the Air Vent

Because the world needs another opinion

Greenpeace got it right

Posted by Jeff Id on April 6, 2010

Well we won another small battle. Thanks to everyone who paid attention to our last post here on greenpeace.  They have taken down their post and retracted their demands for an army of lawbreakers to target homes of skeptics and those who fight the good war against authoritarian politics.  I’m certain that the continued pressure by readers here and elsewhere have led to at least a bit of introspection on the part of their leadership.

Statement from Ananth, International Programme Director:

We got this one wrong, no doubt about it. I’m holding up my hands on behalf of the organisation and saying sorry for that. Peaceful action is at the very core of what we do, so any language that even comes close to suggesting that’s not the case is something we cannot support.

The blog post has been removed as requested and they have understood that they crossed the line.  Congratulations to them for finally addressing this as they should have from the beginning, and of course for the recognition of the problem.  And thanks to all of you who kept the dialog reasonable and put the required pressure on for a retraction.

The complete story replaced the old blogpost and is here:


46 Responses to “Greenpeace got it right”

  1. ThomasL said

    Agreed, kudos are do when someone realizes a mistake and tries to make it right.

  2. Steve Fitzpatrick said

    “We got this one wrong, no doubt about it.”

    Yes, but this is nothing unusual, since they get almost every one wrong. Still, it’s good they renounce willfully breaking the law. But I have an even better idea: renounce idiotic certitude.

  3. PhilJourdan said

    Sorry Greenpeace, too late. You cannot suck the bullet back into the gun.

    The damage has been done, and you and your sister agencies will receive no more of my money. I don’t pay to get threatened.

  4. woodNfish said

    What did they get right? Trying to hide the fact that Greenpeace is a terrorist organization and always has been. No, the French got it right when they mined the Greenpeace ship in Australia. I only wish they had continued to try and get it right.

  5. Sordnay said

    “Well, we’ve taken down that post from our website. It’s very easy to misconstrue that line, take it out of context and suggest it means something wholly different from the practice of peaceful civil disobedience, which is what the post was about.”
    Again taking those naifs and cheerful sentences “out of context”… maybe it’s just me, english is not my mother language, but I don’t get how that could be taken out of context.

  6. pgosselin said

    The UK Guardian slams Genepeace!
    Hashmi needs to resign.

  7. Ron H. said

    Interesting. Greenpeace may have done more damage to themselves than anyone from outside could possibly do.

    At the link to the Greenpeace site, the comments are almost entirely hostile. To their credit, Greenpeace has allowed the negative comments to remain. Many are similar to PhilJourdan #3 above. Former supporters who can no longer support the organization due to their threats of violence.

  8. pgosselin said

    Is it World Sanity Day, or what?
    http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2010/04/06/climate-gate-michael-mann/

  9. Murray said

    “No, the French got it right when they mined the Greenpeace ship in Australia”

    Repeat after me “New Zealand is NOT part of Australia”, “New Zealand is NOT part of Australia”, “New Zealand is NOT part of Australia” …..

  10. Garry said

    As I commented to greenpeace on their blog, maybe someone (or many someones) reported their terrorist threats to the FBI.

  11. Margaret said

    Good one Murray “New Zealand is definitely and totally not part of Australia”.

    I also have serious problems with saying “the French got it right” when it was a terrorist act perpetrated illegally in a friendly country which resulted in the death of a photographer.

    Terrorism is terrorism — regardless of the cause.

  12. […] climate questioning continues as science falls ; Greenpeace capitulates buts its threats are now in the annals of history ; EPA gets it wrong again ; Is the European police state going global? ; Looking for democracy ; […]

  13. DG said

    Did Hansen and Gore get the memo?

  14. Motorhead said

    Don’t think for a minute that the people Greenpeace wanted this message to get to didn’t get to them. Their hardcore environmentalist wacko groups saw that and there’s good chance they’re in the planning stages now.
    There was a time when posting something like that guaranteed and FBI visit. Now, we’re such a weak nation that pretty much anything goes – unless you’re a Tea Party member, Conservative, Catholic, pro-life, or white.

  15. Jim T said

    If they would have stopped right at the quote you used, then fine. However…

    He can’t stop himself, even in an ‘apology’, from bad mouthing those to whom the threat was made: “the anti-science brigade”, “the twisted bunch”.

    Also, what the hell are “cheat codes of democracy”?? And if these “cheat codes” are failing, why is that a bad thing? Wait, I think I might know the answer to that. Greenpeace has been using their “cheat codes” while everyone else wasn’t paying attention. Now that the public is starting to take notice, their “cheat codes” are not getting their agenda passed any more.

    Just a little bit of accidental honesty from the eco-nuts.

    I also found their pre-occupation with “the language of democracy” (a nonsensical phrase) telling. Leftists have been perverting the English language for at least a century now – ‘Newspeak’ has always been their aim. Today’s “Liberals” are actually anti-liberal; Anyone paying attention to the climate debate can see what they are trying to do to the concept of science; ‘Freedom of speech’ is being transformed to the ‘Freedom from being offended (but only if you are a lefty)’; etc.

  16. grzejnik said

    I gotta say it, the angry bit is ridiculous, some of these people are way out in left field. At least they had the smarts to correct such ridiculous ranting. “We are many, you are few” may be a bit outdated too LOL Some are in real “denial” LOL

  17. Mike Davis said

    When I read “Peaceful action is at the core of what we stand for” or some such BS. I quit reading the propaganda! I do feel disappointed because my neighborhood wanted to have a welcoming party for them!😉

  18. JPA Knowles said

    I know some good folks who support G-P but it is inevitable that the rebel-raiser section of the community will join up and occasionally blab over the ‘net. It’s so easy these days. Even here we see people firing off salvos of fairly negative and unhelpful comment.
    Let’s not forget that there are plenty of real environmental problems in the world and there are many hard working individuals who are also members of G-P but who are essentially similar to you and I in most respects. They work hard, abide by the law of their land, treat others with dignity and respect and refrain from slanging the opposition.
    Polarising G-P folk against the sceptical community is pointless.
    Some good has come out of this tho’. G-P has been pushed to draw a line on what is acceptable, – publicly.
    We have made progress.

  19. pete m said

    Murray #9 – read the recitals to our constitution (oz). NZ could easily become part of Australia. But yeah, presently it is not. Thank God for the big ditch (aka Tasman Sea).

  20. Peter of Sydney said

    Sorry, but Greenpeace have let the cat out of the bag. They can’t retract it without losing what’s left of their credibility. After all they are extreme leftists, who are generally speaking as bad as extreme right wing crackpots. Both extremes will break the law if necessary to achieve their goals. We need to get back to the middle of the road politics. I believe, albeit not yet totally convinced, that Abbott is our only hope at this time to achieve this. We should give him that opportunity. Rudd is too far to the left although of course not as far as the Greenies.

  21. I too moved away from supporting Greenpeace after the Climategate scandal exposed an unholy alliance of Greenpeace with politicians like Al Gore and research agencies like NASA and EPA that manipulate and distort experimental observations to get “science” to yield the “correct answers” – that politicians like Al Gore need in order to gain control of the world’s population with a tyrannical government like George Orwell described in his novel, “1984.”

    With kind regards,
    Oliver K. Manuel
    Emeritus Professor
    Nuclear & Space Science
    Former NASA PI for Apollo

  22. woodNfish said

    Murray said
    April 6, 2010 at 5:38 pm

    Okay, it was New Zealand. I hope that makes all of you that pointed it out happy.

    Margaret said
    April 6, 2010 at 6:58 pm

    I also have serious problems with saying “the French got it right” when it was a terrorist act perpetrated illegally in a friendly country which resulted in the death of a photographer.

    Terrorism is terrorism — regardless of the cause.

    Your attempt at moral equivalency is the stupidest thing I have read today.

  23. Robert E. Phelan said

    Jeff:

    sorry, I disagree on this one. Greenpeace took down the post but then spun faster than Charlotte could do a web: “Gene is a peaceful guy..” except that quotes from his other posts got out as well… he’s a loose cannon and the fuse is sputtering…. but GP will not push him over the side…. they actually can’t count: two fer you, one, two fer me; three fer you, one, two, three fer me…

    GP is edging toward advocating “direct action”.

  24. michel said

    woodNfish has arrived at the point that all moral relativists arrive at sooner or later: the view that violence is not violence, or at least, is not violence that matters, when it is in a cause he agrees with. He dislikes Greenpeace, so it was fine for the French to enter another country’s territory and detonate a mine on a ship which was doing nothing unlawful at the time, and kill someone. The law? International law? Its probably a communist conspiracy, but in any case, they were acting against someone he dislikes, so it did not count.

    The IRA similarly disliked the people of Armagh, and acted on their feelings by detonating a car bomb one afternoon in the territory of another country. To point out that the arguments involved are identical will provoke fury at the idea that one is suggesting the two acts to be morally equivalent, which one is not. They are not morally equivalent.

    But the argument justifying one will also justify the other. The logic is equivalent, even if the moral weight of the acts is not.

    The Oklahoma bomber also doubtless felt very strongly about the building he attacked. As did, judging from his note, the contractor who recently flew his light aircraft into an IRS office building.

    We cannot even have an intelligent discussion about this, since he also objects to the dictatorship of moral absolutism. Who are you to try to impose your judgmental attitudes on him? Are you telling him he does not or should not feel the way he does about this?

    So really, if it comes down to discussion, your only remaining possibility is to try to shut him up by force. there is nothing to argue about, there are just two people who feel differently. This is the ultimate problem with moral relativism, it leaves no recourse to settle disputes about what is right or wrong, but force.

    The fact is, it was both wrong and illegal to detonate the mine on the Greenpeace vessel, and killing the individual concerned was murder. The fact that you might dislike Greenpeace is neither here nor there. It is irrelevant. To applaud the French actions is equivalent to, or perhaps more extreme and worse than, the original Greenpeace posting. The Greenpeace posting was wrong, and threatening, and intimidation.

    What woodNfish is applauding is state terrorism and murder.

  25. michel said

    I’ve long been worried that when AGW collapsed, it would take the cause of rational environmentalism with it. And that is proving to be true: as people realize that the AGW hypothesis was basically hysteria supporting bad science, we find increasingly that people are generalizing their disgust with this situation to argue that no sort of protection of the environment or regulation of real pollution is justified.

    The death wish of the AGW movement was in its desperate desire to defend everything that every luminary of the movement had ever said or done, and also in its desire to link the AGW hypothesis to a radical and irrational political program which was in fact unrelated to and independent of that hypothesis. So we have on Tamino those crazed fulminations about AGW skeptics being right wing fundamentalist tobacco investing ant–evolutionist neo-cons…. etc. Which bring the AGW movment further into disrepute.

    But we find something equivalent to the death wish of the AGW movement here on this blog and elsewhere, as when self described ‘conservative’ nutters start supporting direct violent action against everyone they differ with, while objecting to the same thing coming back to them, and when you get a blog like this one, correct on the irrationality of AGW, that gives space to people who seem to think that true Randian political or philosophical nuttery is in some way connected to AGW skepticism. We saw it in the health care thread. Alas, that sort of thing can do for AGW skepticism the same damage that Tamino and his lot have done to AGW belief.

    Nuttery in support of a correct idea will discredit it just as much as if it were in support of a false one. This is the second most important lesson coming out of the disintegration of AGW. The first of course being that bad science will not stand up to critical examination. In the end, it is always discredited.

  26. Raven said

    #25 – Michel

    I think the cause of rational environmentalism is sound. For example, I don’t think you will find many people opposed to stopping air pollution and water pollution. However, there are many causes which groups like greenpeace advocate which are just as dubious as AGW. For example, the obsession with endanged species that is used to shut down industry (think of the farmers in california who can’t get access to water because of some fish).

  27. BlueIce2HotSea said

    Michel #25
    You have a point. And there is also the danger that a cynical attitude will develop toward science in general.

    But if we focus on transparent intellectual integrity in science, we ought to come out OK. Stephen McIntyre has tirelessly promoted this.

    At some point we should see conservative AGW skeptics debunking unscientific debunking of AGW!

    It’s important to get this right because eventually, catastrophic climate change in some direction is inevitable. Unfortunately, the “scientific” AGW evidence presented thus far has been of alarmingly mixed quality.

  28. Amabo said

    I automatically get a feeling of disgust whenever environment, conservation, green/clean energy etc is mentioned.

    I don’t know why. Obviously I’m associating it with something negative, but I’ve been doing it since I was about 15 (ie, prime age of being a complete douchy asshole about supporting all things environmental)

    For some reason, whenever some environmental organisation makes a claim, I just automatically think “You’re wrong.”
    Kinda scary. Maybe I’ve been programmed by big oil.

  29. CuteSam said

    NOOO!! plz Greenpiss nutters, come to my house!! I’m waiting!!! With all the guns and bulltes I bought at Walmart just for you!!! *boo hoo* what am i gonna do now with the grizzly bear traps in my garden??

  30. SamG said

    I wish someone would officially take back environmentalism from the left. Why do they get to spruik via all the good causes?

    I think that’s what I hate the most; the deception.
    Let’s get realistic here. The truth is neither owned by the left or right.

  31. curious said

    Lots of good environmentalists aren’t politically motivated. You hear less about them because they get on with the job without trying to make the headlines.

  32. Garry said

    Amabo said April 8, 2010 at 6:28 am: “I automatically get a feeling of disgust whenever environment, conservation, green/clean energy etc is mentioned.”

    Perhaps for the same reason that many of us are creeped-out by spinster cat ladies and the old guys who collect bottle caps.

    There is much to be said for keeping things clean and tidy, and for not making a big mess of “the commons.” But the rest of it is wanton nuttiness, and pathetic solipsism masquerading as “being green.”

  33. curious said

    How big a mess do you advocate Garry?

  34. ChrisZ said

    Margaret said
    April 6, 2010 at 6:58 pm

    “I also have serious problems with saying “the French got it right” when it was a terrorist act perpetrated illegally in a friendly country which resulted in the death of a photographer.

    Terrorism is terrorism — regardless of the cause.”

    Maybe you should tell that to those who call Stauffenberg a hero for unsuccessfully attackling Hitler, while smearing those who successfully removed Luxemburg and Liebknecht from the Earth (which deed allowed Germany to flourish for another fourteen years instead of becoming a Soviet-type dictatorship) “murderers”. Had there been more such “murderers” around at the right time, the Third Reich would never have happened either. Now everybody’s aim should be to keep us from a Greenie re-edition of the latter! That’s not “terrorism” but moral duty.

  35. brick said

    Greenpeace: stop science and stop freedom of speech when it does not support the Green Party

    ‘Scepticism is not believing what someone tells you, investigating all the information before
    coming to a conclusion. Scepticism is a good thing. Global warming scepticism is not that.
    It’s the complete opposite of that. It’s coming to a preconceived conclusion and cherrypicking
    the information that backs up your opinion. Global warming scepticism isn’t
    scepticism at all.’
    – John Cook of Skepticalscience.com

    http://www.greenpeace.org/raw/content/international/press/reports/dealing-in-doubt.pdf

  36. Garry said

    curious said April 8, 2010 at 9:07 am: “How big a mess do you advocate Garry?”

    To reiterate, not a big one.

  37. curious said

    Enlightening

  38. timetochooseagain said

    Off topic, but Air Vent readers might be interested in my peace of “intense” tropical cyclone activity:

    http://devoidofnulls.wordpress.com/2010/04/08/no-increase-in-category-4-and-5-tropical-cyclones-in-the-northern-hemisphere-since-1987/

  39. woodNfish said

    #24. michel said …

    Sorry Michel, but your circular logic is nonsense. States have a right to defend themselves and attacking an enemy and killing them is a legitimate use of force. I have no problem with killing terrorists, in fact I applaud it.

    #26 Raven said …

    “Rational environmentalism” is an oxymoron.

  40. Confused said

    WoodNfish,

    Can you please explain how the photographer on the Rainbow Warrior was a terrorist?

  41. michel said

    woodNfish,

    Your logic is exactly that used by Osama bin Laden, when he plans various atrocities, and it was also used by the IRA when planning its atrocities in the UK. But as I say, it is not surprising that you reach this point, because your argument is going to be, who are you to say what is right and what is wrong? We all have a right to our point of view, and this is mine. The logical consequence of this is that anyone may kill whoever he pleases for any or no reason. It will usually be in self defence, and there is no arguing about what really is or is not self defence either. Self defence is what I feel right now I need to do.

    You invite, you see, the kind of silliness which Greenpeace indulged in, in the offending post. You also invite the violence you condemn. Once we stop having rational debate about what is right or wrong, of an evidence based sort, the only way left to settle our disputes is force. The same argument that justifies the French in mining Rainbow Warrior and killing the photographer, will also justify Greenpeace engaging in direct and violent action. Or Osama for that matter.

    We need some kind of moral compass, and the only one that is available is an acknowledgment that there is such a thing as objective right or wrong, that establishing what it is requires reasoned argument, that it may not be easy, no-one has privileged knowledge of it, but that from ‘the common pursuit of true judgment’ we can in the end get to it.

    I don’t suppose you know or care who used the phrase ‘the common pursuit of true judgment’. One of our great moralists, who at the point of death, and in pain, declined the offered opium, because he wished to meet his maker with unclouded mind.

    Is there such a thing as rational environmentalism? Yes, there is. AGW is not it however. The reason there is such a thing is that individual choice does not always optimize what we all might wish to see. Within living memory in London we could see the results of such choice: the famous pea-souper fogs. It was perfectly rational for everyone to burn coal. If you looked at the matter individually, what else were you to do? As an individual it made sense. For you to burn smokeless fuel would make no difference to the fogs, and it would cost you more and be less convenient. So you quite rightly burned coal.

    The result of all these individual rational choices was that the great fogs occurred during temperature inversion, and people died, and life was very uncomfortable. So, we regulated. We passed the clean air legislation, we banned all except smokeless fuels, and life improved. Until, that is, diesel transportation reintroduced particulate pollution again. This you may feel was godless communism and an infringement of individual liberty. Well, yes, the freedom to choke was abridged. Most of us feel, and voted accordingly, that it was a correct restriction.

    The reason there is such a thing as rational environmentalism is that there are aspects of common goods which will not be maintained by individual action. If we do not have planning laws, we will have no countryside left in England and Holland. We will be unable to breathe during temperature inversions, and so on. This will result from rational choices by individuals. But when we think about that, we decide we do not want it, and so we elect governments which pass legislation which prevents it.

    I would go further than this, and say that animals which are evidently intelligent, communicate, have social lives amounting to something close to what we call in humans communities, should be considered to have some kinds of rights — or at least, we have duties to them. They are not like grass to be harvested at whim.

    There is intelligent environmentalism. The sad thing is, that there is so little of it around. There is also intelligent conservatism, and voices arguing reasonably for individual liberties and small government, while recognizing that this is not about me, me doing what I want, me being as violent as I feel like being towards those I differ from, but about us all somehow reconciling lots of conflicting rights, needs, duties but with a bias towards as little government as possible.

    Yes, duties. Think less about your rights, and more about your duties.

    The sad thing is, there are so few of those voices around.

  42. michel said

    Another celebrated example is the Newfoundland fisheries. Or what used to be the Newfoundland fisheries, because of course, individual rational action by people pursuing their rational self interests led to the elimination of the fisheries. They were very free to fish, until one day, fishing yielded nothing, and we no longer, any of us, had cod, at least from there. But hey, lets move on, fish someplace else, on the same principles. And when there are no longer any fish? Well, we’ll eat corn. At least we’ll be free.

    The question is, should we really allow this to happen? Do we want to allow this to happen? Is it a matter of religious faith that we must let this happen?

    “…the land of the hake and the cod
    Where the Cabots talk only to Lodges
    And the Lodges talk only to God.”

    No more.

  43. timetochooseagain said

    42-“individual rational action by people pursuing their rational self interests led to the elimination of the fisheries”

    Lies on top of lies on top of lies. The cod fisherman lifestyle was publicly subsidized for years. Get things straight.

  44. woodNfish said

    40. – The photographers was an enabler and guilty by association just as the get-away driver for a robbery is just as guilty as the robbers.

    41. – No Michel, you have it backwards. France is a nation and Greenpeace is an independent terrorist organization just like Osama Bin Laden. Not the other way around which is the way you’d like to have it.

    And not polluting your water and air are just as common sense as not pissing in your food. Environmentalism has nothing to do with it.

  45. curious said

    Woodnfish – that’s not the way New Zealand saw it:

    http://new-zealand-history.suite101.com/article.cfm/sinking-of-the-rainbow-warrior

  46. woodNfish said

    Hi Curious,

    That does not surprise me. new Zealand is a country of whack-jobs and has been for years. Not sure when it started, but I took notice when they told the US that our naval ships were no longer welcome there because they have nuclear weapons.

    It isn’t just NZ though. Western society as a whole seems to be mentally unhinged and in fast decline. It is very disturbing to watch.

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