4 Questions for Greenpeace As They Fundraise Off Their 2013 Russian Run-In

4 Questions for Greenpeace As They Fundraise Off Their 2013 Russian Run-In

Following its remarkable loss on the currency markets, ‘environmental’ group Greenpeace seems to be doing all it can to raise cash – including using the recent return of its Russian-captured Arctic Sunrise ship as donation-bait.

I debated a Greenpeace staff member in September last year, when the Arctic Sunrise was seized after breaking Russian law. I accused the organisation of using the incident to fundraise. I said: “We know these tactics are used for fundraising purposes… getting media headlines… is fantastic for your fundraising, is it not?”

I was assured it was not the case, and was told in no uncertain terms, “I think this completely demeans the actions that these 30 people have taken…”. You can watch the full debate here.

Now, nine months after the seizure of the ship, and just a few weeks after the Arctic Sunrise was released, you guessed it: Greenpeace is fundraising on the back of it (and paying Facebook for the privilege). 

So here are some questions for Greenpeace, which I will also e-mail them. Perhaps someone would be so kind as to answer them in the comments section if you have any ideas:

  1. What sort of “repairs” does the Arctic Sunrise need. Can you be specific, and also inform us of where the figure of £450,000 has come from? Who quoted you for this amount, and how many quotes did you get?
  2. Was the Arctic Sunrise not insured, and if not, why did Greenpeace persist in sailing an uninsured vessel into danger?
  3. Why does Greenpeace need to separately fundraise £450,000 for these repairs, when the organisation has an operational reserve fund, as well as £millions in regular donations, investments, and assets across Greenpeace Inc and its affiliate organisations?
  4. Greenpeace Inc had $1.2m after operating expenses in 2012. Greenpeace Fund, Inc had $7.7m. Is this still the same as of early 2014, and why could you not tap into this money to find the £450,000 needed, rather than fundraising from the capture of the Arctic Sunrise?

I’m going to hazard a guess as to the true answer to the question, “Why are you fundraising off this when you said you wouldn’t or didn’t?” The answer is: Because they can.