IPC is taking aim at Greenpeace for its aggressive stance against electronics OEMs and their environmental stewardship. The trade group last night issued a statement asserting Greenpeace’s quarterly report card on electronics companies is based on “faulty science.” IPC further alleges the environmental organization penalizes companies that do not subscribe to its agenda.
Thank goodness and it’s about time.
I’ve criticized Greenpeace in the past for its foolhardy attempts to globally ban on anything with even minimal toxicity while conveniently overlooking the bigger picture: many of the potential replacement materials are unproven and product that doesn’t work ends up in landfills faster than you can say “Save the whales.” Don’t get me wrong: Greenpeace is a great organization, but it is out of its league here. While some groups, like ChemSec in Europe, are very well-informed about materials science and its tradeoffs, others like Greenpeace use questionable methodologies to further their agendas. That in itself is a problem, but even worse, all the blown smoke obscures — and perhaps even diminishes — the potential for real dialogue on how to solve the bigger problems.
Greenpeace’s methods are aimed at maximizing attention for itself and putting its targets on the defensive. OEMs, faced with a no-win proposition, tend to publicly bow in the face of pressure (although apparently not fast enough for Greenpeace). I’d rather they sit down and have extensive, publicized open meetings on what it means to be environmentally responsible.