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Embracing Greenpeace. Ignoring Climate Science

When climate science and propaganda clashes.
Photo Credit: OC Always

In the words of Greenpeace co-founder Patrick Moore: “The organization I helped found and lead during the 70s and 80s is anything but charitable today. Since I left Greenpeace, its members, and the majority of the movement, have adopted policy after policy that reflects their anti-human bias, illustrates their rejection of science and technology, and actually increases the risk of harm to people and the environment.”

In explaining why he left Greenpeace, he wrote, “None of my fellow directors had any formal science education. They were either political activists or environmental entrepreneurs. Ultimately, a trend toward abandoning scientific objectivity in favor of political agendas forced me to leave Greenpeace in 1986... Sadly, Greenpeace has evolved into an organization of extremism and politically motivated agendas.”

His criticisms of Greenpeace as a propaganda organization gained credibility when Gerd Leipold, who was Greenpeace's Executive Director at the time, said that “We as a pressure group have to emotionalize issues and we're not ashamed of emotionalizing issues”. This of course, was no secret after the infamous “fact sheet” debacle in 2006.

Greenpeace's unethical behaviour extends past lying and into criminal behaviour. Not only has Greenpeace been caught breaking the law time and again, they actually condone criminal activity. In Canada, RCMP and CSIS documents classify Greenpeace as a worrisome multi-issue extremist group. According to the RCMP, CSIS, and other government agencies, “Criminal activity by Greenpeace activists typically consists of trespassing, mischief, and vandalism, and often requires a law enforcement response. Greenpeace actions unnecessarily risk the health and safety of the activists, the facility's staff, and the first responders who are required to extricate the activists.”

It's more than clear that Greenpeace activists are not fit role models for children, and their propaganda has no place in the classroom. But teachers and school boards across Canada are promoting Greenpeace to students as a peaceful environmental group. The Alberta Teachers' Association, for example, recommended that students join Greenpeace for the purpose of “engaging in social action to make a better and more peaceful planet”. Similarly, teachers in British Columbia are encouraging students to “take action” by instructing them to sign Greenpeace's anti-pipeline petition. They direct students to anti-oil sands page – labelled the “tar sands” by Greenpeace (and almost all of Canada's environmental left). “Tar sands” is scientifically inaccurate. The Government of Alberta states, “The use of the word tar to describe bitumen deposits is inaccurate... Oil sands is the correct term for the bitumen deposits of northern Alberta”.

Greenpeace's use of the word “tar” to describe Canadian oil is another example of its disregard for the facts. They use “tar” because “tar originates from distilling coal”, a process that is dirtier than the production of Canadian oil – in other words, they want the oil sands to sound dirtier than they actually are. The Toronto District School Board (TDSB) recommends that teachers force students to participate in Greenpeace campaigns, excusing Greenpeace's criminal activities as “creative confrontation to expose global environmental problems”. Grade 10 students are encouraged to take part in boycotts organized by Greenpeace as part of their civics class. One school forces its students to volunteer for “justice based community and international organizations”, including Greenpeace. Many schools direct students to the Greenpeace website via online newsletters, while other schools invite Greenpeace representatives into their classrooms to save students the trouble of having to go online to find environmental propaganda. Or better yet, some schools will hire Greenpeace employees as teachers or have a Greenpeace Association at their school in order to allow students full-time access to Greenpeace's propaganda.

Perhaps the most bizarre example of how determined schools are to extol Greenpeace is the Toronto Catholic District School Board listing Greenpeace as a “website on respecting life” as part of its 2013 Respect for Life Week. In reality, Greenpeace's campaigns against cheap energy and science are detrimental to human life. For example, their campaign against genetically-modified golden rice is harming millions around the world. According to Greenpeace co-founder Patrick Moore, “It is clear by the facts that Greenpeace is guilty of crimes against humanity as defined by the International Criminal Court. Greenpeace claims golden rice is a failure while they are the ones responsible for preventing the cure that is so desperately needed by millions of civilians”.

Unfortunately, allowing Greenpeace into its classrooms and pushing its propaganda to students are only one aspect of environmental indoctrination.

A court in the UK ruled that Al Gore's sci-fi movie “An Inconvenient Truth” was partisan, contained hyperbole and nine significant errors, and could therefore not be shown in schools unless it was accompanied by balanced material. But the TDSB published a 28-page document that encourages students to lobby their principal to organize a mandatory viewing of “An Inconvenient Truth” for the entire school. In fact, “An Inconvenient Truth” has become mandatory viewing for many Canadian students coast to coast. The naive students are not given any balanced material on the subject of climate change and take Al Gore's words to be fact.

As if “An Inconvenient Truth” wasn't enough inaccurate material, schools are giving students their own false information. For example, a TDSB document erroneously claims that “the number and severity of hurricanes have increased in the last few years.” Clearly, schools are determined to turn their students into global warming fanatics, and are less concerned with teaching the facts. A TDSB newsletter recently lamented a poll showing that “only 59% of Americans now believe that the earth is warming” even though there has been no warming since 1997 and only 36% of scientists believe there is a global warming crisis. Another newsletter directs students to a video of a high school student's anti-pipeline rant. The student admits he has no qualifications, but feels justified in declaring that “There is no debate. Climate change is the issue of our time.”

Students would be much better served if they were taught how to think, instead of what to think. Canadian schools need to stop feeding their students misinformation from radical environmentalists like Greenpeace and Al Gore.



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