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Daily blogs from the frontlines of the Greenpeace planet down under. 

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  • Our Associate Minister for Climate Change, Simon Bridges, doesn't know what 'emissions reduction targets' are. That was his shocking response to a question from opposition MP Dr Megan Woods last month.

    And it’s scary because this is basically what the government is going to do to reduce pollution. Not only is it Bridges’ job to know about it, but it’s  also pretty straightforward.

    To be fair, not everyone will be as cosy with the term as us policy wonks who lie awake worrying about these things, but come on - the guy is paid 250 grand a year of taxpayers’ hard-earned cash to know this stuff.

    So, when in response to a parliamentary question, Bridges feigned naivety and asked what "she means by ‘emissions reduction targets’" and requested for Woods to be more specific, my head fell crashing int... Read more >

  • Shell burns priceless art in latest Greenpeace Arctic video

    Blogpost by nyoung - May 29, 2015 at 9:14

    Greenpeace’s Save the Arctic campaign has created a shocking video targeting oil giant Shell and its plans to drill in the US Arctic this summer.

     

    In the film, three replicas of famous landscape art are set on fire, and as they burn away, new versions by famous British montage artists Kennard Phillipps are revealed. In the new artworks, the landscape has been transformed by Shell drilling infrastructure, devastating oil spills and explosions.

    “Shell could be risking disaster by drilling for oil in Arctic waters in less than six weeks. We made this video to expose that, and show how its plans affect all of us too – because the impact of climate change affects the places we all live in.” – Greenpeace Arctic Campaigner Elena  Polisano

    In March the Obama Administration decide... Read more >

  • Whistling in the dark

    Blogpost by Nathan Argent - May 26, 2015 at 15:49

    The government’s deep sea oil programme is failing. There I said it. Like other polluting businesses around the world, the deep sea oil industry has been stunned by the seismic shift in investor support for clean power.

    Shareholders, pension funds and financial powerhouses are all looking to a future where pollution is taken out of our economy and our homes and businesses are powered by cleaner, safer sources of energy. And it’s starting to hurt the oil industry.

    At recent meetings, top executives from Shell, Statoil and Chevron were rocked by the level of discontent raised by shareholders, who felt they faced huge financial risk due to their company’s lack of plan to deal with climate change.

    As a result, proposals were tabled requiring the companies to disclose just how much their busi... Read more >

  • On Wednesday I went to the opening performance of “Fallout” playing at the Basement theatre.

    It’s a play about the bombing of the Rainbow Warrior by French government agents, 30 years ago this July. But it’s equally a story about NZ and its people. It was really brilliant. It made me laugh, cry, remember and be glad that Bronwyn Elsmore had written and Jennifer Ward-Lealand had produced a play that did the story justice.

    I always feel nervous about how people will tell that story. For me it’s a little too personal to get any really solid distance, but this time I was really glad that my feelings about it matched lots of the younger people from Greenpeace who went – some for whom this really is history. They loved it too.

    There are only four actors in the cast and over the hour they becom... Read more >

  • The people of Mahan have won; Long live the fight – Zindabad!

    Blogpost by Vinuta Gopal - May 21, 2015 at 7:26

    I was returning to Mahan and Singrauli after more than two years. I had wanted more than anything to be back in Mahan to see what the people felt on knowing they had won. The Mahan coal block was not going to be auctioned as the forests were recognised as ‘inviolate’ – the information was still sinking in for us in Greenpeace and I wondered what the mood was on the ground. The people had won over powerful interests to ensure their forests remained standing – 400000 trees saved and thousands assured that the forests they depended on for everything in their life would continue to provide for them. The Essar – Hindalco joint venture had been first de-allocated by the Supreme Court and now the coal ministry had been forced to keep it from being auctioned.

     

    02 April 2015

    More ... Read more >

  • The bean counters at the Treasury have warned government that failing to reduce pollution in New Zealand could cost the taxpayer an eye watering, economy wrecking $52 billion. And John Key’s government want to keep the public in the dark about it.

    On the eve of the Government delivering yet another broken budget and a seventh consecutive overspend, one of John Key’s ministers yesterday said Treasury should keep the true cost of climate pollution from the public.

    When asked about this figure in Parliament, the reply from Tim Groser was “what Treasury got wrong was that it did not use sufficiently sophisticated software to conceal the redacted information”. In other words, don’t front it to the public.

    The Government is currently running a hurried consultation on what pollution reduction t... Read more >

  • How do systems get unstuck?

    Blogpost by Rex Weyler - May 19, 2015 at 9:51

    Human enterprise appears stuck, like an addict, in habitual behaviour. We have plenty of data alerting us to global heating, declining species, disappearing forests, and rising toxins in our ecosystems. Yet, after decades of efforts to reverse these trends and some notable achievements — whaling moratorium, ocean dumping ban, renewable energy projects — the key trends appear evermore troubling. [1]

    In December, 2014, I attended a gathering hosted by the International Bateson Institute (IBI) and Centro Studi Riabilitzione Neurocognitiva Villa Miari, a clinic for paralysis patients in Schio, Italy. We observed therapeutic methods employed at Centro Studi to help us consider links between these methods and a efforts to address the ecological paralysis apparent in our social systems. "How ... Read more >

  • When industrial food fails us, it's time to change the food system

    Blogpost by Alessandro Saccoccio - May 19, 2015 at 9:49

    The current food system is broken. We all see how industrial and chemical intensive food production impacts on people and farmers, the planet and animals.

    For example, did you know that in 2007, 269 tonnes of pesticides were used in industrial agriculture globally per hour? This is the equivalent of the size of 9 fully loaded (shipping) containers per hour.

    In 2007, 269 tonnes of pesticides were used in industrial agriculture globally per hour.

    Or did you know that roughly one third of the food produced globally is wasted along the supply chain from field to plate? For example, 149,467,642 people could be fed with the food wasted in 1 year in Europe, roughly the population of Germany, Italy and Austria together.

    149,467,642 people could be fed with the food wasted in 1 year in Europe.

    Also, the amount of water used to produce meat and dairy that a person consumes in one year (403,000 liters) is the same as if this person took 17 showers a ... Read more >

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