Thursday, December 18, 2014

Greenpeace, EarthFirst!, and controlling the message

Greenpeace really stepped into the public relations nightmare with this stunt. This is on top of their other recent PR dilemma when one of their executive directors was found to be flying 250 miles to work. Not exactly the kind of carbon footprint a high level exec at Greenpeace wants to claim for himself.

Now we have this, an absolute mess for Greenpeace, the title of the news article says it all: 

Greenpeace May Have Permanently Damaged An Ancient, Sacred Site. Now What? 

Here is an excerpt from the article in ClimateProgress:
This [damaging a Peruvian cultural site] is the dispute that has preoccupied climate and environmental advocates since it was discovered last week that Greenpeace had trespassed on to the world-renowned Nazca Lines to lay a bright yellow banner urging a switch to renewable energy. The combination of banner-plus-Peruvian World Heritage site was meant to draw attention to the U.N. climate talks being held in nearby Lima. But the stunt backfired, and Peruvian officials say the activists’ footprints permanently damaged the area surrounding the ancient hummingbird geoglyph.

Along with riling the Peruvian government (which has pledged to file criminal charges against the offending activists) and damaging the site, the situation has drawn a rift between environmentalists.
Certainly, what our EarthFirst!ers did on November 7th wasn't nearly as bad as Greenpeace, but it still was a PR disaster for EF!. Here is the story about the "battery in the lake". There are about a thousand ways to disable a vehicle. Why they chose to remove the battery and throw the battery into the lake is anyone's guess. The Palm Beach Post actually posted a picture of this, courtesy of the Palm Beach Gardens police department. Oooops. 

This is all about controlling the message. It will take a very long time for Greenpeace to recover from this ill-advised stunt done on an international stage.