Becoming Aware Thanks to Greenpeace

Within the last few decades, the population of our world has quickly become aware that we must, as a whole, become more conscious of how we treat the earth in which we live. Today, our population continues to strive to keep our planet healthy by practicing “green” habits (recycling, reusing, etc) and devises plans to help specific areas that are already environmentally damaged. Since 1972, Greenpeace has been quite successful in globalizing their efforts and goals by becoming “a full-scale, transnational environmental organization” (Wapner 445).

The title of Paul Wapner’s piece, “Greenpeace and Political Globalism,” is quite accurate in that he continues to intertwine Greenpeace and how it has been shaped around the whole world. Greenpeace is an idea that has come together by the people, not by a government. Wapner begins by asking his audience, “Does all the time, money, and human energy involved actually contribute to addressing and partly alleviating environmental problems?” (144). Before providing any ample evidence as to why, he answers his own question by stating that, “their efforts actually do matter in world political events” (144) and continues with information to back his belief.

Warper believes that there are two groups of people, one of which “claim that social norms are central to social change” (144) and think that governmental decreases “are not the source of change but merely reflections of it” (144). I believe that I would fall under this category. We have seen many social movements (The Civil Rights Movement, Woman’s Movement, LGBT Movement’s, etc.) that began by a group of people that continued to grow, and their impact forced the government to change unjust policies that were in place.

What makes Greenpeace so globalized is that it is not only concentrated in one area of the world, or where the environmental conditions are worse off. Rather, Greenpeace is “concerned with threats to the entire planet” and “undertakes its campaigns and projects worldwide” (445). In addition, Greenpeace does not focus on only one large environmental issue, but the bulk of all environmental issues.

Giddens believes that “social movements provide guidelines to potential future transformations” (Giddens 158). I am curious as to how Giddens would reply when asked about the success of Greenpeace. Would Giddens claim that Greenpeace will lead to future transformations because they have been successful in spreading environmental awareness? Or would Giddens argue that the government would have to create more regulations and restrictions in order for the wishes of Greenpeace to be met?

Wupan pointed out many strategies that are necessary for modernization to occur (as well as globalization) that Giddens does not. In his article, Wupan emphasizes how Greenpeace has members spread throughout the world, who ensure that the projects and campaigns put in place fit the needs of their area. These members ensure that the smaller projects fit the desires of Greenpeace as a whole for success. Thus, Greenpeace shows that they truly want to remain globalized because they make the additional effort to reach out to different areas and have custom projects that fulfill Greenpeace’s wish as a whole. Additionally, Wupan is not doubtful in his trust in Greenpeace, where Giddens might be.

Overall, Paul Wapner seemed to be less critically opinionated than Giddens. I appreciated this in that it was much easier to relate my own beliefs to Wapner’s and felt that he was informing me of current information rather than fighting past information. However, Wapner’s writing style was similar to Giddens because at times it was vague and hard to grasp his entire thought. Although he promised specific examples, he shared few that had to do with his main ideas.

One thought on “Becoming Aware Thanks to Greenpeace

  1. This article interests me because I have always been fascinated with the environment. Our world is losing resources at a faster rate than ever. You brought up an interesting point when saying “What makes Greenpeace so globalized is that it is not only concentrated in one area of the world, or where the environmental conditions are worse off. Rather, Greenpeace is ‘concerned with threats to the entire planet’ and ‘undertakes its campaigns and projects worldwide'”. Greenpeace is a globalized issue whether people accept it to be or not because it deals with our entire planet. Luckily people are striving to make it a globalized mission as well that people all over the world will take part in. Personally I think something drastic needs to happen before people truly recognize the environment as a threat to mankind. Most people go throughout their day without thinking about negative effects on the environment and when the topic is brought up in their minds they just think “someone will find a way to solve it soon enough” or “I’m one person out of 7 billion my contribution to the environment doesn’t matter”. How can we get people to stop thinking like this before a drastic and terrible event does happen to the world?


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