Daily blogs from the frontlines of the Greenpeace planet down under. 

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  • Fire and Rain

    Blogpost by Rex Weyler - November 16, 2017 at 14:03

    The year 2017 may become a historic milestone where the visceral effects of global heating - extreme storms and wildfires - finally reach public consciousness.

     Homeowners Access Hurricane Irma Damage - 12 Sep, 2017Homeowners Access Hurricane Irma Damage - 12 Sep, 2017

    Humans have known about the effects of carbon in the atmosphere for two centuries, since the work of Joseph Fourier at the French Academy of Science. A century ago, Swedish chemist, Svante Arrhenius, calculated that doubling atmospheric CO2 would increase Earth's average temperature by 5-6°C, which now appears accurate. In 1981, Dr. James Hansen wrote the first NASA global temperature analysis, and in 1991, the UN convened the first climate conference in Berlin. As of today, none of this has significantly altered the actions of human society enough to actually reduce carbon em...

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  • Big oil is destructive in more ways than one

    Blogpost by Bunny McDiarmid - November 13, 2017 at 10:06

    This September I took my first trip to Russia to join the celebration of Greenpeace Russia’s 25 Year Anniversary.

    In big cities like Moscow, oil powered transport is a major source of pollution and greenhouse gases emissions. This is why four major cities - Paris, Mexico City, Madrid and Athens - have moved to ban diesel vehicles by 2025.

    Bunny in Moscow for the 25th Anniversary of Greenpeace Russia - 23 Sep, 2017In Moscow for the 25th Anniversary of Greenpeace Russia - 23 Sep, 2017 Read more >

    Energy based on oil can never be clean, whatever carmakers say. In Russia, I saw one of the darkest sides of the oil industry, hidden far away from the capital, deep in the forests of the north...

    We travelled 1500km north, to the Komi region, one of the oldest oil producing regions in Russia. At first sight, I was amazed by the beauty of the country. We travelled on the great P...

  • Antarctic krill – not just whale food

    Blogpost by Willie Mackenzie - November 10, 2017 at 9:08

    Krill is whale food. In fact, it’s a commonly held misbelief that ‘krill’ in Norwegian literally means ‘whale food’. It doesn’t, but it’s still true. Massive swarms of krill, a tiny micro-shrimp in the Antarctic Ocean, provide the principal food for blue whales – the largest animal that ever lived.

    But krill is so much more than just whale food.

    Antarctic Krill

    Antarctic Krill
    Copyright: Uwe Kils/NOAA

    There are lots of species of krill, and they exist in seas all over the world, but it’s in the Southern Ocean that they are most essential and where the marine life depends so directly on them. Krill are tiny crustaceans that look like a scaled-down shrimp and live in massive swarms of individual animals. They have some amazing talents, like the ability to produce glowing light (known as bioluminescence) ... Read more >

  • 3 reasons this small country’s court decision will have a big impact on global climate action

    Blogpost by Kristin Casper and Kate Simcock - November 8, 2017 at 7:26

    Sarah Thomson, 26, a law student from New Zealand Read more >

    Two years ago, a courageous law student, Sarah Thomson, sued the New Zealand Government over its weak climate targets. Now she’s made history.

    On 2 November, 2017, the High Court of New Zealand issued a game-changing ruling. It found that climate change presents significant risks and government actions on climate change are subject to judicial scrutiny. The court also found that the former Minister for Climate Change acted unlawfully by failing to review the country’s climate change targets after the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) published an updated report on climate science.

    The court didn’t issue an order against the recently elected government because the new Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, has committed the country to zero carbon by 2050. While Sar...

  • 5 peaceful protests that prove you can still change the world

    Blogpost by India Thorogood - October 29, 2017 at 21:35

    NBA players kneeling against white supremacy. Catalonians marching for independence. Quakers disarming Saudi-bound jets. In turbulent times, it’s inspiring to see protest happening — but when change doesn’t come, even the most ardent of campaigners can feel disheartened. What’s worse is that many who’ve never taken a stand can wonder whether they should bother getting involved at all.

    Yet once your feet stop being sore, once the toxic tweets and critical column inches die down — quite often, we protesters win. Here are five times that peaceful acts of disobedience have transformed our world. Maybe they’ll inspire you — or someone you know — to get active.

    1. Gandhi’s Salt March

    Long before you could invite thousands to protests with the click of a Facebook button, Mahatma Gandhi led a ...

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  • Drinking water nitrate: a ticking time-bomb for public health?

    Blogpost by atobert - October 25, 2017 at 9:33

    The new Government must put people’s health first, by addressing the growing problem of farm contaminants in our water supply.

    Just days before our new Government was announced, Canterbury’s Chief Medical Officer of Health warned that increased irrigation in Canterbury is putting newborns at risk from water contamination. Dr. Alistair Humphrey was talking about new data, which show that nitrate levels increased in a quarter of Canterbury’s monitored wells over the last 10 years.

    Growing numbers of dairy cows - and the irrigation schemes that drive this - have pushed NZ’s nitrate pollution to record levels.

    And it’s likely just the tip of the iceberg. Nitrate can take several decades to leach through to the deeper groundwater, which means the full effects of the last two decades of intens... Read more >

  • We have one year to create the largest ever protected area on Earth

    Blogpost by Greenpeace - October 16, 2017 at 12:31

    In the words of David Attenborough, “Our planet is a blue planet”. With over 70% of our world covered by water, our oceans can be seen from across the solar system.

    It wasn’t long ago that the oceans were still believed to be too vast for human activity to be able to cause them significant, lasting damage. But study after study is demonstrating how the effects of overfishing, oil drilling, deep sea mining, pollution & climate change prove that humans are more than up to the task of causing major harm to the oceans and the animals that live there.

    It’s not just wildlife that’s under threat: it’s us too. The health of our oceans supports the livelihoods of billions of people, and sustains our planet by tackling climate change. Our fate and the fate of our oceans are intimately connected.

    Penguins in the Antarctic

    ... Read more >

  • The Ocean Plastic Crisis

    Blogpost by Rex Weyler - October 15, 2017 at 15:29

    "Plastics!" This became one of the most famous film lines from the 1960s era. In the film The Graduate, young university graduate, Ben (Dustin Hoffman) appears annoyed and distracted when his wealthy American parents stage an elaborate party to show him off to their peers. A family friend approaches him and says, "Ben I have one word for you: Plastics." Ben nods and stares into space, oblivious to the career advice.

    This short scene foreshadowed the age that followed. Plastics were about to explode upon the world. Commercial organic polymers were first synthesized a century ago, used by armies in World War II. They first entered consumer production in the 1950s. Plastic packaging created a global shift from reusable containers to single-use, throw-away containers.

    According to a 2016 pl... Read more >

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