Tuesday, January 22, 2008


In the spring of 2006, President George W, Bush visited Pennsylvania, to promote his nuclear power policy. In an effort to counter Bush, Greenpeace issued a press release. In the release, Greenpeace stated that nuclear power is a "volatile and dangerous source of energy." What came next revealed a singular lapse in the Greenpeace propaganda machine. The release stated: "In the twenty years since the Chernobyl tragedy, the world's worst nuclear accident, there have been nearly [FILL IN ALARMIST AND ARMAGEDDONIST FACTOID HERE]."

My, my. Lacking an appropriate example, they writer tells his editor, to find something. But the editor wasn't paying attention. Greenpeace which is incapable of admitting a mistake, claimed that the lapse was a joke. Ya sure, those clowns at Greenpeace are so funny. A revised version of the press release talked of plane crashes and reactor meltdowns, standard Greenpeace scare tactics.

I am actually using a 3 stage argument approach in looking at Greenpeace.

Phase 1 is to show that anti-nuclear arguments misrepresent facts, and violate the rules of logic.

Phase 2 is to show that this is part of a pattern of illogical thinking that involves far more than issues related to nuclear power.

Phase 3 is to argue that this pattern has its origin in a psychological or sociological pathology pathology.

In the case of figures like Helen Caldicott I have pointed to a repeated pattern of thinking errors as she responds to criticism. Caldicott in effects is saying that she is so special and her critics are such bad people that she does not have to answer their criticism. Caldicott is arguing that she does not have to engage in rational discourse because she is special. This belief is most assuredly a symptom of a psychopathology.

Greenpeace members are highly confrontational with opponants. The confrontation narrative is always the same. Greenpeace wants us to believe that it always engages in David verses Goliath struggles. We have little Greenpeace verses big Monsanto, verses the big nuclear industry, verses big Apple, etc. Part of the narrative is that Greenpeace is fighting for the little guy, and that the big guys are always trying to hurt ther little guy.

The press loves Greenpeace, because Greenpeace engages in theatrical tactics. The media loves drama. If Greenpeace can deliver visual drama then television will love it.

Greenpeace tells simple emotionally loaded stories, and is not in the slighest ashamed to bend and even make up facts in telling the stories.

Greenpeace is all about power without knowledge. Greenpeace congers up the appearance of scientific evidence, when it posses no scientific knowledge. For example the claim that the iPhone contains environmentally objectionable chemicals is based on multiple fallacies. First, Greenpeace has not established the presence of the chemicals as a matter of fact. Second, it has not established that the chemicals will in fact cause environmental harm. Thirdly, it seems extremely unlikely that the chemicals are present in large enough amounts to cause significant environmental harm, even if they are harmful.

Episode like the threat to sue Apple garners publicity for Greenpeace. The publicity in turn gives Greenpeace power, and brings in money which pays for more publicity stunts, brings more public attention and in turn brings in more money. Greenpeace in effect is usurping the function of government by demanding information from businesses, claiming to have the right to set the rules about what constitutes environmental pollution, and virtually blackmailing business that do not support their crazy campaigns.

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