The Peruvian government is seeking criminal charges against the Greenpeace activists who damaged one of the country’s two greatest heritage sites – the Nazca Lines.
This is excellent news. Not for the Nazca Lines, obviously: the mysterious ancient desert geoglyphs created over 1,000 years ago are now surrounded by footprints – and a very noticeable C shape – created by Greenpeace activists last week in a publicity stunt designed to coincide with the latest UN climate summit in Lima, Peru.
But definitely good for those of us who think it’s about time this loathsome, dishonest and hypocritical organisation got its comeuppance.
In this instance the hypocrisy could scarcely have been exposed more clearly. Greenpeace markets itself as a charity which values the environment and cares about the needs of developing countries. Yet here it is, caught red-handed, riding roughshod over the interests of both.
Even Peru’s president Ollanta Humala has weighed in:
“We must simply spread the word, alert the world. Watch out at the Taj Mahal, watch out at the pyramids in Egypt, because we all face the threat that Greenpeace could attack any of humanity’s historical heritage.”
That quote comes from an article in the New York Times. For Greenpeace to get such negative publicity from one of its traditional allies is a tremendous own goal. The very last thing “Pravda” wants to be doing is reporting on eco-activists trashing UNESCO heritage sites. What it wants to be doing is reporting on what a runaway success the latest round of UN climate talks were – which it can’t do because a) that would be a complete lie: nothing of any use was achieved to advance the green agenda and b) because those Greenpeace idiots became THE STORY.
Greenpeace has tried to save face by issuing an abject apology. But no one is convinced, not least because a stunt of this enormity will undoubtedly have been authorised at a high level in the organisation.
The reason the Nazca Lines are so sensitive is that they are located in an area of desert comprising white sand dotted with darker rocks. If the rocks are moved then the sand is exposed and the pristine character of the heritage site is changed: which is why if you go to visit the area you have to wear special shoes and follow a particular path. Greenpeace clearly wasn’t bothered by such niceties: what mattered was to grab the world’s attention by laying out in big yellow letters a sign reading ‘Time For Change: The Future Is Renewable’ – regardless of the environmental consequences to that stretch of desert.
Well it got the world’s attention all right. For all the wrong reasons.
If I were the French, I’d be thinking very hard about putting a cordon sanitaire round the Eiffel Tower when the next UN round of climate talks comes to Paris next year.
And if I were the Peruvians, I’d thinking hard about what punishments to apply in the unlikely event those Greenpeace wreckers are ever brought to justice. My suggestion: have a re-read of the Tintin book Prisoners of The Sun. It might contain some very useful tips…