Wednesday, June 18, 2008

From the climate defenders camp to the the funders of coal

Sorry but my last entry didn’t show up on the website (internet doesn't always work on the ship). So I give you again an overview of the last days.

When the sun rose on Monday morning I climbed into one of the inflatables from the Rainbow Warrior and headed with mixed feelings towards the Climate Defenders Camp on the shore.
The day before had started off in a festive atmosphere. Anti-coal communities arrived in boats to support the camp as the road access had been blocked. Together we planted colourful wind socks around the camp with personal Quit Coal messages. We packed out our solar cookers and cooked noodles for everyone. It felt a little like having a picnic at a festival.

Suddenly Panay Power brought in about 100 so called “pro coal” people into our tiny camp (much more than the day before). However one of the women told a Greenpeace volunteer that they were paid 500 pesos and received free lunch to be there. The atmosphere grew tense again when Panay Power employees threatened to tear down the camp.
Intense debates took place and my full admiration goes to all the Greenpeace volunteers for always behaving calm and friendly - even when the employees started covering our 6 meter high structure with cloth enclosing our climbers. Non-violence sends out such a powerful message!

In the afternoon a priest managed to convince the Panay Power people to leave.
The next morning we broke up the camp shifting our campaign focus on Metrobank, the funder of the proposed power plant. We dumped a huge amount of coal in front of the main branch (see the viral here) and will continue our campaign nationally against them until we stopped this plant.

Taking down the camp was hard work and I felt a little sad to leave this place behind. But when the last volunteer jumped into one of the boats, some locals came running along the shore. They handed flowers to us and thanked for our support. This was a nice note to leave on.

We finished the Iloilo stop with a dinner in the archbishop's palace and are now on our way to Boracay.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

How silly can Greenpeace get? Imagine appealing to Dr. ManMohan Singh to save our Monsoons?

The year 2009-10, India suffered its worst drought in almost four decades, with monsoon rains 22% below average. As seen in the photo, Greenpeace activists then hung an 80-foot banner from the Mumbai-Thane Bridge addressed to the Indian prime minister on June 4, 2009. It requested him to save our monsoons given the drought situation. How mischievous this tactic is illustrated by their article 29th June 2009, titled “It’s anomaly reigning” posted 29th June 2009 in the Greenpeace India website - just a few days after this stunt:

“On assessing the historical data, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in its fourth Assessment Report suggested, “warming in India is likely to be above the average for South Asia, with an increase in summer precipitation and an increase in the frequency of intense precipitation in some parts.” That the Indian monsoons are going to undergo gross changes as a direct result of climate change – rainfall will increase by ~ 20 per cent overall in the summer monsoon, but the distribution of this increase will not be evenly spread across the country.”

So what's Greenpeace's actual position any way? Does global warming cause increased or decreased rainfall? They say both. This is not strange, as global warming according to its proponents can do almost everything and anything like simultaneously making sea water more salty and less salty! But it does not matter really as global warming or CO2 has nothing to do with monsoon intensity. But it finds a perfect 1:1 correlation fit with ENSO - El Nino (La Nina) Southern Oscillation.

However, if the IPCC painted scenario had only been true, an increase by 20% in rainfall could have given India a double digit growth rate for agriculture and at least double of that in terms of GDP. Such stupendous growth could have wiped out the face of poverty within 5-10 years in our country. If this is “climate change”, Indians should be welcoming it with open arms. But alas, more than a decade has passed after the IPCC had predicted such a scenario but we find practically no such change in our rainfall long period average (LPA). The LPA, even factoring the current “exceptional” summer rainfall, remains still a tad below 100%.

This typical means justify end tactics not only eats into the credibility of not only Greenpeace but the entire NGO and environmental organizations. What public credibility has NGO/environment groups left with if NGOs and environmental groups pursue advocacy clams that have no factual basis? If they tout they follow evidence based M&E then they should ensure their advocacy campaigns reflect this value as well.

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