Greenpeace climbs Shard tower in London because they think it looks like ice

The stupid, it burns. #iceclimb  is probably the dumbest and most transparent ploy for donations ever by Greenpeace. They say:

This building – modelled on a shard of ice – sits slap bang in the middle of Shell’s three London headquarters. They don’t want us talking about their plan to drill in the Arctic.

Gosh, drilling in the Arctic? Who would have thought that had never been tried before? Yet somehow they’d convinced 25,000+ weak minded individuals to sign up for mind numbing spam and to be solicited for donations.   Get a load of the screencap from the web page:

Greenpeace_iceclimb

Greenpeace thinks it was designed to look like ice, but they can’t even get that right. Wikipedia says

The Shard, also referred to as the Shard of Glass, Shard London Bridge and formerly London Bridge Tower, is a 72-storey skyscraper in London

The Shard was designed in 2000 by Renzo Piano, an Italian architect previously best known for creating Paris’s Pompidou Centre in collaboration with Britain’s Richard Rogers. That year, the London-based entrepreneur Irvine Sellar decided to redevelop Southwark Towers, a 1970s office block next to London Bridge station, and flew to Berlin in March 2000 to meet Piano for lunch. According to Sellar, the architect spoke of his contempt for conventional tall buildings during the meal, before flipping over the restaurant’s menu and sketching an iceberg-like sculpture emerging from the River Thames.[18] He was inspired by the railway lines next to the site, the London spires depicted by the 18th-century Venetian painter Canaletto, and the masts of sailing ships. Piano worked with Broadway Malyan to develop the Shard’s design.

London 01 2013 the Shard London Bridge 5205.JPG
The Shard in 2013 (image: Wikipedia)

Note the first part. It isn’t referred to as “the Berg” by Londoners, but “the Shard” and also “He was inspired by the railway lines next to the site, the London spires depicted by the 18th-century Venetian painter Canaletto, and the masts of sailing ships.”

Apparently the general public doesn’t see an iceberg there. But hey, whatever works for marketing to idiots.

If you want a laugh, watch here: http://iceclimb.savethearctic.org/

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73 thoughts on “Greenpeace climbs Shard tower in London because they think it looks like ice

  1. “Greenpeace thinks it was designed to look like ice, but they can’t even get that right. ”

    OK, even according to the Wikipedia piece you quote denouncing the claim of ice it states:

    “The architect spoke of his contempt for conventional tall buildings during the meal, before flipping over the restaurant’s menu and sketching an iceberg-like sculpture emerging from the River Thames.”

    Yeah, because something that is designed to be “iceberg like” cannot be anything like ice, can it?

    I am normally a very loyal follower of this blog, and although I oppose the neo-terrorists of Greenpeace with every fibre of my being, in this one tiny aspect of their claim, they appear to be correct. and you cannot believe how much that annoys me!

    REPLY: Feel free to be annoyed as you wish, but please note the first part, it isn’t referred to as “the Berg” by Londoners, but “the Shard”. I could also claim it looks like a missile-pop if I wanted to come up with a marketing scheme to get donations from the gullible. – Anthony

  2. From the Telegraph coverage:

    “Ambulance crews are on standby at the base of the tower, including a specially trained SWAH (safe working at height) team. ”

    Good job they might not be needed urgently elsewhere in the capital city, eh? It’s not as if we only have just the one skyscraper, or elevated chances of someone needing an ambulance on such a hot day is it?

  3. As if they need the money with Soros et al supporting their effort.

    Yet somehow they’d convinced 25,000+ weak minded individuals

    As I keep saying, 97% of Brits are thick as two short planks and 47% of voting Americans.

  4. The following is from the BBC web site

    “One climber, Victoria Henry, 32, a Canadian living in Hackney, said: “We’ll try to hang a huge art installation 310m up that will make Shell think twice before sending their rigs into the Arctic.”

    Words fail me!

    REPLY: can’t wait to hear “deploy the art weapon!” over the radio. ;-) – Anthony

  5. Tagline revision suggestion:
    1 Skyscraper, 6 Women, No Clue. What would you do to raise money for charlatans under the pretense of saving the arctic?

  6. The individuals who pulled off this amazing act are certainly dumb and subservient, but they have admirable wall-climbing skills. Give them credit for a show of human abilities. Sometimes we need a demo of what each of us (in theory) can do.

    The ambulance parked below was certainly just a gesture of courtesy. Nobody falling from that height needs an ambulance.

  7. Oh come on, everyone knows that skyscrapers are all massive cultural phallic symbols. That’s what they teach in all of the post-modern sociology courses, and anyone with a PhD in Wimmin’s Studies should know that without batting an eyelash.

  8. Anthony, Thank you for your reply I do appreciate the time that you have taken to do so.

    I am also very very grateful to you for the enormous time and effort that you put into this very excellent blog, it is a daily visit of mine and I have learned an enormous amount from it and I am sincerely very grateful to you and the other contributors and moderators for this.

    However, the ususally very high quality of information in this blog is weakened when you are claiming that they are wrong to think that “the shard” looks like, or is inspired by, ice.

    When the designer of the building himself claims it was inspired by ice, and when it can be thought of as looking just as much like shards of broken ice, as shards of broken glass, then yes, they do have a point and you are left looking foolish for laughing at the only correct bit of their, otherwise dubious, claim.

    For all the mistakes that Greenpeace makes, why are you trying to attack them for being foolish about the one tiny bit of their protest, which is factually correct?.

    I am definately not normally a defender of Greenpeace, as you probably know, which is why I am baffled and somewhat annoyed that something you have posted actually has me defending them.

    REPLY: Ken I understand your point, but please see the comment from Anthony Scalzi about the evolution of the building.

    “The tower was always likened to a shard of glass, not a shard of ice.”

    A casual comparison in Wikipedia is trumped by lack of support in searches and further support in building forums for the glass comparison.

    Even the OTT green Guardian doesn’t call it ice or an iceberg: http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2013/jul/11/greenpeace-activists-climb-london-shard

    In that article, Greenpeace’s own statement doesn’t even mention ice or iceberg.

    They are just spinning imagery for dollars. I stand by my position. – Anthony

  9. “One climber, Victoria Henry, 32, a Canadian living in Hackney”

    Oh dear – a recent stunt by an Australian got him deported. Does this numpty read the news?

  10. Apparently they’re pro- Keystone or something.

    Greenpeace climbed or tried to climb Sears Tower in Chicago several years ago. It’s a “classic” stunt. When they did it, it convinced me to remove any benefit of doubt about being well motivated because they were demonstrating against coal, oil gas and nuclear. All objection and myopia and no answers.

  11. I’m slightly envious of Greenpeace. I wish I could figure out how to milk money from morons they way they do.

  12. Should they not be planting a wind turbine at the top of the phallus? After all, turbines will save the world.
    Women climbing a phallic symbol. Andy Warhol would have been proud had he made this one up.

  13. Stephen Richards says:
    July 11, 2013 at 6:38 am
    “As I keep saying, 97% of Brits are thick as two short planks and 47% of voting Americans.”

    That should read “57% of voting Americans”, otherwise how else could you explain the clueless one as our President.

  14. It should be pointed out that this is not a Shell building. It is an empty office building which is over a mile away from the Shell Centre.

  15. It is true the people who took place in this protest are idiots. But honestly Anthony, I think you are in danger of jumping the shark on a couple of your posts here. This one and the one on the temperature records at death valley being recorded on different pieces of paper and having very slightly different numbers from each other. I have commented on the death valley post over there.
    So on this, I don’t get it, the article says it was designed to look like an iceberg, apparently the designer also had other things in mind also, but so what it was designed to look like an iceberg. Even if it wasn’t why spend so much space on Greenpeace getting it wrong, if they did? Greenpeace gets so many things wrong, you can spend lots of time talking about the bigger issues that Greenpeace gets wrong, why bother with such trivial matters?

  16. Well, my youngest daughter has worked a few years as helicopter pilot at the Alaskan North Slope to bring crew and materials to the drilling/production islands before the Arctic Coast. Which are already there for decades. When I tell that to some Greenpeace member, they don’t believe me. Simply because it is only Shell they put under fire. Not for the first time…

    The Brent Spar was 50% Exxon, 50% Shell. They only attacked Shell. Because Shell was so much under pressure, they decided to dismantle it on land. There was proven that Greenpeace was completely wrong and Shell was right about the remaining oil.
    The same in Nigeria: every leak (mostly from drilling holes by the extremely poor people to take some oil for self-distilling…) is the fault of Shell. No mention of similar (or worse) leaks from Exxon.
    Even at the worst accident in Alaska’s history, the grounding of the Exxon Valdez, Greenpeace was hardly protesting.

    Too many coincidences to be just coincidence. Maybe something to do with who sponsors them and who not?

    Disclaimer: I haven’t any share in any bussiness, including Shell…

  17. to Ken Hall

    I f you still believe what you are saying, it is arcane, but you could go to the original Bloomberg article. It appears as if “iceberg-like” was something added by the imagination of someone other than the architect. Maybe Sellar, as he looked at the thing drawn on the back of a menu. Or the author of the Bloomberg article.

    You shouldn’t just make up stuff. eg posting “something that is designed to be “iceberg like”” ,when there is no evidence it was.

  18. Irregardless of its etiology, the design looks absolutely nothing like an ice berg and one wonders why on Earth Shell would ever want its building to look like an ice berg Ice bergs and oil drilling in the Arctic have no conceivable connection.

  19. And here’s the email they sent out, now whats up with that Artic ice loss claim ;`)

    “Hi xxxxxxx

    If you’re reading this email it means I’m clinging to the side of the Shard – attempting something that’s never been done before: scaling Europe’s tallest skyscraper.

    If we make it to the top, we plan to install a giant piece of art in direct view of Shell’s three London headquarters down around me. We can see them, so I know they can see us.

    WATCH LIVE and send your message of support to show the whole world that we don’t want Arctic drilling.

    I’ve been climbing for years, but this is the biggest challenge I’ve ever taken on.

    Am I scared? Hell yeah. But I know that fear is only what you make of it. For me this is a personal act of bravery, and I hope that beyond all else it can encourage anyone hesitating over taking action – no matter what scale – to take that step today.

    There are only six of us up here, but there are millions of us in every corner of the world who want the Arctic protected.

    The most effective action we can do now is to make everyone else care for the Arctic as we do, and to do that we need to make it news. This is not a niche subject. This affects every single person on our shared planet.

    Everyone should know that we’ve lost 80% of the Arctic sea ice in the last 30 years, and that should make people want to protect it. Not to drill for more oil that caused the melting in the first place.

    Follow our progress on LIVE TV and please share this page with everyone you know on Facebook, Twitter and over email. Let’s make this as big as we can.

    Shell doesn’t want us talking about their dangerous Arctic oil drilling plans. Together we can shout about them from the rooftops ;)

    Wish us luck,

    Victo (and Sandra, Sabine, Liesbeth, Wiola and Ali) x”

  20. REPLY: can’t wait to hear “deploy the art weapon!” over the radio. ;-) – Anthony

    Release the Krakpot!

  21. Tom Trevor says:
    July 11, 2013 at 7:43 am
    “It is true the people who took place in this protest are idiots. But honestly Anthony, I think you are in danger of jumping the shark on a couple of your posts here. This one and the one on the temperature records at death valley being recorded on different pieces of paper and having very slightly different numbers from each other. I have commented on the death valley post over there.”

    You might have noticed that Anthony is a meteorologist by education and is therefore interested in the minutiae of historic and contemporary weather recording.

  22. Although 1,016 feet up, I highly doubt what they refer to as “art” will be high art. Although, perhaps they were high when they made it.

  23. “Slap bang in the middle of Shell’s three London headquarters”. That is to say, nothing to do with Shell. And, by the way, there’s only Shell Centre on the South Bank, one stop on the tube from the Shard left: Shell Mex House on the North Bank is sold (with a few stragglers left in rented accommodation), and we have a few floors in a building at Canary Wharf as overflow while Shell Centre is redeveloped. Where I *don’t* work, because I telecommute, like a large number of my colleagues. And unlike these climate warriors.

  24. Believe it or not, there’s not just one, but several internet forums that track the construction of skyscrapers around the world. I’m a member of two of them, SkyscraperPage and Skyscrapercity, and watched the building being planned and built through them, along with many other members. The tower was always likened to a shard of glass, not a shard of ice.

    http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/showthread.php?t=141871

    http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=407549

    Furthermore, the search term “shard of ice” doesn’t even have enough hits to show up on Google trends.

    http://www.google.com/trends/explore?q=%22shard+of+ice%22%2C+%22shard+of+glass%22#q=%22shard%20of%20ice%22%2C%20%22shard%20of%20glass%22&cmpt=q

    Anyone who says it’s supposed to represent a shard of ice is making $**+ up.

  25. Apparently the phrase “ice shard” is relatively new. Some of the pieces of ice in the Arctic, for example, have an obelisk-like look to them. 25 meters to go.

  26. The vast majority of Arctic drilling over the next 30 years will come from Russia with financial and technical partnerships. Let’s see them climb a building in Moscow.

  27. jorgekafkazar says:
    July 11, 2013 at 9:04 am
    REPLY: can’t wait to hear “deploy the art weapon!” over the radio. ;-) – Anthony

    Release the Krakpot!

    ROTHFLMAO!! Best one-liner I’ve seen in a blog all week, maybe all year!

  28. I’m in the UK and when it was being built it was always referred to a shard of glass. As for the “art” they wanted to deploy it seems its too windy for them and has been allegedly cancelled (its too windy for the normal staff to go out there at 40mph). I blame the BBC for highlighting them going up there, they interviewed some tourists at the bottom who were lass than pleased that the observation platform was closed due to this pathetic stunt and therefore couldn’t enjoy part of their holiday.

    Idiots.

  29. I was using the phrase “shard of ice” as an extension of the iceberg bit quoted in the article itself. If those more knowledgeable than I know that the designer never ever had ice in his mind when he was designing the building, and therefore the wikipedia entry quoted by Anthony is also incorrect, then I retract my complaint.

    It just seemed very foolish to me that in the first paragraph of this original unedited article, Anthony posts that these Greenpeace protestors are foolish for likening the shard to a piece of ice, then to prove his point,quotes a wikipedia entry which says that the design itself was was inspired by ice according to the designer of the building.

    If that wikipedia entry is wrong, then I retract my complaint, but maintain that posting self contradictory articles only serves to give ammunition to the climate alarmists to attack the owners, friends and supporters of this otherwise excellent site.

  30. Trying to shed some clarity on the dispute. From the passage quoted, it appears the designer sketched something that ‘looked like’ an iceberg, but was actually inspired by the other things stated. So, although on casual observation, the design may look like it was inspired by a shard of ice, that was not the original intent of the design.

  31. Greenpeace should be classified as a “Terrorist Organisation” and dealt with accordingly.

  32. Louis Hooffstetter says:
    July 11, 2013 at 7:15 am
    “I’m slightly envious of Greenpeace. I wish I could figure out how to milk money from morons they way they do.”

    In the US, Greenpeace and other green whacko groups have the willing complicity and support of the US Congress, via the Equal Access to Justice Act (EAJA), which by it’s abuse is pretty much become the number 1 fundraiser for these morons.

    For those citizens of the US on WUWT, there could hardly be a more important repeal (outside of Obamacare, of course) than the repeal of EAJA.

  33. Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
    July 11, 2013 at 8:10 am

    Even at the worst accident in Alaska’s history, the grounding of the Exxon Valdez, Greenpeace was hardly protesting.

    Too many coincidences to be just coincidence. Maybe something to do with who sponsors them and who not?

    Well, they are running a protection racket.

  34. Well there is a rush on to save the planet before it saves itself. I hope they aren’t using modern ropes that are made of fossil fuel as the main ingredient. A good advert for Shell would have a picture of the climbers with arrows pointing at the parts of their gear and clothing made from fossil fuels. Even the metals can’t be forged with solar and wind power…. and the molds, and the spinning and weaving machines and the way they got to the tower….Maybe Josh could have a go at this.

  35. Their stunt was successful. They made it. From their statement: “As the ice disappears our global weather becomes more unpredictable. Farming gets harder. Hunger gets worse.”
    If only they had a brain.

  36. Have they been charged yet?

    The Canadian protester living in Hackney should be reminded that an Australian was recently refused permission to remain in the country after he succeeded in disrupting the annual Oxford/Cambridge boat race. His continuing presence was described as not being “conducive to the public good”. Unfortunately that also applies to more than a few members of Greenpeace, whatever their motives.

  37. michael hart says:
    July 11, 2013 at 12:41 pm

    Have they been charged yet?

    The Canadian protester living in Hackney should be reminded that an Australian was recently refused permission to remain in the country after he succeeded in disrupting the annual Oxford/Cambridge boat race. His continuing presence was described as not being “conducive to the public good”. Unfortunately that also applies to more than a few members of Greenpeace, whatever their motives.

    But, cripes, man! Disrupting THE BOAT RACE is sedition, treason, and heresy (note the Oxford comma). Ripping off the gullible public is just normal behaviour.

  38. an Australian was recently refused permission to remain in the country after he succeeded in disrupting the annual Oxford/Cambridge boat race. His continuing presence was described as not being “conducive to the public good”

    Amazing it’s taken 8 years to kick out someone described by the same Government as a “truly dangerous individual” and a “key player” in al Qaeda-related terrorism. I can now see where my governments priorities lie, and look forward to these 6 being given knighthoods for services to Climate Change…

  39. The London building looks similar to a Frank Lloyd Wright 1956 design of a ‘mile high’ office building for Chicago. Never built of course.

  40. The stupid, it burns.

    =================================================================
    Careful, Anthony.
    If you keep burning stupid you may find Greenpeace trying to scale your garage!

  41. Was done because the Shard is a visible object + in the midst of Shell Headquarters. Its not to tell Shell that their drilling is unsafe, its to tell shell that DRILLING is unsafe: the continuation of a failed energy scheme. Fossil Fuels=Climate Disruption. Greenpeace solely exists for the purpose of awareness building and to shame large organizations and governments. That has been their remit for decades. Nothing new about that. They are a global good…I don’t understand why people are whinging.

  42. Oh sorry, I didn’t realize this was a climate change doesn’t exist. You merely popped up first while I was searching for the Shell Statement on the iceclimb. Yahsus. I don’t get how you can fall in line with ‘conspiracy’ and not engage in legitimate science and statistics! But whatever. It gets you views and ad revenue right?

  43. I can see “The Shard” most days, weather permitting, when I take my dogs for a run and can confirm it is seen as and likened to a shard of glass.

    It would be the strangest looking iceberg ever seen and so far I haven’t seen any stranded polar bears on the observation deck : )

  44. Shards of ice from wind turbines brings a Google search response of 25,400.
    Maybe the Greenpiece girls were having “Dreams of Wind Power” moments.

  45. If you want to save the planet, stop funding Greenpeace. Their policies and goals are now destroying our lovely, co2 life dependent planet. Fund local environmental efforts instead. That is the way to go. Greenpeace are now a large ‘watermelonic corporation’ who are at the very heart of the IPCC.

  46. steveta_uk says:
    July 11, 2013 at 7:04 am
    “One climber, Victoria Henry, 32, a Canadian living in Hackney”

    Oh dear – a recent stunt by an Australian got him deported. Does this numpty read the news?
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Seems a lot of these young generation leftist “Canadians” have forgotten that their beloved ex-communist party member Liberal Leader, Pierre Elliot Trudeau, financed drilling in the Beaufort Sea in the early 70′s and took over Panarctic which had drilled in the Arctic in the late 60′s/

    http://www.geohelp.net/history.html

    http://www.fundinguniverse.com/company-histories/petro-canada-limited-history/

    I still will risk running out of fuel before buying from “Petro-Canada” even though it has long since been privatized. I can’t stand the socialist stink around Petro Canada.

  47. @Ken Hall. Your insistence on such a minute point (presumably to score a symbolic victory) distracts no one from the issue. It does, however, reveal how insignificantly little you have to hang on. Please accept a virtual hug.

  48. I went to the Twitter page in the link, and right at the top was a tweet from Annie Lennox. A great artist, and that’s what she should concentrate on. All well and good fighting for something you believe in, sadly however, there is no cure for stupidity! Annie, stick to writing music please.

  49. So these activists can’t tell the difference between glass and ice? That’s a bit like alarmists who can’t tell the difference between carbon (C) and carbon dioxide (CO2).

  50. ” Yet somehow they’d convinced 25,000+ weak minded individuals to sign up for mind numbing spam and to be solicited for donations”

    like these weak minded individuals, signing a petition against that dangerous compound dihydrogen monoxide? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yi3erdgVVTw

    this is the level of intellect we are dealing with…

  51. Isn’t the Shard occupied by an accountancy firm?
    Pity the women didn’t climb naked – it might have been a thrill for the beancounters inside.

  52. What irked me most was the Greenpeace spokesman being interviewed on TV news – clearly this was an unlawful act planned and carried out by a registered charity. They caused disruption and inconvenience to many people and damage to the tower, but they seem to casually believe that they are above mortal law as agents of a higher purpose. I believe the climbers were charged with aggravated trespass, but what about the organisation and its senior members? Conspiracy to commit an offence is usually more serious.

  53. johnmarshall says:
    July 11, 2013 at 7:39 am

    Arrest them, throw them in clink and throw away the key.

    NO! Absolutely not! Do not arrest them. Why do you think that the climbers were are all women? They are begging for Pussy-Riot-style martydom. Leave them alone. Most people knew it was just another GP stunt and ignored them (except the BBC, of course).

  54. @ Ken Hall,

    1) Kudos for your courtesy.
    2) Kudos for standing your ground. It’s the essence of scepticism to not take an assertion on the basis of authority, but to require to be shown or else to refuse to be convinced.
    3) In my judgement you are absolutely right. Without wanting to be a wishy-washy accommodationist, I believe Anthony is also right. You are each emphasising different nuances of the issue, and you are each right in terms of what you are saying. My point being that it is neither a shard of glass nor an iceberg, nor a penis, it’s a building. Any metaphor can be considered valid.
    I believe I’m correctly paraphrasing your point to say that they can consider it a metaphor for ice, because:
    1) others have made the point before,
    2) it’s a valid metaphor in English,
    3) they are not wrong in making that comparison.
    No-one can argue with you on that. However, Anthony’s slightly different point, that this is widely, officially known as the shard of glass, and that they seem to be foolishly oblivious of this is also valid.
    An additional reason for us to respect your judgment is because of your contempt for Greenpeace. Their intellectual ignorance, their economic ignorance, their political advocacy, the damage they’ve done to the environment, the harm they’ve done to the poor, their irrationality, the harm they’ve done to economies and their dishonesty are all good reasons to despise them.
    Despite that, you stood up for them when you believed they were unfairly assailed.
    Kudos on your intellectual honesty.

  55. Leo Morgan says:
    July 14, 2013 at 6:09 am

    @ Ken Hall

    Actually, you are both wrong. One of the climbers has said the Shard was climbed because the Shell building is in the shadow of the Shard building…

    ” Greenpeace Save the Arctic activist: ‘Shell is in the shadow of the Shard’
    Victoria Henry discusses the lead up to the stunt, and the psychologically and physically gruelling climb itself ”

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2013/jul/16/greenpeace-save-arctic-shell-shard

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