Greenpeace have become upset that the Russians complained that they took an object near a oil / gas site which looked like a bomb. Greenpeace say it is a harmless “pod” which is a cylinder three meters long and two meters in diameter. Greenpeace say it is clearly not a bomb as it is painted in “bright colours”.
The problem is that evil minded bomb makers tend to devise new ways to make their bombs look harmless, for example Ted Kaczynski (Unabomber) made a bomb which looked like a plank of wood.
I am aware of a case in Europe where someone threw a harmless looking object (a snowball) over the fence of a nuclear site. I have visited this nuclear site quite a few times in the course of my professional life, the guards there are a strict but reasonable group of men. The guards impose strict rules but they are a decent bunch of men, I have always found them to be polite and friendly group of men.
However I know that they have an important job to do, they are responsible for preventing unauthorised people entering a site where bomb useable materials are present, they also have the task of preventing the unauthorised movement of nuclear materials in or out of the site.
The problem was that some silly person thought it would be funny to throw a snowball over the fence of the site, at this site all bags and other objects which you take in or out have to be inspected. I am not allowed to carry any cameras, guns, radioactive objects etc etc in or out of the site.
When the snowball went flying over the fence the armed guards quite rightly acted, they went and arrested the snowball thrower. While it might be a harmless object, the problem is that until the snowball is found and examined then it is impossible to know what has come flying over the fence. The problem I see is that the snowball is white and will break up on impact, the ground is covered with white snow. Thus finding the snowball remains will not be easy.
I hold the view that if the person who had thrown the snowball had gone a short distance from the site, or into the woods near the site then they could have had the biggest snow ball fight of history and the guards would not have cared at all, neither would I care about a bunch of youngsters having a snowball fight as long as it occurred at a sensible distance from the site.
In the same way, I am sure that nobody in the oil / gas industry would care less about the “pod” if Greenpeace had taken it somewhere else into the middle of nowhere. The fact that this object was being taken to an illegal protest site makes it an object which the oil / gas platform owners and operators should view as suspect. I also note that Greenpeace are using their pods to try to defeat the security measures being used to prevent unauthorised people boarding ships and oil rigs.
To my mind the pod is being used like an armored lid on a siege engine from ye olde days, while Greenpeace and some others might not like what they think is an overreaction by the Russians (They think their harmless looking pod should be trusted by all people as being eco friendly and harmless) I think that Greenpeace should be ashamed for playing such a stupid card. While after close inspection the pod will be found to be a harmless irritation, quite rightly it should be treated as a suspect object until it is shown to be harmless.
I would also like to ask the reader to consider for a moment what would (and what should) occur if while the Queen is walking around seeing people if you jump over the barrier and run towards her with a bag filled with chocolates and boiled sweets (for her to enjoy later). I suspect that if you are lucky you will just be arrested, while if you are unlucky you will be beaten to the ground or maybe even worse. If any of my readers feel the overwhelming urge to give either Queen Elizabeth the second (of the UK) or the King of Sweden a nice big box of chocolates and other nice things I strongly suggest you contact the office of the head of state some weeks in advance and ask how best the gift should be delivered by some mutually agreeable method.
Even if Greenpeace had been trying to deliver packets of sweets, bottles of
gin lemonade, cigarettes heathy snack bars and other gifts to the oil / gas field workers in their pod then they would have had provoked a similar response. I say shame on Greenpeace for playing the “its only a harmless ‘pod’ card”.