Skip to content

Greenpeace’s “Making Oil History Tour”- Courtesy Of Diesel Engines

September 16, 2018

By Paul Homewood


Greenpeace have launched their “Making Oil History“ tour, sending the Rainbow Warrior around New Zealand to spread the message and talk about the “clean energy future”:




However, while the Rainbow Warrior has sails it is also dependent on diesel engines for “bad weather conditions”!




Bad weather conditions? Well, fair enough I hear you say.

But it does not end there! The manufacturer’s spec also states:

The ship has the capacity to carry and launch inflatable boats in tough weather conditions. It also has a helicopter landing facility. The oceanic vessel is equipped with the latest in electronic navigation, sailing and communications equipment.

The ship was built to meet strict environmental demands and as a result the heat generated from the engine is recycled to heat the cabins and the used water is treated and purified by a biological system.


I think it is reasonable to assume that the helicopter won’t be wind propelled. And I doubt very much whether the electronic navigation, sailing and communications equipment will be either.

And just where the crew will get their heating and fresh water from without using those diesel engines is a puzzle that would confound even Mr Rubik!


If the silly little greenies want to play Captain Cook down under, that is up to them. But please stop pretending that you can do so without oil.

  1. Joe Public permalink
    September 16, 2018 10:07 pm

    Look – no sails:

  2. Tony Budd permalink
    September 16, 2018 10:15 pm

    Everybody seems to be concentrating on getting rid of oil as a fuel – but what about lubrication? If oil is not being recovered as a fuel, lubricating oil will become wildly expensive because the whole cost of exploration and recovery will be loaded onto that alone. Of course lubricating oil can probably be manufactured from plant or animal products, but don’t go there environmentally…

    • mikewaite permalink
      September 16, 2018 10:34 pm

      At long last , and considerable expense , the council have just stripped and retarmaced our road. The foreman I spoke to say that they now have (only!) 800km to finish before next winter’s frosts. In the absence of oil based products will we be returning to the 18th Cent invention of interlocked flints, or maybe brush up our Latin for guidance.

      • Gerry, England permalink
        September 17, 2018 1:45 pm

        Back to the days of John McAdam before they added the tar. Stretching a long way back to my schooldays I seem to recall that the iron-bound wagon and carriage wheels played a part by powderising the top layer which helped to bind the surface together.

    • Colin permalink
      September 19, 2018 2:15 pm

      Whale oil perhaps?

  3. Broadlands permalink
    September 16, 2018 10:39 pm

    Charles Darwin was way ahead of his time? The HMS Beagle sailed around the world for five years without back-up fuels, regardless of weather and without electronic navigation. It measured thousands of sea surface and air temperatures that average out to about what is at those places now…some even higher.

    • Sheri permalink
      September 16, 2018 10:43 pm

      Yep, somehow people did manage back then and since Greenpeace wants everyone to live that way now, they should absolutely set the example. What? They want US to live like that, not them?

      Isn’t it interesting how people in the early times kept meticulous records and now we think erasing and redoing records over and over is somehow the way to go? I’ll take Darwin’s research any day over any current government temperature data keeper.

  4. Sheri permalink
    September 16, 2018 10:40 pm

    If Greenpeace were truthfully concerned, their backup power would be oars, rowing when the wind is not blowing. The fact that they even consider diesel is absolute proof they are nothing but liars.

  5. saparonia permalink
    September 16, 2018 10:47 pm

    Not the right tack

  6. MrGrimNasty permalink
    September 16, 2018 10:51 pm

    I look at all the shipping that has, and continues to, service the Rampion windmill industrial complex, and I increasingly ask myself if all that diesel could be generating just as much electricity? Surely a sizable ship must use as much power as a small town?

    • September 17, 2018 6:25 am

      It doesn’t matter how much CO2 is emitted. The important thing is that wind power is, by the definition of the EU, renewable. It would be good to think that once (If) we leave the EU, then sanity will prevail and we can ditch the renewable energy targets, but unfortunately we will still have the Climate Change Act and the idiots will still be in charge (led like donkeys by the greenblob in the civil service).

      • Harry Passfield permalink
        September 17, 2018 9:52 am

        Phillip, logically, wind is not renewable as it is a one-time use only. The wind used to turn the blades of a turbine at any moment in time is just like a lump of coal from a pile of coal. One could just as soon argue that coal is renewable on that basis. It just takes a lot longer to renew a coal seam. [/s]

      • Ben Vorlich permalink
        September 17, 2018 10:50 am

        The UK will still be beholden to the United Nations post Brexit and as a result there’ll be little different in environmental and energy policies. The UN is a bigger threat to the well being of UK citizens than the EU in the long term.

      • A C Osborn permalink
        September 17, 2018 11:55 am

        The UK government is full of loony Climate believers, so nothing will change when we leave the EU.
        You only need to look at our stupid target for CO2 reduction, which is far higher than the EU.

      • Gerry, England permalink
        September 17, 2018 1:50 pm

        Sadly not, Phillip, if we have to sign a trade deal as climate change will be part of it. Most trade deals are more about peripheral things than trade itself. I would expect them to bind us to Paris. Also, being part of the Single Energy Market also commits us to the renewable crap. If we had proper generation capacity we would not need the interconnectors. Of course, if we did things correctly and left the EU via the Flexcit Efta/EEA route then we could ditch the renewable crap so another own-goal by the hard Brexit team.

    • MrGrimNasty permalink
      September 17, 2018 5:09 pm

      It is almost amusing that after days like today where the BBC has had saturation anti-Brexit propaganda on news and radio, all focusing on the supposed self-inflicted economic harm, they never mention the far greater and already real economic damage done by green policies.

      • Gerry, England permalink
        September 18, 2018 1:41 pm

        Protecting their green pension fund investments perhaps?

  7. Dave Ward permalink
    September 16, 2018 10:54 pm

    “The sails are made semi-automatic so that rigging-in and rigging-out becomes easier”

    Via such (non wind powered) aids as the hydraulic furling/unfurling motor on the forward stay… Some of the figures in that article are suspect (and they try and push the “Eco” case by being vague).

    “An electric drive system “ – sounds better than “diesel-electric propulsion” does it not? It claims “10kt on only 300kW” (just 20% of the D65A’s 1380kW maximum output), but then says “The ship, running on the back-up engine, moves at a maximum speed of 11kt”. So what is it – 10kt or 11kt? I note that the MAIN engine (type unspecified) pushes it to 16kt – but not surprisingly “This increases the emission levels.” There must be some pretty luxurious facilities onboard to make use of the remaining 1MW (or so) of spare output from that 65litre twin-turbo V16.

    As for this modern sounding (and apparently Eco friendly) mixed propulsion system – the Radio Caroline ship “Ross Revenge” (a former trawler, built specifically to evade the Icelandic patrol boats during the “Cod Wars”) had a far more versatile system 50 years ago!

  8. markl permalink
    September 17, 2018 3:58 am

    Wind assist on a boat that size/tonnage/design is minimal to a joke. Virtue signaling and nothing more.

    • Sara Hall permalink
      September 17, 2018 8:49 am

      I’d like to see a video of this boat under sail alone. I reckon it would handle like a bathtub.

  9. martinbrumby permalink
    September 17, 2018 4:43 am

    I hope the French secret service will be on the case….

  10. Immune to propaganda permalink
    September 17, 2018 6:22 am

    Hypocrisy is not a concept the greens are familiar with.

  11. Jack Broughton permalink
    September 17, 2018 10:21 am

    As great believers in renewable power why did they not use a windmill powered ship, these do not need to tack into the wind etc? Soar would be obviously limited at such latitudes.
    Maybe someone told them that the wind does not always blow, even in areas famed for their gales..

    Such ships never evolved because they are no better than sails in most situations.

    • Gerry, England permalink
      September 17, 2018 1:51 pm

      Oars on each side an bloke beating a drum perhaps?

  12. dennisambler permalink
    September 17, 2018 11:39 am

    Meanwhile, India, (which kicked Greenpeace out a few years ago), has no problem with diesel. Honda expect 80% of sales of their new CRV there, to be diesel.

  13. Ken Pollock permalink
    September 17, 2018 12:14 pm

    Anyone remember the origin of the Doldrums? No wind around the Equator…Anyone remember why they are called the “horse latitudes”? Around the tropics, the wind was so scarce and unreliable, sailors used to have to throw their horses over the side to save water and feed. Good thing the Rainbow Warrior crew won’t have to worry about such things – just fire up the diesel to get through the windless sections…

  14. September 17, 2018 12:15 pm

    Why not make Greenpeace history? Problem solved.

    The former president of Greenpeace Canada, Patrick Moore, activist, left the group. Since leaving Greenpeace, he has criticized the environmental movement for what he sees as scare tactics and disinformation, saying that the environmental movement “abandoned science and logic in favor of emotion and sensationalism”.

    He has a BS in Forest Biology and a PhD in Ecology. Both are from the University of British Columbia. So, unlike so many of the environmentalist activists, Moore actually had some credentials. Apparently the BS from Greenpeace, caught up with his BS and PhD’s in actual subjects.

  15. George Lawson permalink
    September 17, 2018 1:40 pm

    What a wonderful excuse for a six weeks cruise in the pretence that you are doing something for the environment. I don’t know how many of the Greenpeace family will be putting themselves to such a difficult, six weeks project, telling the local New Zealanders how they cannot manage without diesel oil, but I sure would like to offer my services on board for a nice ocean cruise. Presumably this is all done on the back of somebody’s charitable giving, as I presume they are not paying for the trip themselves. Do charitable environmentalists expect their donations to be spent in this wasteful way? I would quickly withdraw my support if they were using my money for such a nice jolly.

  16. Bitter@twisted permalink
    September 17, 2018 3:48 pm

    Where’s the DGSE when you need them?

  17. Coeur de Lion permalink
    September 17, 2018 6:27 pm

    In harbour they will have a diesel generator for hotel services. Nip on board and crash stop it.

  18. Marcos permalink
    September 17, 2018 6:49 pm

    Propulsion is one thing: it can be done by wind on sailing boats (assuming there is wind, like with wind power). The back up of an engine for propulsion is good practice on sailing boats: you need it to be able to do what you have to do. Another thing however is the machines that provide electrical power for all services: the generators, Light, AC, heating, communication, cooking, navigating, etc. all needs electrical power and there is no socket plug outside for power!! Most of the time the main engine can be used for this purpose, sometimes there are separate generators, and fuel capacity of 110 tons is probaly mainly for that purpose. But it remains BS and a marketing trick to claim that this is powered by clean energy. It simply cannot be done without diesel.

  19. Green Sand permalink
    September 17, 2018 7:51 pm

    There’s something rotten in our establishment:-

    ‘Ofgem exploited national security law to silence us, whistleblowers claim’

    “Energy regulator workers say they were told they could not expose concerns about separate major projects.

    One of the whistleblowers was an economist with oversight of the £10.9bn smart meter programme. …….”

  20. September 18, 2018 10:06 pm

    Thanks for the laugh. A few years ago (late 1980s) I got a ship diagram of the Rainbow Warrior II in a fund raising letter. I wasn’t able to attach the picture here, but I and my lab mates added secret forward torpedo banks, hidden missiles under the cargo hatch and camouflaged targeting radar. Given their reputation of disrupting whalers and other fishing ships, I added the caption “They hate violence so much, they get downright violent about it.”

  21. Peter MacFarlane permalink
    September 19, 2018 2:00 pm

    The backup engine “runs on diesel-electric propulsion”


    Is this just bad editing of the press release, or is it possible that they don’t have a clue what they are talking about?

    I think we should be told.

    • MrGrimNasty permalink
      September 19, 2018 8:25 pm

      U-boat technology isn’t it! Hardly cutting edge.

  22. Colin permalink
    September 19, 2018 2:25 pm

    The spec says the ship bunkers 90 tons of diesel so it’s clearly not just for emergencies. Using waste heat to heat the ship is laudable but even the ghastly oil rig I worked on used waste heat recovery to raise steam. As mentioned they could have run the thing on sail alone, good enough for the Beagle etc etc, but that would have entailed wearing a hair shirt, which is fine for the proles but not the Green Elite.

  23. colin smith permalink
    September 24, 2018 12:59 pm

    On the efficiency of diesel electric vs mechanical drive.
    Isn’t a mechanical system always going to have lower losses?

    There may be other reasons why the former is used/preferred but CO2 (praise be the gas) emissions cannot be one of them.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: