This is a global challenge, as the oil industry’s record in the Russian Arctic makes clear; tons of oil are spilled on land each year, and every 18 months more than four million barrels spews into the Arctic Ocean – nearly as much as BP spilled in the Gulf of Mexico. As other oil companies seek to exploit the melting sea ice and begin drilling in Arctic waters, we know we need a global movement to draw a line in the ice and protect this fragile region. More than a million people have come together calling for a global sanctuary in the high Arctic, and a ban on offshore drilling and unsustainable fishing in Arctic waters, and more are joining every day.
Some of the support vessels for Shell’s drilling program have begun to move into the Arctic to exploit the melting sea ice, despite the fact that the company does not have final permits needed to begin drilling, its oil spill response barge has not been certified, and it can’t meet required clean air standards for its drill rig, the 46 year old converted log carrier known as the “Noble Discoverer.” With the threat of Arctic drilling looming, marine biologist John Hocevar took a small research submarine down to the site where Shell hopes to drill this summer, and discovered abundant corals known as “sea raspberry.”
Coral bleaching means these two fish might have what's left of the reef all to themselves.
Surin Island is your quintessential tropical paradise 60 km off the west coast of Thailand. It has the postcard-pretty beaches, swaying palms, and sparkling ocean. It is also in the midst of one of the world’s most beautiful coral reefs. That’s where my wife and I found ourselves this past Christmas — a sublime natural setting where we hoped to celebrate the holiday.
Unfortunately, our celebration turned in to a mournful memorial. Strolling along the shore, we found two Thai college girls sitting on the sand, crying openly. Their distress was profound; of course, we stopped to ask what was wrong, and what we could do to help.