It was the 5th of October last year when more than 20 of my colleagues and I met in Paris. We are all Volunteer Coordinators here at Greenpeace, and the question that took us to France on that day was “How can we take our demands for Arctic protection to the streets, and and make sure those in power hear the voices and creativity of an ever growing movement committed to saving the Arctic?” Continue reading →
Corporations want to work in secret. It’s what they do, and why they have lawyers. In secret, they can spill, clearcut, burn, and otherwise destroy the environment and local communities while telling the world they’re doing just the opposite. Shell Oil’s legal team is currently working overtime to keep the company’s Arctic work secret from advocacy groups like Greenpeace. It’s a battle that will have implications well beyond the Far North. If Shell ultimately wins the legal battle with us this month, corporate secrecy will have the blessing of a federal court — and America’s First Amendment rights will take a devastating hit. Continue reading →
Shell's drill ship the Kulluk is towed out of the Arctic after the oil company canceled its 2013 drilling plans
The end of 2012 and first months of 2013 have seen a remarkable change in the fight to protect the Arctic from risky and dangerous oil exploration. Three oil “majors” – Total, Statoil and Conoco-Phillips - have withdrawn from drilling projects in the far North. Shell of course has also famously “paused” its drilling in the Chukchi in the Alaskan Arctic after a series of “costly and embarrassing accidents”, though thankfully at least without a major oil spill or loss of life. This “pause” though allegedly voluntary, would surely have been imposed upon the subsequent publication of the US Department of the Interior assessment of Shell’s 2012 Arctic operations – published just days later, which highlighted inadequate performance in 5 of 7 key areas identified by Interior Department as essential for “safe and responsible” offshore drilling. Greenpeace argues, not unexpectedly and for a variety of reasons, that no drilling in the Arctic can be safe and responsible. But for the US Department of the Interior to label one of the most risk averse of the oil majors “inadequate” is worth noting. Continue reading →
Greenpeace activists scale Statoil drilling rig shortly before the company announces its canceling its drilling plans this year
This morning two polar bears scaled Norwegian oil company Statoil’s rig bound for the world’s northernmost drilling sites in the Arctic this summer. Just a few hours later Statoil announced that their Arctic drilling will not take place this year. ConocoPhillips announced today that they too will be cancelling 2014 Arctic drilling plans north of Alaska due to “regulatory irregularities”.
Into the Arctic is a digital, interactive map we just launched today with the North Pole at its centre. The map features a number of static and dynamic layers that visualise the beauty of the Arctic, the threats it faces and our struggle to protect it. Continue reading →
As many people who watch the oil industry know, oil spills are not avoidable, preventable, or unlikely. From extraction to combustion oil is a destructive and dirty business, based on sacrificing the health of environments and peoples for corporate profits.
Although it’s Cherry Blossom festival time in Washington D.C., Greenpeace’s United States headquarters, we’re still bundled in our winter gear. Turns out that the same warmer temperatures causing Arctic ice loss at record-breaking speeds are responsible for the extreme winter weather and cold temperatures experienced in much of Europe and North America. The ice loss in the Arctic broke a previous 2007 record shrinking 18 percent, according to data published by National Snow & Ice Data Center last fall. Continue reading →
In just over two weeks I will be standing on the frozen Arctic ocean, preparing to ski to the North Pole. I’ll be wearing four layers of fleece and a special hat that someone knitted for me. In my pockets I’ll carry some almond chocolate, an iPod, and a declaration of hope for future generations. Continue reading →
While several of our international Greenpeace colleagues gear up for an epic journey to the North Pole next month, volunteers and activists around the world are preparing to take the Arctic to their communities and politicians.
As part of his new role as Secretary of State, Senator John Kerry will be a U.S. delegate on the Arctic Council. A champion for global warming legislation in the Senate, Secretary Kerry now has the power to advocate for Arctic protection through the Arctic Council. The quote below from the Secretary himself gives us reason to believe that he’ll do the right thing when it comes to Arctic drilling.
“This fight against drilling in the Arctic Refuge is a fight about our principles. It’s about standing up for our environment, our families and our future, and I won’t give up this fight.”