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Panem et Circenses
The Roman poet Juvenal wrote that “the People have abdicated our duties; for the restrains itself and anxiously hopes for just two things: bread and circuses.” Even the most easily amused of Romans would be unsatisfied with the thin entertainment gruel provided by Greenpeace.

While some environmental groups still focus on substance, Greenpeace prefers to provide trivial spectacles, often involving trespassing. Recent examples of Greenpeace silliness include scaling the cooling tower of a French nuclear power plant, climbing to the chimney top of a British coal-fired power plant, and an attempt to take a tree trunk from an Amazon rainforest.

Greenpeace’s Amazon stunt ended after the police escorted the Grenpeace members from the area after “after hundreds of loggers and townspeople besieged them” overnight, unamused at their antics. The Brazilian environmental agency Ibama explained that “it withdrew its authorization for Greenpeace to transport the tree trunk, saying that the group had created conflicts with the local population.”

Environmental NGOs who do make a serious effort to put forth constructive ideas are deserving of respect and recognition. Describing Greenpeace’s contributions to the environment is a bit tricker however since, as Juvanal noted, difficile est saturam non scribere.

See Reuters article

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