Greenpeace goes too far

GREENPEACE have finally crossed the credibility line in Australia, moving past the point of no return, after irresponsible activists dressed in theatrical costumes and destroyed valuable scientific genetically modified wheat trials at CSIRO facilities in Canberra last week (July 2011).

The government approved research was growing under protected conditions, designed to provide invaluable data for future technology development, while being monitored by respected scientists.

Does that sound like a genuine threat to the environment or to the planet’s future which requires rescuing by juvenile delinquents?

Following such a blatant attack on approved scientific process and the Australian government, and the taxpayers our elected office bearers represent, the multinational Greenpeace can no longer be seen as a credible, peaceful charitable organisation, working to protect the planet’s future and must be held to full account – not just those who committed the GM wheat vandalism.

Greenpeace gains profits from its acts of non-peaceful actions and deliberate scaremongering campaigns, which may be easily swallowed by the uninformed but fail the true litmus test when placed under genuine scrutiny; like GM’s.

If the arguments against GM wheat were strong and credible, would these activists need to break the law to make their point then issue media releases promoting their disgraceful, illegal acts?

If the argument was anywhere near credible, they could lobby Federal politicians in Canberra and let facts speak for themselves in a free and open democracy.

Bit I suspect quite a few doors have now been slammed on Greenpeace after last week’s disgusting attack on the CSIRO; not just by politicians.

It now begs the question; should the Australian government stand up to Greenpeace and sanction the entire organisation from eligibility to raise money through local fundraising activities and receive associated tax concessions?

When Greenpeace charity collectors extend their hands and ask for money at the local shopping mall, people should be entitled to know how their money will be used and if the funds will go towards illegal activities and acts of virtual terrorism, in pursuit of ideological bents.

I know of at least one Greenpeace charity collector who won’t be returning to Kojonup any time soon, to make such charitable requests.

Regardless, the global organisation needs a major reality check on its governance and culture in Australia before they take the law into their own self-righteous hands again and do more than cut down a scientific field trial in the name of thrill-seeking, attention-grabbing, pseudo-environmental pursuits.

They need the kind of reality check that the News of the World has recently experienced after being forced to close its doors due to illegal phone tapping activities - exposed, not as acts of journalism in the name of public interest, but as illegal acts of self-appointed righteousness, born out of a dangerously self-absorbed culture, not dissimilar to Greenpeace.

The silence on this issue has also been deafening from the Federal Greens who normally oppose GM’s but that’s another story.

However I was impressed by Victorian Democratic Labor Party Senator, John Madigan, who didn’t hold back in displaying his utter disgust at Greenpeace’s blatant destruction of science and the ACT Green Shane Rattenbury who condoned the activists’ actions, saying sometimes the ends justifies the means.

Senator Madigan clearly identified the Greenpeace wolves dressed in protective clothing, armed with whipper-snippers, describing them and their organisation as nothing more than “criminally-minded vandals”.

In this case, Greenpeace wasn’t saving endangered whales from pending death in deep arctic waters or preventing underwater nuclear tests in the south Pacific.

GM wheat is seven to ten years away from commercialisation and genuine work is under way to ascertain its value, according to rigorous business principles and scientific processes.

If all that rigour fails, Monsanto and other biotech companies like Dow Agrosciences, Syngenta or Bayer, the kind of companies stereotypically named in Greenpeace media releases, which on GM’s seem to contain more conspiracy theories than JFK’s assassination, won’t make any profit, if the associated technology fails.

Farmers will simply walk away from the product and understand this Greenpeace - you may sell snake oil once in Wheatbelts around Australia but not twice.

There will be no invisible chain or legal glue that compels farmers to use the technology and if the end markets actually reject it, then that takes care of that, once and for all through a commercial, non-violent, legal solution.

We don’t need celebrity chefs to predict the future and tell us GM may be no good in 2018, while promoting their city restaurants but all the while failing to condemn Greenpeace for breaking the law and disrespecting science and Australian values.

Whoever gave the green light at Greenpeace for last week’s act of scientific destruction and lawlessness also needs to be held accountable.

A broom needs to go through the entire organisation because its culture gives the green-light for employees to commit illegal acts, simply because the ball doesn’t bounce their way.

If you don’t like the decision here in Australia, it’s just not cricket to simply go up and punch the umpire in the nose because that’s how things are done on the team you play for, where you also get to act as judge, jury and executioner.

If our Prime Minister and the Greens are fair dinkum about a green future, they will also stand up to Greenpeace’s behaviour in the same way they have condemned the New of the World.

But it’s funny; I can’t hear Bob Brown calling for a parliamentary review into whipper-gate?

The entire Greenpeace experience of last week leaves me fully understanding of why Greenpeace founder Patrick Moore, walked away from the organisation he gave birth to and now stands opposed to its acts of scientific and environmental debauchery.

Dr Moore has described Greenpeace as "eco-extremist," believing the organisation is "anti-human, anti-technology, and anti-science”.

Given events of last week, many more in Australia would now agree.

Colin Bettles

Colin Bettles

is the national political writer for Fairfax Agricultural Media
Canberra CommentFairfax Agricultural Media Canberra correspondent Colin Bettles tackles the big national rural and agricultural issues which will impact regional and rural Australians.


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