Right now Greenpeace activists are stopping a Shell drill ship from leaving the Port of Taranaki in New Zealand for the Arctic.

Climbers - including actress Lucy Lawless -have scaled the rig's drill derrick and set up camp, equipped with enough gear to last for days.

Using a solar-powered laptop, our brave activists will be posting updates and photos to the a live feed on the Greenpeace NZ home page

They are asking you to join them - by sending a message to Shell demanding it stays out of the Arctic.

Here's why:

This is an industry that sees its own demise on the horizon. To survive it is prepared to go to the ends of the earth and take extreme risks in search of the last drops of oil. From the Great South Basin below New Zealand to the far reaches of the Arctic, nothing is sacred to Big Oil.

So we have to act.

Shell's planned incursion into the Arctic signals the beginning of an Arctic oil rush that could cause irreparable harm to this fragile frozen world and its inhabitants.

A major oil spill in the Arctic would be an environmental disaster. Experts say it would be virtually impossible to clean up, due to the harsh weather conditions and the sheer lack of vessels and infrastructure in the area. More than 6,000 vessels were pulled in to deal with the Deepwater Horizon disaster, and even so only a meagre 17% of the oil was recovered. The US Coast Guard has made clear there is no way they could deploy thousands of vessels to deal with a blow-out in the Arctic.
 
The Arctic's already under huge pressure from climate change. Temperatures are rising faster there than anywhere else on earth and the ice is melting rapidly.

If we're going to have any hope of keeping a lid on climate change then we have to leave Arctic oil in the ground. We can't watch the ice retreat then watch the oil giants send in their rigs. This is a fight for our survival.

That's why we can't let this drill ship get to the Arctic. The stakes couldn't be higher.
 
Shell and the other oil giants need to hear this message loud and clear from people all around the world - the Arctic is off-limits to your oil rigs.

Take action now and send a message to Shell's CEO Peter Vosser at www.greenpeace.org/savethearctic