SocraticGadfly: Greenpeace commits cultural imperialism

December 12, 2014

Greenpeace commits cultural imperialism

I'm sure that, by now, most informed people, especially environmentalists, are well aware of Greenpeace's heaping helping of stupidity and arrogance at Peru's famous Nazca lines.

Yet, some PC-ish types of liberals, or New Left activists continue to try to defend this. (And Greenpeace still has no real apology on its website.)

To those folks, I'm going to hang you by your own petard.

The Nazca figures were made by non-white, indigenous peoples.

Therefore, Greenpeace committed cultural imperialism and you're supporting it. And I hope at least a few of the responsible get the full six years in prison.
“It’s a true slap in the face at everything Peruvians consider sacred,” said Luis Jaime Castillo, the deputy culture minister, after the action by the environmental group on Monday.
There’s your cultural imperialism.

As for questions about whether actual damage was done? Well:
“They are absolutely fragile. They are black rocks on a white background. You walk there and the footprint is going to last hundreds or thousands of years,” Castillo said. “And the line that they have destroyed is the most visible and most recognised of all.”
And, that’s not taking into effect that this may be cryptobiotic soil like in the US Southwest.

Even if not cryptobiotic, the lines were created by a differentiation in soil color below the surface, which Greenpeace disturbed. (See photo below.) In this story, Luis Jaime Castillo, Peru's vice minister for culture, says bluntly:
There is no known technique to restore it to the way it was.
That's the bottom line.

And, they picked the wrong place within Nazca, even, Castillo said:
The hummingbird was in a pristine area, untouched. Perhaps it was the best figure.

Two more notes.

One, the activists included people from neighboring Argentina, Brazil and Chile, who definitely should know better, one would think.

Two, despite pledge of cooperation with the government of Peru, there's this:
The group said it would cooperate with authorities. But on Friday a spokesman in Lima, Mike Townsley, said that the activists involved in the incident had left Peru and that the group had not given their names to government officials.

In other words, Greenpeace to Peru says: Eff you. 

Beyond that, it’s a second round of cultural imperialism for white Westerners to be telling Peruvian officials that this was no big deal. So, too is a non-apology about possible "moral offense." Any alleged apology where the actual apologetic statement begins with an "if" isn't an apology.

As for people still trying to defend Greenpeace?

Put down the shovels ...

And, let's crank up the petards in another way.

How much carbon dioxide did Greenpeace use for this (and other stunts of the past week) at a climate conference that set a carbon-busting record and is going to end by probably doing nothing, all while relying on the Church of AlGore's carbon offsets, modern environmentalists' equivalent of medieval Catholic indulgences. (A wrap on the Lima meetings: Yes, they essentially did nothing, while pretending they accomplished something.)

Nazca, post-Greenpeace
Update: Greenpeace US has an actual apology. Too bad the internationals don't have such a full apology; as this piece, which includes the photo at left, reminds us, this is just the latest in a laundry list of stupid Greenpeace actions, which above all include destroying Golden Rice as part of a blanket anti-GMO stance.

It's also not the first time that a dumb stunt by Greenpeace has been culturally insensitive to non-white peoples.

But, this was just a "minor environmental error" to its most ardent defenders.

I asked one a rhetorical question about whether it would be OK to do it to Native American-type sites here in the US or First Nations sites in his Canada and he dodged the issue.

As High Country News describes, the Blythe Intaglios, though not well known, are very similar.

Yeah, right.

And, these were all dumb stunts deliberately decided in advance by a group, where nobody apparently said, "Hey, wait a minute."

That's another part of the problem. Groupthink.

1 comment:

Simon said...

Group think stupidity?