Larry’s View

Larry’s view on any and everything.

Global warming greenpeace

Global warming has become known worldwide in recent years. The steady decline in our polar ice caps, and impending threat to our entire environment has become front page news from the US to the UK. One very active agency in attempting to not just address, but completely arrest this problem is Greenpeace. Greenpeace is an environmentally active group, which acts with great vigor globally, covering issues from the desecration of Harp Seals, to the horrors of whaling, and even more recently in public eye, the widely discussed problem of global warming.

Only a short time ago, on August 20, 2007, in a peaceful attempt to bring greater attention to the growing, and dangerous problem of global warming, over six hundred environmental activists removed all their clothes, and spent the day on a glacier. With the Aletsch Glacier of Switzerland as their backdrop, and place of temporary residence, the mob of six hundred stripped down to their bare skin with the camera of Spencer Tunick recording the scene for preservation and publication. Their choice of the Aletsch Glacier was not random, but instead chose to highlight the plight of global warming.

With its current alarmingly fast rate of decline, the Aletsch Glacier will completely cease to exist by the year 2080. Instead of a captivating vista of white and icy blue, there will remain a barren visage, akin to a moonscape… dry, colorless land covered in harsh rocks, with a lack of plant and animal life. The Aletsch Glacier’s rapid decline is brightly lit when you look to it’s loss over only a year long time period, from 2005 until 2006. During this short 12 month time span, the Aletsch Glacier lost an overwhelming three hundred, seventy-seven feet!! That is almost 30 feet per month of glacial loss!

Greenpeace is actively seeking ways to accomplish a massive feat. The feat of stamping out global warming. Ending global warming is such an important issue, as it alone can influence not just our lives, but those of all our following generations. While most people may be unaware of Greenpeace, many are aware of a recent movie named The Day After Tomorrow. According to many predictions Greenpeace has seen made, this movie may be closer to the truth than anyone would like. Waking up one morning to discover half our planet is thrown back into an ice age is terrifying… If aiding, and working with Greenpeace can possibly avert such a horror, what reason is there to not do so?

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December 4, 2007 Posted by | Blogroll | Leave a comment

Green peace dove

Many people see the Dove as an animal of elegance and peace. When some people see the dove it automatically reminds them of the Green Peace organization. You will see the dove symbol at many of Green peaces functions and protests, its symbol is everywhere. If you look at Green Peaces ship, the “Rainbow warrior”, you will see on the side of it a rainbow with a dove streaking it across the front. It is used on many of the organizations banners as well as there promotional shirts.

Green Peace also used the dove to commemorate the anniversary of the Hiroshima Nuclear bombing in 1945. On August 5th, 1945, the President Truman made the decision to launch Nuclear Bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The devastation was overwhelming. Even today, family members of those who died in the blast are still inflicted with illness and pain caused by the radiation exposure passed down through the generations. On August 5th, 2005, Members of Green Peace went to the bombing site in Hiroshima and released hundreds of dove’s, carrying messages for a peaceful world, without nuclear bombs.

The Green Peace Dove was also used to commemorate something a little more biblical. Everyone knows the story of Noah’s Ark. Well, In May of this year, many activists of Green Peace went to Mount Ararat, the place where it is said that Noah released the single Dove and it brought back the twig, and released 208 doves. Each dove represented a country. This act was to encourage the ‘Ararat Declaration’, that basically states that each country should fight for the lives of the human race, which could very well end from the actions of the climate.

You also, very often, see the Green Peace Dove in there protests, if not on the picket signs, then on the banners, and if not there, then on the t-shirts of the protesters. I believe this is inspirational, and the dove could not be a more worthy symbol for peace. It is graceful and beautiful. So people may think it corny, but I believe that the Green Peace Dove is a symbol of peace. Think of it this way. Would it be so inspirational if bats were released into the air, or moths, or even something as creepy as a bug. I think Green Peace has the right idea, and they should use the symbol as much as possible. The Dove is a beautiful creature, why hide it?

December 4, 2007 Posted by | Blogroll | Leave a comment

Climate change green peace

The ‘hottest’ topic on everyone’s lips today seems to be climate change. Climate change or global warming is the scientific ‘reality’ (not theory) of our Earth’s ever-changing ‘global’ temperature. Most scientific studies released in the last several decades point to unusual climate changes as a result of man’s negligence of the planet. Specifically in the extraordinary rise of greenhouse gases that has risen upwards to 500 parts per million according to some estimates. The rapid rise and entrapment of these greenhouse gases within the Earth’s atmosphere has caused the planet to warm considerably over the last hundred years, more quickly than in any other time in recorded human history.

The Greenpeace Organization has been fighting climate change and educating the public for decades on exactly how to reverse the warming of the climate. As recently as 2000, Greenpeace instituted the Solar Generation project along with the European Photo-voltaic Industry Association (EPIA) to conceive of energy alternatives, particularly solar energy alternatives, that could, when instituted on a large scale, rapidly reverse the degrading effects of climate change all over the world. In addition, Greenpeace has attempted to develop large industry shifts in energy use in various countries around the world to persuade poorer nations to invest in their own economic stability. Countries like India, for example. Through these Greenpeace think-tanks, major steps have been made to lay the groundwork for an international shift in thinking about climate change, greenhouse gases and the future of the world’s economy.

The question is then, what can you, one person, do about climate change and global warming? Greenpeace, along with other large environmental organizations, not only fights for climate change regulations on an international policy level but on a personal and lifestyle-oriented level as well. One simple thing you can do to reduce the effects of dangerous climate changes in everyday life is carpooling. Carpooling is a major step in the right direction toward eliminating dangerous carbon emissions. Carpooling can include riding with co-workers to your place of business and organizing ride-shares throughout the work week. Organizing carpools are essential to cutting down the glut of automobiles clogging our freeways and our climate. Greenpeace has provided an important voice in encouraging motorists to cut down emissions by riding with neighbors and friends both for business and for pleasure. Consider the thousands upon thousands of cars that could be removed from jammed freeways each day if large carpooling initiatives were properly organized. Only you can stop the dangers of climate change. Carpool today.

December 4, 2007 Posted by | Blogroll | Leave a comment

Nuclear power green peace

Much of the original platform for Greenpeace and a key reason for its inception in 1971 were as a result of the larger anti-nuclear campaigns occurring at the time. The issue of nuclear power had been a central concern for peace protestors and activists since the late 1960s and through the Vietnam era. At that point, the argument concerning nuclear power was one devoted to annihilating it as ballistic weaponry. However, over the last three decades, concerns over nuclear energy have come in the form of fission and fusion.

Since the wide-spread proliferation of nuclear power as a source of usable energy became practical and institutionalized, many environmental groups including Greenpeace have condemned its practice as dangerous and irresponsible. Events like Chernobyl and Three Mile Island only reinforced environmentalist’s opinion that nuclear power was a cause for grave concern. Three major issues that Greenpeace particularly focused on were the deadly instances of nuclear meltdown, the proliferation of weapons-grade nuclear material and the insidious practice of toxic dumping and water-supply contamination.

The first, an unfortunate reality of nuclear power, particularly in the process of fission, occurs when safety levels and redundancy systems in a nuclear power plant fail, causing an airborne toxic event much like that of Chernobyl or Three Mile Island. Thousands or tens of thousands of casualties might result from a catastrophic nuclear power meltdown. Greenpeace scientists are adamant that no nuclear reactor is completely safe, no matter the precautions or upgrades. Nuclear power always produces nuclear waste which must be stored safely until the radioactive elements are considered harmless to human life. Unfortunately, as Greenpeace rightly points out, the half-life of most nuclear waste material can reach up to hundreds or even thousands of years, making it extremely hazardous for generations and generations and generations to come. Storing such nuclear material is not always the number one concern for plant operators, according to Greenpeace. Leakage of material or improper storage spaces can easily cause potentially deadly nuclear waste to enter the ecosphere either through water contamination or contamination of the food chain. Radioactive sickness and cancer are often the result.

Finally, as Greenpeace rightly states, the use of nuclear power can encourage the proliferation of nuclear weapons in hostile countries or by rouge terrorist organizations. The recent debacle with North Korea pinpoints how easily nuclear power can cause an international incident and when the line between so-called productive nuclear energy and nuclear weapons can often become blurred.

December 4, 2007 Posted by | Blogroll | Leave a comment

Green peace sign

Would you be surprised to know that the official sign for the Greenpeace organization was the peace sign? No probably not. Greenpeace has always stood for exactly that – peace all over the world. The peace sign is an enduring symbol from a culture and time that not only requested but demanded peace from its neighbors, its government and all of its fellow human beings. The peace sign was a recognition that through public initiatives, communal activism and non-violent demonstration, a better world could be imagined and actually constructed. From this philosophy the Greenpeace organization was first conceived and instituted in Vancouver, British Columbia in 1971. From then until now, the Greenpeace sign and the peace sign have been interchangeable. Greenpeace has never failed to proudly wave the peace sign at rallies, demonstrations and interventions in order to show how its philosophies are no different from that socially aware generation that had come before it.

Greenpeace has continued to show that they are a sign of the times, always culturally relevant despite having roots in the peace movements of the past. In this way, Greenpeace has helped to formalize a political connection between the social and cultural movements of the past and its own very contemporary political agenda. In fact, the origins of Greenpeace lie in the original 1960s Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament and in the Don’t Make A Wave Committee formed in Canada almost forty years ago. The campaign’s original intention was to bring attention to the government’s use of nuclear testing. It was through the efforts of this small committee of loyal humanitarians that Greenpeace was born and would eventually become the largest non-governmental organization dedicated to the environment in the world.

So, then, why wouldn’t the peace sign make sense on a member of Greenpeace? Truthfully, the peace sign has not only provided a sense of community and fraternity among members of Greenpeace but it has given the organization a cottage industry to help raise funds. Greenpeace merchandise, most of which sports the important peace sign, has sold considerably over the years, on college campuses particularly. Students and activists want to show their pride and affiliation with Greenpeace by wearing an official T-shirt, sweater, hat or pin. No longer just the sign of an older generation, the peace sign has made a rousing comeback for young people who continue to follow in the footsteps of those socially conscious activists before them.

December 4, 2007 Posted by | Blogroll | Leave a comment

Greenpeace worldwide

Many Americans mistakenly believe that the Greenpeace organization is centered only in North America. That could not be further from the truth. Greenpeace is a massive worldwide movement that has national bases in forty two countries and counts 2.8 million members and supporters. Under the auspices of David McTaggart, one of the original founders of Greenpeace in the 1970s, Greenpeace was able to expand its operations from its base in Canada and become Greenpeace Worldwide in October 1979. The initiative from the global consolidation started as far back as 1971 when the first chapters were set up in Canada. Unfortunately, divisions between chapters over control and financial concerns led Greenpeace to the brink of dissolution by the end of the decade. Only through McTaggart’s persistence and hard work was the organization’s foundation able to restructure the entirety of Greenpeace to become Greenpeace Worldwide. Under this new structure, Greenpeace Worldwide would set international initiatives and control the general direction of Greenpeace while local Greenpeace chapters would provide financial assistance and set up area-specific initiatives. In this way Greenpeace was able to consolidate power within its ranks and maintain a tight structure for leadership while still respecting and deferring to local issues.

However, some skeptics have been critical of McTaggart’s ‘federal’ systemizing of Greenpeace Worldwide. Many environmentalists have abandoned Greenpeace for just such a reason, claiming that Greenpeace has become more like a corporation than a charitable organization. By becoming a worldwide ‘conglomerate’, some say Greenpeace has become dangerously close to alienating its base and ideology. Until McTaggart’s retirement from Greenpeace Worldwide in 1991, he came under constant scrutiny from other activists and lobbyists who considered his work with Greenpeace to be a decisive blow to the environmental cause. But despite nay-sayer’s objections to the ‘multi-nationalizing’ of Greenpeace Worldwide, the organization’s 30th anniversary in September 2001 has proven their claims erroneous. From their humble beginnings as a local Canadian organization seeking to stop nuclear testing in Alaska in 1971 to their victory over loggers in the Great Bear Rainforest in 2001, the impact and power of Greenpeace Worldwide to effect change not only policy but individual perspective around the world is unmatched. As Greenpeace Worldwide contends on its official website, they are “Raising Hell to Save the World.” And Greenpeace Worldwide’s current executive Gerd Leipold has continued the project started by McTaggart so many years ago; namely, to raise hell and raise awareness.

December 4, 2007 Posted by | Blogroll | Leave a comment