Saturday, June 30, 2007

Greenpeace Arrives In Alberta

Greenpeace has hired its first staffers for the Edmonton office, opposing tar sands development:
Edmonton, Canada — Greenpeace has taken a dramatic step to expand its climate and energy campaign by opening an office in Edmonton to oppose tar sands in Alberta.

The arrival of Greenpeace in Alberta has already sparked widespread attention in the province. With foundation funding support, Greenpeace will hire at least one full time tar sands campaigner for the coming year. To kick things off, we are hitting the ground running with two talented and dedicated staffers on four-month contracts beginning in July. We welcome Mike Hudema and Geeta Sehgal to the Greenpeace team.

Mike is from Alberta, but currently on staff at San Francisco’s Global Exchange office, and will be returning to them after his sojourn with Greenpeace. Geeta has just graduated from law school at the University of Alberta, and has been active with a number of environmental and social change organizations.

I had a crazy idea, which I've passed along to Greenpeace Canada. I wonder if there is a way to setup a seperate donation system so that any proceeds go directly to this office? If that were possible, then maybe all the bloggers across Canada who are concerned could encourage donations to this particular cause. Good idea?

18 comments:

knb said...

Yes I think so. If I were in finance there, I think I'd set up a funnel...so a percentage of all donations, if you so choose, would be automatically directed. It would have to be very clear, but if you provide the history of the area and their intent, along with this government's intent, I think you'd see many opting for it.

If you only make it a separate choice, I'm not so sure people would pay attention.

Does that make sense?

Steve V said...

Maybe if they adopted a campaign, with this issue as the centerpiece. I like the idea of a seperate choice, just because you can focus on one particular issue.

knb said...

I hear you Steve, but I think you get more "hits" as it were, if you include it in the big picture.

Clicking on different aspects of a site is pretty random. If when you clicked on donations, and Alberta/Canada, (bonus it starts with an A), showed up with the why, with an option to donate fully or with a %'age going to that cause, I think you'd get more hits.

Tomm said...

You guys are missing the point. Greenpeace is a PR group attached to a big funnel.

I use to be a member. I'm sorry but the last of their credibility went flying out the window some 10 years ago.

They are liars and they do not care that they lie if the money continues to roll in.

As a member I had this conversation with them and was basically told to go away. They have no interest in modifying their programming to reflect the truth.

Please don't give them any money. Pick a group with some credibility.

Tomm

Steve V said...

Tomm, I'm not sure I understand your point.

knb said...

Tomm: They have no interest in modifying their programming to reflect the truth.

Whoa...Tomm, you have to be clear here. The truth or your truth?

Tomm said...

Steve,

My point is that Greenpeace is a political organ. It is not a group interested in the environment in any deep meaningful way.

KNB,

Perhaps it could be "my" truth. I had just finished receiving a graduate degree in this particular truth and as a Greenpeace member was mowing my lawn on a Saturday. A Greenpeace activist came by and tried to tell me about this horrible environmental disaster called forest harvesting. I tried to explian that his position was a little wacky and he talked right over me. I sent their head office a letter and they did the same.

For a group from Vancouver you'd think they would know that trees grow, are cut down,and grow again.

But, sadly they didn't. It turned out they didn't care. They were "against" forest INDUSTRY and weren't about to let a little thing like the truth from getting in the way of a good fund raising campaign.

Tomm

Steve V said...

"For a group from Vancouver you'd think they would know that trees grow, are cut down,and grow again."

Especially those old growth forests that are clear cut, right Tomm.

Tomm said...

Steve,

Right. Old growth forests...in the boreal forest.

Renewal of the boreal forest is driven by fire disturbance. The tree types that grow there (aspen, balsam poplar, jack pine, lodgepole pine, tamarack, and white and black spruce all have either a tolerance for, or a requirement that simulates a fire disturbance for the forest to renew itself.

Greenpeace didn't care. They only knew that using the word "clearcut" in their sales pitch was enough to start money flowing down the funnel.

It hurt forest industry which was a political motivation and poof! truth be damned, they had a cause.

Do a Google search for the name Patrick Moore.

Tomm

Steve V said...

The same Patrick Moore that is now advocating nuclear power?

I'm not sure why you use the example of fire, because that natural occurence shows no relationship to the damage done by clearcuts. Fire replenishes the forest, clear cutting completely decimates the entire ecosystem.

Tomm said...

Steve,

Yes, THAT Patrick Moore. He was a Greenpeace founder and reading some stuff might enlighten you on why he left.

I don't know where your getting your..."Fire replenishes the forest, clear cutting completely decimates the entire ecosystem."

But, quit drinking that brand of kool aid.

Go talk with somebody at a local university about nutrient cycling in a forest and the effects of fire and the effects of clearcut harvesting. Fire causes an immediate nutrient explosion from the ash that last only 2-3 years. Harvesting makes the period of nutrient enrichment last up to 10 years, on some sites, even longer. There is documented evidence of harvesting actually INCREASING the productivity of some forests (lodgepole pine).

Fire also has a much more dramatic effect on wildlife.

Greenpeace lies about science if it suits them.

Tomm

Steve V said...

Tomm

I find your tone condesending, I'm well aware of what Moore is saying now.

I've actually worked in a managed forest, with selective harvesting done in a responsible way. I've also visited clear cuts that were left alone, and fire sites- there is NO comparison in terms of the forest replenishing itself. Even with re-plants, the forest lacks the diversity that comes through the natural cycle of fire.

Tomm said...

Steve,

I have never seen any evidence about a less enriched ecosystem from clearcut harvesting vs. selective harvesting or from clearcut harvesting vs. fire.

If you can point me to information I would appreciate it. It actually goes against the logic of the situation (especially the selective harvest comparison). Also keep in mind that even under forest management with harvesting, there is still significant forest fire activity since we are only partially successful in fighting wildfires.

Please don't make yourself blind to the biological relevance of opening the site up for increased heat and light that causes renewal whether it is via fire or clearcut harvesting.

In regards to Patrick Moore, you did not claim any knowledge of his background, sorry if I offended. If you don't think he is credible, fine, check out some local forest ecologists.

I am going to go to the Greenpeace website and check out some of their science. See what they are saying these days.

Tomm

Steve V said...

tomm

This is going nowhere, but I don't understand why you can't appreciate the difference in completely removing material and that material burning and leaving remnants. Stripping and burning are completely different concepts, that seems pretty elementary. One other side note, slope damage from clearcuts has a devastating effect on waterways, which is virtually non-existent in a fire event.

Anonymous said...

Steve,

Let's leave this topic alone. We appear to be in positions that we just cannot agree.

However, if I recall you were a pretty aggressive Kyoto supporter. If so, given what you know about carbon emissions, why would you prefer the sequestering acts of harvesting versus the emitting acts of fire as a way to rejuvenate old forests?

Tomm

Steve V said...

Tomm

I have nothing against selective harvesting, that is done with minimal environmental impact.

BTW, I am not a big Kyoto supporter, I just want substantial cuts to GHG's.

Steve V said...

Response from Greenpeace:

"Greenpeace is beginning to do more active advocacy on the issue of the Tar Sands this summer, but we are not opening a separate Greenpeace office right away, that decision will be made later in the year, but we are making use of office space through the good graces of another environmental NGO in Edmonton at this point in time.

All donations made to Greenpeace Canada go into a general fund and then where those funds go is determined through an internal, yearly budgeting process, we do not direct funds immediately upon receipt to a specific office or a specific campaign. We do this so that the money donated to Greenpeace is evenly spread out amoungst the various issues that we work on, so to prevent the potential situation that if money was donated to only one or two particular projects due to greater attention given to those particular issues at any given point in time to prevent such a situation causing a lack of funding for the other issues that we have deemed to be of equal import."

Anonymous said...

The boreal forest does require fire ecology which is still not widespread. That being said all trees at a certain age do not spontaneously burn down when they hit a certain age. The boreal forest is a mixture of stands, young and old. There is old growth forest in the boreal. I grew up in the ecosystem and have worked in the forests first hand.