Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Greenpeace Interview

This is a fictional interview with a retired executive director of Greenpeace taking place, say, two decades in the future.

GNWR: Thank you, Mr. GP for accepting to participate in this interview. We know that since your retirement you have not conceded any other interview, so we really appreciate your kindness with us.

Mr. GP: It is my pleasure.

GNWR: How do you evaluate the accomplishments of Greenpeace during your tenure.

Mr. GP: I think the balance is positive.

GNWR: Is there anything you would have done differently if you started again.

Mr. GP: Is this on the record?

GNWR: Yes, sir.

Mr. GP: Well... I... yes... let me be candid. We fought the wrong enemy.

GNWR: What do you mean by that?

Mr. GP: We fought nuclear energy too hard and now I know it is, aside from hydro which has limited capacity to grow, the premier low carbon energy source humanity has access to. So here we are, decades later, using more fossil fuels than ever and... sometimes I wonder if we were actually a barrier to real progress in climate action.

GNWR: Did you have this epiphany after leaving Greenpeace?

Mr. GP: Well... not exactly, but, you see, we are sort of a corporation and our revenue are the funds we receive from millions of persons around the world and, how can I say it... we needed a boogeyman.

GNWR: And nuclear was it?

Mr. GP: Not only nuclear, fossil fuels were in theory our main target, but nuclear has a capacity for generating irrational fears that fossil fuels cannot match, so we invested much more than our fair share in demonizing nuclear.

GNWR: And what was the final result.

Mr. GP: Well, we got our funding, alright, but as an environmental movement, we went nowhere and here we are decades later, the honeymoon with solar and wind gone, and nuclear, the only feasible, fully scaleable solution to reducing our civilization's carbon footprint is way behind where it could have been by now.

GNWR: Do you blame yourself for this?

Mr. GP: Only in part. Greenpeace was not the only environmental organization opposing nuclear. It was the fad of the moment and yes, GMOs were also unjustly attacked.

GNWR: Do you plan to mend your ways now?

Mr. GP: Not publicly. Greenpeace has now more pragmatic people leading it. This time, I think, they will really help move the environmental agenda forward.

GNWR: By supporting nuclear?

Mr. GP: Look, let's face it, even if we consider nuclear the devil we have to concede it is a low carbon devil. Besides, the new designs are safer than anything we had in the past and in all truth all things in life have an element of risk. The alternative would be to shut down civilization and go back to caves.  But that, of course, would also imply grave risks, so, there is no way out of nuclear, at least not now.

GNWR: We thank you for this extremely candid conversation you had with us.

Mr. GP: Thank you.  I actually feel better for having had this candid conversation.

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At 8:02 AM, Anonymous Najm al Din said...

Amazing.. And yes!! Nuclear is the wrong enemy.... ,any people have a wrong mindset about it... We need real and scalable solutions for real issues... Thank you Once again!!!


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