You would think a group as devoted to protecting the environment as Green Peace is would know better than to pull off the stunt they did this week in Peru. While the international climate conference was in progress in Lima, Green Peace activists decided to make a splash protest demonstration. But their choice of how to go about doing this was both poorly advised and very curiously against their own philosophy. They chose to trespass on a world heritage site and damaged the amazing Nazca lines by putting a protest message out there.
The Nazca lines are made by removing a very thin layer of what is called 'desert varnish,' a thin crust over a lighter-colored substrate. For some unknown reason, the people living in the area 1500 years ago very carefully removed this varnish to make various drawings. This varnish is so thin that walking on it will damage it. And, that is just what Green Peace did. They trespassed on the site and walked out there to place signs on the surface that were visible from the air. I wonder if future pictures of the site will point out the tracks left behind by these people.
While I laud the thought of making a statement, I condemn the way they did it. For the record, Green Peace itself has been extremely apologetic about this action taken by some of its members and apparently had no foreknowledge of it. Still, the damage is done and not to just the Nazca lines. Now, any time we talk about how climate change is damaging the environment we will have to defend climate science against this criminal act.