AMSTERDAM — Radical eco group Greenpeace celebrated the eve of Earth Day with a gigantic bonfire baring the shape of Earth, as a sign of protest over the constant and continuous abuse that the planet had been taking.
Over 3,000 spectators watched as Greenpeace Executive Director, Mr Gerd Leipold, lit the historic match which incinerated the 150-foot tall wooden structure on Wednesday night in a public park in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, where the organisation’s headquarters is located.
“This is our way of telling the world that enough is enough!” said Leipold, as he pointed to the plume of smoke and ash rise up to the sky. “The world has endured enough wars, enough deforestation, enough pollution, enough abuse from those who only care about making money at the expense of the planet’s environment.
“This fire rising from the burning ‘globe’ reflects Greenpeace’s stand that we are serious about tackling those problems. It is a symbol of hope for the future, for our children.”
The structure, a detailed replica of Earth complete with topographical expressions, was constructed by Danish artist Bjorn Feikke using oak and sequoia wood, at a cost of €3.56 million. The artist, famous for his phallic sculptures, was commissioned by the eco-pressure group six months ago.
“How much longer can Monther Earth take our indescriminate dumping of toxic waste?” asked Leipold. “How much longer can our flora process our carbon emissions? Did you know that our internal combustion engines release over 1 to 2 metric tonnes of carbon monoxide per year? How do you expect our trees to convert it into breathable oxygen?” he continued, as the fire raged and spectators moved back slightly to escape the searing heat and black smoke.
Leipold said that the movement are stepping up their activities to stop all forms of pollution, overharvesting of natural resources and environmentally-harmful policies.
“It’s a war to save the planet,” said Leipold. “The world’s industries and consumers are killing Earth slowly but surely, and we are running out of time.
“Like the bonfire you see here, we shall bring the heat to the doorsteps of the polluters and selfish parties. We are planning to hold smaller, but equally bright bonfires in as many countries as we can, to increase awareness of the planet’s plight, and burn the fires of hope for our future,” Leipold said sternly. “Soon, the fires of our movement shall be so big, and its black smoke of change shall be so overwhelming, that it will be visible from the skies!”