Stopping a dinosaur of an industry

Greenpeace activists prevent oil tanker from entering Bosphorus Strait

Feature story - 4 July, 2002
Greenpeace activists stopped a massive oil tanker at the entrance of the Bosphorus Strait on July 4, sending a message that it's time for this dinosaur of an industry to come to an end.

Greenpeace activist on oil tanker Crude Dio, Bosphorus Strait, Turkey.

Thirteen activists climbed from their inflatable boats onto the 160,000 tonne oil tanker Crude Dio. They hung banners, and asked the Turkish authorities not to let the tanker into the Bosphorus, a narrow strait separating the European and Asian sides of Istanbul, Turkey.

The oil industry is opening new oil fields in the Caspian region, threatening the vulnerable environment of the Bosphorus. The world's climate is already being altered by burning fossil fuels like coal, oil and gas. This expansion of the oil industry must cease, and the investment turned toward solutions such as wind and other clean, renewable energy.

The Greenpeace activists were doing what governments should have done since they signed the Climate Convention at Rio 10 years ago, and what they should do at the Earth Summit in Johannesburg in August -- stopping this dinosaur of an oil industry.

The banner of a battered windmill activists hung on the side of Crude Dio was a graphic illustration of how oil companies use money and politics to obstruct the path to safe and clean energy.

"Even with the end of oil in sight in a couple of decades, they still resist positive change," said Melda Keskin, Greenpeace energy campaigner

Oil industry giants like ExxonMobil, BP, Shell, ChevronTexaco and TotalFinaElf continue to ignore the local and global ecological threats to the Bosphorus and the climate. And with support from international financial institutions like the World Bank and from governmental Export Credit Agencies, billions of dollars are being invested in new oil fields in the Caspian region.

World leaders must stop abdicating their responsibilities to corporations like ExxonMobil, and make use the upcoming Earth Summit in Johannesburg as a milestone toward a new, clean energy era. The Greenpeace ship the MV Esparanza will be in South Africa during the Earth Summit to focus world attention on governments.

Take Action by calling upon the world's governments to kick start the energy revolution and give clean energy to 2 billion people within 10 years.