I started my internship with Greenpeace this week!
While some of what I'm doing has to be kept confidential (just in case someone from Exxon or BP reads my blog! ; )), I can share some insights here and there.
First of all, I've been really surprised by all the Greenpeace haters in the world. Some haters actually have interests that are in direct conflict with Greenpeace. For example, a logging company (Sinar Mas) that cuts down ancient rainforests in order to sell Palm Oil to Burger King to cook fries in. Well, Greenpeace values the rainforest, the animals that live there, and the humans who need the oxygen from those ancient rainforests. Yes, Greenpeace values that over the ability of Sinar Mas to make an easy buck. So, the conflict ensues.
Greenpeace, which is committed to NONVIOLENT forms of protest, informs the public about what Sinar Mas (and Burger King) are doing. Greenpeace is known for it's creative approaches to getting attention on a particular issue, and putting pressure on corporations to rethink and change their approaches. If you want to read about how successful Greenpeace has been with this particular campaign to save rainforests, click here, and you will see that Burger King has agreed to let us 'have it our way'- by dropping Sinar Mas.
Anyways, I just wanted to give that one very recent example of how Greenpeace is working hard to protect forests, animals, and the environment. Most of us can agree that Sinar Mas can choose another way to make its money, without destroying the planet.
It's those other areas, like Greenpeace's unyielding views on nukes and coal, that make it an organization that is opposed by many people in the mainstream. I understand a conflict of views/interests/perspectives. However, I can't understand the venom behind some of the opposition. It seems like a lot of the haters don't really know what Greenpeace does, and the haters project all of their issues with 'liberals' or 'hippies' onto Greenpeace. Misdirected hate.
Luckily, Greenpeace has a history of standing up to criticism, standing up even when they are being fired upon. I'll repeat, Greenpeace participates in NONVIOLENT protest. Activists often put their bodies between a tree and a bulldozer, between whales and whalers, between baby seals and a clubber, between a rainforest and a forest destroyers. I really respect their efforts, obviously, or else I wouldn't be involving myself with Greenpeace.
Watch this video, if you will, and see some awesome historical Greenpeace activism.
I find it pretty inspiring.