On this day, June 10, in 1985 the Greenpeace campaign ship Rainbow Warrior was sank in the port of Aukland, New Zealand, by French foreign intelligence services.
In an operation codenamed Operation Satanique, the ship was sank by French special operatives posing as campaign supporters to prevent it from interfering in a proposed Nuclear weapons test in Moruroa.
The sinking of the Rainbow Warrior, however, caused the death of photographer Fernando Pereira, and the incident became a French PR disaster.
Two operatives were arrested by New Zealand authorities on charges of arson, conspiracy to commit arson, wilful damage and murder. The two pleaded guilty for manslaughter and were sentenced to 10 years – but only served two.
The French government, a longstanding ally of New Zealand, originally condemned the actions as ‘terrorist’, and denied any involvement.
The majority of agents involved in the bomb plot escaped but two were arrested, after posing as a married couple, in one of the nation’s largest police enquiries.
Arrested with Swiss passports, the operatives, when their true identities were finally confirmed as Dominique Prieur and Alain Mafart, confirmed the French government’s involvement.
The resulting scandal ended with the resignation of French defence minister Charles Hernu.
The French government, at the arrest of their operatives, threatened to place economic embargos on New Zealand, and ban New Zealand exports to the EU – a sanction that would have crippled the island’s delicate economy.
A full confession of the French involvement came later in 1985, when the then French prime minister Laurent Fabius invited journalists to listen to a 200 word statement confirming the entire operation, stating, “the truth is cruel”.
Other agents have since come forward and admitted their involvement. The French government has still, however, never formally apologised to Pereira’s family.
Under international pressure, the French government finally paid $8 million (£4.6m) to Greenpeace in compensation. The nuclear tests were stopped regardless by a flotilla of private yachts.
Greenpeace conclusively stated regarding the bombing, “It was an instance when a government chose to respond to peaceful protest with deadly force.”
Due to the sinking of the first Rainbow Warrior, combined with the nuclear catastrophe in Chernobyl, Greenpeace’s membership tripled – significantly increasing its international prestige and influence.
The Rainbow Warrior was deemed irreparable and subsequently scuttled. It, was however, replaced by another – and now used by Greenpeace to continue campaigning, primarily in the Antarctic, against the continued drilling of oil reserves deep under the ice.
Greenpeace have described the ship in 2011 as, “the world’s first purpose-built environmental campaigning ship – readied herself to carry on the original Rainbow Warrior’s spirit.”
The consequences of drilling in the Antarctic will be primarily felt by the region’s diverse and highly sensitive ecology – leading Greenpeace to recently target Lego and its advertising connections to the oil giant Shell.
Continuing in the same spirit, the Rainbow Warrior’s captain was recently arrested by Dutch authorities for attempting to stop a Russian oil tanker delivering oil drilled in the Antarctic.
The wreckage of the ship original Rainbow Warrior has been given a resting place in Matauri Bay, in New Zealand’s Cavalli Islands – where it is now used as a diving wreck and marine conservation area.
Photo source: Olga Berrios via Flickr
4 Common Items That Can be Reused Again and Again
As a society we are getting much better at taking our obligations to the world and environment around us more seriously. This is undoubtedly a good thing! The effects of climate change are beginning to manifest across the world, and this is turning the issue from an abstract threat into a very real danger. Trying to introduce some greener, more eco-friendly practices into your life isn’t just a great way of doing something beneficial for society and the world around you. It is a wonderful way of engaging positively with the world and carries with it numerous psychological benefits.
Being a greener, more ecologically friendly person doesn’t require any dramatic life changes. Breaking or making a few small habits is all it takes to make your life a greener one. In this article we look at one of the easiest, yet most effective green practices to get into: reusing everyday items.
Jars and Containers
Glass and metal are widely recycled, and recycling is a good thing! However, consider whether any containers you buy, whether it’s a tub of ice cream or a jar of coffee, can be washed out and reused for something else. Mason jars, for example, can be used to store homemade pasta sauce and can be washed for future use. Once you start thinking about it, you will find endless opportunities to reuse your old containers.
An ice-cold soda is a wonderful treat on a hot day, but buying soda can get expensive, and the manufacturing and distribution of the drinks themselves isn’t great for the environment. However, by holding on to your old soda bottles and repurposing them as water bottles, you can save money on drinks, or use them to measure out water for your garden.
Most of the time groceries come in paper bags, which are better for the environment than the plastic alternatives, but they are less durable and thus harder to reuse. Whenever the store places your items in a plastic bag, hang onto it so you can reuse the bags again. If you want to take it one step further, consider looking into buying some personalized recycled bags. These bags are designed to last for a long time and are made of recycled materials. They look striking and unique, they’ll turn heads, and maybe even attitudes!
If you’re a keen gardener, then you will already probably know how to reseed your plants in order to ensure a fresh crop after each plant’s lifecycle. If you have space in your garden, or haven’t yet tried your hand at gardening, then consider planting a small vegetable plot. Growing your own veggies means that you’ll be helping to cut back on the emissions generated by their transport and production. The best part about growing your own food in this way is that, by harvesting properly and saving the seeds, you can be set up with fresh vegetables for life!
Reusing and recycling common household items is an easy way to make your world a little bit greener. Once you start looking for these opportunities you’ll realize that they’re everywhere!
These 5 Green Office Mistakes Are Costing You Money
The sudden interest in green business is very encouraging. According to recent reports, 42% of all companies have rated sustainability as an important element of their business. Unfortunately, the focus on sustainability will only last if companies can find ways to use it to boost their ROI.
Many businesses get so caught up in being socially conscious that they hope the financial aspect of it takes care of itself. The good news is that there are plenty of ways to go green and boost your net income at the same time.
Here are some important mistakes that you will want to avoid.
Only implementing sustainability on micro-scale
The biggest reason that brands are going green is to improve their optics with their customers. Too many businesses are making very minor changes, such as processing paperwork online and calling themselves green.
Customers have become wary of these types of companies. If you want to earn their business, you are going to need to go all the way. Bring in a green business consultant and make every feasible change to demonstrate that you are a green organization from top to bottom.
Not prioritizing investments by long-term ROI
It isn’t realistic to build an entirely green organization overnight. You will need to allocate your capital wisely.
Before investing in any green assets or services, you should always conduct a long-term cost benefit analysis. The initial investment for some green services may be over $20,000. If they don’t shave your cost by at least $3,000 a year, they probably aren’t worth the investment.
Determine which green investments will have the best pay off over the next 10 years. Make these investments before anything else. Then compare your options within each of those categories.
Implementing green changes without a plan
Effective, long-term planning is the key to business success. This principle needs to be applied to green organizations as well.
Before implementing a green strategy, you must answer the following questions:
- How will I communicate my green business philosophy to my customers?
- How will running a green business affect my revenue stream?
- How will adopting green business strategies change my monthly expenses? Will they increase or decrease them?
- How will my company finance green upgrades and other investments?
The biggest mistake that too many green businesses make is being overly optimistic with these forecasts. Take the time to collect objective data and make your decisions accordingly. This will help you run a much more profitable green business.
Not considering the benefits of green printing
Too many companies believe that going paperless is the only way to run a green organization. Unfortunately, going 100% paperless it’s not feasible for most companies.
Rather than aim for an unrealistic goal, consider the option of using a more environmentally friendly printer. It won’t be perfect, but it will be better than the alternative.
According to experts from Doranix, environmental printers have several benefits:
- They can process paper that has been completely recycled.
- They consume less energy than traditional printers.
- They use ink that is more environmentally friendly.
You want to take a look at different green printers and compare them. You’ll find that some will meet your needs as a green business.
Poorly communicating your green business strategy to customers
Brand positioning doesn’t happen on its own. If you want to run a successful green business, you must communicate your message to customers as clearly as possible. You must also avoid the appearance that you are patronizing them.
The best approach is to be clear when you were first making the change. I’ll make an announcement about your company‘s commitment to sustainability.
You also want to reinforce this message overtime by using green labels on all of your products. You don’t have to be blatant with your messaging at this stage. Simply provide a small, daily reminder on your products and invoices.
Finally, it is a good idea to participate in green business seminars and other events. If your community has a local Green Chamber of Commerce, you should consider joining as well.
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