Questions and Answers

Some questions that you and others might have and what we would to say in answer to them:
 
Questions you or car drivers may have:  
  • What is the week of action?

    Shell has spent $4.5bn buying its way into the Arctic, and the moment of truth has arrived. Right now, two giant drilling vessels are preparing to exploit melting sea ice to drill for more of the oil that is warming our planet in the first place. This could be not only devastating for the people, polar bears, narwhals, walruses and other species that live there - but for the rest of us too. The only thing that can stop them is people power, and we have 500,000 names on our Arctic scroll ready to join us in the fight to Save the Arctic. Our politicians are not listening - they care more about the CEOs of fossil fuel companies than they do about us. It’s time to take back the power and show what ordinary people can do. This week is all about your creativity against corporate greed. The little guys against the giants. Greenpeace will take on Shell across the world but we can’t win this one without you. Because of this we are going to share the tactics Greenpeace has collected over the past 40 years. It’s up to you whether you use them or make up new ones – it’s over to you!

  • Why take action and not try other means of affecting change such as writing letters etc.

    We need to use all the tactics that we have at our disposal to get Shell to pull out of the Arctic and to stop risking this incredibly important and fragile ecosystem as well as the climate. Whilst organisations such as Greenpeace are campaigning at every level from using peaceful direct action to lobbying at the UN, history is full of examples of people like you and me taking action to change society for the better and fight for the rights we have today. From the suffragettes to the civil rights movement in the USA, change was brought about people taking a stand and inspiring the rest of society to stand with them.

  • Why target motorists at Shell’s garages?

    We’re not having a go at motorists, we’re just asking that Shell pull out of the Arctic and to stop risking this incredibly important and fragile ecosystem as well as the climate. We’re here leafleting customers and staff because Shell is planning to start oil exploration in the Arctic this summer. We want people to put pressure on the company to change its plans. The Arctic region is too fragile and its people and wildlife far too important to risk an oil spill which experts say would be almost impossible to clean up due to the remote and harsh conditions. The Arctic is already under huge pressure from climate change. It is madness that companies are moving in to drill for more of the oil that caused the ice to melt in the first place.

  • Should I boycott Shell / ask people to buy their petrol elsewhere?

    No we’re not calling for a boycott; we’re asking that people join us in demanding that Shell stops plans for Arctic drilling. The Arctic region is too fragile and its people and wildlife far too important to risk an oil spill which experts say would be almost impossible to clean up due to the remote and harsh conditions. The Arctic is already under huge pressure from climate change. It is madness that companies are moving in to drill for more of the oil that caused the ice to melt in the first place.

  • What’s this got to do with people like me?

    Firstly, the extra oil burnt will add to the problem of climate change. The Arctic is already under huge pressure from climate change. It is madness that companies are moving in to drill for more of the oil that caused the ice to melt in the first place. Secondly, our addiction to ever more risky oil is exposing the economy to high and volatile oil prices which can be a factor in driving recession. Finally, while it may not directly impact on us here, an oil spill in the Arctic could have a catastrophic impact on the Arctic’s people and animals. Serious investment in clean energy and more efficient cars would radically cut the market for this oil and save motorists thousands of pounds.

  • Are there legal risks associated with protesting at Shell petrol stations?

    There are legal risks if you stay on Shell property when asked to leave or damage their property in any way. Please use common sense and only take safe and peaceful action. Unfortunately, we will not be able to help you if you get into legal trouble.

  • But if Shell don’t explore for more oil, isn’t petrol going to get more expensive?

    Fuel prices are already getting higher and are set globally. The only lasting solution to high oil prices is to get off oil and invest in clean renewable solutions that are already delivering power now and can provide unlimited fuel for the future.

  • But aren’t we running out of oil?

    It’s true, ‘easy to get oil’ is running out; that’s why companies like Shell are going into the Arctic to get more. But that’s a recipe for disaster: not only will it mean severely damaging the climate, it will mean our economy’s addiction to oil will continue until high prices and volatility cause more and deeper economic crises. Of course people need to travel and there’s no reason why they shouldn’t, but to do that in a way that reduces oil consumption our economies need better, cheaper public transport, support for cycling and walking and much more fuel efficient vehicles. This would help to protect the climate, the Arctic and the motorist’s pocket.

  • Why is the Arctic so important?

    The Arctic is one of the world’s last wilderness regions and performs a vital service to the planet – its huge sheet of sea ice acting as a giant air conditioner keeping the rest of the planet cool. In addition, it is home to scores of globally important animals and plants found nowhere else on Earth, and to four million human beings who rely on a unique balance of nature to survive at the top of the world. But the Arctic is under threat; temperature rises due to global warming are much higher in the high north than anywhere else on the planet, causing that sheet of sea ice to retreat dramatically. Seeing the chance for profits in this tragedy, oil companies plan to drill in the pristine Arctic seas and factory scale fishing fleets are looking to exploit new fishing grounds exposed by retreating sea ice.

  • Surely, we need companies like Shell to create jobs and investment?

    The best way of supporting jobs and growth is to invest in renewables because per unit of energy they create a far greater number of jobs and a safe and permanent source of energy.

  • What gives Greenpeace the right to interfere in the legal activities of companies, their staff and governments?

    Drilling in the Arctic will put the people and animals that live there in extreme danger. Not only that but the consequences for the rest of us in terms of climate change doesn’t bear thinking about. In those circumstances Greenpeace feels it is both legitimate and necessary to intervene to protect the Arctic and the wider community from Shell’s search for oil and yet more profits.

  • Even if we begin a transition to move beyond oil, we’re still going to need oil in the short term and surely that means drilling in places like the Arctic?

    Focusing on chasing the last drops of oil from the ends of the world is madness when measures to cut oil demand and shift to cleaner energy alternatives exist right now. Using less oil by making the cars we drive more efficient would be a good start. If we introduced strong car efficiency standards we would save millions of barrels of oil.

  • Aren’t all oil companies as bad as each other?

    Right now none of the major oil companies are drilling for oil in the waters of the Arctic, but Shell is planning to drill in Alaska this summer. If it strikes oil then the Arctic oil rush will be on. The future of the Arctic is hanging in the balance. We’re not asking that people buy petrol from different outlets; the important thing is that people let the company know they should stay out of the Arctic. We need to draw a line in the ice and say ‘no more, no further, not here, no way’.

Possible questions from staff at Shell petrol stations: