Kevin Libin writes in todays National Post that Greenpeace, embroiled in a nasty lawsuit with Canada’s Resolute Forest Products has been forced to walk back some of the fiery rhetoric it has been its trademark for decades.Writes Libin, ” after enduring a years-long campaign where Greenpeace publicly trashed Resolute’s reputation and intimidated its customers into cancelling their paper supply contracts, the …company began fighting back with lawyers, alleging Greenpeace is a ‘global fraud’. Resolute has sued Greenpeace in the US under racketeering legislation, that were the company to win, would result in a tripling of the financial penalties against Greenpeace. Resolute says Greenpeace’s campaign has cost the company $100 million.
In its defence Greenpeace says when it accused Resolute of being “forest destroyers” responsible for a “caribou death spiral and extinction “were not meant to be taken literally. “They do not hew to strict literalisms…but regularly use words ‘in a loose figurative sense…and attack…through ‘rhetorical hyperbole’ or ‘vigorous epithets.’
Libin concludes by pointing out that businesses face stiff penalties for spreading false claims and now Greenpeace may finally be facing the music for its misrepresentations.