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

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  • Looking back, one of the key moments that was to define both my professional and personal path was the moment I stepped onto the small atoll of Rongelap, in the Pacific Ocean.

    It was 17 May 1985 and I was 24 years old.

    At first glance, it appeared as if I had reached paradise; sandy beaches with coconut trees, water so crystal clear you could see the bottom, meters deep. And yet nothing was as it should be.

    Waiting for us on the beach, with flowers, was the local community. The women held a banner reading ‘we love the future of our children.’

    I was there with the crew of the Greenpeace ship, Rainbow Warrior, to help them relocate. Their beloved island was making them sick, and what you couldn't see here could kill you.

    Back in March 1954, the atoll received a massive dose of radiation ... Read more >

  • I'm inside a pipe on the Canterbury Plains with Olga from Greenpeace. We each have an arm secured into a tube inside a two and a half metre irrigation pipe. We're in a ditch between the Rakaia and Waimakariri Rivers. Our pipe is one of many being laid right now across the Canterbury Plains for more irrigation to grow more grass to feed more cows.

    Rosemary Penwarden locked inside an irrigation pipe

    Now that the adrenaline has slowed and we've adjusted to our surroundings, Olga and I take turns sitting on our camp chair while the other stands. I stamp my feet and the sound echoes back along the pipe. Now and then there's a crash above my head as loose stones fall onto the pipe from above.

    A magpie's quardle oodle wardle doodle heralds dawn and the four metre deep sides of our ditch come into view.

    Glaciers retreated from here around 18,00... Read more >

  • 9 ways to reduce your plastic use

    Blogpost by Alice Hunter - August 25, 2017 at 11:30

    We’ve all seen the headlines about the huge environmental problems caused by single-use plastics. Governments and corporations have a responsibility to take action – but what can we do to cut down our personal plastic footprints?

    Here’s our 9 top tips:

    1. Carry a reusable bottle

    Carrying a reusable bottle is a great way to cut your plastic use and save money too. Many public places have refill points.

    2. Say no to plastic straws

    Plastic straws are bad news for our oceans. Next time you order a drink, think about whether you really need a straw – and if you don’t, just refuse it! You can also ask your local cafe to stop adding straws to drinks as standard and offer paper straws to those who want one.

    3.Take a reusable coffee cup

    Carry a reusable cup with you – some cafes even offer ... Read more >

  • How does plastic end up in the ocean?

    Blogpost by Louisa Casson - August 23, 2017 at 12:43

    We know our oceans and coastlines are choking on plastic. We’ve all seen plastic bottles, food wrappers and plastic bags polluting beaches, and been horrified by the stories of marine creatures like seabirds and whales starving when their stomachs become packed full of plastic.  

    Scientists have shown that up to 12 million tonnes of plastic is entering our oceans every year – that’s a rubbish truck full every minute. Single-use plastic packaging for food and drink is a particularly common part of the problem.

    Read more >

    But how does plastic actually get into our oceans?

    While about a fifth of marine litter is made up of fishing gear and other materials lost at sea by accident, industrial losses, or illegal dumping, we know that roughly 80% of litter in the seas comes from land.

    Our rubbish

    The ...

  • Cabbages and Kings.

    Blogpost by pvine - August 22, 2017 at 15:24

    Frogs will rain from the sky, a blight will cross the land, and white walkers will travel south of the wall. All this will come to pass. Oh and cabbages might cost more.

    That’s the tenor of the response of Irrigation New Zealand to Labour’s water royalty plan.

    It paints the picture of an organisation so deeply under siege that it’s willing to predict almost anything to maintain its social licence to irrigate, and by extension, enable further pollution of our rivers.

    In response to Jacinda Ardern’s policy announcement, Andrew Curtis, CEO and King of the Irrigators opened up his doomsday book at a random page and started raining down weapons-grade Nostradamus on the unsuspecting population

    Let’s see, poor people, obese people, the unhealthy, average kiwis, families building a house, and...

    Read more >
  • With love from the Arctic

    Blogpost by Lizzie Sullivan - August 18, 2017 at 12:36

    Greenpeace kayakers have stopped an oil rig drilling in the Norwegian Arctic. I know, because I’m there right now.

    My name is Lizzie. I’m a web developer from New Zealand, and I’m here on the Greenpeace ship Arctic Sunrise with people from all over the world to take action against new arctic oil drilling.

    Lizzie Lizzie Sullivan

    We stopped them drilling for several hours by kayaking into the oil rig’s exclusion zone and attaching a large floating globe to the rig’s anchor chain. The globe carried messages from people all over the world to the Norwegian Government demanding an end to the drilling.

    As a result, Norwegian authorities have arrested our whole ship, including all 35 activists and crew, and we're currently being towed back to Tromso on the mainland.


    The Norwegian Governm... Read more >

  • The world is on fire

    Blogpost by Konstantin Fomin - August 14, 2017 at 17:48

    A huge wildfire is raging in Greenland. 150 km from the Arctic Circle and just 50 km away from Greenland's ice sheet, large swathes of tundra have been burning for over a week.

    Nobody has seen anything like this in recent times.

    Sentinel-2 imagery from 3 August,  Anton Beneslavskiy

    Satellite imagery of Greenland, 50 km from the ice sheet, 3rd August 2017

    In the last few years, catastrophic fires have been increasing around the world. From Indonesia to Canada, South America to Africa, Southern Europe into Siberia, and now Greenland too. Many are fatal.

    As you read this, over 1.6 million hectares of Russia are on fire. Forest fires of this scale are unmanageable and blazes like these have become the new normal in Russia.

    Forest Fires in Siberia, 2014Forest fires blazing in Siberia, 2016

    Why do they keep getting worse? 

    Lack of forest management, insufficient funds fo...

    Read more >
  • In May this year, two brothers, Vázquez and Agustín Torres, were murdered near Guadalajara in Jalisco, Mexico. They were Wixárika (Huichol) leaders, working to preserve their land from incursion by cattle ranchers and drug cartels. This tragedy of greed and corruption serves as an alarm bell for activists attempting to preserve our natural world.  

    Murdered Wixárika leader, Miguel Vázquez Torres (Photo by Nelson Denman) Murdered Wixárika leader, Miguel Vázquez Torres (photo by Nelson Denman) 

    The worldwide crisis on Indigenous land is as urgent as climate change or biodiversity loss. Approximately 400 million Indigenous peoples, with 5,000 distinct cultures, represent most of the world’s cultural diversity. Their land is threatened by mining and logging companies, ranchers and farmers, oil exploration, and now by the drug cartels too. Read more >

    In spite of the 2007...

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