Estate owners sue Greenpeace for prediction

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The organisers’ graphic prediction on how global warming will affect La Manga has caused sales of houses in the coastal area to drop by 50 percent.

11 June 2008

MADRID - A group of real estate developers and property owners in La Manga del Mar Menor - a spit of sandy, low-lying coastal land and Murcia's premier beach resort - are threatening to take Greenpeace to court over its graphic predictions of what global warming may do to the area, which they say have caused house prices to plummet.

The lawsuit, which the plaintiffs plan to present unless Greenpeace agrees to an out of court settlement of almost EUR 30 million in damages, comes more than six months after La Manga featured prominently in a photo book published by the environmental organisation that was intended to shock Spain into action on climate change.

Along with photos of a dried up Ebro River in Zaragoza and a desert in an area of Valencia now filled with lemon and orange groves, the book, Photoclima, shows digitally modified photos of La Manga submerged in water with only the tops of hotels, apartment blocks and palm trees emerging from the blue Mediterranean.

Greenpeace says the book is a graphic portrayal of the conclusions of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which has predicted that global warming will cause sea levels to rise around the world over the coming decades.

"We want to create alarm and a call to action," Juan López de Uralde, Greenpeace's director in Spain, said when the book was published.

The photographs certainly caused alarm in La Manga. According to José Ángel Abad, a lawyer who has taken up the case of the area's aggrieved developers and home owners, prices have plunged by "50 percent" in recent months - a dramatic fall even in light of the end of a nationwide house price boom.

"Greenpeace manipulated the expected rise in sea levels of half a metre to cause alarm. It has sunk the real estate market: no one is buying and everyone has put their apartments up for sale," Abad claims.

He says his clients are seeking EUR 27 million in damages to cover the decrease in the value of their properties.

However, Greenpeace has no intention of settling out of court, arguing that the La Manga property owners are trying to "blackmail" it into footing the bill for their speculation in the real estate market.

"They're trying to blame Greenpeace and its campaign for the problems they have encountered in a market saturated thanks to real estate speculation," Uralde said this week. "We are not going to be intimidated."

[El Pais / Ángeles Espinosa / Flickr contributor Capitan Giona / Expatica]

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3 Comments To This Article

  • pj posted:

    on 12th June 2008, 16:06:50 - Reply

    GOOD! About time someone held them to account for their guilt/absolution scam.
  • T.H. Almond posted:

    on 12th June 2008, 15:52:44 - Reply

    I hope they sue Greenpeace back into the dark ages, where they belong. Climate alarmists like Greenpeace and Al Gore are non-scientists and socialists to the core. Climate change is a fact. Manmade global warming is a FARCE. The earth has cooled and warmed many times as proven in hundreds of millions of years in the geologic record. The carbon dioxide "theory" of warming is wrong for numerous scientific reasons, some of which include--alarmists cannot explain how 38 molecules of carbon in 100,000 molecules of atmosphere cause warming. Nor can they explain the ~eight hundred year lag in elevated CO2 that occurrs AFTER a warming cycle. The curves do not track as Gore claims in his Hollywood fantasy movie. The scientific fact is that the warming cycle matches the cycles of irradiance of the SUN. Go figure. Hold on to your wallet because Global Warming (now called climate change) is the new socialism--cleverly designed to redistribute your wealth.

    T.H. Almond, Geologist
    Jamaica Beach , Texas
  • Truth Seeker posted:

    on 12th June 2008, 15:37:48 - Reply

    I think it is high time the Greenpeace and other environmental terrorist groups are held responsible for their actions. Greenpeace slanders and manipulates people into accepting their ridiculous agenda and yet cannot accept it in return. I hope these developers win.