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Greenpeace: activists or attention seekers?

LIMA — The development of the world is creating changes that cannot be reversed. Governments are likely to oversee the sustainability necessary to grow without destroying our planet. Every year we can observe the affect it is taking on the climate and everywhere in the globe.

Due to this, several activism groups exist. One of the bigger ones, Greenpeace, has a significant amount of focus on trying to get a message to the people to try to force their governments to take this matter more seriously. Their actions around the world demonstrate this strong position, and the conflict between them and several governments show that they are not willing to back down from a fight.

There is however, or at least it must exist, a limit to what they should do. The mere fact that they are activist does not entitle them to break laws without any consequences. They also need to be held accountable for their mistakes.

In the beginning of the month, several Greenpeace activists broke into a UNESCO World Heritage site in Peru, the Nazca lines. They were attempting to get a message about our habits and the fact that we as a society need to change to have a future. They did so during a United Nations climate talks in Peru.

Their point was completely overlooked by their actions. Although they were seeking to send a positive and necessary message through, they failed to respect the people of Peru and their heritage. The stunt done by those activists could have caused irreparable damage to one of Peru’s most famous and ancient sightseeing attractions.

Greenpeace director, Kumi Naidoo recognised their mistake and apologised for it, stating that “Greenpeace should never have done the activity at the Nazca Lines. We made a mistake. We must now commit our full attention to making amends. This is not who we are. This is not what we stand for. I hope that we will make sure that we will strengthen our systems and our way of working that such a thing will be impossible for anybody associated with Greenpeace to ever conceptualise in the future”.

It is important to keep in mind that the means through each you send your message is as important if not more, than the message itself. Greenpeace actions in this case have proven that their care for the world applies only to what they consider important. Which poses the question about the acts of the organisation: are they really seeking a better world or just attention?

Julia Baldanza, Editor (South America)

Image Courtesy: Alex Carvalho(https://www.flickr.com/photos/alexcarvalho/7345552414) , Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic | Flickr

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