Denis Sinyakov captured the moment when Greenpeace activists in an inflatable boat are winched into the air in the August 2012 Photo of the Month.Attached to the mooring line of the Anna Akhmatova, left, in an attempt to prevent the passenger ship from docking to the Gazprom oil rig Prirazlomnaya, right, the activists stand on the stern and lean into the hull trying to hold on before they are dumped into the Arctic waters of the Pechora Sea.Gazprom is preparing to become the first company to commercially produce oil in the offshore Arctic even as the effects of greenhouse gas induced climate change has dramatically melted Arctic Sea ice levels to the lowest extent in history.
I like the drama in the image – the little boat, the courageous activists desperately attempting to keep the giant industrial vessels apart. We cannot easily succeed against the massive, powerful oil industry as we fight to save the pristine Arctic environment, but these brave activists show that power is possible if we join in support and take action. Nearly two million people have signed on to save the arctic.
Taking on big oil in the Russian Arctic is a daring move. Engaging with a company that has shown no regard for the environment and clearly has no respect for safety is a vital action to stop the rush to industrialize the Arctic wilderness. That Greenpeace is working against Gazprom in Russia as well as Shell’s assault on the Alaskan Arctic is testimony to the organization’s global independent commitment.
In the image, the little inflatable has reached the tipping point of overturning and throwing the activists into the Arctic Ocean. So too has the climate reached that point where humanity has to fully commit to safer energy alternatives or risk the catastrophic consequences of pursuing fossil fuels at the ends of the earth.