My recent Northern Public Affairs column, “Arctic saviour complex,” seems to have caught the attention of Greenpeace. In my column, I criticized Greenpeace for failing to cooperate with arctic states and indigenous peoples in its campaign to “save the Arctic” from oil pollution and overfishing. As I wrote in a later summary of my column:
Greenpeace is certainly right to draw attention to the very real threats of overfishing and oil pollution in the Arctic. But it’s certainly wrong to appeal to the court of world opinion over the heads of Arctic peoples and their states. It seems to have misjudged its past victories in Antarctica, where it was instrumental in bringing about a ban on mining. Through such victories, Greenpeace helped elevate environmental values around the world, including among citizens of Arctic states—values that the first peoples of the Arctic share. How doubly unfortunate it is, then, not to cooperate more with them.
Greenpeace Canada now has formally responded on the Northern Public Affairs website, and the editorial board of the magazine has published Greenpeace’s letter in full. I’m currently travelling for the remainder of the month, but I’ll publish a reply to Greenpeace in due course.