The Browning of Greenpeace

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Date: Friday, January 12th, 2007, 08:00
Category: Opinion
greenpeace_logo_.jpg

Lately Greenpeace has been targeting Apple with a “GreenMyApple” campaign, including the infamous “Greening of Apple” publicity stunt in New York a little while back. OK, point made, good to be aware that Apple, like many, could do better.
The problem is, they’re going too far. Way, way too far.
They claim that they’re targeting Apple because Apple should be better because they’re, well, Apple. But like a teenager who’s crushed upon learning that their parents are imperfect and only human, Greenpeace doesn’t seem to want to accept that Apple is a corporation like any other, that they try to do their best, and they’re not perfect. Greenpeace is running the risk of alienating people who support them. And they don’t care.
How do I know? I called them. I spoke to someone about the GreenMyApple
campaign, and explained to him, in the most rational way possible, that
while I sympathized with their goals, there was a backlash going on;
that when I read about their activities I found myself thinking badly of
Greenpeace, not of Apple. I may as well have been talking to my iPod; he
told me about the validity of the campaign, and even said, “we alienate
people with every campaign we do. That’s just how it goes.” He couldn’t
have been less interested.
Hmm. Nice. Chalk up one more alienated person.
Of course, there’s plenty of holes in Greenpeace’s story, too. You could read Roughly Drafted who wrote After spending at least $50,000 on expensive lab work, Greenpeace ignored the data they discovered, or AppleInsider who reported Greenpeace admits placing Apple under more scrutiny than any other electronics manufacturer. But that’s facts, and Greenpeace prefers factiness.
Like that teenager seeking attention by whatever means necessary, Greenpeace seems hell-bent on trying to cause Apple problems, from unruly protests (that get them kicked out of Macworld Expo) to botched “greening events” – but not out of high moral ground; they do it purely because they know that attacking Apple gets them publicity.
Here’s the problem with that…. Read more after the jump…

greenpeace_logo_.jpg

Lately Greenpeace has been targeting Apple with a “GreenMyApple” campaign, including the infamous “Greening of Apple” publicity stunt in New York a little while back. OK, point made, good to be aware that Apple, like many, could do better.
The problem is, they’re going too far. Way, way too far.
They claim that they’re targeting Apple because Apple should be better because they’re, well, Apple. But like a teenager who’s crushed upon learning that their parents are imperfect and only human, Greenpeace doesn’t seem to want to accept that Apple is a corporation like any other, that they try to do their best, and they’re not perfect. Greenpeace is running the risk of alienating people who support them. And they don’t care.
How do I know? I called them. I spoke to someone about the GreenMyApple
campaign, and explained to him, in the most rational way possible, that
while I sympathized with their goals, there was a backlash going on;
that when I read about their activities I found myself thinking badly of
Greenpeace, not of Apple. I may as well have been talking to my iPod; he
told me about the validity of the campaign, and even said, “we alienate
people with every campaign we do. That’s just how it goes.” He couldn’t
have been less interested.
Hmm. Nice. Chalk up one more alienated person.
Of course, there’s plenty of holes in Greenpeace’s story, too. You could read Roughly Drafted who wrote After spending at least $50,000 on expensive lab work, Greenpeace ignored the data they discovered, or AppleInsider who reported Greenpeace admits placing Apple under more scrutiny than any other electronics manufacturer. But that’s facts, and Greenpeace prefers factiness.
Like that teenager seeking attention by whatever means necessary, Greenpeace seems hell-bent on trying to cause Apple problems, from unruly protests (that get them kicked out of Macworld Expo) to botched “greening events” – but not out of high moral ground; they do it purely because they know that attacking Apple gets them publicity.
Here’s the problem with that.
They think they’re David attacking Goliath, but their zealotry is blinding them and they’re having the opposite effect; they’re forgetting that there’s a considerable crossover between the folks who write them checks, and the folks who choose to buy Apple computers – and then you have to ask which devotion is stronger: support of Greenpeace, or dedication to supporting Apple.
Personally I think Greenpeace fills a necessary balancing role in our modern society. But I fear that continuing to attack Apple (don’t they know that’s not trendy anymore? It went out with the 90′s) isn’t furthering their cause, but causing them harm. I guess self-destructive behavior does fit the teenager analogy I’ve been making, though.
Greenpeace even has a parody web site up that mocks Apple, but instead of being witty and clever, it just comes across as a snarky spoiled kid with never-ending complaints. Greenpeace is tarnishing itself by attacking the wrong target. Greenpeace is turning brown.
An open letter to Greenpeace: we get it.
Apple should do better. And I guarantee you, Apple has heard you too, whether they’re returning your calls or not. Continuing isn’t going to make those successes greater.
Show us you’re not the corporate equivalent of a snotty-nosed kid who’s parents won’t stop him from kicking the back of our airplane seat, but that you’ve grown up and can realize when to quit while you’re ahead. Show us you don’t just have good ideas, but that you can think, too.
Don’t make us start organizing civil disobediences to disrupt your civil disobediences. And don’t make us hate you. Because you’re on the way to both.
Contributed by: Steve Abrahamson

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