The WRONG way to advocate climate action

Via Green Sheet, Greenpeace executive director Gert Leipold gets embarrassed by the BBC for a misleading press release (which claimed Arctic ice would melt by 2030). Or rather, he should have been embarrassed, but instead, shockingly, stood by Greenpeace's action:
On July 15th, Greenpeace put out a press release saying the arctic ice caps would melt by 2030, a claim that Leipold now admits is false. Rather than own up, and say it was a mistake and he'd never let it happen again, he says Greenpeace is "a pressure group" that has to "emotionalize issues, and we're not ashamed" of it.
This is truly terrible - granted the other side isn't playing fair either, and it's extremely difficult to mobilize political support for hard decisions which cost now to avoid train wrecks decades down the road, but this is simply the wrong way to go about it. Even if I put my quaint personal beliefs about the primacy of intellectual honesty aside, such a mis-statement was bound to be scrutinized and uncovered, and once that happens it damages any aura of credibility that serious climate scientists and advocates have painstakingly built up over decades of careful scientific research and public communication. Greenpeace stands rightfully accused of "undermining the whole climate change movement."

You just know the coal, oil and ag anti-climate lobbies are rubbing their hands gleefully over this.

Update: Maybe I have judged too quickly and harshly - at Green Inc., the original statement may have been intended to refer to sea ice only. But that absolutely does not excuse the principle of Leipold's response.

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