Got waylaid by a Greenpeace volunteer yesterday. After I had done my usual 'yeah thanks go away' walk by, I realized that said volunteer was actually quite hot, so I allowed myself to be waylaid on the way back. Their current pitch is partly about mercury spewing into the atmosphere from industrial pollution, and who's in favor of that? I will say that this particular volunteer was not a 'bot, in the sense that the conversation appeared to turn on what I actually said rather than the script. It ended up being not so hard to say that given I'm so broke I chose not to go into Toastie's for the tuna sub I kind of wanted (speaking of mercury), I'm not going to give to a charity that doesn't immediately alleviate human suffering. Although I didn't put it that way because I know Greenpeace people often have problems with putting humans on a hierarchy above animals.
BUT part of the campaign against mercury is also to mention the alleged toxic load developing in women of child-bearing age, which must have some effect on the developing fetus...and at this point I started mentally going 'oh please please please don't mention...' 'And of course with the rise in the autism rate.' 'Well,' I tried to say cheerfully and in a friendly manner, as I signed the petition, 'you really didn't want to go there with me and autism. Because I will argue with you until the cows come home.' Things went okay with my saying that perhaps the massive change in diagnostic criteria over the past decade or so has something to do with autism rates seeming to go up. And that I could oppose nasty chemicals going into the atmosphere without the added inducement of non-scientifically-proven claims about human health.* And in the end, of course, I wasn't giving money so there's only so much time that could be wasted on me (and again, said volunteer was really cool about the being broke thing). But really, Greenpeace needs to train its people not to express controversial opinions when canvassing. Even if they believe this stuff, it can turn off potential allies.
*Although to be fair, many scientists who study autism think there may be some environmental triggers which affect initial genetic propensities. But we have no clue as yet what these triggers might be, and we know mercury/other stuff that used to be in vaccines, isn't it.