This blog entry was originally written by Daniel on April 21st, but due to our website migration appears to be from a different date and author.
Greenpeace activists yesterday dumped manure in front of the entrance of the Brazilian Agency for Electric Energy in a protest against the building of the Belo Monte hydro power plant.
The signs Greenpeace activists put up in front of Brazil’s National Electric Energy Agency yesterday left no doubt what it was they had piled next to them:
A “beautiful mountain of shit”.
Indeed. “This was the only way to show, in one image, the terrible legacy Lula’s government will leave to the country by insisting on this adventure,” Greenpeace Brazil said, referring to the planned hydroelectric dam Belo Monte, which translates as Beautiful Mountain.
Brazil yesterday awarded construction rights for the $11 billion-project in the Amazon rainforest - and Greenpeace was there to say what a catastrophe the dam will be for the area’s environment. We placed tons of manure in front of every entry of the government building where the decision was taken.
“Belo Monte represents backwardness in Brazil, by replicating an old energy model that benefits few through a huge social and environmental destruction”, Sergio Leitão, campaigns director in Greenpeace Brazil, said.
The dam is being built in south Pará, one of the most beautiful regions of the Amazon. Going ahead with its construction does not only demonstrate Lula’s blindness to friendlier types of energy generation, but also threatens a place of high biodiversity and displaces Indian groups living in the area.
“To defend Belo Monte means to look at the country’s development through your car’s rearview mirror,” Greenpeace Brazil said.
Our “beautiful mountain of shit”, meanwhile, travelled a long way, with stories on the action appearing in newspapers including the Wall Street Journal, El Pais, Liberation, La Nacion, and The New Straits Times, as well as in several smaller outlets.
The cloud that doesn’t go away
The Washington Times has picked up our report on the impact of ‘cloud computing’ on climate change. The ‘cloud’- that’s where all the blogs, shared pictures and status updates are stored that make the internet such a vibrant place – is unfortunately still largely fuelled by fossil energy.
That’s why we have started a campaign to get the social networking site Facebook to power its planned data centre in Oregon from 100 percent renewable energy instead of coal.
The Washington Times quotes Gary Cook of Greenpeace regarding Facebook: "If you want to really be responsible for your carbon footprint, you should be trying to provision your electricity supply with renewable energy as much as possible."
Tell Facebook you want them to go all the way by joining our dedicated Facebook group.
The Greenpeace ship Beluga II in the Baltic Sea - now on its way to Russia.
Keeping rivers clean in Russia...
The Greenpeace ship Beluga II is bound for Russia, where we got permission to examine the country’s river pollution. It's the first time a western ship has been allowed to do this work, as Germany's Die Welt newspaper points out in a feature piece.
“We intend to anchor right in front of the Kreml,” a Greenpeace spokesperson told the newspaper. Water samples will first be analysed on board the ship, then transferred to labs in Germany, Russia and the UK.
...and in Argentina and Uruguay
Meanwhile, a UN court has rejected a claim by Argentina that a Uruguayan pulp mill is pumping dangerous pollution into the river on their mutual border. Greenpeace Argentina has used the opportunity to point out that neither country is in the clean when it comes to the environment along the shared border.
"This is a conflict that involves a lot of hypocrisy," campaign director Juan Carlos Villalonga is quoted saying. So far, neither country has developed shared rules for paper mills and other factories along the river, where fast-growing eucalyptus trees promise a booming industry.
"There hasn't been a serious and ongoing evaluation of pollution in the river, neither in Uruguay nor in Argentina." The story appeared in the New York Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Los Angeles Times, La Gaceta and the Miami Herald.