20 Years Ago: 4-17-93 — Greenpeace chairman says “Oil isn’t necessary because the energy for this planet comes from the sun”

What’s incredible is that the group could actually raise $150 million in 1993 — an amount that has more than doubled 20 years later — with sentiments like that.

Read the news article below.

A world that runs without oil;
Greenpeace goal is less global warming, spilled oil

April 17, 1993, Reuters

Greenpeace, no stranger to controversy, is sure to stir up troubled waters with its latest goal — phasing out the global use of oil.

“We’re now talking about an oil-free future as opposed to just raising the issue of global warming,” said Australian Paul Gilding, the new executive director of Greenpeace International.

“Nuclear testing was the issue for the first 20 years of Greenpeace and I think oil will be for the next 20.”

For more than a decade, the international environmentalist group protested nuclear testing in the Pacific. France finally changed its policy after admitting it had blown up the Greenpeace flagship, Rainbow Warrior, in 1985.

The group also helped to achieve an international agreement in 1991 banning mining in Antarctica for a minimum of 50 years.

Mr. Gilding readily admits phasing out oil won’t be easy and he expects Greenpeace to face some big battles.

“We won’t take second-best for a solution. We set our sights high and have proven that it could be very successful. No one ever believed that the French would stop nuclear testing.”

Greenpeace says phasing out oil and other fossil fuels, such as coal and natural gas, is necessary because they contribute to global warming and acid rain and because of the environmental damage from oil spills.

A study commissioned by Greenpeace, called Energy Without Oil, says other energy options are already available and that such a transition would not bankrupt economies.

“It is technically and economically feasible to halve current global use of oil within 40 years,” the report said, adding that oil and other fossil fuels could be phased out entirely over the next century.

It calls for replacing oil with biofuels derived from agricultural sources such as plants and hydrogen and with electricity-generating sources such as solar and wind power.

Among the report’s recommendations are government support for public transport, tough new fuel-efficiency standards for vehicles, and pollution taxes on oil and other fossil fuels to reflect the costs of oil spills and pollution damage.

“If the public want to see a halt to the continuing tragedy of oil spills like those in the Shetlands and also prevent climate catastrophe, the choices are now clearly available,” added the Greenpeace report.

About 84,500 tonnes (92,950 tons) of crude oil spilled into the sea off Scotland’s Shetland Islands when the Liberian-registered tanker Braer ran aground in bad weather in January.

Greenpeace has been monitoring oil spills, exploration and drilling sites for many years. It is developing a long-term concept, focusing oncar-free cities and oil-free cars and trying to persuade oil companies to change their policies and diversify.

Mr. Gilding and Uta Bellion, the newly-appointed chairwoman of the Greenpeace International board, say an oil-free future is not only viable but essential.

“Oil is perceived to be necessary but it isn’t because our energy, the energy for this planet comes from … the sun,” said Ms Bellion, a German research scientist.

Greenpeace has grown from a handful of protesters in the 1970s into an international force with five million members, offices in 30 countries and an operating budget of $150 million US.

“The oil industry is a sunset industry,” said Mr. Gilding. “It can’t go on because of global warming. Any logical, scientific analysis not based on making a buck says that oil has to go, fossil fuels have to go.

“People argue whether it is 20 years, 40 years, 100 years or longer but it is pretty straightforward that we can’t afford to keep pumping CO2 (carbon dioxide) into the air.”

4 thoughts on “20 Years Ago: 4-17-93 — Greenpeace chairman says “Oil isn’t necessary because the energy for this planet comes from the sun””

  1. The rest of the world hasn’t caught up with you. They think the sun is no more than 0.014% iron.

    And the heat to drive hydrogen fusion comes from gravitational compression.

  2. Geothermal? Nuclear? Tidal? None of these come from the sun.

    I suppose that’s just quibbling, but Greenpeas is clearly no friend of the truth. And they compare this to a public relations “win” over the French? Sacre bleu.

  3. The Greenpeace MY Arctic Sunrise can carry 508,000 litres of fuel, and does not report its position when in International waters (which is necessary for collision avoidance).

  4. Fraülein Bellion should get a refund on her education. She apparently does not appreciate that the energy in oil came from the Sun.

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