Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Greenpeace: Mainstream Environmental Extremism

(Special Report) - Part 4 in a series on extremist environmentalist groups

Greenpeace, though one of the most famous international environmental groups, can be considered extreme. The group’s leadership mandates peaceful direct action, but that does not mean it cannot engage in some pretty extreme activities.

Basic Ideas
On its official website, Greenpeace defines its mission as the following:

Greenpeace is a global campaigning organisation that acts to change attitudes and behaviour, to protect and conserve the environment and to promote peace by:

Catalysing an energy revolution to address the number one threat facing our planet: climate change.
Defending our oceans by challenging wasteful and destructive fishing, and creating a global network of marine reserves.
Protecting the world’s remaining ancient forests and the animal, plants and people that depend on them.
Working for disarmament and peace by reducing dependence on finite resources and calling for the elimination of all nuclear weapons.
Creating a toxic free future with safer alternatives to hazardous chemicals in today's products and manufacturing.
Supporting sustainable agriculture by encouraging socially and ecologically responsible farming practices..

Goal
End climate change, defend nature, destroy all nuclear weapons, and to have toxic free lifestyles.

History
Greenpeace started in 1970, when activists from the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament wanted to stop a planned nuclear test in Alaska. The test was not prevented, but it laid the groundwork for the Greenpeace organization.

Though the organization is nonviolent, it has engaged in some radical, though nonviolent, activities. In French Polynesia, Greenpeace engaged in civil disobedience to protest nuclear experiments taking place there.

In 1985, the French blew up the Greenpeace ship the Rainbow Warrior to prevent the organizations protest of nuclear testing.

Since then, Greenpeace has only been more radicalized. It has chained itself to coal power plants, and recently made headlines blocking Japanese waling ships from refueling.

Website(s):
http://www.greenpeace.org