Greenpeace works for global awareness of environment

By , Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor

Greenpeace's Rainbow Warrior planned to lead a flotilla of boats in July to Mururoa atoll to the 12-mile boundary in protest of France's underground nuclear testing program. In the past, this tactic has prevented the French from proceeding with testing. The first step toward disarmament, Greenpeace says, is to stop testing new weapons: If a nation cannot test weapons, it is unlikely to commit funds to creating more.

Founded in 1971 in Canada by six people, this nonpolitical, nonviolent, environmental group has expanded into an organization with 30 offices in 15 countries.

Greenpeace's initial action was to protest United States underground testing of 12 nuclear weapons in the north Pacific. One test took place, the other 11 were cancelled.

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Greenpeace's stated goal is to increase world awareness of environmental issues, including:

The killing of whales off the coast of Iceland, Spain, Australia, and California in 1975 which resulted in the decrease of whaling quotas by 25 percent. Certain nations are planning to withdraw from commercial whaling by 1986.

The clubbing of baby seals off the Canadian coast and in Norway. In 1982, European Community outlawed the import of such pelts.

Dumping nuclear waste into the ocean. By 1983, such dumping in the Atlantic Ocean was stopped.

The underground testing of nuclear weapons by Britain and the US in Nevada.

Acid rain, and the discharge of pollutants into rivers. The leaving of 300 residents of Rongelap atoll in the Pacific, who had allegedly been affected by US hydrogen bomb tests at Bikini atoll. Greenpeace moved them to another island where they are safe from radiation effects.

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