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David @ Tokyo

Perspective from Japan on whaling and whale meat, a spot of gourmet news, and monthly updates of whale meat stockpile statistics



Greenpeace: Slammed in New Zealand again

Stuff reported that Greenpeace was upset about a speech made by New Zealand's Federated Farmers President, Charlie Pedersen, predictably responding with their usual self-righteousness.

So what did Pedersen have to say? Some quite familiar statements, as it happens. Here are some of the choice bits:
Environmentalists are correct. We do need to protect our country, our planet, our children’s’ future and their children’s’ future, but not with fear.

We must encourage innovation, science and our own good scientists to uncover the solutions to our problems. Locking in yesterday’s answers from yesterday’s science is no solution – it is the road to definite ruin
I say shame on the people who elevate environmentalism to a religious status, shame on you for your arrogance, shame on all of us for allowing the environmentalists’ war against the human race to begin, and take hold.

It seems to me the once common practice of Christian public worship and young folk performing Christian missionary work now competes with the new religious status of environmentalism. Some may think that statement as a step too far, so let me explore the logic.

Followers of Christianity throughout the centuries have had a fervent belief in their faith and believed that through the adoption of that faith, that others would become better human beings and the world a better place.

Over centuries young missionaries have left their native lands and travelled to the far flung corners of the world on crusades to convert the population of the world to their ideals.

While I largely follow Christian principles I do have a problem with the idea that humans are basically bad and without a doctrine to guide them, individuals and humanity would fall and fail.

Now I draw the similarities with the Environmental movement of today.

Environmentalism does not speak about the good of man and what mankind has achieved. Like missionaries it talks of man’s work as negatives to the natural environment.

Environmentalists and historic missionaries both look upon mankind and our achievements as a negative that needs to be curbed and defeated.

Environmentalism talks of humans failings and is scathing of its influences and the changes made to the “natural world”, and seeks to wind the clock back.

Young people around the world are enlisted and travel overseas as missionaries for Greenpeace – they stop street-goers and seek to influence and convert them to their cause. Environmentalism, the cause of winding back the clock, capping and reducing are their ethos.

Environmentalism has captured the attention of a great many people. Citizens across the spectrum have bought into the environmental teachings that the world is on the road to ruin, and with it, mankind.

Many are adopting these teachings without proper scrutiny because of the momentum the movement has, supported by experts who too often owe their livelihood to the environmental business. Even in this country, thousands now owe their living and personal prosperity to continued development of environmental controls. Those controls in turn are reducing the development and productivity of the nation and its ability to increase the standard of living of the New Zealand people.

I ask all Kiwis to think more deeply before supporting environmental causes. I believe they often give support to relieve themselves of any guilt about their lifestyle. Kiwis must understand that ill thought out environmental controls based on emotion rather than science will inevitably lead to a reduced standard of living.

Pedersen's remarks are not uncommon. Eugene Lapointe has also drawn similar comparisons - here are some extracts from a speech he gave to a fisheries forum:
There has always been a segment of human society that aspires to subjugate diversity and to impose its own cultural, moral and ethical values upon others. In the nineteenth century we saw the British Empire spread through Asia and Africa cheered on, not as commonly believed, by merchants and soldiers but rather by clergymen and journalists who alike exhorted their national leadership to "bring the wretched heathen to the light" and "take up the white man’s burden" – in other words to bring the benefits of the supposedly superior Anglo-Saxon religion and culture to the inferior black and brown skinned people of the world.

The new cultural imperialist does not bash a bible; he pushes an ecological manual in your face and demands your adherence. He does not avow adherence to a church of the spiritually enlightened; he professes membership in a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) of the morally superior. He comes not to save your souls; his flock will be your birds, your elephants, your reptiles and your fish. He alone knows how to care for and tend to them. He shares several salient features with his nineteenth century counterpart. He is utterly and totally convinced both of his own moral probity and of the right that his natural superiority imbues in him to tell you exactly what you are going to do and how you are going to do it. In the past, when you defied a ranting British preacher, he ran to his national government demanding military protection. The new imperialist similarly runs to his national government when he is defied. If you will not adhere to the environmental strictures that he has mapped out for you – without, of course, consulting you – then he will demand that his national government, along with any available international bodies, impose on you a broad range of economic sanctions in return for your impetuosity.

The NGO’s tell us that they are the guardians of wildlife, but we always need to bear in mind that they are self-appointed guardians. Their only mandate is the one that they have chosen to arrogate to themselves. Ironically, the NGO’s will demand that multilateral meetings of elected officials throw open their doors to their participation in order to "democratize" them – a somewhat hilarious claim when stemming from non-elected bodies.

In the world that we now inhabit, regulations, once issued, are never rescinded. Species, once identified - rightly or not - as endangered, are never allowed to recover. There is a delicious, if painful, irony in the fact that NGO’s demand that we take radical action to preserve endangered species but, simultaneously, they insist that none of those measures have ever done any good. This is because their fundamental agenda is to terminate all human interaction with the natural world around us.
* * *
For another recent embarassment for Greenpeace, do a Google search for the following phrase:

Mr Pederson sounds a little hysterical. There are of course what I would call 'blind' environmentalists who will not listen to the 'other side', whatever the issue. But, to suggest that 'environmentalism' exists and as a 'movement', is a joke, is irresponsible, is misleading and alarmist. Maybe Greenpeace, for example, could be called a 'movement' but only if people are easily lead by there literature and campaigns. This maybe the case for some people but obviously not all.

Most people who get involved in, shall we say, environmental issues/policy have taken a long windy road to get there. I would even say that most are well informed and intelligent people. Yes, there needs to be system changes to the way we live and yes, many leaders who head up the organisations that find themselves threatened by any talk of change are more than likely closer to retirement than not. They need to move on because, like or not change is coming! We all need to adapt to survive. No use whinging about change (Mr Pederson).
Hysterical? Well, there is cause for alarm.

Even Patrick Moore, co-founder of Greenpeace states that his former organization has lost it's way, and has turned from being a true environemntal group into an extremist organization, and he seems worried about it as well. Such groups are very influencial, and are therefore a threat. As Dr Moore has noted, there are 6 billion people on this planet, and each of us has needs. We need practical solutions, and true conservation through sustainable resource use has to be an important part of this.

When Pedersen attacks the environmental movement, I think Greenpeace (who he specifically named) are the type of group that he was refering to... there are plenty of honest environmental groups out there as well, which I imagine Pedersen doesn't have a problem with. He notes himself in his speech that environmentalists are correct, but only that they should not seek to make people change their opinions through fear tactics.

> We all need to adapt to survive.

Adapting is a part of nature, but at the same time, adapting should not be forced upon people by the demands of hysterical environmental groups.
How is it that Pedersens incoherent babblings are an "embarrassment" to Greenpeace? Quite the other way around. Since Pedersen very obligingly lead with the chin, he has been slammed by pretty much every major newspaper in the country. A large number of farmers, who are not exactly environmental zealots, have made it quite clear they wish to distance themselves from Pedersen's burblings, and the Dominion Post printed a feature article about a schism in Federated Farmers.

Michael Morris
Hi Michael,

Always nice to see a comment from a fellow Wellingtonian.

When I said "another embarassment", I was referring specifically to the recent incident about (quote Greenpeace) "ALARMIST AND ARMAGEDDONIST FACTOID"s


As for other recent embarassments for Greenpeace, read about them breaking their own accountability charter in a matter of days:

Back in January they claimed that they had been rammed by a JARPA research vessel, despite videos clearly showing them not only failing to take action to avoid a collision, but to ensure that one did occur

Of course, this is just a small catalog. Greenpeace's sofa environmentalist fanclub actually seems to admire such behaviour.

I think what the New Zealand media struggled with regards to Pedersens comments. He even stated himself that "Environmentalists are correct".
What he went on to attack was the extremist faction of the movement.

Sadly, Greenpeace is more about fund-raising propaganda than highlighting real environmental problems these days. Their decision to go to Antarctic again this summer was another confirmation of this (despite their obstruction tactics not preventing the death of a single whale last year - JARPA II still took 853 minke whales as per its plans).

If my criticism and that of Pedersen surprises you, you might like to consider what Dr Patrick Moore has said about the direction that Greenpeace has taken in more recent times.
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