Canadian journalist Donna Laframboise. Former National Post & Toronto Star columnist, past vice president of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association. New posts: Mondays & Wednesdays.
Greenpeace isn’t anti-establishment anymore. Now it’s just another arm of the authoritarian, UN green machine.
Here in Berlin yesterday the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released the third and final section of its new climate report. While excluded from witnessing the important, four-day meeting that preceded it, journalists were invited to attend a press conference. So long as they were prepared to behave like trained circus animals, that is.
Let it never be said that UN bodies don’t thrive on bureaucracy. You’d think it might be a straightforward matter for a journalist such as myself who’d completed the appropriate paperwork, submitted the right documents, and been officially accredited for a UN climate event in Warsaw last November to gain access to yesterday’s proceedings. But no.
As page two of this IPCC document explains, even reporters who’d jumped through all the press accreditation hoops two weeks ago in order to attend the Working Group 2 press conference held in Yokohama, Japan had to start at the beginning again in order to get through the door yesterday:
The IPCC operates its own registration and accreditation system, which is based on the media accreditation guidelines of the United Nations…Media representatives wishing to attend the Berlin press conference must register separately for this event even if they have already registered for the Working Group II press conference in Yokohama that was held on 31 March. [bold in the original]
It was the job of the large gentleman in the photograph above to prevent non-UN-approved people – including random members of the public who also happened to be staying at the Berlin Estrel Hotel and Convention Centre – from trespassing on this carefully controlled, stage managed event.
IPCC press conferences are strictly off-limits to the great unwashed. Chairman Pachauri’s claim that
The IPCC is a totally transparent organization…Whatever we do is available for scrutiny at every stage.
is so much nonsense.
There’s nothing friendly or cuddly about the United Nations, its organizations, or its events. Had anyone been foolish enough to challenge the large gentleman above, some of the numerous police officers on the premises would no doubt have quickly come to his aid.
In any case, while the press conference was taking place, Greenpeace was starved for attention. For the committed souls in the photograph below, taking turns holding signs at the side of a roadway is perhaps equivalent to religious services on a fine Sunday morning.
It’s important to observe that this was not a protest. There on the street, as automobiles whizzed past, Greenpeace was delivering the exact same ‘clean energy now‘ fantasy message that IPCC officials, supported by security personnel and police (and sponsored by the powerful, affluent, and influential German government) were delivering inside.
Greenpeace isn’t anti-establishment anymore. As Patrick Moore explains in Confessions of a Greenpeace Dropout, it sold its soul long ago.
Now it’s just another arm of the authoritarian, UN green machine.