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Greenpeace History

The year 1996 is a year of celebration for greenpeace. They are celebrating their 25th year anniversary. Everything startde in 1969; Members were part of the ?’Don’t make a wave” committee in vancouver. This committee was founded by Jim Bohlen. He was a forty-three year old American and was a composite-materials researcher. Another founder of the committee was Irving Stowe; he was a Philadelphia lawyer. A jew who had joined the Quaker religion. Paul Cote, a canadian lawyer in his mid twenties who had just gotten out of shool when he joined the committee.

During this year, the United States had chosen to test its nuclear arsenal in Amchtka, which is a small island off the west cost of alaska. This was a home for many animals including eagles, falcons, endangered sea otters,etc…

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These three men decided to produce means to end nuclear testing in Amchitka.Next they decided to sail a boat they’d name it Greenpeace because they wanted the earth to be green and yhey wanted peace. It was Bill Darnell who came upwith that name.
Suddenly, more peaple joined the commitee to stop nuclear testing in Amchitka, including Terry Simmons, a cultural geographer. Bohlen and Stowe were attracting journalist, columnist, writer, anyone who had somthing to do in the media. It took them two years to get them ready for their journey towards justice for a land. Bohlen and cote were in charge of fiding a boat. Meanwhile, Stowe took care of fiding the money. He used contacts from the United States; he was a very serious man and did everything possible to get the money they needed, he even organized a benefit concert which made seventeen thousand dollars. The first boat they found Phylis Cormack was first seen as old and used that wasn’t going to be capable of sailing to Amchitka, so they weren’t sure of using this boat; it would carry twelve crew members and the trip would last six weeks. During this year the ?’Don’t Make a Wave” committee changed their name to Greenpeace foundation. The day of the Greenpeace departu!
re to Amchitka, it was allover the news , everybody wanted a story on it. During their voyage they ran through some complications and the day they were suppose to be in Amchitka they were miles away from it.In that year, Greenpeace I (the Philys Cormack) and the Greenpeace two (the Edgewater Fortune) finally sailed toward Amchitka. During their voyage, they stayed with the cree Indians who described to them the legend of ?'( UNESCO Courrier, 1994:p38 ). From then they were looked upon as the Rainbow Warriors since their goal was to help the environment from unfortunate diasters. Unfortunately, their first voyage was defeated but the American government announced the ending of nuclear tests, whaling fleets, protection for seals, etc….

In 1972, Greenpeace III was sent ( the Vega ) to sail to Moruroa Atoll in France Polynesia to stop french atmospheric nuclear tests. On board of this boat David Mctaggart, a Canadian founder of Greenpeace.

The french Marine’s reaction to the greenpeace boat was very aggresive so the Vega turned back to were it came from. But that wasn’t the end, in 1973 , David Mctaggart went back but was severely beaten by the French Marine. Word got around fast and it was all the madia it gave a bad reputation to the French government.

In 1975, France announced the of atmospheric blasting but transfers the testing underground. This was Greenpeace’s first victory.Greenpeace was expanding all around the world : Canada, Australia, England, Scotland, U.S.A ,Europe, Danmark, Germany, U.S.S.R, Spain, Japan, Mexico, Antartica, etc… I will write some of their past realisations:
In 1977; three Toronto Greenpeacers invaded by canoe the ungarded Bruce Nuclear Power Station on Lake Huron to expose the reactors vulnerability to attack. In 1979; Canadian Greenpeacers parachute into the world’s largest nuclear power plant constuction site at Darlington, Ontario as part of a mass ocupation with other antinuclear groups.

In 1980; the Rainbow Warrior boat is seized and held for several months by the Spanish government for interferring with illegal Spanish whaling operations.Five months later, the shipand crew mae a daring night time escape pursued by the Spanish Navy.

In 1982; two Canadian Greenpeacers activists spend three days on top of a 650ft Ontario Hydro smoke-attack at Nanticoke,puting on sale of electricity to the U.S wich increased acid rain in Ontario.

The biggest and foremost concern of Greenpeace is the environment. They risk their lives just to ensure the security of the planet we live in. This is non-violent. They hold no attachment to governments, have no connection with any political parties; and they have a non profit organisation. Greenpeace Foundation never takes any money from any group, including government loans. They are simply an organisation that seeks for protection of the environment and is favorable to any reaserch of solutions that may protect and assure a peacefull futur for the next generation to come. They always welcome public opinions and comments.

Greenpeace Structure
Greenpeace started out with a few people wanting to make a statement on nuclear testing and look where it has brought them today. Greenpeace International now constitutes of forty-three in thirty countries. They have developed into a universal organisation. They campaign throughout the world on the most hazardous issues. Greenpeace gathers public protest work with experts from all over the world, they operate with scientific, economic and political research. They have people from the media that work with them in order to get their ideas and plans to the world and for everyone to acknowledge what is happening out there. They recommend publicly, stategies and solutions to help prevent environmental conflict.

Who makes the decisions?
Greenpeace International heads in Amsterdam is the council who makes the decisions for the institutions. Each Greenpeace office designates a delegate to the Council. They meet once a year to make the decisions for the futur and have an overview of what is happening.

Greenpeace and their forests
Greenpeace has dedicated a lot of time to protect forests. They see forests as being a home for a most plants and animals. Forests are providers for man. They provide wood, medicine, regulation of climate, sources of food, nutrients, etc..

Greenpeace’s wayof thinking is ?’forests sustain us, but but we are not sustaining them.”( The only thing man does to forests them, so Greenpeace is doing something about it.

The industries are the one’s doing the most harm to forests. Hundreds of forests have been destroyed for the sake of industries.

To Greenpeace, the only one who should be dealing with forest is nature itself. They feel that its the consumers duty and responsibility to lower their negative habits towards forests by maximising the use of recycled and ecological forests products. However, this causes a problem for industries because this how they earn their money. Governments and other institutionsare aware of the damage caused to forests and are trying to change what can be done. The foundation is trying to show what can be done. The foundation is trying to show what can be done to improve the harm that is done to forests:
1. Peaple should acknowledge what should or shouldn’t be taken away from the forests.

2. Forests should be touched by products which shall have the smallest effect on its trees and other sources.

Greenpeace listed a few things that should be prohibited in the use of forests,such as, ploughing and harrowing and the replacement of natural forests by tree plantations. Greenpeace has been opposing against an industry-funded effort to create acting standard s for canadian forestry which would supposedly guarantee environmentally responsible logging.

The Canadian Standards Association has been creating a guarantee process that give approval to clearcutting and chemical pesticide use in the forest industry. The foundation signed petitions with other unions and First Nations as well as the public, against this injustice to forests. The CSA decided to prolong the deadline of the process until later that year. Clear-cut logging helps speed up the effects of the change of climate. Widening the gaps in the forests help heat up the forests soil and increase the speed of the wind. The articial tree plants that are planted after clearcutting are more inclined to fire, insect outbreaks and wind damage.

Nuclear Testing and the Nuclear non-proliferation Treaty
Another case is considerably important to the Greenpeace foundation is the french nuclear testing and the Non-proliferation treaty. Greenpeace is against all types of nuclear testing in any country. On july 10,1985 French agents bombed the Rainbow Warrior in Auckland harbour to prevent its journey of protest on the nuclear testing site of Moruroa in French Polynesia.

In 1963, Partial Test Band Treaty ended nuclear testing in the atmosphere. In 1970, the non-proliferation Treaty (NPT) was signed. This treaty was signed by states who did not have nuclear weapons and agreed not to develop them, those with weapons agreed to get rid of them.

Twenty-five years after this treaty, some countries continue using and modernising their supply of stock. In april-may 1995, a meeting was held in New-York where the non-nuclear states wanted greater progress on nuclear disarmement, but the nuclear states wanted for the NPT to be extended indefinetly . France has failed to their commitment to the NPT and haven’t signed the partial band treaty.
Health and environmental effects of French nuclear testing
Military records of the health personnel have never been released or has their ever been a study of the French Polynesian’s health. Nevertheless, according to the what affected peaple say, there are higher rates of cancer, birth abnormalities and other illnesses. Moruroa and Fangataufa are water penetrating seas atoll which now contaian many Chenboyls worth of radioactivity. Nuclear testing in the life long stability of these environment. In 1990, a Greenpeace team found artificial radioactivity in microscopic plants and animal organism floating in bodies of water. After these findings, an International Atomic Energy Agency mission was invited by the French Military to counter Greenpeace’s findings.

Greenpeace Successes in 1995
One of Greenpeace’s major success in 1995 dealt with the oil problem. Greenpeace’s reasons for opposing to the dumping of the brent spar into the North Atlantic are because shell’s data showed that the spar contained more than a thousand tonnes of toxic waiste. A anti-shell front in Germany lowered shell’s sales dowm twenty percent in the majority of gas stations. In june 21, Shell surrendered their arms and argued that the demolition on earth would have more risk but Greenpeace’s study showed that with the projects on earth there would be a better supervision of the operations and would minimize the ecological harms.

It would also create more thanthree thousand permanent jobs. Greenpeace aggress that did a great decision by not disposing obsolite oil platforms on the Brent Spar. Another great success they have accomplish is the negotiation of agreat biding grennhouse gas emissions reduction target for the year 2000. In march of 1994, an important meeting took place in Berlin. It was the first convention Greenpeace was thera to support the reduction of global dioxide emissions. The climate Convention is the aggreement signed by countries around the world in 1992, but in 1994, a lot of these countries predicted that they would fail to meet their commitment s to restrain greenhouse gas emision. In the April 1995 meeting, 150 countries agreed to negotiate. Greenpeace UK hired a science director to explore in greater detail the carbon dioxide emissions, ?’Behind the appointment of Leggett[he is the scientist that Greenpeace UK hired] as the first scientific director of a G reenpeace national o!
rganisation ( there 22 Greenpeace affiliates world wide) was a recognition on the part the activists within Greenpeace UK that some of the environmental issues had become increasingly intricate and depandant of scientific data.” ( Science, 1990:1288)
This article implies that the environment’s conditions have become so difficult that it now needs scientific data to be able to come with a resolution to help it. Greenpeace is so determined to find aresolution they would hire a specialist even if they don’t make a lot of money.

Critisism on greenpeace
In 1991, an article in the ?’Financial Post” journal had some critisisms to say about Greenpeace. Anex-member of the foundation, Paul Watson, said, ?’Greenpeace has become `just a multicultural eco-corporation`.”(p:5). He Believes that Greenpeace is now worrying more about the money make rather than worrying about their real responsiblities, but others contradict his statement by explaining that their first priority is the health of the environment. Yet another ex-foundre of Greenpeace agrees with Watson and states, ?’..they create media hype in environmental issues to generate revenue for growing salaries and overheads, crank out millions of pieces of junk mail as part of their fund raising -`totally hypocritical for an environmental group.`”(p:5). Most of the critics that have something to say about Greenpeace are ex-founders of the foundation. In my opinion, Greenpeace has the right to worry about the money that come into their foundation because they can’t do everythi!
ng on their own. In addition, they have to make publicity in order for the world to be informed about what is happening with the environment and give opinions and comments.

I have done a lot of research but I couldn’t find any other critisisms on the foundation. Either people never bothered giving their opinions or they are proud of their work. The foudation has come a long way since they started and they have sacrificed a lot in their lives to get to where they are today. They have lost crew members, money, battles, etc…but nothing seems to stop them on their road to justice.

In what state would the environment be if Greenpeace foundation were non-existant I can’t answer that question, what I can answer is that they have done a lot in the past twenty-five years and they have a lot to celebrate. As a founder of Greenpeace said: ?’The optimism of the action is better than the pessimism of the thought”( Harold Zindler). In my opinion, he meant that instaed of thinking about the bad side of our dreams we should stand up proud and think about the advantages of conquering our dreams; just like the peaple of Greenpeace have done and continue doing so today.

TI: Shell, the Brent Spar and Greenpeace: a doomed tryst
AU:Dickson,-Lisa;Mc Culloch,-Allistair
SO:Environmental-Politics. v. 5 Spring’96 p122-9
TI:Green gauge
SO:New-Statesman and society.v.8 oct 20’95 p31
TI:Greenpeace U.S.A:something old,new,borowed
SO:The-Annals-of-the American-Academy-of-Political-and-Social Science v 528
TI:For a safe and clean planet
TI:The Greenpeace story
SO:Canadian-Geographic.v…109 aug/sept.89 p86
TI:The Greenpeace affair
SO:Public Opinion.v.8 oct/nov.’85 p53
TI:Messing about with boats;RainbowWarrior
SO:New-Statesman.v.110oct.11’85 p22-4
TI: Campaigning for change
AU:Jeanne Moffat
SO:Canadian Dimension v.56 dec.17’94 p34-9
TI:It’s not easy being Greenpeace
AU:Anastasia Toufexis
SO:Time v.21oct.12’95 p86-94


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