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posted by janrinok on Saturday December 13 2014, @09:21PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the protect-the-environment-by-damaging-it dept.

The NYT reports that Peruvian authorities say Greenpeace activists have damaged the fragile, and restricted, landscape near the Nazca lines, ancient man-made designs etched in the Peruvian desert when they placed a large sign that promoted renewable energy near a set of lines that form the shape of a giant hummingbird. The sign was meant to draw the attention of world leaders, reporters and others who were in Lima, the Peruvian capital, for a United Nations summit meeting aimed at reaching an agreement to address climate change. Greenpeace issued a statement apologizing for the stunt at the archaeological site and its international executive director, Kumi Naidoo, flew to Lima to apologize for scarring one of Peru’s most treasured national symbols. “We are not ready to accept apologies from anybody,” says Luis Jaime Castillo, the vice minister for cultural heritage. “Let them apologize after they repair the damage.”

But repair may not be possible. The desert around the lines is made up of white sand capped by a darker rocky layer. By walking through the desert the interlopers disturbed the upper layer, exposing the lighter sand below. Visits to the site are closely supervised - ministers and presidents have to seek special permission and special footwear to tread on the fragile ground where the 1,500 year old lines are cut. “A bad step, a heavy step, what it does is that it marks the ground forever,” says Castillo. “There is no known technique to restore it the way it was.” Castillo says that the group walked in single file through the desert, meaning that they made a deep track in the ground then they spread out in the area where they laid the letters, making many more marks over a wide area. “The hummingbird was in a pristine area, untouched,” Castillo added. “Perhaps it was the best figure.”

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  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by jelizondo on Saturday December 13 2014, @09:48PM

    by jelizondo (653) Subscriber Badge on Saturday December 13 2014, @09:48PM (#125838) Journal

    More like Evil against Evil

    I watched in horror as the taliban destroyed ancient Buda statues and now have to watch people who think their "message" is more important than anything else in earth destroy another ancient marvel.

    Such barbarians should be banned from society, they contribute little o nothing of value.

    As soon as men decide that all means are permitted to fight an evil, then their good becomes indistinguishable from the evil that they set out to destroy. -Christopher Dawson

    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by edIII on Saturday December 13 2014, @10:21PM

      by edIII (791) on Saturday December 13 2014, @10:21PM (#125841)

      It can also be simple ignorance, even from people as ostensibly educated and considerate as Greenpeace. What makes it worse is that we hold Greenpeace to a much higher standard, as they are so adamant about holding us to higher standards.

      Out in Las Vegas hooligans destroyed ancient markings on rocks left from the native American Indian populations. It probably wasn't malice as much as it was them believing their own messages and crude drawings were more important than some dead people's. These misguided people at Greenpeace were wholly unaware of just how immutable their actions were, and unlike the hooligans, we accept far less of such ignorance from people like Greenpeace.

      I think it will only get worse myself, since I don't see people in general gaining more respect for nature, history, and each other. The loss of the ancient Buddha statues was a great loss to the world and our future children, and I was quite sad as well when the Taliban took it down in their religiously ignorant fervor.

      --
      Technically, lunchtime is at any moment. It's just a wave function.
      • (Score: 3, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 13 2014, @11:30PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 13 2014, @11:30PM (#125849)

        I thought you were doing good but at the end you got it wrong. The taliban weren't religously ignorant, they were religiously malevolent. Their destruction of the buddha statues (and their brother salafists' descretation of Timbuktu [time.com]) was about erasing history that challenges their world-view and more importantly their social dominance. It's the same impulse as a conqueror replacing a conquered nation's flag with their own.

        Greenpeace were just idiots, the salafists know exactly what they are doing.

        • (Score: 4, Interesting) by edIII on Sunday December 14 2014, @04:46AM

          by edIII (791) on Sunday December 14 2014, @04:46AM (#125889)

          I didn't get it wrong as much as you misinterpreted. Perhaps I could have worded it better. What I meant by "religiously ignorant fervor", is that they themselves are ignorant of their own religion. At least that's the broken record I've heard my entire life, that of a True Scotsman's argument specifically. Your other insights are valid, I'm just not sure how I got it wrong by speaking about their own ignorance other than my choice of words.

          Unless I'm completely wrong, I've been hearing pretty much since I could walk that every religion was the correct religion, but that Man is so flawed he doesn't abide by the prescribed regulations in any religion he attaches himself too. So Islam, Christianity, and Judaism are essentially pacifist and non-violent, and yet in practice they are not. Those that would be governed by God and not Man, have a really funny way of acting exactly like they are governed by Man and not God.

          God, by whatever name, is always pressing the love, peace, and equality agenda. It's Man that is not receptive to love, peace, and equality. Even when there is no God, Buddhists apparently can start promulgating views about who can marry who which is just so utterly bizarre as a practicing Buddhist myself. Buddhists are not supposed to care about your hoohahs, who else is playing with said hoohahs, and if the hoohah activity is appropriately "homogeneous" with the participants. This only proves to me that religion itself is harmless, and that the harm comes from Man and his relationship to his religious concepts. I've yet to hear any recognized theologian talking about where Allah specifically says that women and girls (puberty not all that important) are nothing more than a commodity market of warm holes capable of making you dinner. None of that seems to stop ISIS from saying these things, but I'm not biased enough to believe that every single Muslim on the planet (especially said commodities) are intrinsically malevolent (which I may be misinterpreting your words).

          It may be important to remember that nearly a full quarter of the world's Muslims come from moderate Asian countries where they are just as repulsed by the notion of their fellow Muslims destroying ancient artifacts as we are. I was attempting to not indite all of Islam over the rampant ignorance of what their own religion actually says. There wouldn't be much a point to it, since it would equally apply to the other major religions. Islam failed from the start, as the moment the prophet died, it was all about power vacuums and not Allah. Ever since, Islam is a religion divided with a long and bloody history that has precious little to do with Allah or any divine information sent down to the monkeys.

          Greenpeace has its very own religion, and membership. The damage done was not done in accordance with any philosophies promulgated by Greenpeace. Yet, I don't call Greenpeace a group of members having malevolence. The error was on the part of these Greenpeace members, just like the errors have always been performed by those malfunctioning on a religious level.

          "Thou shalt not kill..... No seriously...... Okay, it's only 4 words, but seriously stop the killing...... Are you going to stop the killing? I'll send somebody down to explain it...... You killed my son.... and you're still not listening...." - God

          God certainly doesn't exist, and never existed in Man's image (of all things in the universe), and we should pray he doesn't exist. Otherwise he would be sending more floods at this point since he obviously can't send down angels to explain the simple concepts that we forget the moment we become angry. If God does exist.... boy that is one impressive level of patience and tolerance.

          In many ways, it is indeed ignorance and not a coincidence that the malfunctioning monkeys are harmful to each other while enjoying their state of ignorance in spite of their God's existence explicitly stating to not be malfunctioning harmful monkeys.

          --
          Technically, lunchtime is at any moment. It's just a wave function.
          • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 14 2014, @01:03PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 14 2014, @01:03PM (#125936)

            Have you read the Old Testament? God is a murdering bastard that is jealous, vindictive and brutal. You seem to be getting him/her/it confused with the one from the New Testament.

      • (Score: 2) by Adamsjas on Sunday December 14 2014, @05:04AM

        by Adamsjas (4507) on Sunday December 14 2014, @05:04AM (#125895)

        Edill said :It can also be simple ignorance, even from people as ostensibly educated and considerate as Greenpeace."

        No, I don't think so.

        Most of the GP volunteers have at least some college education, live a spoiled brat lifestyle, come from a long distance, with time to think about their plans on the way, and have heard about the destruction of other historic sites. They HAD to know what they were doing was wrong. The site is a world treasure.

        It is inconceivable that they could have stumbled into this project without even once having a second though that it was wrong.

        If Greenpeace is so ignorant to provide ships and support but no supervision for such hooligans than GP is responsible. Slap Kumi Naidoo in jail until several hundred million guilt dollars are are collected by the Green Peace supporters to bail him out.

        I hope they can find the actual perpetrators and imprisoned them for a at least half a decade as well.

        • (Score: 2) by edIII on Sunday December 14 2014, @05:35AM

          by edIII (791) on Sunday December 14 2014, @05:35AM (#125901)

          I hope they can find the actual perpetrators and imprisoned them for a at least half a decade as well.

          Note, I said "can". I'm very dubious myself that their ignorance was anything but willful in nature. It would be absolutely incredible that anybody higher up in Greenpeace knew such damage would be a direct result of their actions as well. If it's proven that GP executives knew beforehand, than GP executives should be handed over. However, nothing was actually destroyed. They only *added* next to existing features. Their failures were due to a lack of sophisticated knowledge about geology and the ground. I will give them the benefit of the doubt that they did not know their own shoes would be putting indelible marks on the ground, which does not excuse them in any way. I was only attempting to remove malice as a motivator, not inconsideration or arrogance. Complete repair is wholly impossible, but matching the colors and luminosity with other materials laid over it, isn't. From the sky we might never know Greenpeace was there as the lines and hummingbird are intact and untouched. This isn't as permanent or as damaging as Peru would have you believe, but it's absolutely as damaging in terms of relations and trust. I would not be surprised if Peru now completely locks the whole area to outsiders, and possibly over reacts to prevent people from accessing its cultural heritage.

          As for your feelings of justice, I'm somewhat on board. It was highly illegal to enter those grounds under any conditions, and Greenpeace members did it precisely because they refused to respect such laws. Otherwise, it wouldn't make the news right?

          Ohh, the half decade is way too long a sentence. I would suggest 30 days instead of 5 years. It's a Peruvian prison system, so those 30 days will seem like lifetimes, and most probably wouldn't survive as Peruvian prisons are managed and operated by the prisoners, not government staff. If we wanted to be lenient, it would be something like 3 days, and that's not a slap on the wrist. Even with 3 days, I'm pretty sure the guys will come out beaten and most likely raped within an inch of their lives. The women will be separated and off in a different facility, not even on the same grounds AFAIK.

          I'd rather choose prison in North Korea, if I had a choice at all.

          --
          Technically, lunchtime is at any moment. It's just a wave function.
        • (Score: 2) by urza9814 on Monday December 15 2014, @04:16PM

          by urza9814 (3954) on Monday December 15 2014, @04:16PM (#126180) Journal

          Most of the GP volunteers have at least some college education, live a spoiled brat lifestyle, come from a long distance, with time to think about their plans on the way, and have heard about the destruction of other historic sites. They HAD to know what they were doing was wrong. The site is a world treasure.

          A) Greenpeace is an *environmental* organization, not an art preservation society. They didn't cause any environmental damage here. They aren't accused of causing any environmental damage here. What they're accused of is scuffing up the margins of a canvas. You're basically saying a veterinarian MUST know how to care for a Picasso painting simply because they went to school. And not only that they must know how to care for it, but that they must give a damn too. And to go one step further, if someone were trying to create the Nazca lines today, Greenpeace would be *totally* against it. They exist to *limit* human alteration to our environment, not to preserve and encourage it. I can understand why people would be upset about this "damage", but it doesn't contradict the mission of Greenpeace in any way.

          B) They were accused of *walking through sand*. That's all. They didn't touch the lines, they didn't intentionally screw with anything. They moved a bit of sand. Just like the wind has been doing for over a thousand years. Just like animals have been doing for over a thousand years. Who in their right mind would think that would be a problem?

  • (Score: 2, Funny) by Bot on Saturday December 13 2014, @10:14PM

    by Bot (3902) Subscriber Badge on Saturday December 13 2014, @10:14PM (#125840) Journal

    You sure can't turn time back, but it seems strange that an open place left to the elements for centuries can't be restored.

    This is not meant to minimize the idiocy of greenpeace activists, who seem the "HEY LOOK AT ME" kind, like the average son of the industrialist in their shiny porsches.

    Let's recap:
    Graffitti on a dirty industrial wall in detroit: ok
    Graffitti on a centuries old marble decorated wall in some city center: bad
    Mega sign in the middle of nowhere: ok
    Mega sign ruining the nazca lines? without even unearthing a SOL tower? f*ck you, idiot rookies, go die in a fire.

    --
    Account abandoned.
  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by bradley13 on Saturday December 13 2014, @10:30PM

    by bradley13 (3053) Subscriber Badge on Saturday December 13 2014, @10:30PM (#125842) Homepage Journal

    Money corrupts, and Greenpeace has had far too much money for far too long. Pournelle's Iron law has taken over: they believe that their organization is important, whatever cause they espouse is secondary, and nothing else even registers. The best thing that could happen to Greenpeace would be for it to disappear - it has become counterproductive to environmentalism.

    Some Greenpeace director is now visiting Peru, trying to save face. He says he will accept any "reasonable" penalty, but insists on a review by a neutral party. Funny, I didn't know criminals got to pick their prosecutors and their penalties. I sincerely hope Peru throws the whole lot in jail, and levies a whopping fine.

    --
    Everyone is somebody else's weirdo.
  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by tftp on Saturday December 13 2014, @11:33PM

    by tftp (806) on Saturday December 13 2014, @11:33PM (#125850) Homepage

    But repair may not be possible. The desert around the lines is made up of white sand capped by a darker rocky layer. By walking through the desert the interlopers disturbed the upper layer, exposing the lighter sand below.

    I don't see in this description anything that cannot be restored, one grain of sand and one tiny piece of rock at a time, with microscope, tweezers and some glue. Perhaps it will take several man-years to do... so sentence the trespassers to the time required. Then they will do something useful once in their lives.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 14 2014, @09:00PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 14 2014, @09:00PM (#125986)

      How did the folks who originally made these things exit the area without leaving a trail?
      Couldn't that process be replicated?
      Couldn't dark material be harvested from the outermost edges of the area and used for the repair?
      This seems like a simple first-year engineering problem.
      What am I missing?

      -- gewg_

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 14 2014, @09:06PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 14 2014, @09:06PM (#125989)

        they probably got beamed up to their spaceships

      • (Score: 1) by tftp on Monday December 15 2014, @06:06AM

        by tftp (806) on Monday December 15 2014, @06:06AM (#126101) Homepage

        How did the folks who originally made these things exit the area without leaving a trail?

        I'd guess they were walking barefoot, and their faint trail got smoothed out by the wind during all these years. It's also possible that these holy pictures were constructed with certain precautions and rituals, as the nature of the desert was well known to the natives.

        Couldn't dark material be harvested from the outermost edges of the area and used for the repair?

        I'd think so. It's a large desert [google.com]. But even if one can't get similar rocks elsewhere... you know, the original ones haven't disappeared after being stepped onto. They just got embedded into the sand. They are all still there. All you need to have is a sieve.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 15 2014, @07:50AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 15 2014, @07:50AM (#126110)

          I assume they're talking about this

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biological_soil_crust [wikipedia.org]

          Restoring it would be like trying to restore coral.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 15 2014, @06:07PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 15 2014, @06:07PM (#126239)

        The fucking point, maybe.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 14 2014, @02:26AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 14 2014, @02:26AM (#125873)

    Greenpeace is a bunch of assholes.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 14 2014, @11:05AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 14 2014, @11:05AM (#125924)

    When i see them begging for money again, i'm going to ask, if they are going to spend it on fixing the site.

    (and yes the topic is misspelled on purpose)

    • (Score: 2) by urza9814 on Monday December 15 2014, @04:23PM

      by urza9814 (3954) on Monday December 15 2014, @04:23PM (#126182) Journal

      Why would they fix the site? That would be a complete violation of their mission. They exist to minimize human impact on the environment, not preserve it. You seem to have somehow gotten Greenpeace confused with the Historical Society or something....

  • (Score: 2) by turgid on Sunday December 14 2014, @10:51PM

    by turgid (4318) Subscriber Badge on Sunday December 14 2014, @10:51PM (#126016) Journal

    Back in the day when I started working in the nuclear industry at about the 10th anniversary of Chernobyl, I was greeted by a bunch of protesters, some from Greenpeace, at the gate of my powerstation. They were very friendly and non-confrontational. However, someone told me that a Greenpeace person protested at the Sizewell B nuclear powerstation not long after it came on line. This genius decided to scale the reactor building to put up a banner. Now, Sizewell B is a PWR. PWRs are designed to be in a sealed containment building, which is off-limits (obviously being sealed) when the reactor is on load. Therefore, it doesn't need much shielding from gamma rays, since nothing should get close enough to get a significant dose. However, Mr hippy Green Peace-Man climbed on top of the dome directly above the reactor when it was running. This is classified as an R4 area. You generally don't want to be in an R4 area.

    --
    Don't let Righty keep you down.
  • (Score: 1) by GDX on Sunday December 14 2014, @11:07PM

    by GDX (1950) on Sunday December 14 2014, @11:07PM (#126028)

    After seeing the image of the destruction, the destruction is over exaggerated but that don't mean that isn't severe, actually the real damage didn't affect the actual lines, it only affects part of the area where are the lines. Is akin if the talibans instead of destroying the Buda statues the had make a Islamic writing in the rock where the statues where. Others did and are doing more damage to the area but that damage receives less attention. Also the are people that are telling that the image of the damage is exaggerating the damage done due to the light. I also think that Greenpeace did something inappropriate and need to be punished but not tho the extent that some people are demanding, also I hope that from now the conservation of the lines are taken more seriously.

    https://www.facebook.com/AsociacionMariaReiche/photos/a.352196254900127.1073741825.341434422642977/678386932281056/ [facebook.com]