Leila, Greenpeace UK climate campaigner writes from the Esperanza...
After the news of The Faroe Islands calling on 'special forces', the internet is alive with speculation about where we'll end up. The Faroes' massive overreaction makes the point more clearly than Greenpeace could - our countries are addicted to oil and we all need help to get off it.
It highlights how vulnerable and frightened our governments are when it comes to maintaining the supply of oil. Because we depend on oil, mainly for transport which is essential in all of our lives, governments are greasing the rails for companies to come into our countries and punch holes in our planet. They are making it cheaper for oil companies to access the last drops of oil. In doing so they turn a blind eye to the risks that in the last months have become reality - from the Gulf of Mexico in the US to Dalian, China.
Not so far from the Faroes, there is another oil controversy emerging. In the UK this year, the new coaliton government has promised new tax breaks for companies to explore our oil fields off the coast of The Shetland Islands. Meanwhile the already minor incentives for developing new clean technologies, like electric vehicles, are facing the threat of being reduced further still.
The UK government promised to be 'the greenest yet'. Despite that, only weeks after the BP spill has shown the world just how much damage deep-water drilling can do, they are allowing BP to start drilling its deepest ever well in UK waters, off the coast of North Uist. This well, 1300 metres beneath the surface, is not as deep as the Macondo well in the Gulf of Mexico, but its much deeper than need be to qualify as deep-water and to be ruled out under the US moratorium.
Oil is dictating our way of life, and we will risk just about anything to keep it coming. Its that addiction that has got us to the point where governments are ignoring the risks of deep-water drilling, the human rights issues around digging up the tar sands of Alberta from under the feet of indigenous communities, and the clear climate hypocricy of drilling in the Arctic whilst pieces of the melting arctic glaciers sail by.
Like any addiction, our dependency on oil is not going to be easy to quit, but the important thing is to admit we have a problem and start talking honestly about a solution.
It's time to go beyond oil.
Image: Leila on board the Esperanza © Greenpeace/ Will Rose