Guest blog by Courtney Bruch, an Earth activist, GMO Free Maui coordinator and Babes Against Biotech Interisland Advisor. Crossposted from Greenpeace India
Being touched by the true Spirit of Aloha is a lifelong blessing. Hawaii is renowned worldwide as one of the top vacation destinations for many reasons. Each of the six most inhabited islands of this archipelago are equally unique in magnificence, with dramatic landscapes including lush, green mountains, sparkling streams, enchanted waterfalls, white sand beaches, majestic rainbows, an abundance of tropical flowers and mouthwatering fruits. Continue reading
Greenpeace will fly its thermal airship over the Seattle area all week with a 75 foot whale-themed banner urging Washington residents to help protect the “Grand Canyons of the Sea.”
Greenpeace and Mission Blue will host an “Evening of Hope” at the Seattle Aquarium to celebrate Alaska’s Bering Sea, a unique ecosystem currently threatened by a billion dollar fishing industry. Continue reading
They hail from many different places: Tennessee, California, Michigan, Ohio, Virginia, Indiana, Missouri, and Envigado, Colombia. They have joined Greenpeace for the next five weeks in Washington D.C. to learn many of the important skills of environmental activism to take back to their respective communities. They’ll be participating in workshops, skills trainings, and traveling for a week to get experience campaigning on an environmental issue.
Welcome Stephanie, Angie, Melissa, Alex, Ben, Vinnie, Mackenzie, and Jackie!
The Greenpeace Semester is still accepting applications for our second summer term and fall term. If you’d like to apply, click here.
On March 29 ExxonMobil, the most profitable company in the world, spilled at least 210,000 gallons of tar sands crude oil from an underground pipeline in Mayflower, Arkansas. The pipeline was carrying tar sands oil from Canada, which flooded family residences in Mayflower in thick tarry crude. Exxon’s tar sands crude also ran into Lake Conway, which sits about an eighth of a mile from where Exxon’s pipeline ruptured.
A new batch of documents received by Greenpeace in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) has revealed that Exxon downplayed the extent of the contamination caused by the ruptured pipeline. Records of emails between Arkansas’ DEQ and Exxon depict attempts by Exxon to pass off press releases with factually false information. In a draft press release dated April 8, Exxon claims “Tests on water samples show Lake Conway and the cove are oil-free.” However, internal emails from April 6 show Exxon knew of significant contamination across Lake Conway and the cove resulting from the oil spill.
When the chief of Arkansas Hazardous Waste division called Exxon out on this falsehood, Exxon amended the press release. However, they did not amend it to say that oil was in Lake Conway and contaminant levels in the lake were rising to dangerous levels, as they knew to be the case. Instead, they continue to claim that Lake Conway is “oil-free.” For the record, Exxon maintains that the “cove,” a section of Lake Conway that experienced heavy oiling from the spill, is not part of the actual lake. Exxon maintains this distinction in spite of Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel saying unequivocally “The cove is part of Lake Conway…The water is all part of one body of water.” Furthermore, Exxon water tests confirmed that levels of Benzene and other contaminants rose throughout the lake, not just in the cove area.
Though Exxon was eventually forced to redact their claim that the cove specifically was “oil-free,” the oil and gas giant has yet to publicly address the dangerous levels of Benzene and other contaminants their own tests have found in the body of Lake Conway. The Environmental Protection Agency and the American Petroleum Institute don’t agree on everything, but they do agree that the only safe level of Benzene, a cancer causing chemical found in oil, is zero. Benzene is added to tar sands oil to make it less viscous and flow more easily through pipelines. Local people have reported fish kills, chemical smells, nausea and headaches. Independent water tests have found a host of contaminants present in the lake.
According to Exxon’s data, 126,000 gallons of tar sands crude oil from the pipeline spill is still unaccounted for.
Exxon’s spill emanated from the Pegasus Pipeline, which like the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, connects the Canadian Tar Sands with refineries in the Gulf of Mexico.
Today, Greenpeace proudly ads its voice to a growing coalition of groups to urge Tribune Company, publisher of the LA Times, the Chicago Tribune and several other major US newspapers, not to sell their print media to Koch Industries. SIGN OUR PETITION TO TRIBUNE COMPANY CEO PETER LIGUORI TO KEEP TRIBUNE’S NEWSPAPERS OUT OF KOCH’S HANDS.
Charles and David Koch, the billionaire brothers who own Koch Industries, the second-largest private company in the US, oversee an estimated $115 billion in annual revenue. The Kochs are each worth $31 billion to $45 billion, and the brothers have a bad habit of funneling tens of millions of dollars to organizations that deny the reality or severity of global warming. They have a keen interest in influencing US politics and culture, hosting secretive gatherings of wealthy elites who collectively raise hundreds of millions of dollars to spend on state and national politics. This quiet circle of business leaders already has a concerning amount of influence in the US media and has prioritized increasing that influence.
Greenpeace’s opposition to the Koch bid for Tribune Co. newspapers is rooted in the billionaire Koch brothers’ proven track record of peddling misinformation on climate change science through media outlets they already have ties to, such as the Wall Street Journal, the Weekly Standard, the National Review and the Washington Examiner. And when the Kochs can’t get favorable reporting, they fund organizations to gin up their own media that promote Koch priorities–busting unions, beating back environmental protection laws, smothering public education, watering down healthcare reform, and a variety of other initiatives that only the 1% stand to gain from.
CLICK HERE TO SIGN THE PETITION. And stay tuned for more updates from Greenpeace on our work to keep the Kochs’ corrupting influence out of Tribune Company newspapers.
I’m wearing my new blue t-shirt from Bike to Work Day. It was a beautiful morning on the W.O. & D. trail. I hope you had a good ride yourself or at least wished you had when you saw bikes rolling by.
I was at a meet up stop In Vienna, Virginia, when a man rolled up and asked what was going on. When he heard that this was a distribution point for riders who had registered to get a free t-shirt, he asked “What do you get if you ride to work everyday?”
I didn’t hear a good answer to that from the group, although they offered him a t-shirt, but the obvious one is health, and the other is wealth. Compared to purchasing, insuring, maintaining and fueling a car, bicycling is a good deal with great side effects.
Although it may not have made it to the front page of our newspapers here in the US, there was big news this week for our planet and for some of the last remaining tropical rainforests. The President of Indonesia has extended the forest moratorium, protecting roughly 20 million acres of forest from the threat of deforestation. This was great news, but it does not solve the entire problem because plenty of Indonesia’s forests were left unprotected and deforestation continues to wreak havoc there. Here is Yuyun Indradi, one of my Indonesian colleagues’ account of the news. Continue reading
The Mexican government is likely to authorize the cultivation of genetically engineered (GE) corn in Mexico. And until now Mexican citizens, with the help of organisations like Greenpeace, have managed to prevent agribusiness giants like Monsanto, DuPont and Dow AgroSciences from gaining approval in Mexico for genetically engineered corn.
But this looks like it could change.
The agriculture ministry in Mexico may allow foreign companies to plant genetically engineered corn on 2.4 million hectares of land. Continue reading
One of the most rewarding things about my work is that I get to meet people almost everyday who are inspired by Greenpeace.
I met Pennsylvania fine artist Justin Ballew over twitter a couple of weeks ago. Inspired by our save the Arctic campaign, he tweeted us this illustrated poem. The poem is fun and simple, and I emailed him to ask him what inspired him to do this. Here’s what he said: Continue reading