An Open Letter to Greenpeace

13 Apr

So after my post about Greenpeace having no alternative energy plan on their website, I got a reply from Shawn-Patrick Stensil, energy analyst for Greenpeace. Here’s what he had to say:

Hey Jim,

I don’t think you tried to hard to find alternatives to Ontario’s nuclear plans on Greenpeace’s website.

I took me two clicks to find this link: You’ll find a report there that’s been endorsed by all of Canada’s major environmental organizations on how to replace the Pickering B and Bruce B nuclear stations.

At a global level please check out Greenpeace’s Energy Revolution report on how we build a climate friendly energy system (without nuclear):


Thank you for replying to my blog post.

First off, I’m not a jerk, and I do care about the environment. I was more than happy to check out the links you sent me and to take another stab and finding these links or a plan on the Greenpeace website. I spent about a half an hour digging to find 1 link to either of the links you give me. If this “Renewable is Doable” plan is endorsed by Greenpeace, you’d think it would be all over your website, right? Considering that the Ontario government really hasn’t set anything in stone yet, I’d assume that this would be Greenpeace Canada’s top priority. Why have nuclear if you don’t have to? Did I find 1 link referring to the plan? No. Stensil: you said it took you two clicks to find the website. Well, 1, I have a feeling you’ve been there before and it was in your bookmarks, and 2, you know what you’re looking for.

I just did a google search for “greenpeace energy plan”. The second link you sent me is 4th on the list. Unless I search for “renewable is doable”, nothing for that website shows up. Even if you do have an alternative plan that’s uber better than what we’re getting, your organization is not doing a good job of promoting it. In fact, the big thing I see being promoted on the Greenpeace website is merchandise. There’s HUGE donation graphics and “buy here” links all over the page, but nothing to an actual plan on how to save the world. Interesting. I see links calling for volunteers, but the only thing I see your volunteers doing is gathering more money. If you want actual information from your website, I have to give you money. Funny, PETA isn’t even that sleazy.

Okay, enough of that. Let’s talk about the “Renewable is Doable” plan. It’s hard to comment on it because it hasn’t been updated in 6 months, which might be the reason Greenpeace isn’t linking it anymore.

For my readers, I’ve taken a screenshot of the basic plan and where we intend to be if we proceed:


As it shows, currently we rely heavily on nuclear power, and with the Greenpeace endorsed plan, we will eliminate the need for nuclear by 2019.  

According to the plan, once the Bruce and Pickering plants shut down, the land is going to be used for wind farms.  We’re also going to have huge wind and solar farms littered all over the province, and in the great lakes.  Sounds good in theory, but what do we do on an overcast day with no wind?  Oh, use the sliver labeled “On-Shore Wind With Storage”?  That’s not really good enough, especially in the dead of winter.  Additionally, Recycled Energy, all the CHP’s and Conservation is all voluntary.  Granted there are already people doing this and you just want more of that, but there’s a lot of jackals out there that will consume as much as they can until they’re dead.  Are you proposing that we enforce enegy conservation in recycled energy stations everywhere?  What if a company can’t afford to install a CHP system?  Are you going to fine them if they don’t?  Also, what do we do during times like Christmas when most of Ontario’s industry shuts down?  Does that mean we’re reduced to using a wood furnace?

This plan looks good on paper, and believe me, I’m all for it, but it’s just not going to work.  There’s too many people in the world that are greedy assholes and we either have to MAKE them change, or we find a way to save the environment without them.  No matter how much we want it, we don’t live in a Star Trek universe.  Unless we are under attack from aliens, we’re never going to band together as a global community, or hell even a local community.  Think about it, when some little girl gets shot in your neighbourhood, everyone gets together, pays their respects, and maybe even donates to the family.  After about a month, the whole incident is forgotten and people go about their lives feeling good that they did something at that moment.  We’re never going to get sustainable renewable energy because humans do not have sustainable moods.  People get angy.  People get selfish.  Unless there is a massive paradigm shift in the human psyche, groups like Greenpeace are going to suffer from cognitive dissonance.  Friedrich Nietzsche once said that when you gaze into the abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.  Greenpeace has spent so long fighting against destructive corporations they’ve become the very thing they hate — attacking fishing boats and hurting people to get their point across. That’s not activism — that borders on terrorism.  Sure you’ve made small breakthroughs and have brought the environmental problem to the attention of the masses, but hypocracy destroys credibility.  Bad press only helps actors and psychopaths, not environerds. 

So what’s my point?  When you’re trying to get everyone involved, as you have to when it comes to the environment, there are compromises to be made.  To sit there and pick apart the government’s plan because they didn’t do what you want doesn’t help anyone.  Stuff like this hasn’t been done on such a scale.  Rome wasn’t built in a day, or so they say.  Think about where we live.  Canada is the king of baby steps.  We just allowed same sex couples to get married.  It’s going to be a while before we convince people to trade in their SUV’s for a Prius.  So if we’re going to keep with the nuclear program, at least get behind the Canadian company with the better technology.  Trust me, I want Greenpeace to succeed, but I think you’re going about it in the wrong way.

5 Responses to “An Open Letter to Greenpeace”

  1. jeff April 13, 2009 at 5:53 PM #

    Nice one mate. I actually don’t want Greenpeace to succeed at anything thoiugh, not that I think they have it in them anyway. Giving Greenpeace a voice is like giving whiskey and car keys to a pack of teenagers.

    Like many other organizations they are not keen to do much, just to yell the loudest. They make a whole lot of money looking like they are doing something and never seem to accomplish much. They’re a club and clubs are only good for mindless joiners and baby seals.

  2. Brendan April 13, 2009 at 8:00 PM #

    Why in all of the public debate over about the future of energy is there never any mention of free energy technologies? The answer is simple: $ and control.

    Corporate interests rampant throughout the political sphere have ensured that none of these technologies make it into the public paradigm. Constantly “debunked” by institution scientists as being impossible because of officially accepted physical laws, never chancing to investigate these claims for the sake of not having to admit they were wrong. Modern science is as much a control system of thought as they claim religion has been and still is.

    Why have so many scientists/engineers/basement tinkerers that have made any real progress with free energy been murdered or had their life’s work destoyed?

    These are questions that must be faced by any honest thinking person who is serious about moving away from our current modes of centralized power production/distribution, a system which keeps regular folk disempowered (literally and figuratively).

    The faster the general public wakes up to the economic and environmental viability of free energy the faster we can turn this situation around before it’s too late. We can only give away our power for so long until we have no more to give and officially becomes slaves. It’s not a big deal to kill or blackmail people involved in free energy when it’s not known in the mainstream. It becomes a whole lot harder to do so when a majority (or a large minority) of people are aware of it.

  3. jeff April 13, 2009 at 8:11 PM #

    Since bad press only helps actors, psychopaths and environerds, I thought you may enjoy a list of Greenpeaces supporters. I’d say this list encompasses all three of your criteria all at once.

    * Anika Moa’s
    * Annie Lennox
    * Bono
    * Bryan Adams
    * Chris Knights
    * Christie Brinkley
    * Corey Feldman
    * Elissa Sursara
    * Emily O’Brien
    * Green Day
    * Isabel Lucas
    * Massive Attack
    * Michael Stipe
    * Michelle Engelsman
    * Pink
    * Robbie Coltrane
    * The Edge
    * Toni Collette
    * U2

    Now that is a crack team of thinkers.

  4. PoppinF April 20, 2009 at 7:02 PM #

    Any list with Michael Stipe on it has my support!


  1. Stensil Draws Another Blank « State of Affairs - July 22, 2009

    […] July 22, 2009 by jimfairthorne So Ryan, the resident clepto and general crack whore over at Keep Your Coins sent me an article today written by one of State of Affair’s favourite people, Sean-Patrick Stensil. […]

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