‘Greenpeace Finally Held To Account’

‘Greenpeace’ first came to prominence in Canada; therefore, it’s only fitting that what could be the beginning of its downfall is also occurring there:

“‘Greenpeace’, after repeated attacks against Canada’s biggest forest products company for “destroying” Canada’s boreal forests, now says that it was merely stating an opinion about the logging activity, not a fact. {!}

“After years of weathering attacks on its forestry practices, Montreal-based ‘Resolute Forest Products Inc.’ last year sued Greenpeace in United States District Court in Georgia under racketeering statutes, alleging that Greenpeace’s repeated attacks on Resolute, to raise money for Greenpeace, amount to criminal activity.

“In its claim, Resolute noted that Greenpeace has lobbied big Resolute paper customers, such as the ‘Rite-Aid’ pharmacy chain (which printed its flyers on Resolute newsprint), encouraging them to switch suppliers, because, said Greenpeace, Resolute is a “forest destroyer”.


“But now Greenpeace says it never intended people to take its words about Resolute’s logging practices as literal truth.

“The publications’ use of the word “Forest Destroyer”, for example, is obvious rhetoric”, Greenpeace writes in its motion to dismiss the Resolute lawsuit. “Resolute did not literally destroy an entire forest. It is of course arguable that Resolute destroyed portions of the Canadian Boreal Forest without abiding by policies and practices established by the Canadian government and the Forest Stewardship Council, but that is the point: The “Forest Destroyer” statement cannot be proven true or false, it is merely an opinion”.

Greenpeace adds that its attacks on Resolute

are without question non-verifiable statements of subjective opinion and at most, non-actionable rhetorical hyperbole.”

“None of the allegations by Resolute or Greenpeace has been tested in this case, which remains before the courts.

“Richard Garneau, the chief executive of Resolute, who himself hails from the company’s centre of logging operations in the Saguenay region north of Quebec City, seized on Greenpeace’s admissions in an op-ed published Thursday in the conservative U.S. magazine ‘National Review’ {See below…}.

A funny thing happened when Greenpeace and allies were forced to account for their claims in court, Garneau wrote.They started changing their tune. Their condemnations of our forestry practices ‘do not hew to strict literalism or scientific precision’, as they concede in their latest legal filings. These are sober admissions after years of irresponsible attacks.”


“Garneau, in Toronto Thursday, said Greenpeace’s attacks have hurt many across northern Quebec and Ontario.

“It is sad that we have to do all this to straighten out the record on misinformation”, he said. “It is sad that all Greenpeace’s allegations are against people who cannot defend themselves against organizations who blackmail customers to raise money.”

“Resolute has faced criticism over its logging practices in the boreal forests of Ontario and Quebec from people other than Greenpeace. Forest product companies pay the German-based ‘Forest Stewardship Council’ to review their logging operations and ensure they are sustainable. The FSC logo emblazons products across Canada as responsibly sourced — such as the envelopes used by Canada’s five biggest banks to send out customers’ account statements. FSC in 2014 revoked its seal of approval for logging operations that comprise about half of the forests where Resolute operates in Canada.

“FSC said that Resolute wasn’t doing enough to protect caribou habitat, and failed to get {unnecessary} permission from ‘First Nations’ to log certain forests.

“But Resolute has trained its legal firepower squarely on Greenpeace. In 2013, Resolute extracted an apology from Greenpeace for falsely alleging that Resolute had cut trees in an area it promised to spare. That same year, Resolute sued Greenpeace for libel in Thunder Bay, Ont., alleging that the global environmental group was spreading lies about the forest harvesting operations.

“Greenpeace was not immediately available for comment.”

–‘Greenpeace admits its attacks on forest products giant were ‘non-verifiable statements of subjective opinion’,
Peter Kuitenbrouwer, Financial Post, Mar. 2, 2017



“A few years ago, Greenpeace and allied groups chose my company, Resolute, Canada’s largest forest-products company, to be their next victim.

“They compiled a litany of outlandish assertions: We were “forest destroyers”, for example, aggravating climate change, and causing a “caribou death spiral and extinction” in Canada’s boreal habitat. Greenpeace harassed companies we do business with, threatening them with the same sort of smear campaign that they launched against us, and even instigating cyber-attacks on their websites. And they bragged about the damage — $100 million, in Canadian dollars — that they claimed to have inflicted on our business.

“They were lying about our forestry practices, so we did something that none of the group’s other targets have yet found the wherewithal to do: We sued them, in Canada, for defamation and intentional interference with economic relations, and in the United States under RICO statutes.

“A funny thing happened when Greenpeace and allies were forced to account for their claims in court. They started changing their tune. Their condemnations of our forestry practices “do not hew to strict literalism or scientific precision”, as they concede in their latest legal filings.

“Their accusations against Resolute were instead “hyperbole”, “heated rhetoric”, and “non-verifiable statements of subjective opinion” that should not be taken “literally” or expose them to any legal liability. These are sober admissions after years of irresponsible attacks. No “forest loss” was caused by Resolute, the groups concede — now that they are being held accountable. Of course, these late admissions are consistent with the findings of just about every independent journalist and commentator who has covered the dispute, from the ‘Wall Street Journal’ editorial board to ‘Enquête’, a Canadian version, roughly, of ‘60 Minutes’. Even Steve Forbes weighed in, calling our lawsuit

“an outstanding example of how unfairly attacked companies should respond”.

“Peter Reich, one of the world’s leading forest ecologists, has said that Greenpeace has

a fundamental disregard for scientific reality”.

Greenpeace staged a display targeting Resolute in Montreal in 2014.

Greenpeace staged a display targeting Resolute in Montreal in 2014.

“Finally hearing the truth from Greenpeace itself is vindication, even if it comes in the form of a tortured defense of its actions, rather than a simple apology. Remarkably, despite admitting in court that its rhetoric against Resolute is not true, Greenpeace continues to disparage us publicly and privately. Just a few weeks ago, we sent it a cease-and-desist letter demanding that it stop sending to our customers threatening letters accusing us of the

“destruction of forests in Quebec and Ontario”.

“Some news outlets in the United States have filed amicus briefs on behalf of Greenpeace, on free-speech grounds. But freedom of speech is not the same as libel and slander. And the public should ask the outlets when it can expect scrutinizing, critical coverage of what Greenpeace itself now admits are deceptive practices.

More than a billion trees. That’s how many Resolute’s workers have planted in Ontario’s boreal forest, in addition to the hundreds of millions that workers have planted in Quebec. Yet for years now, the eco-provocateurs at Greenpeace have been raising money off the calculated mistruths that we are somehow

“responsible for the destruction of vast areas of forest”.

“So far, they have acted with virtual impunity and profited handsomely. One Greenpeace executive was even caught laughing on camera when he was confronted on a leading broadcast program with photos of a forest, affected by a wildfire, that the group erroneously said was “destroyed” by Resolute. It was morally wrong and yet another example that, as Greenpeace puts it,

“heated rhetoric is the coin of the realm”.

“For me, confronting this barrage of misinformation has been more than just about business ethics. It is very personal. I was raised in Quebec’s Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean region, where my family has lived for generations. I harvested trees by hand to pay my way through school. Now 50 years later, those forest areas are again ready for harvest, and someday I will retire to this same land that my great-grandfather tilled.

Richard Garneau

Richard Garneau

“Greenpeace is marauding not just our company but a way of life, one built on nurturing healthy forests that are the lifeblood of the people who live there. That’s why union leaders, small-business people, ‘First Nations’ chiefs, and mayors and other government officials, of all political stripes, have written Greenpeace, imploring it to halt its campaign of misinformation. In nearly every instance, Greenpeace lacked the simple decency to respond, apparently indifferent to the human consequences of its actions.

Last summer, nearly 5,000 people marched through the streets of the small northern Quebec town of Saint-Félicien, demanding an end to Greenpeace’s disingenuous marketing campaign. Recognizing that the very viability of their communities are now held in the balance, local leaders have even “extended a hand” for eco-activists to have a dialogue with them. It is telling that Greenpeace neither showed up nor responded.

“As a chief executive, I often meet and engage personally with our devoted employees at the local level, in the forests where they live and work. I know we share a common interest and a responsibility to sustain the forests for tomorrow. That’s why we’re not going to let Greenpeace get away with using “rhetorical hyperbole” to make false and damaging accusations from hundreds and thousands of miles away, in its glass-walled towers in Amsterdam, Hamburg, and Washington, D.C.

“We’re going to stand tall, both in public discourse and in the courts. For my part, my guiding hope is to return to the forest with the ability to face my neighbors, my family, and my community and tell them that I stood up and told the truth.”

–‘At Last, Greenpeace Admits to ‘Rhetorical Hyperbole’,
Richard Garneau, National Review, March 2, 2017
(Richard Garneau is the president and CEO of Resolute Forest Products)



Free speech is one thing. It’s another to lie about a company just because you don’t like it. And environmental organizations like ‘Greenpeace’ go even further — they try to raise money through pitches based on lies.

“‘Green’ groups say they have been fundraising like crazy since the election. It’s going to take commitment to defeat their smear campaigns, which threaten jobs and communities. In this fight, Americans can learn a lot from our northern neighbors in Canada’s boreal forest, who are refusing to take the abuse.

“Union workers and government officials in the forest region have risen up against Greenpeace, the ‘Natural Resources Defense Council’ (NRDC), and other organizations that are making wild claims. For several years, activists have relentlessly attacked paper company ‘Resolute Forest Products’ and its customers, claiming that it is destroying the forest. The people directly affected by these false accusations are speaking up in droves.

“We will not sit idly by while self-interested pressure groups try to malign the diligent and careful work that our members do for a living,”

union leaders recently told the NRDC. Roger Sigouin, the mayor of Hearst, Ontario, told Greenpeace that if its misinformation campaign is successful,

“the aftermath will be whole communities dying and I can tell you right now, that’s irresponsible and we will not stand for that.”

“Refreshing, eh? It’s not just a corporation-vs.-environmentalists battle; union workers, the company that provides their livelihood, and local governments are all on the same side.

“The media aren’t supporting the false attacks, either. In 2016, Canada’s media ombudsman found that Greenpeace was misleading the public. Greenpeace showed photos of a devastated forest, insinuating that the damage was done by Resolute, when in fact the forest had been destroyed by fire. Journalists got to the bottom of the story.

One of four Greenpeace activists arrested at Toronto's 'Eaton Centre',

One of four Greenpeace activists arrested at Toronto’s ‘Eaton Centre’,

“Greenpeace has used photos to mislead people before. It has been caught twice using photos that it claimed were proof of coal-induced damage to the Great Barrier Reef — photos that actually came from another location. Australia’s ‘Courier Mail’ reported last year that the group

“was accused of false advertising to drive donations with emotive but erroneous adverts on the London Underground, claiming coal companies would be allowed to dredge in the Reef.”

“Getting caught hasn’t fazed Greenpeace, which is benefiting from the modern “post-truth” era. When ‘Oxford Dictionaries’ declared “post-truth” its ‘Word of the Year’ for 2016, the definition was:

“Relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.”

“For environmental groups, shaping public opinion is everything. So when Resolute Forest Products sued Greenpeace, calling it a “global fraud” that has “duped” donors with “materially false and misleading claims”, Greenpeace reacted not with facts but with an appeal to emotion. It warned other activist organizations that they, too, could be sued — claiming that the only thing at issue was “free speech”. In November, Greenpeace put out a petition against Resolute, complete with a full-page ad in the ‘New York Times’ signed by 80 organizations. The ad’s text:

“Free speech is not a crime.”

“In America, the First Amendment protects free speech, but not libel or slander. And the real kicker for Greenpeace is that Resolute’s lawsuit takes the group to task for fundraising off of false claims. The lawsuit is based on the ‘Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act’, something that Greenpeace itself has used and encouraged in the past.

“Greenpeace publicly shamed Resolute and harassed its customers, claiming the company was logging in areas that were off limits and was displacing endangered animals. These accusations were false. Yet it continues to warn that the boreal forest is being destroyed, asking for donations to its “Forest Defense Fund”.

“Did you know that the Canadian government won’t recognize Greenpeace as a tax-exempt charitable organization? It has said Greenpeace’s activities “have no public benefit”. That’s an understatement. Instead, the group causes harm. Greenpeace and others like it should be held accountable for the ways they lie to supporters and hurt communities.”

–‘In a ‘Post-Truth’ Era, Greenpeace Lies to Raise Money’,
Amy Payne, National Review, January 24, 2017



See also:
Hypocrisy and Climate Change{November 22, 2016}:

Regressives Force Hearing Cancellation{September 5, 2016}:


Tags: , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: