t violent.

Let’s hope Greenpeace sticks to merely breaking laws, stopping science in its tracks and writing stupid memos with quotable lines such as, “[FILL IN ALARMIST AND ARMAGEDDONIST FACTOID HERE].” It’d be a shame if an organization with peace in its name started violently attacking its opponents.

Editorials Editor Ian Bezek is a senior economics major. His column appears Mondays in the Collegian. Letters and feedback can be sent to letters@collegian.com.

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