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Greenpeace <tr><td colspan="2" style="text-align:center; padding:16px 0 16px 0;"></td></tr>
Type Charity
Founded 1971, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Headquarters Amsterdam, The Netherlands

<tr><th style="text-align:right; padding-right:0.75em;">Key people</th><td>Paul Cote
Jim Bohlen and Marie Bohlen
Irving and Dorothy Stowe
Patrick Moore
Bill Darnell
Ben and Dorothy Metcalfe
Robert Hunter
Paul Watson
Paul Spong</td></tr><tr><th style="text-align:right; padding-right:0.75em;">Industry</th><td>Environmentalism</td></tr><tr><th style="text-align:right; padding-right:0.75em;">Products</th><td>Lobbying, research, consultancy, sustainable technology.</td></tr><tr><th style="text-align:right; padding-right:0.75em;">Revenue</th><td>$360 Million USD (2005)</td></tr><tr><th style="text-align:right; padding-right:0.75em;">Employees</th><td>1800 (worldwide)</td></tr><tr><th style="text-align:right; padding-right:0.75em;">Website</th><td></td></tr>

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Discussion of this nomination can be found on the talk page.

Greenpeace is an international environmental organization founded in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada in 1971. Greenpeace is known for its use of campaigns to stop atmospheric and underground nuclear testing as well as to bring an end to high seas whaling. In later years, the focus of the organization turned to other environmental issues, including bottom trawling, global warming, ancient forest destruction, Nuclear power, and genetic engineering. Greenpeace has national and regional offices in 41 countries worldwide, all of which have affiliation with the Amsterdam-based Greenpeace International. The global organisation receives its income through the individual contributions of an estimated 2.8 million financial supporters, as well as from grants from charitable foundations, but does not accept funding from governments or corporations.

Greenpeace's official mission statement describes the organisation and its aims thus:

Greenpeace is an independent, campaigning organisation which uses non-violent, creative confrontation to expose global environmental problems, and to force solutions for a green and peaceful future. Greenpeace's goal is to ensure the ability of the earth to nurture life in all its diversity.


[edit] Early history

The origins of Greenpeace lie in the formation of the Don't Make A Wave Committee by an assortment of Canadian and American expatriate peace activists in Vancouver in 1970. Taking its name from a slogan used during protests against United States nuclear testing in late 1969, the Committee came together with the objective of stopping a second underground nuclear bomb test codenamed Cannikin by the United States military beneath the island of Amchitka, Alaska. The first ship expedition was called the Greenpeace I; the second relief expedition was nicknamed Greenpeace Too! [1]. The test was not stopped, but the organization of the committee laid the groundwork for Greenpeace's later activities.

Bill Darnell has received the credit for combining the words ‘green’ and ‘peace’, thereby giving the organization its future name.

On 4 May 1972, following Dorothy Stowe's departure from the chairmanship of the Don't Make A Wave Committee, the fledgling environmental group officially changed its name to the "Greenpeace Foundation".

[edit] Greenpeace

By the late 1970s, spurred by the global reach of what Robert Hunter called "mind bombs", in which images of confrontation on the high seas converted diffuse and complex issues into considerably more media-friendly David versus Goliath-style narratives, more than 20 groups across North America, Europe, New Zealand and Australia had adopted the name "Greenpeace".

In 1979, however, the original Vancouver-based Greenpeace Foundation had encountered financial difficulties, and disputes between offices over fund-raising and organizational direction split the global movement. David McTaggart lobbied the Canadian Greenpeace Foundation to accept a new structure which would bring the scattered Greenpeace offices under the auspices of a single global organization, and on October 14 1979, Greenpeace International came into existence. Under the new structure, the local offices would contribute a percentage of their income to the international organization, which would take responsibility for setting the overall direction of the movement.

Greenpeace's transformation from a loose international network — united by style more than by focus — to a global organization able to apply the full force of its resources to a small number of environmental issues deemed of global significance, owed much to McTaggart's personal vision. McTaggart summed up his approach in a 1994 memo: "No campaign should be begun without clear goals; no campaign should be begun unless there is a possibility that it can be won; no campaign should be begun unless you intend to finish it off". McTaggart's own assessment of what could and couldn't be won, and how, frequently caused controversy.

In re-shaping Greenpeace as a centrally coordinated, hierarchical organization, McTaggart went against the anti-authoritarian ethos that prevailed in other environmental organizations that came of age in the 1970s. While this pragmatic structure granted Greenpeace the persistence and narrow focus necessary to match forces with government and industry, it would lead to the recurrent criticism that Greenpeace had adopted the same methods of governance as its chief foes — the multinational corporations. Its current Executive Director is Gerd Leipold. [2]

For smaller actions, and continuous local promotion and activism, Greenpeace has networks of active supporters that coordinate their efforts through national offices. The United Kingdom has some 6,000 Greenpeace activists.

[edit] National offices

Image:Greenpeace paises.PNG
Greenpeace's national offices.

Greenpeace has national offices in 45 different countries, including Argentina, Greenpeace Australia-Pacific (Australia, Fiji, Papua New-Guinea, Pacific), Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greenpeace Nordic (Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden), Greece, Hungary, India, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Greenpeace Mediterranean (Israel, Cypros, Lebanon, Malta, Tunisia, Turkey) Mexico, the Netherlands, Greenpeace Aotearoa New Zealand (New Zealand), Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Southeast Asia (Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand), Spain, Switzerland, United Kingdom, and the USA.

[edit] Funding

Despite its founding in North America, Greenpeace achieved much more success in Europe, where it has more members and gets most of its money.<ref name=Gross>Rabkin, Miriam. "Greenpeace's activism: Too radical or too peaceful?",, 2006.</ref> The vast majority of Greenpeace's donations come from private individual members, however, it has received donations from some prominent figures such as Ted Turner.

In order to ensure its independence and impartiality, Greenpeace does not accept money from corporations or from governments: it screens donations to ensure compliance.

[edit] Greenpeace Ships

Since Greenpeace was founded, seagoing ships have played a vital role in its campaigns.

In 1978, Greenpeace launched the original Rainbow Warrior, a 40-metre, former fishing trawler named for the Cree legend that inspired early activist Robert Hunter on the first voyage to Amchitka. Greenpeace purchased the Rainbow Warrior (originally launched as the Sir William Hardy in 1955) at a cost of £40,000, and volunteers restored and refitted her over a period of four months.

First deployed to disrupt the hunt of the Icelandic whaling fleet, the Rainbow Warrior would quickly become a mainstay of Greenpeace campaigns. Between 1978 to 1985, crew members also engaged in non-violent direct action against the ocean-dumping of toxic and radioactive waste, the Grey Seal hunt in Orkney and nuclear testing in the Pacific.

In 1985, the Rainbow Warrior entered into the waters surrounding Moruroa atoll, site of French nuclear testing. The French government secretly bombed the ship in a New Zealand harbour on orders from François Mitterrand himself; accidentally killing Dutch photographer Fernando Pereira. The attack was a public relations disaster for France, after it was quickly exposed by the New Zealand police. The French Government in 1987 agreed to pay New Zealand compensation of NZ$13 million and formally apologised for the bombing. (Also see Sinking of the Rainbow Warrior.)

In 1989 Greenpeace commissioned a replacement vessel, also named the Rainbow Warrior, which remains in service today as the flagship of the Greenpeace fleet.

In 1996 the Greenpeace vessel MV Sirius was detained by Dutch police while protesting the import of genetically modified soybeans due to the violation of a temporary sailing prohibition, which was implemented because the Sirius prevented their unloading. The ship, but not the captain, was released a half hour later.

In 2005 the Rainbow Warrior II ran aground and was damaged at the Tubbataha Reef in the Philippines, while she was on a mission to "protect" the very same reef. They were fined $7,000 USD for damaging the reef and agreed to pay the fine, although they said that the Philippines government had given them outdated charts.

Along with the Rainbow Warrior the Greenpeace organization has four other ships:

Greenpeace protest against Esso / Exxon Mobil.

[edit] Activities


The organization currently actively addresses many environmental issues, with primary focus on efforts to stop global warming and to preserve the biodiversity of the world's oceans and ancient forests. In addition to the more conventional environmental organization methods, such as lobbying politicians and attendance at international conferences, Greenpeace has a stated methodology of engaging in nonviolent direct action.

Greenpeace is best known for direct action to attract attention to particular environmental causes, whether by placing themselves between the whaler's harpoon and their prey, or by invading nuclear facilities dressed as barrels of radioactive waste. They also use other methods however, such as the development of a fuel-efficient car, the SmILE.

Some of Greenpeace's most notable successes include the ending of atmospheric testing of nuclear weapons, a (purportedly) permanent moratorium on international commercial whaling, and the declaration by treaty of Antarctica as a global park, forbidding possession by individual nations or commercial interests. To back up this latter point, World Park Base was established in Antarctica, and ran for five years, from 1987 through 1992.

[edit] Anti-nuclear testing

In September 1971, the Don't Make A Wave Committee chartered the Phyllis Cormack, a fishing vessel skippered by John Cormack. They named it the Greenpeace, and set sail for the island of Amchitka with the intention of disrupting the scheduled second nuclear test. The US Coast Guard vessel Confidence intercepted the Phyllis Cormack and forced her to return to port.

Upon their return to Alaska, the crew learned that protests had taken place in all major Canadian cities, and that the United States had postponed the second underground test until November. Although attempts to sail into the test zone using a second chartered vessel also failed, no further nuclear tests took place at Amchitka.

[edit] Moruroa Atoll and the Vega

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Discussion of this nomination can be found on the talk page.

In May 1972, the newly-formed Greenpeace Foundation put out a call to sympathetic skippers (the "Sympathetic Skippers are a group of similar to Greenpeace") to help them protest against the French Government's atmospheric nuclear tests at the Pacific atoll of Moruroa. A response came from David McTaggart, a Canadian expatriate and former entrepreneur based in New Zealand. McTaggart, a champion badminton player in his youth, sold his business interests and relocated to the South Pacific following a gas explosion which seriously wounded an employee at one of his ski-lodges. Outraged that any government could exclude him from any part of his beloved Pacific, McTaggart offered his yacht, the Vega, to the cause, and set about assembling a crew.

In 1973, McTaggart sailed the Vega into the exclusion zone around Moruroa, only to have his vessel rammed by the French Navy. When he repeated the protest the following year, French sailors boarded the Vega and brutally beat McTaggart. Later, the Navy released to the media staged photographs of McTaggart dining with senior navy officers, which suggested a degree of civility between the opposing parties. A different picture emerged when photographs of McTaggart's beating, smuggled off the yacht by crew member Anne-Marie Horne, also appeared in the media.

The campaign against French nuclear testing achieved a victory when the French government announced a halt to atmospheric testing, only to begin testing underground. Greenpeace would continue to campaign against testing in the Pacific until the French completed their testing programme in 1995. heya

[edit] Rainbow Warrior and French bombing

Greenpeace's continued protest against nuclear testing at Moruroa atoll prompted the government of France to order the bombing of the Rainbow Warrior, in Auckland, New Zealand, in 1985.

The Warrior had sailed from the North Pacific, where it assisted the evacuation of the inhabitants of Rongelap Atoll in the Marshall Islands, who continued to suffer health effects attributed to the fallout from American nuclear testing during the 1950s and 1960s. Greenpeace plans envisaged the ship leading a flotilla of vessels protesting against imminent nuclear tests at Moruroa.

On the evening of July 10, 1985, frogmen attached two bombs to the hull of the ship. The first bomb detonated at 11:38, closely followed by the second explosion, sinking the ship and killing photographer Fernando Pereira, who had come back to fetch his belongings.

Acting on tip-offs from a shocked public, the New Zealand police quickly traced the bombing to Major Alain Mafart and Captain Dominique Prieur, members of the French armed forces posing as a Swiss honeymoon couple. The police arrested Mafart and Prieur, but attempts on the part of New Zealand authorities to secure the extradition of their suspected accomplices from Australia, and later from France, failed.

The French Government initially denied any involvement in the bombing, but mounting pressure from the French and international media led to the admission, on September 22, that the French secret service had ordered the bombing. Investigations subsequent to the bombing also revealed that Christine Cabon, a French secret service agent, had infiltrated the Auckland office of Greenpeace New Zealand, posing as a volunteer in order to gather information on the Moruroa campaign and the Rainbow Warrior’s movements.

In 1987, the French Government agreed to pay New Zealand compensation of NZ$13 million and formally apologised for the bombing. The original Rainbow Warrior, too damaged to repair, was cleaned and scuttled in Matauri Bay, where it serves as an artificial reef and popular diving destination.

A 2005 publication in French newspaper Le Monde made clear that it was by order of the French president, François Mitterrand himself, that the attack took place.

[edit] Actions against whaling

When Paul Spong, a New Zealand neuroscientist hired by the Vancouver Aquarium to study the behaviour of whales in captivity, contacted Robert Hunter, the 'Save the Whales' campaign which resulted took place initially under the banner of Project Ahab, due to Irving Stowe's resistance to broadening Greenpeace's scope beyond opposition to nuclear weapons.

Stowe's death in 1974 effectively ended this deadlock, and a re-chartered Phyllis Cormack steamed from Vancouver to meet the Soviet whaling fleet off the Californian coast in the spring of 1975. Thanks to the guidance of a primitive radio direction-finder and some fortuitous navigation by musician Mel Gregory, who steered towards the moon rather than following a compass, the Cormack encountered the whaling fleet on June 26, consisting of the mothership "Vostok" and twelve 150-foot killer boats.

The crew used fast Zodiac inflatables to position themselves between the harpoon of the catcher ship ‘’Vlastny’’ and a fleeing whale. Television broadcasts around the world showed film footage of the ‘’Vlastny’’ firing a harpoon over the heads of Greenpeace activists, highlighting the plight of the whales to the world's public in the closing days of the International Whaling Commission's 1975 conference in London, England.

The Greenpeace V expedition crewmembers included: Skipper John C. Cormack, Robert Hunter, George Korotva, Patrick Moore, Paul Watson, David "Walrus Oakenbough" Garrick, Rex Weyler, Melville Gregory, Will Jackson, Don "Iron Buffalo" Franks, Fred Easton, Carlie Trueman, Taeko Miwa, Ron Precious, Myron MacDonald, Leigh Wilkes, Carol Bryan, Michael Chechik. The sister vessel, the Vega (of Moruroa fame), dubbed "Greenpeace VI," was skippered by Jacques Longini, and crewed by Matt Herron, Ramon Falkowski and John Cotter.

Inflatable boats from the Greenpeace ships - the Arctic Sunrise and the Esperanza - hinder the transfer of a dead minke whale from the Japanese whaling fleet catcher ship Kyo Maru No.1 to the Nisshin Maru factory ship.

This expedition was the most significant of all Greenpeace actions because it provided the "tipping point" for Greenpeace as it morphed almost overnight from provincial grassroots outfit to international "eco-power." From that time on, the name Greenpeace was synonymous with environmental concern and action—even craziness. While it was used by naysayers pejoratively, it stood as an undeniable icon for positive action in defense of the planet.

Greenpeace vessels continue to patrol various areas of the world's oceans, attempting to interfere with whaling ships. The whaling ships of Japan in the Southern Ocean are a particularly frequent target. The Greenpeace website often releases video footage of their encounters with whaling ships.

[edit] Kleenex and the destruction of ancient forests

In November 2004, Greenpeace launched a campaign against the Kimberly-Clark Corporation because its tissue products, including the popular Kleenex brand, have been linked to the destruction of ancient boreal forests [citation needed]. The environmental organization charges that Kimberly-Clark uses more than 3.1 million tonnes of virgin pulp from forests to produce its tissue products. The corporation is also a purchaser of pulp from clearcutting operations in ancient forests in Ontario and Alberta, Canada. The forests have existed for over 10,000 years, since the last ice age, and are home to threatened wildlife such as woodland caribou and wolverine.

As part of its international "Kleercut" campaign, Greenpeace has been educating consumers about the links between Kleenex tissue products and ancient forests, moving shareholders to put pressure on Kimberly-Clark and motivating customers to switch to more environmentally-friendly tissue product manufacturers.

[edit] Soya and destruction of Amazon rainforest

In 2003, agri-business giant Cargill completed a port for processing soya in Santarém in the Amazon region of Brazil. The port dramatically increased soya production in the area due to the proximity of easy transport and processing facilities. In late 2003 Greenpeace launched a campaign claiming the new port sped up deforestation of local rain forest as farmers have cleared land to make way for crops.[3] Although Cargill complied with state legislation, they failed to comply with a federal law requiring an Environmental Impact Statement. Instead they contested in court that they did not need to follow the law.

Cargill responded to criticisms of the port by focusing on the need for economic development for the local province, one of the poorest in Brazil. They claimed that "extreme measures" such as closing the port were not necessary because "Soy occupies less than 0.6 percent of the land in the Amazon biome today." They also pointed to their partnership with The Nature Conservancy to encourage farmers around Santarém to comply with Brazilian law that requires 80% of forest to be left intact in forest areas.[4]

In April of 2006, Greenpeace released another report criticising Cargill for its alleged role in deforestation of the Amazon. The report traced animal feed made from Amazonian soya to European food retailers who bought chicken and other meat raised on the feed[5]. Greenpeace took its campaign to these major food retailers. On 6 April 2006, Greenpeace activists dressed in giant chicken costumes invaded McDonalds restaurants across the United Kingdom to draw attention to the use of chicken feed grown on deforested land in the Amazon region[6].

In May 2006, Greenpeace activists aboard the Arctic Sunrise blockaded Cargill's port at Santarém and hung a banner from a conveyer belt before 16 were arrested.[7]

In July of 2006, Greenpeace won agreement from McDonalds along with UK-retailers Asda, Waitrose and Marks & Spencer to stop buying meat raised on Amazonian soya. These retailers in turn put pressure on Cargill and Archer Daniels Midland, Bunge, the Amaggi group and Dreyfus to provide soya feed not grown on land recently cleared of rainforest.[8] Within days, these five agribusiness giants enacted a two-year moratorium on the purchase of soybeans from newly deforested land [9]. Greenpeace continues to work for an extension of the moratorium to provide greater protection for the Amazonian rainforest.

[edit] Criticisms

During its history, Greenpeace has weathered criticism from government and industry, and on occasion, from other environmental groups; been bombed by French special forces; and members are often arrested for offenses such as trespassing. The organisation's system of governance and its use of nonviolent direct action (which is considered by some to be illegal acts of civil disobedience) have been particular sources of controversy. On the other hand, there has also been criticism from those who have concluded the organisation to be too mainstream. Paul Watson, who parted ways to found Sea Shepherd, once called Greenpeace "the Avon ladies of the environmental movement," because of their door-to-door fund-raising that relies on the media exposure of deliberately orchestrated and highly publicized actions to keep the name of Greenpeace on the front pages.

Two of Greenpeace's most vocal critics are Icelandic filmmaker Magnus Gudmundsson, director of what is perceived a pro-whaling documentary Survival in the High North, and former Greenpeace insider, Patrick Moore. Gudmundsson's criticisms have focused largely on the social impacts of anti-whaling and anti-sealing campaigns, while Moore's main criticisms have been leveled at the campaign to protect the forests of British Columbia. Supporters of Greenpeace assert that, like many of the organisation's most outspoken critics, Gudmundsson and Moore receive considerable funding from the very industries that have been subjected to Greenpeace campaigns. Gudmundsson's documentary was judged libellous by a Norwegian court in 1992 and he was ordered to pay damages to Greenpeace. Similarly, a Danish tribunal held that the allegations against Greenpeace about faking video materials were unfounded. Many media that published Gudmundsson's allegations have subsequently retracted and apologized (e.g. the Irish Sunday Business Post and TVNZ).

The factual basis of particular campaigns has been criticized, for example over the Brent Spar oil platform affair in 1995, in which Greenpeace mounted a successful campaign (including occupation of the platform and a public boycott) to force the platform's owners, Royal Dutch/Shell, to dismantle the platform on land instead of scuttling it. A moratorium on the dumping of offshore installations was almost immediately adopted in Europe, and three years later the Environment Ministers of the countries bordering the North East Atlantic agreed with Greenpeace, and adopted a permanent ban on the dumping of offshore installations at sea (PDF). After the occupation of the Brent Spar it became known that Shell had not misled the public as to the amount of toxic wastes on board the installation. Greenpeace admitted that its claims that the Spar contained 5000 tons of oil were inaccurate and apologized to Shell on September 5. However Greenpeace also dismissed the issue that it was one of wider industrial responsibility, and as the first offshore installation to be dumped in the North East Atlantic, the Brent Spar would have been followed by dozens or hundreds more, thereby setting what Greenpeace considers to be a dangerous precedent.

In September 2003 the Public Interest Watch (PIW) complained to the Internal Revenue Service claiming that Greenpeace tax returns were inaccurate and a violation of the law.[10] PIW charged that Greenpeace was using non-profit donations for advocacy instead of charity and educational purposes. PIW asked the IRS to investigate the complaint. Greenpeace rejected the accusations and challenged PIW to disclose its funders, a request rejected by the then PIW Executive Director, Mike Hardiman, because PIW does not have 501c3 tax exempt status like Greenpeace does in the U.S.[11] The IRS conducted an extensive review and concluded in December 2005 that Greenpeace USA continued to qualify for its tax-exempt status. In March 2006 the Wall Street Journal reported that PIW had been funded by ExxonMobil prior to PIW's request to investigate Greenpeace [12]. Exxon has been labelled 'No.1 Climate Criminal' by Greenpeace for its role in denying climate change. The charitable status of Greenpeace has been revoked in Canada (since 1989).

In June 1995, Greenpeace stole a stock of a tree from the forests of Metsähallitus in Ilomantsi, Finland. Warriors of Greenpeace moved it to exhibitions held in Austria and Germany. They claimed in a press conference that the tree was originally logged by local people from an ancient forest. That was misinformation. The truth is that tree was crashed over road during storm some weeks ago, was not from endangered forest or neither from protected area. The tree was from a normal forestry area which was to be harvested in a commonly accepted way. The incident received much publicity in Finland [13], [14].

[edit] US charge of "sailormongering" fails

In 2002 Greenpeace organized a protest against the US importation of over $10 million worth of Brazilian mahogany after the Brazilian government had placed a moratorium on mahogany exports. On April 12, 2002, two Greenpeace activists boarded the ship carrying the mahogany, the APL Jade, to hang a banner reading "President Bush, Stop Illegal Logging". The two activists were arrested, along with four others assisting them; after pleading guilty to misdemeanour charges, they were sentenced to "time served" (a weekend in jail).[15]

On July 18, 2003, the US Government's Justice Department used the incident to charge the entire Greenpeace organisation under an obscure 1872 law against "sailormongering", which had last been used in 1890.[16] Invocation of this law to prosecute non-violent criminal protestors generated worldwide protest. Those criticising the prosecution included Al Gore, Senator Patrick Leahy, the NAACP, the ACLU of Florida and People for the American Way. The Department later rearraigned Greenpeace on a revised indictment at the federal courthouse in Miami on November 14, 2003, dropping the claim that Greenpeace had inaccurately asserted the presence of contraband mahogany on the boarded ship.

On May 16, 2004, Judge Adalberto Jordan ruled in favour of Greenpeace and found that "the indictment is a rare—and maybe unprecedented—prosecution of an advocacy group" for free speech-related conduct.

[edit] Other Charges

In July 2004, a Greenpeace vessel was cited for violating Alaskan state environmental laws when the ship entered Alaskan waters carrying more than 70,000 gallons of fuel without filing an oil spill response plan, but later all involved were acquitted. [17] This was the first time anyone was prosecuted for this misdemeanor since the law came into force, even though there had been thousands of recorded similar paperwork violations and many actual oil spills. Some therefore regarded this as a case of selective prosecution, politically motivated like the Miami sailormongering case.

More recently, Greenpeace was fined for damaging over 100 square meters of coral reef off the coast of Manila. The group accepted responsibility for the act, but pointed out that it could have been avoided had the maps provided to them by the Philippine government been more accurate. [18]

In June 2006 : The Greenpeace ship Arctic Sunrise was banned from attending the 58th International Whaling Commission meeting in St. Kitts by the St. Kitts and Nevis Government citing national security concerns.[19] Greenpeace's protests were discussed at the same IWC meeting with agenda item IWC/58/3, relating to their protest actions against Japanese whaling in the Southern ocean in December 2005 / January 2006, during which collisions occurred between Japanese whaling ships and Greenpeace ships, resulting in this resolution from the IWC. [20] Videos of the main incident can be seen here [21] here, [22] and here [23].

[edit] Anti-GMO Campaigns

Dr. Patrick Moore, ecologist and an early member of Greenpeace, has broken with the group over a range of issues, including its campaign against genetically modified crops. He stated that "the campaign of fear now being waged against genetic modification is based largely on fantasy and a complete lack of respect for science and logic." [24] Greenpeace spends roughly $12 million annually on campaigns against genetically modified crops, and have thereby encouraged the establishment of regulation claimed by many experts to be overly restrictive [25].

Among other anti-GMO campaigns, Greenpeace opposes golden rice, which has been claimed to have the potential of saving 5,500 to 39,000 lives annually in India alone, and to prevent millions of cases of blindness throughout southeast Asia. The alternative proposed by Greenpeace is to discourage mono-cropping and to increase production of crops which are naturally nutrient rich (containing other nutrients not found in golden rice in addition to beta-carotene). The Golden Rice Project acknowledges that "While the most desirable option is a varied and sufficient diet, this goal is not always achievable, at least not in the short term." [26]

Although it had admitted efficacy to be its primary concern as early as 2001 [27], Statements from March and April of 2005 also continued to express concern over human health and environmental safety [28] [29] despite the fact that these sorts of fears have been widely discredited[30]. While calling for human safety testing, Greenpeace has also opposed the field trials which would provide the needed material [31]. Field trials were not conducted until 2004 and 2005 [32].

Interestingly, the renewal of these concerns coincided with the publication of a paper in the journal Nature about a version of golden rice with much higher levels of beta carotene.<ref>Paine JA, Shipton CA, Chaggar S, Howells RM, Kennedy MJ, Vernon G, Wright SY, Hinchliffe E, Adams JL, Silverstone AL, Drake R (2005) A new version of Golden Rice with increased pro-vitamin A content. Nature Biotechnology 23:482-487.</ref> This "golden rice 2" was developed and patented by Syngenta, which provoked Greenpeace to renew its allegation that the project is driven by profit motives [33].

Dr. C.S. Prakash, who is the director of the Center for Plant Biotechnology Research at Tuskegee University and is president of the AgBioWorld Foundation expressed the opinion that "Critics condemned biotechnology as something that is purely for profit, that is being pursued only in the West, and with no benefits to the consumer. Golden Rice proves them wrong, so they need to discredit it any way they can." [34]

[edit] The 'Greener Electronics' Campaign

In August 2006, Greenpeace released a "Guide to Greener Electronics," which ranked fourteen consumer electronics vendors in environmental issues. Greenpeace encouraged manufacturers to clean up their products by eliminating hazardous substances and to take back and recycle their products responsibly once they become obsolete.

The Guide to Greener Electronics (PDF) stated "the ranking is important because the amounts of toxic e-waste is [sic] growing everyday and it often ends up dumped in the developing world. Reducing the toxic chemicals in products reduces pollution from old products and makes recycling safer, easier and cheaper." It ranked Nokia and Dell near the top, but essentially gave failing grades across the industry, ranking Lenovo last, and Apple Computer in eleventh place out of the fourteen brands. The report singled out Apple for its low rank, saying: "It is disappointing to see Apple ranking so low in the overall guide. They are meant to be world leaders in design and marketing, they should also be world leaders in environmental innovation." This caught the attention of tech media news sites, and was widely reported.

Daniel Eran of RoughlyDrafted Magazine criticized the guide in an article Top Secret: Greenpeace Report Misleading and Incompetent, saying the Greenpeace guide's "ranking puts far more weight upon what companies publicly say rather than what they actually do. It is also clear that Greenpeace intended the report more as an attention getting stunt than a serious rating of corporations' actual responsibility."

Daniel Eran's own objectivity has been called to question, as he makes his living primarily as a writer of puff-pieces for Apple, and his website is supported by Apple advertising. Roughly Drafted has been called "the lunatic fringe of Mac fandom."[35]

Greenpeace responded to the criticisms in a rebuttal also published by RoughlyDrafted. Along with the Greenpeace rebuttal, the article Greenpeace Apologizes For Apple Stink further presented the results of a second Greenpeace report, called "Toxic Chemicals in Your Laptop Exposed," which Roughly Drafted called an 'apology' for the initial claims Greenpeace made in the Greener Guide rankings, though Greenpeace itself never used the word "apology" nor retracted any of its claims.

While the data only reported findings of minimal traces of TBBPA, an unregulated fire retardant, in the Apple computer, the Greenpeace press release said Apple "appears to be using far more of this toxic chemical than its competitors," despite the fact that the EU Scientific Committee on Health and Environmental Risks concluded in March of 2005 that TBBPA "presents no risk to human health" [36] and "the World Health Organization conducted a scientific assessment of TBBPA and found that the risk for the general population is considered to be insignificant." [37]

More criticism of the statements in the Greenpeace press release followed in Greenpeace Lies About Apple: "The most recent report, 'Toxics in Your Laptop Exposed,' did credible scientific tests, but then threw out the data to instead present a lathered up, misleading and deceptive press release that was simply a lie. No amount of credible science is worth anything if you ignore the findings and simply present the message you wanted to the data to support."

Greenpeace published a response on its website, addressing the criticism so far, with a special focus on scientific issues.

[edit] See also

[edit] Notes


[edit] References

  • Rex Weyler (2004), Greenpeace: an insider's account, Rodale
  • Kieran Mulvaney and Mark Warford (1996): Witness: Twenty-Five Years on the Environmental Front Line, Andre Deutsch.

[edit] External links

[edit] Greenpeace Country/Regional Websites

[edit] Other


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