by Michael dEstries
Categories: .
Photo: Greenpeace Brazil

Congratulations to Greenpeace on the launch of their new, high-tech $33M ship the Rainbow Warrior III. It’s the first ship ever built from scratch by the organization and the most eco-friendly of its class in the world.

“This is no ordinary sailing ship,” writes Hayley Baker on the Greenpeace site. “It is a sleek, efficient eco-vessel, every detail crafted with sustainability in mind, from the silicon-based paint on her hull to the FSC wood of her cabins, to the onboard recycling systems and biological sewage treatment. The new Rainbow Warrior will primarily be powered and propelled by the sun and wind. It has a revolution mast design, allowing her to carry more sail, and has all of the latest digital equipment allowing us to broadcast video from remote locations and tweet from any ocean.”

The Rainbow Warrior designation has always been a core part of Greenpeace’s history ever since the first vessel to carry that name was sunk by French operatives in 1985, killing one activist. The vessel, launched in Germany on Friday, will first reportedly travel to the United States to (oddly) protest the use of coal to burn electricity and then head down to the Amazon to raise awareness of rainforest destruction.

The ship is crazy expensive (especially considering the quality used vessels Sea Shepherd purchases for 1/4 of that price), but it’s clear that the org sees this as the crown jewel of their flotilla and a sustainable model for future vessels. With an impressive budget of more than $250M, I guess they can also afford to make some dream concepts a reality. Whether or not any non-profit should spend that much on a new vessel I leave to the discussions below.

Check out a video of the Rainbow Warrior III below.

About Michael dEstries

Michael has been blogging since 2005 on issues such as sustainability, renewable energy, philanthropy, and healthy living. He regularly contributes to a slew of publications, as well as consulting with companies looking to make an impact using the web and social media. He lives in Ithaca, NY with his family on an apple farm.

View all posts by Michael dEstries →
  • Nathan Mutch

    hahahahaha! What a waste of donor money! Hey Greenpeace, how about spending millions on actually saving animals or the planet, instead of building a fancy boat. Why do you need a multi-million dollar boat to protest in the Amazon rainforest anyways? Greenpeace is a joke and always will be a joke!!! Sorta like when they took credit last year for sending the Japanese whalers home early, when they clearly had nothing to do with it. Stop sending your money to Greenpeace and send it to an organization that is directly saving lives, such as Sea Shepherd or Earthrace Conservation.

    • Kimitake Hiraoka

      Good points Nathan-san.

      Perhaps Greenpeace could do like real conservation groups and park their expensive ships under the bows of Japanese vessels and then dump the wreckage and diesel fuel into the pristine waters of the Antarctic. Sure, it’s illegal, financially and environmentally irresponsible – but it makes for great TV.

      Even better, perhaps Greenpeace could get its ships confiscated in canada or impounded in the UK? It would only cost the group millions of dollars. But who cares, it’s only the donor’s money right?

      Finally, Greenpeace should spend its money sending its ships to France every year so that its CEO can hang about the Cannes Film Festival to have his picture taken with beautiful women and hope that someone will make bio-pics about him. Again – it’s only donors’ money – who’s counting?

      Come on Greenpeace, get your act together!

  • herwin

    As an environmental organisation it is only normal to try to lower your own impact on the environment and one thing is for sure : Big sized ships are heavy fuel consumers and so are BIG polluters.
    What GP does makes sense and really has a good environmental imact, and is only logical, AND will without a doubt stimulate a new generation of clean ships. Thumbs up !
    the negative comments..they got a point but unless the point isnt articulated well, it misses target. Seems more like copycatting Paul Watsons eternal rant against Greenpeace.:-P

  • Remy Chevalier

    Hopefully the Rainbow Warrior III will join the Clearwater Sloop up the Hudson River to Occupy Indian Point, the nuclear power plant just 30 miles North of Manhattan.

  • Russell

    What a waste of donor money, Hopefully the french will sink this one too.

  • Matthew

    What an absolute waste of money.

  • Ikarus342000

    What a waste of money. Nothing revolutionary about the A-frame masts. A lot of experiments where already done with this sort of rig. How is the boat powered by the sun ? The high costs of the boat reflects clear what eco friendly means – more costs for everything.