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Greenpeace’s Business Model

December 18, 2018

By Paul Homewood


A new study by Willie Soon, Patrick Moore, Michael, Ronan and Imelda Connolly goes to the heart of how Greenpeace operate:




Although Greenpeace relies heavily on marketing, advertising, and free market principles, they promote socialist and anti-capitalist ideals in their messaging.

Greenpeace have successfully created a public perception that they are fighting to protect humanity, nature and the environment from the evils of corrupt industries and vested interests. This perception is so popular and wide-spread that whenever Greenpeace speaks out on an issue it is automatically assumed to be true, and anybody who questions Greenpeace’s claims is assumed to be corrupt. However, as we will discuss in this report, the reality is almost exactly the opposite…

Greenpeace is a very successful business. Their business model can be summarized as follows:

  1. Invent an “environmental problem” which sounds somewhat plausible. Provide anecdotal evidence to support your claims, with emotionally powerful imagery.
  2. Invent a “simple solution” for the problem which sounds somewhat plausible and emotionally appealing, but is physically unlikely to ever be implemented.
  3. Pick an “enemy” and blame them for obstructing the implementation of the “solution”. Imply that anybody who disagrees with you is probably working for this enemy.
  4. Dismiss any alternative “solutions” to your problem as “completely inadequate”.

At each of the four stages, they campaign to raise awareness of the efforts that they are allegedly making to “fight” this problem. Concerned citizens then either sign up as “members” (with annual fees) or make individual donations (e.g., $25 or more) to help them in “the fight”. This model has been very successful for them, with an annual turnover of about $400 million ($0.4 billion). Although technically a “not for profit” organization, this has not stopped them from increasing their asset value over the years, and they currently have an asset value of $270 million ($0.27 billion) – with 65% of that in cash, making them a cash-rich business. Several other groups have also adopted this approach, e.g., Sierra Club, Friends of the Earth, WWF and the Union of Concerned Scientists.

Although their business relies heavily on marketing, advertising, and free market principles, they promote socialist and anti-capitalist ideals in their messaging. As a result, their campaigning efforts appear to resonate strongly with left-leaning parties and liberal media. By draping themselves in “moral clothing” (see Appendix 4), Greenpeace have been very effective at convincing these progressive organizations that anything Greenpeace says is “good” and “true”, and whatever they criticise is “bad” and “corrupt”. However, as we discuss in this report, Greenpeace are not actually helping to protect the environment, or exposing real problems. Instead, they are:

  1. Creating unnecessary feelings of guilt, panic and frustration among the general public. Greenpeace then make money off this moral outrage, guilt and helplessness (Section 1).
  2. Vilifying the innocent as “enemies”. Once you have been tarred by Greenpeace’s brush, any attempts to defend yourself are usually treated with suspicion or even derision (Section 2).
  3. Deliberately fighting honest attempts by other groups to tackle the “environmental problems” that Greenpeace claim need to be tackled (Sections 3 and 5).
  4. Distorting the science to generate simplistic “environmental crises” that have almost nothing to do with the genuine environmental issues which should be addressed. (Sections 4-5)
  5. Actively shutting down any attempts to have any informed discussions about what to actually do about the “problems” they have highlighted (Appendices 2-4).

The full paper is here.

  1. Joe Public permalink
    December 18, 2018 6:53 pm

    For an organisation holding $175m in cash, it still touts for unpaid volunteers to increase further, that cash holding:

    • Gerry, England permalink
      December 19, 2018 1:47 pm

      I guess the volunteers don’t care about the fat salaries paid out to the top Greenpiss czars, including free air travel, while they give up their time for nothing.

  2. Marjorie Spacek permalink
    December 18, 2018 7:03 pm

    This has been obvious since decades earlier. Recall when the campaign began to inform the world of the “dreadful aspects” of the seal hunt and how successful that was. The “naturalists” were filmed in various beautiful locations, but always presenting some dire crisis with respect to some species or other. They discovered that people would contribute to them. No proof of anything needed–just the word that some species was in grave peril. The crisis with some fauna was usually connected with some human group, often some poorer hard-working individuals, some indigenous population, or those engaged in hazardous work: deepsea fishing, tree harvesting. The “nature” groups often recruited among college students, presenting to the world the face of youth and courage to face great dangers, and opposing “big business.” Yes, such a successful business model with the perks to go with it–retiring to vineyards in Tuscany, etc. and trampled into the dust behind them many suffering humans. Disgusting people!

  3. December 18, 2018 7:41 pm

    Greenpeace is the favourite go-to organisation of the BBC for quotes on any environmental issue. From that alone you immediately know that it cannot be trusted to tell the truth. In fact you can be sure that the truth is the opposite of what Greenpeace says – like the BBC, it is a broadcaster of fake news.

  4. johnbillscott permalink
    December 18, 2018 7:43 pm

    In Canada donations to registered charities are tax deductible and therefore we all pay by making up for loss of taxes. The parasitic eco-industry collectively must by now be one of the most profitable in the world. Having crossed swords with Greedpiece many years ago I can attest that they are arrogant liars, remember the Shell platform de-commissioning debacle which cost millions, who regard themselves as above the law. I feel sorry for the unpaid dupes canvassing for donations.

  5. Bruce of Newcastle permalink
    December 18, 2018 9:02 pm

    WWF turns up at my local shopping centre quite regularly.

    They set up a table, which is staffed by three drop dead gorgeous young ladies with svelt black pants and T-shirts. The table has the usual posters of cuddly polar bears and pandas.

    Utterly transparent.

    • Gerry, England permalink
      December 19, 2018 1:47 pm

      I hope you try to show them the error of their ways.

    • Henning Nielsen permalink
      December 19, 2018 4:26 pm

      Utterly transparent; what, the T-shirts?

      • Gerry, England permalink
        December 20, 2018 2:06 pm

        Could be why Bruce goes to the shopping centre regularly.

  6. Jack Broughton permalink
    December 18, 2018 10:29 pm

    Greenpeace have obviously got Christopher Bookers excellent book, Scared to Death as they are following all the principles from that. They then add a bit of Joe Goebbels in for fun!

    Sadly, crusading appeals to young people with little concern about the factual aspects, I have shocked most of my young friends by being a “denier”, banned from discussing even …. they hope!

  7. nickreality65 permalink
    December 19, 2018 1:05 am

    For the greenhouse effect to work as advertised the surface of the earth must radiate as an ideal black body. However, the non-radiative heat transfer processes of the contiguous atmospheric air and water molecules render such ideal BB upwelling radiation impossible.

    Because the atmosphere and the albedo reflect away 30% of the incoming solar energy the earth is cooler compared to no atmosphere and does not warm it per greenhouse theory. Without the atmosphere the earth would receive 20% to 40% more kJ/h and be much like the moon, blazing hot on the lit side, bitter cold on the dark, a bone dry, gray, barren rock, nothing like NOAA’s frozen ball of snow and ice.

    No greenhouse effect, no carbon dioxide warming and no man caused climate change.

  8. Bitter@twisted permalink
    December 19, 2018 8:08 am

    So Greenpeace are a pack of corrupt, lying scamsters.
    Just like other “green” groups.
    What’s new?

  9. Peter F Gill permalink
    December 19, 2018 9:20 am

    There have been plenty of principled members of Greenpeace for example past President Patrick Moore, Chief Scientific Adviser Peter Taylor and lowly Member myself (but only for 5 years because I then saw that like WWF its preoccupation with AGW meant a less than principled agenda).

  10. December 19, 2018 12:56 pm

    A couple of decades ago, Greenpeace qualified as a terrorist organization. Perhaps they still do, although I don’t hear about some of their more egregious antics these days.

    Essentially all of the “environmentalist” scare groups are funded somewhere by George Soros and are just fronts for Marxist socialism. But we know that.

    • Henning Nielsen permalink
      December 19, 2018 8:42 pm

      Indeed, their rubber dinghies ar somewhat deflated today.

  11. December 19, 2018 4:08 pm

    Reblogged this on The Logical Place.

  12. December 19, 2018 6:03 pm

    Why a need for this essay.
    MSM and it’s journos have had the public’s back all along.
    And have always pointed out Greenpeace’s flaws, NOT

  13. December 20, 2018 3:07 am

    Billions Raised Nothing Accomplished

    • December 20, 2018 11:54 am

      Nothing accomplished? Not so. A bunch of losers became wealthy.

  14. Sonja A Boehmer-Christiansen permalink
    December 20, 2018 4:30 pm

    What is wrong with being anti-capitalist ideas? Surely , this depends on the ideas and their implementation that claim to be ‘capitalist’. THERE ARE SERVARL VARIETIES EVEN O CAPITLAISM AND SOCIALISM. This asserted link with a political ideology has been the main weakness, IMHO, of the sceptics and has prevented them to be listened to FAR more widely. In fact a majority of people who are a bit more ‘progressive’, have by now rejected climate scepticism because of this ideological brush, not because of the science, warmism has won out because of its link with more progressive social-economic theory, NOT because of the science.
    Gore etc is surely not left-wing???Nixon wasn’t, neither was M Thatcher….nor is the current decarbonising UK government etc…

    The world is too complex and fast changing to be divided into right and left on the grounds of a much outdated theory of society , i.e. the claim that pro-man-made global warming people, must be ‘red’… This simplification and self-defeating position has turned some scientific sceptics into admirers of D Trump, not that he hasn’t got some attractions , especially to…….complete sentence yourself.. Merry Xmas

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