Greenpeace Crosses the Line

Ponder environmental activism – Greenpeace likely comes to mind. Nobody argues Greenpeace took shape during the late 60’s, early 70’s in Vancouver B.C. Nobody argues Greenpeace activism wasn’t warranted or justified. I doubt many people could find fault with the intent or sincerity of Greenpeace. Born in an era of conflict, Greenpeace had the courage to stand for something.

On December 1, diplomats from 195 nations gathered in Lima Peru for a conference on climate, their intention – draft a new accord to “curb” global warming. Organized by the United Nations, COP 20 (coalition of parties meeting on climate for the 20th time since 1992) Lima hopes to lay foundations for Paris conferences a year from now – Paris 2015 aims to formalize COP 20 recommendations – sewing up a resolution to replace the Kyoto Protocol that expired in 2012. Perhaps with China and America on board (neither country signed the Kyoto Protocol – hardly surprising when you consider they rank first and second in greenhouse gas emissions).

Enter Greenpeace. Never shy, rarely at a loss when it comes to making a statement – Greenpeace decided to desecrate a World Heritage Site. Oh man, I would have loved to be at that strategy session. “Lets sneak onto a high desert plateau in Peru and place a message about renewable energy in giant plastic letters next to the Nazca Lines”. Never mind the importance or delicate nature of Nazca’s historical treasure – our message will be seen from space. Holy crap Greenpeace, you crossed a line.

Greenpeace needs a reality check, at the very least a little soul searching. When you find yourself trashing world heritage sites, traipsing your way across precious remnants of ancient pasts to erect PLASTIC signage about renewable energy – get a grip, you crossed the line.

Far from impressed, the Peruvian government stated “It’s a true slap in the face at everything Peruvians consider sacred”. From the Huffington Post….

The Greenpeace activists entered a “strictly prohibited” area near the famed figure of a hummingbird, according to the Associated Press. Entrance to this area is permitted only with authorization, and those who get approval must wear special footwear.

“They are absolutely fragile,” the minister said of the geoglyphs. “They are black rocks on a white background. You walk there and the footprint is going to last hundreds or thousands of years. And the line that they have destroyed is the most visible and most recognized of all.”

Kumi Naidoo, executive director of Greenpeace International issued a public apology, in part…

“The action took place on the occasion of the climate conference in Lima, where government leaders have a historic opportunity to tackle the effects of climate change. Unfortunately, this important message has been overshadowed by our rude and inconsiderate action.”

Full Greenpeace statement linked below..



Picture of Greenpeace activists next to massive letters near to the hummingbird geoglyph in Nazca in Peru

Greenpeace activists arrange the letters delivering the message "Time for Change: The Future is Renewable" next to the hummingbird geoglyph in Nazca, Peru, Monday, Dec. 8, 2014.