Latest posts by H. Sterling Burnett (see all)
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It hasn’t been a great 1 1/2 years for Greenpeace, the world’s largest, most well-funded, and arguably its least honest, environmental activist organization.
Greenpeace has been controversial for years, engaging in direct action, legal actions, and consumer boycott campaigns under the false guise of protecting the environment when time after time, its activities are shown to be little more than venal fundraising tools. Many of Greenpeace’s questionable actions are detailed at the Environmental Policy Alliance’s Big Green Radicals website, which provides a litany of misdeeds I advocate readers peruse at their leisure.
In an interview I conducted with Patrick Moore, a co-founder of Greenpeace, he shared about the disreputable turn Greenpeace had taken since its founding.
In late 2014 and 2015, Greenpeace ran afoul of both the governments of Peru and India for their activities which violated the law. In the Peruvian case, a Greenpeace stunt damaged a world heritage site.
Now, it seems Greenpeace will find itself in court once again. On May 31, Resolute Forest Products Inc. filed a federal lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Georgia against Greenpeace International, Greenpeace USA, Greenpeace Fund, Inc., STAND (formerly ForestEthics) and a number of their associates alleging a campaign embarked upon by Greenpeace, “Resolute: Forest Destroyer,” violates federal racketeering, trademark, defamation and tortious interference laws claims under Georgia and federal law.
Resolute’s complaint, worth reading in its entirety, claims Greenpeace has falsely accusing the company of, among other things: (a) “destroying endangered forests,” and “operating and sourcing wood . . . in violation of law”; (b) causing the “destruction of endangered species” and “critical caribou habitat” and risking a “Caribou Herd Death Spiral,” “extirpation” and “extinction;” (c) “abandoning” and “impoverishing” the Boreal’s indigenous communities; and (d) impairing the Boreal’s ability to mitigate climate change. The creation, promotion and spread of these falsehoods, including through email and boycott campaigns has harmed Resolute’s reputation and cost it income.
In truth, Resolute’s federal case is just one step in an ongoing legal and PR battle the company has been waging against Greenpeace since 2010. As detailed by the Media Research Center, in late 2012, after Greenpeace had spread the false information that Resolute had breached the Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement by illegally logging in “suspended harvest” areas, it was forced to issue a “Notice of Correction,” owning up to the lies they’d spread. Indeed, Greenpeace has been fighting not to be brought before the bar and too account in Canada since Resolute sued it in Canadian courts in 2013.
Not too prejudge the outcome or pick sides of course, but I look forward to the bully Greenpeace getting its legal comeuppance. May it be forced to pay millions of dollars in fines and punitive damages. Perhaps that would force donors who still have an open mind and really care about the environment — as opposed to the blind Greenpeace acolytes who have drunk its radical Kool-Aid — to consider whether they want their scarce conservation dollars going to an organization that spends more than 60 percent of its income on salaries and an increasing portion of its remaining funds paying off legal claims for its malicious, unwarranted actions.