Top News: Greenland publish oil-spill plan six-months after Cairn’s risky Arctic operation begins; Greenpeace flagship sets sail for a new life; American farmers grow first GM corn that’s for fuel, not food; Bill Gates Foundation announces plans to revolutionise the restroom.

#ArcticOil

The Greenland government – on behalf of Scottish oil company Cairn Energy – finally published its long awaited oil spill response plan yesterday. The plan – released nearly six months after Cairn first began looking for oil in the Arctic – has remained elusive despite numerous attempts by our activists to locate it. The Greenland government cited the potential for “attacks on safety” by Greenpeace or other groups as the reason for its dalliance in releasing the plan. While we’re not exactly certain what they mean by this, what is obvious is that Cairn’s own claims that “safety is our priority” are no more than greenwash. Given the inherent risks of drilling in Arctic, it is simply impossible to maintain a commitment to safety and a commitment to extracting oil from one of the most remote and pristine locations on the planet. To read the plan for yourself, check out our website.

#Rainbow Warrior

After 52 years at sea and 22 years fighting to protect the environment, the Rainbow Warrior II begins a new life. Today the ship was handed over to Bangladesh-based NGO Friendship to be refitted as a hospital ship. She will now deliver primary and secondary medical assistance to some of the most vulnerable communities of the world. She’s been a faithful servant and will be sorely missed, but we’re happy she’ll be put to good use. Check out her replacement – the Rainbow Warrior III – set to be the first purpose-built environmental-campaigning ship ever built.

#Ethanol

In a shocking example of mixed priorities, it appears that farmers in the US have for the first time started growing genetically modified corn to produce fuel for cars instead of food for the world. Aside from the fact that growing corn for fuel instead of food could severely exacerbate the existing global food crisis, farmers of corn for food have serious concerns over cross-contamination. The genetically-modified corn used to produce ethanol contains much higher levels of amylase – an enzyme that speeds the breakdown starches – and even one kernel in 10,000 could contaminate and damage other food products.

#Bill Gates’s Toilet

After revolutionising the way the world uses computers it seems Microsoft founder Bill Gates’s next venture is to revolutionise the way we use the toilet – or at least the way the toilet works. The Gates Foundation – benefactor of social projects around the world – has recently announced a $42 million project to create a toilet that doesn’t require water or mains power and is able to convert human waste into mineral rich fertiliser. Let’s just hope they don’t force users to constantly upgrade to the next model in order to be allowed to use it properly.