Greenpeace


Introduction


Greenpeace is one of the largest environmental advocacy organizations in the world. Greenpeace has offices in 40 countries and millions of members. Greenpeace is an activist group that uses direct action, protests, stunts, and blockades to advance its agenda. Greenpeace is probably best known for using its fleet of ships to hinder military, oil, and fishing interests.

History and Mission


Greenpeace is one of the most influential, liberal environmental groups in the world. Its stated mission is to use “non-violent creative confrontation to expose global environmental problems and to force solutions which are essential to a green and peaceful future.”[1] Greenpeace has 41 affiliates and two main branches: Greenpeace USA and Greenpeace International. Anti-nuclear agitators, American expatriates, and journalists founded Greenpeace in 1970.[2]

Greenpeace focuses its efforts on global warming, energy, oceans, forests, nuclear toxins, sustainable agriculture and genetic engineering. Greenpeace informs its members of current environmental issues through a blog and newsletters.


Greenpeace Direct Action


Greenpeace activists often engage in non-violent “direct action.[3] These direct actions frequently end with the activists being arrested, and taxpayer and corporate resources being wasted. The following are examples of Greenpeace protests.

  • In April 2001, three Greenpeace activists were arrested after they unfurled a banner that read, “Bush the Toxic Texan: Don’t Mess with the Earth,” from a water tower within view of President George W. Bush’s home in Crawford, Texas.[4]

  • In July 2009, 11 Greenpeace activists were taken into custody after they hung a banner from Mount Rushmore that urged President Barack Obama to combat “climate change.”[5]

  • In September 2009, Greenpeace activists protested U.S. and Panama tuna boats on the Pacific Ocean.[6]

  • In 2010, Greenpeace activists protested a legal oil drilling operation in the North Atlantic by swimming in front of a ship, preventing its passage.[7]

  • In 2008, Greenpeace activists protested a new runway at Heathrow Airport (London) by climbing on a plane.[8]

  • In May 2010, seven Greenpeace members were arrested in a Louisiana port after climbing aboard a drilling platform and vandalizing it.[9]

  • In 2009, three Greenpeace protestors were arrested after attempting to break into a Shell oil sands site located in Alberta, Canada.[10]

  • In September 2009,14 Greenpeace protestors were arrested at the G-20 summit in Pittsburgh as they tried to scale city bridges.[11]


Greenpeace in the News


Greenpeace has exaggerated the potential hazards from modern technological advancements and construction. For example, in 1971, a group of Greenpeace activists sailed to Amchitka Island, an island off the Alaskan coast, to disrupt an underground U.S. nuclear weapons test. The activists claimed the testing would “trigger a violent earthquake, harming the local sea otter population.”[12] The test was performed and did not produce the results Greenpeace predicted.


Greenpeace Indoctrinates Children


In 2009, Greenpeace activist Annie Leonard produced a 20-minute film on the negative effects of human consumption. According to the Heritage Foundation, “The Story of Stuff,” Greenpeace’s film, has reached over 7,000 schools and churches across America.[13]

The film insinuates that children in Mexico or other impoverished countries assemble all radios for sale at Radio Shack. As such, when an American teenager purchases a radio, he or she exploits the Third World. Therefore, all radio owners ought to be burdened with guilt and held responsible for world poverty.[14] The New York Times reported that “after watching the film at school, a 9-year-old was worried about whether it would be bad for the planet if he got a new set of Legos.”[15] Greenpeace considers the film objective, calling it “independent.”[16] As of August 2011, the film had received over 1.7 million YouTube hits.[17] The film has been translated into 11 different languages.[18] “The Story of Stuff” attacks capitalism and distorts the amount of money spent on American defense.[19]


Greenpeace and the Iraq War


At the beginning of 2003, Greenpeace sought to obstruct the U.S. war efforts in Iraq. In January of that year, Greenpeace’s ship, Rainbow Warrior, attempted to block a British military supply port so as to “cut the military supply chain to the war in Iraq.”[20] Two months later, Greenpeace piloted a group of smaller rafts filled with activists attempting to block a U.S.-Spanish naval base. Greenpeace’s efforts prevented an American freighter from delivering key supplies to coalition forces in the Gulf.[21] Greenpeace contends that many of its activists were arrested and the police were overly aggressive.[22]


Other Criticisms


Greenpeace’s current campaigns are to stop climate change, protect forests, eliminate toxic chemicals, end the nuclear threat and discourage capitalism. Instead of debating these issues in the scientific or public policy realms, Greenpeace engages in unlawful direct action. Patrick Moore, co-founder of Greenpeace, left the organization in 1986 because, he said, “the group has become dominated by left-wingers and extremists who disregard science in the pursuit of environmental purity.[23] Moore continued, “I observed that none of my fellow directors had any formal science education. They were either political activists or environmental entrepreneurs. Ultimately, a trend toward abandoning scientific objectivity in favor of political agendas forced me to leave Greenpeace in 1986.”[24]

According to a December 20, 2005 New York Times report, “the F.B.I. investigated possible financial ties between [Greenpeace] members and militant groups like the Earth Liberation Front and the Animal Liberation Front.”[25] Earth Liberation Front (ELF) is an eco-terrorist organization that uses economic sabotage to stop what it considers the exploitation and destruction of the environment.[26] Similarly, the Animal Liberation Front (ALF) is a violent animal-rights organization that engages in illegal conduct in pursuit of animal liberation.[27]

According to the FBI, “[s]ince 1977, when disaffected members of the ecological preservation group Greenpeace formed the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society and attacked commercial fishing operations by cutting drift nets, acts of ‘eco-terrorism’ have occurred around the globe.”[28] Furthermore, “[t]he FBI defines eco-terrorism as the use or threatened use of violence of a criminal nature against innocent victims or property by an environmentally-oriented, sub-national group for environmental-political reasons, or aimed at an audience beyond the target, often of a symbolic nature.”[29]

Malaria


Malaria, a disease that kills a child every 30 seconds, is on the rise.[30] World health experts blame environmental advocacy groups like Greenpeace for “disarming the health industry of its most effective weapon,” DDT.[31] During the 1960s in India, DDT decreased malaria cases from 75 million a year to less than 100,000.[32] Conversely, beginning in 1996, South Africa stopped the use of DDT. By 2000, malaria death cases increased eight-fold.[33] Although tens of millions of dollars have gone into the search to find the “harmful” affects of DDT, such claims remain unproven.[34] Thwarting the use of insecticides that protect people from disease is “unscientific, irrational, and cruel,” note Richard Tren and Dipo Salominu.[35] “Defending children against a deadly, known risk should take precedence over precautionary ideology based only on unproven, theoretical risks,” they add.[36]

“Emotionalizing” Issues


During an interview with BBC in 2009, Greenpeace Executive Director Gerd Leipold prophesied that the “arctic would be ice-free by 2030.”[37] Leipold immediately retracted his ridiculous claim, justifying it by saying that “[a]s a pressure group, [Greenpeace has] to emotionalize issues and we are not ashamed of emotionalizing issues.”[38]

Greenpeace and Cap and Trade


Greenpeace advocates for strict climate change regulations such as cap-and-trade on carbon dioxide and other manmade greenhouse gases. Cap-and-trade is a system in which a central authority sets a limit or cap on the amount of carbon that can be emitted. The limit or cap is allocated or sold to firms in the form of emission permits that represent the right to emit or discharge a specific volume of carbon. Such a regulatory scheme would be detrimental to business and economic growth. A cap on carbon limits output and production. Also, if a company is required to pay for a permit to emit carbon in order to create a product, the cost of the product will increase for both the business and consumer. Owing to increased prices, consumers will cut back on spending, which in turn will cut back on production, which results in few jobs created or higher unemployment. Some companies may opt to move their operations overseas where carbon regulation is less stringent or nonexistent.

In 2009, Greenpeace opposed the American Clean Energy and Security Act (Waxman-Markey bill). The Waxman-Markey bill, according to Greenpeace, was not strict enough on American business.[39] The bill would have established a variant of a cap-and-trade plan for greenhouse gases to address climate change. According to the Heritage Foundation, the Waxman-Markey bill would cost the American economy $161 billion in 2020 or $1,870 per family of four.[40] By 2035, a family of four would be paying $6,800 in taxes for this bill alone.[41] The strict cap-and-trade policy was not enough for Greenpeace. Greenpeace stated, “the Waxman-Markey bill sets emission reduction targets far lower than science demands, then undermines even those targets with massive offsets.”[42]


Greenpeace and Coal


Recently, Greenpeace has been working to promote liberal policy solutions to alleged manmade global warming, and attacking those they see as contributing to it. For instance, according to Greenpeace, “America’s coal-burning power plants, in addition to causing climate change, are killing tens of thousands of Americans, poisoning our air and water, and making our children sick.”[43]


Funding


Greenpeace claims that it does not “seek or accept funding from governments, corporations, or political parties or any other source that could compromise its aims and objectives, its independence or its integrity. Greenpeace relies wholly upon the voluntary donations of individual supporters and on grant support from foundations.”[44]

Activist Cash compiled the following chart that shows some of Greenpeace’s top donors through the years.[45]

Prominent Greenpeace Donors
Funding From Foundations & Corporations
Total Donated
Time Frame
Turner Foundation
$1,390,000.00
1996 – 2001
Rockefeller Brothers Fund
$1,080,000.00
1997 – 2005
John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
$841,365.00
1997 – 2002
V. Kann Rasmussen Foundation
$456,000.00
2002 – 2003
David & Lucile Packard Foundation
$450,000.00
2000 – 2000
Blue Moon Fund
$370,000.00
1998 – 2002
Trust for Mutual Understanding
$316,000.00
1995 – 2004
Marisla Foundation
$250,000.00
2001 – 2004
Charles Stewart Mott Foundation
$249,000.00
1999 – 2002
Wallace Global Fund
$245,000.00
1999 – 2002
Wilburforce Foundation
$226,900.00
2000 – 2005
Scherman Foundation
$200,000.00
2001 – 2005
Lannan Foundation
$200,000.00
1995 – 1996
Joyce Foundation
$200,000.00
1993 – 1997
Nathan Cummings Foundation
$152,000.00
1990 – 2003
Columbia Foundation
$150,000.00
2000 – 2001
Rex Foundation
$116,796.00
1984 – 1995
Firedoll Foundation
$115,000.00
2000 – 2005
Panaphil Foundation
$115,000.00
1998 – 2005
Rockefeller Family Fund
$115,000.00
2002 – 2005

In 2009, Greenpeace (USA) had revenues in excess of $26 million.[46]


Leadership (as of August 2011)


Greenpeace USA:
Phil Radford, Executive Director
Danny McGregor, Development Director
David Barre, Communications Director
Nathan Santry, Actions Director

Greenpeace, Inc. Board of Directors (2010-2011):
Karen Topakian, Chair
Valerie Denney
Elizabeth Gilchrist
David Hunter
David Pellow
Bryony Schwan
Jigar Shah
Sharyle Patton
Daniel Rudie


Contact Information


702 H Street, NW Room 300
Washington, DC 20001
Phone: (202) 462-1177
Website: http://www.greenpeace.org/usa/





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  1. ^ “Annual Report 2005,” Greenpeace, available at http://www.greenpeace.org/international/Global/international/planet-2/report/2005/12/annual-report-2005.pdfas of August 27, 2011.
  2. ^ “Greenpeace Profile,” Discover the Networks, available at http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/groupProfile.asp?grpid=7222 as of August 17, 2011.
  3. ^ For example, Greenpeace claims it “is the largest direct-action environmental organization in the world.” “What We Do,” Greenpeace, available at http://www.greenpeace.org/usa/en/campaigns/ as of August 17, 2011.
  4. ^ Kelly Wallace and Christy Darden, “Greenpeace Activists Arrested Near Bush Ranch,” CNN, April 13, 2001, available at http://articles.cnn.com/2001-04-13/politics/bush.greenpeace_1_bush-ranch-water-tower-toxic-texan?_s=PM:ALLPOLITICS as of August 22, 2011.
  5. ^ David A. Fahrenthold, “Greenpeace Activists Arrested After Draping Banner on Mount Rushmore,” Washington Post, July 8, 2009, available at http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/07/08/AR2009070802246.html as of August 22, 2011.
  6. ^ “Greenpeace Protests Against US, Panama Ships for Plunder of Pacific Tuna,” GreenpeacePress Release, September 17, 2009, available at http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/press/releases/greenpeace-protests-against-us/ as of August 17, 2011.
  7. ^ “Greenpeace Swimmers Continue to Stop Oil Drilling Ship in Atlantic,” Greenpeace – Press Release, September 27, 2010, available at http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/press/releases/Greenpeace-Swimmers-Continue-to-Stop-Oil-Drilling-Ship-in-Atlantic/ as of August 17, 2011.
  8. ^ “Greenpeace Protests Heathrow Runway,” United Press International, February 25, 2008, available at http://www.upi.com/Top_News/2008/02/25/Greenpeace-protests-Heathrow-runway/UPI-79551203955443/ as of August 17, 2011.
  9. ^ John Collins Rudolph, “7 Seized in Anti-Drilling Protest,” New York Times, May 25, 2010, available at http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/05/25/7-seized-in-anti-drilling-protest/ as of August 17, 2011.
  10. ^ Lisa Arrowsmith, “Greenpeace Protesters Occupy Oilsands Project,” The Sun, October 3, 2009, available at http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/article/705062 as of August 10, 2011.
  11. ^ “G20 Protests Turn Violent in Pittsburgh,” United Press International, available at http://www.upi.com/Top_News/2009/09/24/G20-protests-turn-violent-in-Pittsburgh/UPI-46751253805260/ as of August 10, 2011.
  12. ^ “Amchitka: the founding voyage,” Greenpeace, May 15, 2007, available at http://www.greenpeace.org/international/about/history/amchitka-hunter/ as of August 17, 2011.
  13. ^ Rory Cooper, “The Story of Lies: Greenpeace in your Kid’s School,” The Heritage Foundation, May 11, 2009, available at http://blog.heritage.org/2009/05/11/the-story-of-lies-greenpeace-in-your-kids-school/ as of August 17, 2011.
  14. ^ Rory Cooper, “The Story of Lies: Greenpeace in your Kid’s School,” The Heritage Foundation, May 11, 2009, available at http://blog.heritage.org/2009/05/11/the-story-of-lies-greenpeace-in-your-kids-school/ as of August 17, 2011.
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  17. ^ “Story of Stuff, Full Version; How Things Work, About Stuff,” available at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gLBE5QAYXp8 as of August 10, 2011.
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  19. ^ Rory Cooper, “The Story of Lies: Greenpeace in your Kid’s School,” The Heritage Foundation, May 11, 2009, available at http://blog.heritage.org/2009/05/11/the-story-of-lies-greenpeace-in-your-kids-school/ as of August 17, 2011.
  20. ^ “Rainbow Warrior confronts US military shipment,” Greenpeace, February 20, 2003, available at http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/news/features/us-military-shipment-confronte/as of August 17, 2011.
  21. ^ “Rainbow Warrior confronts US military shipment,” Greenpeace, February 20, 2003, available at http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/news/features/us-military-shipment-confronte/as of August 17, 2011.
  22. ^ “Rainbow Warrior confronts US military shipment,” Greenpeace, February 20, 2003, available at http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/news/features/us-military-shipment-confronte/ as of August 17, 2011.
  23. ^ Patrick Moore, “Why I Left Greenpeace,” Wall Street Journal, April 22, 2008, available at http://online.wsj.com/article/SB120882720657033391.html?mod=opinion_main_commentariesas of August 23, 2011.
  24. ^ Patrick Moore, “Why I Left Greenpeace,” Wall Street Journal, April 22, 2008, available at http://online.wsj.com/article/SB120882720657033391.html?mod=opinion_main_commentaries as of August 23, 2011.
  25. ^ Eric Litchtblau, “F.B.I. Watched Activist Groups, New Files Show,” New York Times, December 20, 2005, available at http://www.nytimes.com/2005/12/20/politics/20fbi.html?pagewanted=printas of August 17, 2011.
  26. ^ “Earth Liberation Front Profile,” Discover the Networks, available at http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/groupProfile.asp?grpid=7159as of August 23, 2011.
  27. ^ “Animal Liberation Front Profile,” Discover the Networks, available at http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/groupProfile.asp?grpid=7215 as of August 23, 2011.
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  29. ^ “Congressional Testimony: The Threat of Eco-Terrorism,” Federal Bureau of Investigation, February 12, 2002, available at http://www.fbi.gov/news/testimony/the-threat-of-eco-terrorism as of August 17, 2011.
  30. ^ Richard Tren and Dipo Salominu, “Killing the Malaria Killer,” International Policy Network, April 25, 2010, available at http://www.policynetwork.net/health/media/killing-malaria-killeras of August 17, 2011.
  31. ^ Richard Tren and Dipo Salominu, “Killing the Malaria Killer,” International Policy Network, April 25, 2010, available at http://www.policynetwork.net/health/media/killing-malaria-killeras of August 17, 2011.
  32. ^ Richard Tren and Dipo Salominu, “Killing the Malaria Killer,” International Policy Network, April 25, 2010, available at http://www.policynetwork.net/health/media/killing-malaria-killeras of August 17, 2011.
  33. ^ Richard Tren and Dipo Salominu, “Killing the Malaria Killer,” International Policy Network, April 25, 2010, available at http://www.policynetwork.net/health/media/killing-malaria-killeras of August 17, 2011.
  34. ^ Richard Tren and Dipo Salominu, “Killing the Malaria Killer,” International Policy Network, April 25, 2010, available at http://www.policynetwork.net/health/media/killing-malaria-killeras of August 17, 2011.
  35. ^ Richard Tren and Dipo Salominu, “Killing the Malaria Killer,” International Policy Network, April 25, 2010, available at http://www.policynetwork.net/health/media/killing-malaria-killeras of August 17, 2011.
  36. ^ Richard Tren and Dipo Salominu, “Killing the Malaria Killer,” International Policy Network, April 25, 2010, available at http://www.policynetwork.net/health/media/killing-malaria-killer as of August 17, 2011.
  37. ^ Leo Hickman, “Greenpeace’s sea ice ‘mistake’ delights climate change skeptics,” Environment Blog: The Guardian, August 21, 2009, available at http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/blog/2009/aug/21/greenpeace-sea-ice-mistake-climate-scepticsas of August 17, 2011.
  38. ^ Leo Hickman, “Greenpeace’s sea ice ‘mistake’ delights climate change skeptics,” Environment Blog: The Guardian, August 21, 2009, available at http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/blog/2009/aug/21/greenpeace-sea-ice-mistake-climate-sceptics as of August 17, 2011.
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  43. ^ “What We Do,” Greenpeace, available at http://www.greenpeace.org/usa/en/campaigns/ as of August 17, 2011.
  44. ^ “Greenpeace Structure,” Greenpeace, November 13, 2008, available at http://www.greenpeace.org/international/about/how-is-greenpeace-structured/ as of August 17, 2011.
  45. ^ Greenpeace Financials,” Activist Cash, available at http://activistcash.com/organization_financials.cfm/o/131-greenpeace as of August 17, 2011.
  46. ^ Information downloaded from Guidestar.org, August 22, 2011.