Canadian journalist Donna Laframboise. Former National Post & Toronto Star columnist, past vice president of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association. New posts: Mondays & Wednesdays.
Greenpeace makes a show of rejecting government and corporate money. But it’s close pals with the WWF – which gets enormous funding from exactly those sources.
We don’t solicit or accept funding from governments, corporations or political parties, or donations which could compromise our independence, aims, objectives or integrity.
The implication is clear: Greenpeace is “pure.” Government and corporate funding is bad. Taking such money renders one morally suspect.
Greenpeace’s position in this regard is in sharp contrast to, say, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) – which runs an entire division based on EU-derived government funds, is closely linked to mega corporations such as Coca-Cola, and has a long history of cashing cheques from Shell Oil.
But it turns out that Greenpeace’s lofty moral distinctions are an illusion. They sound good, but don’t mean much. At the recent Warsaw climate summit, Greenpeace didn’t feel the need to maintain any distance between itself and the allegedly tainted WWF. In fact, those two groups shared the same booth.
Furthermore, a bit of Googling reveals that the financial relationship between them stretches back decades. In 1978, Greenpeace purchased the original Rainbow Warrior after the Netherlands branch of the WWF “agreed to help finance a campaign to save the whales.”
If I walked around condemning certain kinds of behaviour while my best pals not only indulged extravagantly in such behaviour, but used their ill-gotten gains to pay my bills, I’d have a difficult time being taken seriously.