Bangalore and Mumbai among 75 cities that protest against Shell

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Feature story - September 16, 2013
Bangalore witnessed its first Ice Ride on September 15, 2013 when over 150 people gathered for a cycle rally and walkathon starting at Cubbon Park to challenge oil corporations like Shell who are trying to drill for oil in the fragile Arctic region. The Ice Ride in Bangalore and Mumbai was part of a Greenpeace global day of action in 36 countries and 75 cities with 14,000 people coming together for a single cause- to Stop Shell from destroying the Arctic for oil. In Bangalore, around 100 people participated on cycles while fifty others were part of the walkathon. The day culminated with activists unfurling a banner against Arctic drilling outside a Shell outlet.

16 September 2013 Greenpeace activists at a Shell petrol bunk in Bangalore opposing Shell's plans to start drilling for oil in the fragile Arctic region

© Selvaprakash L

 

Burning fossil fuels has caused as much as three-quarters of the floating sea ice in the Arctic to melt. As the ice recedes to record-breaking lows, the oil industry is looking to exploit once inaccessible offshore oil fields. This is a seriously risky business and no company or government has produced a reliable Arctic oil spill response plan. Arctic drilling can devastate the region, indigenous people, polar bears, narwhals, walruses and other species that live there. The rest of the world will be affected as well. The ice at the top of the world reflects much of the sun's heat back into space keeping the whole planet cool, stabilising our weather systems which also allows us to grow our food.

Shiva Sharma, Public Engagement Campaigner, Greenpeace India says, "What happens in the Arctic concerns all of us. Such irrational oil drilling proposals and practices by big companies like Shell must be put to an end. This year, India gained the observer status in the Arctic Council. This is all the more reason for us to take a keen interest in safeguarding the Arctic and its inhabitants."

16 September 2013 Hundreds of people participated in the cycle rally to show solidarity and make an urgent call to action to prevent drilling for oil in the Arctic

© Selvaprakash L

 

People around the globe are rising up to the hypocrisy of Arctic oil. Almost 40 lakh people have signed up to support Greenpeace's Arctic campaign and everywhere people are demanding a new direction in the global energy policy.

Since 1979, the National Snow and Ice Data Centre (NSIDC) has been recording satellite images of the Arctic sea ice and tracking its extent each year. Satellite records show that the Arctic sea ice has been rapidly retreating and in September 2012 the NSIDC confirmed that the sea ice had melted to a record low. In the near future, the Arctic could be ice free for the first time ever in 800,000 years.

The rates of sea ice melt correlate directly to increases of CO2 levels and increases in global temperatures, showing the alarming influence burning fossil fuels has on our planet. In this scenario, it's absurd to go after more oil in a region that is one of the last hopes for humanity. Furthermore, there is only three years' worth of oil in the Arctic and risking a devastating oil spill in this fragile environment makes no sense whatsoever. Allowing big oil corporations to carve up the beautiful and pristine Arctic for profits while putting us all at risk and destroying all life in the region is not an option anymore.

16 September 2013

 

Greenpeace is demanding that world leaders declare the uninhabited area around the North Pole a global sanctuary and ban offshore oil drilling. In addition, the movement demands a complete ban on any destructive industry in the Arctic region.

Ice Ride Bangalore Video

 

For more information and to show your support for the Arctic visit, http://www.savethearctic.org/