Environmentalists dispute tsunami quotes

by William Yeatman on January 6, 2005

Last week’s column cited quotes from the British branches of two environmental groups, Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth, blaming the Indian Ocean tsunami on global warming.   I pulled these quotes from interviews group spokesmen gave to the British newspaper, The Independent.

Both groups have disputed the quotes. In a letter to the Independent, a version that was also sent to FOXNews.com, Stephen Tindale, executive director of Greenpeace UK, and Tony Juniper, executive director of Friends of the Earth in London, wrote:

“Sir: On 23 December before the earthquake and tsunami we were asked by The Independent to comment on the dramatic increase in insurance claims resulting from hurricanes, droughts, floods and other early impacts of climate change. Our quotes appeared in an article on 27 December, as part of your coverage of the tsunami. For the record, we would like to make absolutely clear that earthquakes are not a result of climate change and we have never sought to make any link.”

However, it still seems that environmentalists are seeking to exploit the tragedy.

For example, a similar quote from the Indonesian spokesperson for Friends of the Earth has not been disputed. And let’s not forget that Greenpeace is not exactly innocent of trying to link tsunami-like disasters with global warming in the minds of the general public. All you need do is visit Greenpeace’s own Web site promoting the global-warming disaster movie “The Day After Tomorrow,” which features a photo of a giant wave hitting an urban area with the doctored caption, “The Day is Today: What Will You Do?”

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