Greens go by air: Internal food fight over excutive response to airplane travel at Greenpeace – firings demanded


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An entertaining row has emerged over the behavior of the director of Greenpeace International Program, Pascal Husting, and the Greenpeace  International Executive Director, Kumi Naidoo.  It seems they are both are in hot water over airplanes and the troops are sending angry letters, like the one I have below.

Husting was criticized for living in Luxemburg and travelling to his Greenpeace office in Amsterdam by the dreaded evil airplane, like the one above that is causing a “climate emergency”. Even the Guardian took Greenpeace to task for it.

The “row” that is now emerging is about the official response to this criticism, as seen in this newspaper The Netherlands Times. It seems Greenpeace members want both of them to resign now, because there was some sort of under the table agreement between the two on the air travel thingy, going against what the troops say they stand for.

An excerpt from the article:

Greenpeace staff want director dismissed

More than 40 staff members and campaign leaders from Greenpeace Netherlands are still demanding that international program director Pascal Husting be dismissed.

The staff members penned a letter to Greenpeace director Kumi Naidoo and Husting, writing that Naidoo should “considerate his position”, adding that the damage they have caused to the environmental organization can only be remedied by their departure, the paper writes.

The letter was not published, but spread amongst employees and signed by almost all important campaign leaders and staff members.

According to the paper, Husting’s commute to Amsterdam two times a month was his own choice, as a measure to keep his family happy as he did not want to move to Amsterdam due to the disruption to his young children’s lives. Being more environmentally friendly and taking the train to Amsterdam and back is also not an option for Husting, as that would take 12 hours. Husting’s salary has also come into the spotlight. At €6075 per month, the staff members argue that “that amount is multiple times the average income and a lot of money for most of our supporters.:”

The staff explain that there is no chance Greenpeace could recover from this scandal unless Naidoo and Husting are dismissed, as keeping them on would undermine the credibility of the environmental organization. “It will come back every time as soon as we criticize politicians or organizations. Like is actually happening now already. If Greenpeace can’t do it right, who can?”, they tell the Volkskrant.


Well, it is published now.

Dear Pascal, Dear Kumi,

In this letter we would like to express the deep concern that a great number of GPNL staff have regarding the reaction of you both on the issue of you Pascal, commuting to the Greenpeace International office in Amsterdam by plane. We are gravely disappointed by the role you both played in this matter.

Furthermore, we feel that you are not dealing with this disaster in a pro‐active manner and to the benefit of the whole organization. The lack of an appropriate external response is seriously undermining the campaign, mobilization and fundraising work our organization is doing. We find it shocking that our International Programme Director has been commuting by plane and that there was an agreement made between you both about it, even though this goes against the official Greenpeace code of conduct.

In your positions you should have the moral compass to know this crosses the line of what is acceptable, and you should also have the understanding that this would create a scandal if discovered by the media. As we know, the scandal was discovered by the media. Following that, the reaction you both gave in the media made matters worse. Kumi you used argumentation in the media about the difficult situation Pascal is in. This should never be a defense and in public opinion this will obviously not be accepted as an excuse, as campaigners, press and comms officers know from experience. It is exactly the kind of argumentation that governments and companies use when we ask them to do more to save our planet. And that line of reasoning is something we do not accept.

In an interview with the Dutch Press Agency (ANP) Pascal you explicitly drew the conclusion that Greenpeace cannot always live up to its own standards2. By saying that, you project your own misbehavior onto the whole Greenpeace organization. It is a remark that is extremely damaging for Greenpeace campaigns and a slap in the face to all the employees that do follow the code of conduct. You decided to further state in the Dutch media that you do not have a luxurious lifestyle because you earn a mere 6.075 euro per month and do not like airports or flying. You compared your income to what can be earned in industry, as to convince the audience of the modest salary you receive. Obviously, 6.075 euros a month is multiple times the average income and therefore a huge amount for the majority of our supporters.

Thus, this statement only made things worse. It is disrespectful to our fundraising staff, who work very hard to increase our fundraising results and then see hundreds of supporters leave us in one week because of the behavior of our IPD. It is also an insult to our supporter services staff, who have to deal with hundreds of angry phone calls, and to our social media team who had to react on many angry tweets and posts. And most importantly it is offending our volunteers who give us their time and energy and are confronted on the streets and festivals with questions about the flying behavior of our IPD.

Pascal you also stated that nobody within the organization had ever raised this issue before, which we understand is not true. Besides this, that statement implied that everybody within Greenpeace agrees with this behavior, making it seem a mistake of Greenpeace as a whole. We find this unforgivable. Of course everybody makes mistakes and there should be room for making mistakes within Greenpeace. However, this is more than a mistake. It was discussed, thought through and went on for two years. But it was only after the story broke to the media that you acknowledged it as a mistake. Apart from the ethical boundaries that have been crossed, the media statements that you gave Pascal completely disqualify you as a programme director.

The whole flying scandal undermines the motivation of many dedicated people that work for GPNL. It is an affront to all the hard‐working professionals within Greenpeace who are committed to the goals Greenpeace is trying to achieve and who are proud of our organization. We feel that the least you could do Pascal is apologize in writing, or preferably in person. While Kumi and Bunny took the time to come and talk to the Dutch staff, you did not even take the effort to write an email. Externally, this flying scandal seriously undermines our credibility as an organization. Every time we criticize politicians or companies, this story will come back, as we are already experiencing.

Campaigners are getting questioned by companies and politicians. If Greenpeace does not walk the talk, why should others do so? You do not seem to grasp how public opinion works and do not seem aware of the magnitude of the long term reputational damage that has been caused by commuting by plane and the chosen media response. It could have been, at least partly, repaired by presenting a quick and strong reaction showing what Greenpeace will do to prevent this from happening in the future. We understand that you are working on internal measures that will be communicated externally, but until now this response is lacking, and hence solidifying the damage to our organization.

By not reacting appropriately, you display a lack of understanding of integrity and reputational management. Pascal if you keep your position while externally no measures of improving our own behavioral standards are communicated, we cannot repair our loss of credibility. We will surely lose effectiveness in our campaign work. Therefore, we urge you to take measures that improve our behavioral standards very soon and we urge Pascal to leave the organization and take public responsibility for the mistakes that have been made, including the given media statements.

Kumi your position has been severely damaged as far as we are concerned, among many in our office your integrity is debated. We urge you to reflect on this. We are willing to further express our concerns in a conversation.

Best wishes,

Kim Schoppink ‐ Gerda Horneman ‐ Berit Soolsma ‐ Pelle Berting ‐ Caco Verhees – Rebecca van Scheijndel ‐ Christien de Jong ‐ Maarten Slagter ‐ Jorien de Lege ‐ Anne Boon – Femke Nagel ‐ Leon Varitimos ‐ Milo Laureij ‐ Michiel van Geelen ‐ Willem Wiskerke ‐ Tom Grijssen ‐ Danielle van Oijen ‐ Anne Nasveld ‐ Frederieke Velk ‐ Nora van der Hoeven ‐ Sanne van Keulen ‐ Hilde Stroot ‐ Faiza Oulahsen ‐ Joris Wijnhoven ‐ Bart van Opzeeland ‐ Sandra van den Brink ‐ Jeroen van Heijningen ‐ Ellis Hageman ‐ Michiel de Brieder ‐ Heleen Blesgraaf ‐ Tellu Lausas ‐ Gabrielle van der Ham ‐ Roy de Hair ‐ Marleen Zwartkruis ‐ Yuri Gunther Moore ‐ Simone Langley ‐ Joost Hostman ‐ Madeleine van Wensen ‐ Carin Bazuin – Frits Meuleveld ‐ Paul Baars – Marjolein Buissen – Pavel Klinckhamers


Over 6000 euros a month, plus cost for air travel, plus no apparent purchases of carbon credits to offset their evilness.

Gosh, this seems like the sort of thing that evil capitalist executives or trough feeding government pork-barrelers might do.

If anyone thinks that Greenpeace isn’t just like any other large organization, complete with moral turpitude, sloth and excess, and behind the scenes dealings to prevent the workers from knowing what is really going on, now is the time for eye-opening.



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Do as we say, not as we do..
Bunch of hypocrites…

Eugene WR Gallun

It is good to start the day laughing.
Eugene WR Gallun

M Courtney

The staff explain that there is no chance Greenpeace could recover from this scandal unless Naidoo and Husting are dismissed, as keeping them on would undermine the credibility of the environmental organization.

The credibility of the environmental organization?
When has any environmental organization ever been credible?

Robert W Turner

Greenpeace members should also stop using anything made from or that is powered by fossil fuels.


The end justifies the means. Or the means justifies the end? Or is it, the bed justifies the Airbus? Or something to that effect. I wonder how the frequent flyer miles are used.


From Bing Maps:
Luxembourg to Amsterdam 225 miles, 3hours 46 minutes driving a car.
A small European car can do 70+ miles per Imp. gallon, i.e about 3 gallons to do the trip. At GB prices that is about £19 worth of diesel.


“…Being more environmentally friendly and taking the train to Amsterdam and back is also not an option for Husting, as that would take 12 hours…”
Actually it’s 2 hours 54 minutes each way…
Amsterdam to Luxembourg and back by train
In order to get from Amsterdam to Luxembourg by train, you need to make a connecting in Brussels. It is very easy to do by regular train. There is an hourly intercity train (Not Thalys which is more expensive) that leaves Amsterdam Central to Brussel-Noord. It leaves at 23 minutes past each hour, journey time is 2.51, cost is €34.40 second class single. Likewise, from Brussels there is an hourly Intercity train that leaves at 36 minutes past each hour. Journey time is three hours.
There is no need to pre-book either train. Go to the ticket office and buy one for each leg of the journey or just go to an NS international ticket office the day before and ask for a through ticket.
Step 1 Take the Eurostar Thalys train from Amsterdam Centraal to Brussels Midi. There are daily departures at 6:16 a.m., 9:16 a.m., 1:16 p.m., 2:16 p.m., 3:16 p.m., 6:16 p.m. and 7:16 p.m. Single adult fares start at €82 (£72.00). The travel time is 1h 54 min.
Step 2 Take the Intercity Train from Brussels Midi to Luxembourg. During the weekdays, the first train departs Brussels at 10:33 a.m. and the last one at 8:36 p.m; while over the weekends, the first train departs at 6:33 p.m. and the last one at 8:33 p.m. The travel time is 3 hours and the single adult ticket costs €65 (US$89)
See? Green hypocrites don’t need to fly after all.

Phil Ford

These Greenpeace hypocrites really make me chuckle. If they truly believed in even 1% of the absolute tripe they spout about ‘sustainability’ and ‘renewable’ this and that then none of them should be using electricity, modern medicine, any form of fossil-fuel powered transport nor any form of modern powered communications device. And while they are at it, they should renounce all forms of currency and eat nothing but raw vegetables grown by their own hand (organically, of course). In fact, they should be toiling in the fields 12 hours a day beneath the giant windmills they insist on inflicting on us all.
Meanwhile, the rest of us, living longer and more healthily than ever in a fossil-fuel powered world of wonder and opportunity, can get on with our lives free from their constant idiocy.
Hypocrites and morally bankrupt, the lot of ’em.

Henry Galt

He has children (plural) too!?
For shame.


I wonder what the total carbon footprint is foir Greenpeace and all the celebrities it gets to support it.
According to its own website:
it has 3 boats: Rainbow Warrior, Arctic Sunrise, & Esperanza, plus inflatables, as well as a balloon.
I wonder how many flights Greenpeace as a group are responsible for per annum? How many car journeys, how many boat journeys and how many car journeys!

After a scathing criticism, the Greenpeace employees end their letter with “best wishes.” LOL

The only effective way to deal with this crisis is to fly the entire GreenPeace management team to a conference in Tahiti this January. If an agreement cannot be reached there, fly them to Carnival in Rio. Failing that, perhaps a luxury cruise?

Navy Bob

It’s about a 4 hr drive from Luxembourg City to Amsterdam, according to Google Maps. Pascal could probably have saved a lot of time compared to the train, or money compared to the plane, by simply driving to Amsterdam for the work week and returning home on weekends, although resorting to the evil automobile might be an even worse sin for Greenpeacers.

Ivor Ward

Perhaps they should burn Pascal and kumi in effigy, or release their addresses to their supporters so that they can go and trash their places. Oh no wait, that was just for Owen Patterson.


I’m afraid that this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to international charities/NGO’s.
The Chief Exec of ‘Save the Children’ takes home £250K per year, and ten other ‘Save the Children’ execs get £100k per year. I refuse to donate to this cosy club any more.


Executive spelling please


Come on folks, Al Gore takes the cake on this very issue.

Crispin in Waterloo

I think they meant ‘best wishes and good riddance’.
It is amazing to me that they bunk these guys purvey on a daily basis is not considered to be an ethical slip of far grater magnitude than Failing to Live the Life.
Greenpeace is (by far) best described by former members who have seen perverted what was originally a sensible call to environmental action to clean up after the excesses of industrialism in the 50’s and 60’s. I have, long ago, walked the decks of the Rainbow Warrior II and they were a pretty interesting bunch who accomplished much.
Leaping on the free-wheeling bandwagon of disaster known as CAGW has not helped the environment nor the organisation. It has only served to provoke unnecessary stress and conflict in people’s lives and to raise the leadership to political pork-barrel status. The worst excesses are not flying to work. The real sins include promulgating false claims, bandwagoning with the mob, fundraising under false pretenses, falsification of data and engaging in the character assassination of opponents who try to being public scrutiny to the poverty of their scientific and other credentials.
My how times change.

Looking at actions instead of words, I don’t believe there are 10 people on this entire planet who believe in CAGW.

Bruce Cobb

When Greenpigs fight, we all win.


But I’m sure GreenPeace execs have often cited compensation and travel expenditure accounts of peer organizations to justify their largess, probably to themselves and a very select group of Board members on the compensation committee. After all, one cannot maintain cutting edge science and policy distortion on a shoestring budget. In this context there is a co-determined escalator relationship between radicalization and compensation with perks. The drop outs of original Green Peace founders apparently never understood this opportunity for money and power derived from behavioral style choice.


Not al is lost. There are three hour long Greenpeace propaganda programmes on the Beeb this evening. I turned off the first one on clouds last week when I heard the presenter ‘scientist’ intone that 1) increasing sea temperatures are 2) leading to more clouds, which are 3) causing more and 4) stronger hurricanes. We know 1) is true, 2) is probably true, but that 3) and 4) are just lies.

Geology Joe

The hypocrisy is evident in British Columbia, Canada as well. Greenpeace recently made a big deal about “Welcoming Home” the oil powered Rainbow Warrior. The Rainbow Warrior was now free to burn many many, many tonnes of oil fuel to protest the Northern Gateway Pipeline which carries, you guessed it, oil.
“Hypocrisy only works if those that you are trying to fool can’t see it” – Geology Joe


I find it amusing that symbolism has such sway over substance and practicality.
Just that much more evidence that this is a faith based political movement and not a scientific movement

The end justify the means.

Robert W Turner says:
“Greenpeace members should also stop using anything made from or that is powered by fossil fuels.”
I think that means starvation, freezing to death and other assorted fatal or near-fatal events.

Like every other? I do not think so. All of them do it. Some others do not pretend that it is anything but wasteful- but they do not care.

Brian R

The term “morally bankrupt” come to mind.


It was all covered by George Orwell in his “Animal Farm”. Even if these two palookas walk the plank whoever takes over will soon be munching away in the trough as, despite the fact that we are all equal, some are more equal than others.
Greenpeace is a typical donation harvesting organisation. Every act it takes is just designed as a marketing event to generate donations. Oh, and obviously fascist in its structure.


The solution is really quite simple:
The eco-loons perennially claim that they are in the majority . . . so they all get together and live in yurts or wigwams and sustain themselves off of rainwater, tubers and berries.
Assuming their claims aren’t utter crapola – and they have courage in their convictions – that would immediately cut mankind’s carbon footprint by about 50%.
As an added bonus they’d presumably be facilitating the spread of various debilitating and/or terminal diseases via their primitive sanitation which would help to remove large swaths of the “cancer” they claim is afflicting the planet.
No effing surprise; even teleconferencing isn’t on the table for such degenerate, profligate hypocrites.

Ian W

While all this is very amusing, what should be noted is that the fuel consumption for air travel is far better than a normal car. The fuel consumption per revenue passenger mile for aircraft like modern Boeing 737 and Airbus 320s is better than 120 miles per gallon and even better for some of the newer aircraft types. The efficiency is obviously more once the distance is greater. Older aircraft types with 4 engines are less efficient but even they have fuel consumption per revenue passenger mile of the order of 60mpg which matches one person driving somewhere in a Prius. Aircraft also do not need any ground infrastructure between departure and destination like rail ways which must be continually maintained and the cost of maintaining the rail ways is never included by greens.

The rules for me are different than the rules for thee. If anyone thinks the double-standard will change if these eco-warriors get their way then I have some prime oceanfront property to sell to you in Montana, cheap too. Funny how people who want power always exclude themselves from the rules they want to put into place.


Now dear George Monbiot moved to the wilds of Wales because his wife came from there and wants their children to learn Welsh in school. He had to purchase a car, poor thing, being ever so stuck out in the wilds. It was second hand though so probably emitting more than a new one

What is the point of doing good, if you can’t do well?


Oldseadog says:
July 23, 2014 at 8:35 am
From Bing Maps:
Luxembourg to Amsterdam 225 miles, 3hours 46 minutes driving a car.
A small European car can do 70+ miles per Imp. gallon, i.e about 3 gallons to do the trip. At GB prices that is about £19 worth of diesel.
“Being more environmentally friendly and taking the train to Amsterdam and back is also not an option for Husting, as that would take 12 hours.”
So cars can do in about 4 hours what it takes a train 12 hours and with check-in etc a plane in 3. Wow progress.

Stephen Skinner

Sasha says:
July 23, 2014 at 8:38 am
“…Being more environmentally friendly and taking the train to Amsterdam and back is also not an option for Husting, as that would take 12 hours…”
“Actually it’s 2 hours 54 minutes each way…”
I think it is closer to 5-6 hours each way. It seems there is no fast train to Bruxelles even though it is closer to Luxembourg and driving takes nearly 4 hours.

This comment was posted here are while back – seems relevant with respect to these green organizations…
Daniel H says:
January 24, 2010 at 8:19 pm
I worked at WWF as a programmer back in my early 20s and I was still sort of naive about global warming and environmentalism in general. The job was located at their Washington, DC headquarters and I was hired to create a new database for their “Climate Savers” program. The idea was to keep better track of the enormous revenue streams that they’d extort from Fortune 500 companies in exchange for not waging organized media campaigns against them (Nike, HP, Dupont, etc).
Their Climate Change Department was staffed by creepy fanatics who would run around screaming about how Bush stole the election and other crazy things about whales and “climate justice”. I was young and didn’t know what to make of it all so I just shrugged it off. Anyway, the head of the Climate Change Department was this freaky woman named Jenifer Morgan. We just called her “the forehead” because of her massive forehead[1]. She threatened to leave DC if Bush was not impeached for war crimes. She kept her promise and got transfered to Bonn, Germany along with her personal assistants.
Last I heard, she no longer works for WWF but continues to fly all around the world on behalf of her new environmentalist NGO.
The WWF headquarters building was a state of the art corporate complex with lots of plants but of course they kept the AC cranked up full blast during the hot DC summer months. In the basement there was a modern gym that employees were encouraged to use so I started using it after work. A lot of these guys who were “campaigners” would blatantly hit on me but I’d just ignore them and keep to myself. Later I stopped going to the gym after I personally witnessed some sort of lurid gay sex going on in the locker room.
I left WWF shortly thereafter.
Anyway, the shocking fanaticism and hypocrisy that I’d witnessed made me curious to learn more about the issue of climate change and what it was all about. That was when I officially became a skeptic.
True story.
I’m not surprised about that sick 9/11 exploitation campaign they ran because many of them were openly anti-American and seemed to think Bush was the Anti-Christ. The young activists were mostly rich white kids whose parents were well connected with DC politics and/or old money families. They grew up in privileged environments completely insulated from the world at large. For some reason they were all obsessed with people like Noam Chomsky. That’s pretty much it.
Whew…It felt good to get that off my chest! 🙂 Any questions?

@ZT – did you have to include the picture? Now I am having nightmares!


Yet more proof that the people who run Greenpiece don’t believe in the AGW scam either.

Stephen Skinner

Ian W says:
July 23, 2014 at 9:51 am
“While all this is very amusing, what should be noted is that the fuel consumption for air travel is far better than a normal car… ”
I don’t think those opposed to aviation are interested in this type of information. In addition one the IPCC reports used aircraft performance data of aircraft from the 60s and 70s.
Having been a supporter of trains I now think there is something perverse in trying to get a train up to a speed where it would be better putting a pair of wings on it and remove all the surface infrastructure that it needs. A plane can ‘clean up’ by putting away its under carriage and gain greater efficiencies. A train travelling over 200mph has to keep all of its wheels and any pantographs out in the slipstream causing significant drag.

Steve from Rockwood

Isn’t Luxembourg a tax haven? I would commute from there too if I could.

stan stendera

I have what I call the studio, but it’s really my man cave. Anthony, shame on you. I have been rolling around howling with laughter all morning. You are a comedian and don’t know it.. The antics of these Al Gore want to be’s is beyond stupid. It’s just plain funny

jolly farmer

So Husting lives in Luxembourg but works in the Netherlands. I wonder where he pays tax.

Alan Robertson

In The Wizard of Oz, the residents of Winkie land also got fed up with the flying monkeys.


To the folks signing this letter, I refer you to the two chapters of the Greenpeace employee handbook titled, “Those More Equal Than You” and “Because, Shut up!”, respectively.

M Courtney

The ends justify the means.
The mean justify their ends.
I can’t be the first person who’s ever thought of that but if I am; copyright Me – Now

Keitho says:
Greenpeace is a typical donation harvesting organisation. Every act it takes is just designed as a marketing event to generate donations. Oh, and obviously fascist in its structure.
^Worth repeating^. The real chumps are the millions of credulous fools who donate part of their meagre incomes to these organizations, with the hope that they are ‘doing something to save the planet’.
Every public action by these enviro groups is done with the thought of how it will affect donations. That is priority #1, far above any other concern.
“A fool and his money are soon parted” applies here in spades. Donating to Greenpeace is a measurement of stupidity. It provides for a very rich lifestyle for the lucky few who control the funds. As for ‘saving the planet’… Pf-f-f-ft.

more soylent green!

Do I need to join Greenpeace before I can write a letter of outrage?


I’m pretty sure the plane flies whether he is on it or not. So, this is kind of silly. But, as the Greenies take this stuff seriously and they are the ones complaining, I’m ok with it.


I think everyone will most likely agree. They should use bicycles 🙂


“Apart from the ethical boundaries that have been crossed, the media statements that you gave Pascal completely disqualify you as a programme director.
Best wishes, …. ”
Best wishes and we wish hope you soon find an equally well paid position elsewhere.