Greenpeace, Poorpeace

Or…how the usual “little” greenie exaggeration can ethically harm people under the unscrutinizing gaze of journalists and politicians…

Ben Pile on Spiked: “Greenpeace: putting trees before people

[…] There may well be an argument that what happens to trees thousands of miles away is a problem. But the problems experienced by the poor in Brazil, and throughout the world, must surely be more pressing. Instead, it is squeamishness about what our shopping habits do to forests that drives the argument for international regulatory frameworks, and it is hard to see how focusing on land, trees and cows will raise the standard of living for people whose labour and lives are cheap. Such campaigns seem to express greater solidarity with wood than with people.

Greenpeace enjoys an increasingly cosy relationship with the establishment. As politicians find it harder to make arguments for themselves, they frequently turn to NGOs to give their policies credibility. For instance, the UK Conservative leader David Cameron recently launched his party’s energy policy at a press event held on the rooftop of Greenpeace’s London HQ (watch it here).

Journalists, too, look to such organisations for moral direction and sensational copy. This means that rather than holding them to account, the claims and broader agendas of NGOs often go without scrutiny or criticism. It is taken for granted that they are ‘ethical’, but no one ever voted for Greenpeace and there is no good reason to believe that the preoccupation with environmental issues is in the interests of people, either in the UK or in Brazil

Advertisements
  1. George Carty
    2009/06/18 at 07:37

    Isn’t it important to save the trees in many parts of (for example) Africa, because they help prevent soil erosion? In fact, I’d suggest that desertification in the Sahel (which some people blame on CO2) emissions, is most likely more directly human-caused (via deforestation).

    Wouldn’t the logical solution to this problem be to give the people living in such environments something else to burn, so that they don’t have to cut down so many trees?

  1. 2010/10/04 at 13:42
  2. 2009/06/15 at 18:31

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: