5/13/2015

I Want the Job!



Dear Greenpeace: we've heard the news Kumi Naidoo is leaving the organization and here I present my humble input respecting the selection of your next leader.

I believe Greenpeace needs a transformational leader because, in my opinion, you are almost becoming irrelevant in the energy / climate discourse.

What should that leader bring to the equation?

Pragmatism. 

Greenpeace has become too ideological and thus more and more disconnected from reality.

Today, by far, the low CO2 energy sources in the world's energy market are hydro and nuclear. By far. 


Nothing else comes even close to them, thus the new Greenpeace should remove the "ban" on nuclear energy. 

Also, we need to think hard if natural gas should be embraced. For the same kWh produced, natural gas emits half the CO2 of coal fired power plants. Half! This is not a rounding error but a game changer. Nuclear cannot move as fast as natural gas, so we should fully support (for the moment) the aggressive ramping up of natural gas power plants and consequently of natural gas production itself. 

Additionally, coal does not only emit CO2, but pollutants harmful to health such as mercury, sulphur, sooth, etc., so natural gas is a win - win proposition. 

Your "heroics" and clowning were probably appropriate during your beginnings but now you need to grow up. The Nazca thing really harmed your reputation. These kind of things cannot continue to be condoned by Greenpeace's leadership. Yes, the Nazca thing went over the top, but climbing buildings and interfering with ocean oil rig operations is not correct either. 


Today Greenpeace is a mature organization and it should behave accordingly.

Oil companies are not the enemy, if anything, they are the servants of humanity. Oil companies for the most part don't even consume the oil they extract. The reason for their drilling are the demands from billions of customers. When we go to a gasoline station, we all EXPECT to be served the petrol our cars need. Imagine if they ran out of petrol? We'll have riots in our hands. Likewise, when we climb into a plane we EXPECT it to have enough fuel to reach our destination. So no, we cannot curtail production before we curtail demand. The onus is on the users, not on the producers.

If the mission of Greenpeace is "...to promote solutions that are essential to a green and peaceful future" then, in my opinion, these should be your priorities:

1. Embrace natural gas production (it generates half the CO2 of coal, see above).
2. Embrace nuclear energy (the most scaleable of the low CO2 energy sources).
3. Embrace efficiency (the lowest of the low hanging fruits).
4. Promote the education of girls worldwide (so they decide when and how many children they will have).
5. Support the adequate vetting of GMOs, but don't preemptively oppose them.
6. Don't go crazy with renewables. They'll have their place in our global energy diet but they will not become the main course. 
7. Try to lead by example. Your leadership should make a clear effort to reduce their CO2 emissions. It looks hypocritical for them to travel by plane all over the world (that's what video conferencing equipment is for).
8. Grow up.

I hope you find this input valuable in the selection of your new leader and setting your future direction.

Thank you very much.











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