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

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  • 5 reasons why the world needs a moratorium on new coal mines

    Blogpost by Leanne Minshull - April 21, 2016 at 14:23

    Only four months ago, the world recognised the need to limit global temperature rises to 1.5 degrees C. The Paris climate agreement signalled the end of the era of fossil fuels, particularly coal, the dirtiest source of power. But since then, Australia has gone ahead and approved what could be the world's largest coal mine.

    Hay Point Coal Terminal, 16 July 2012. © GreenpeaceHay Point Coal Terminal. © Greenpeace

    Last year, the then President of Kiribati, Anote Tong, called on world leaders to join him in a global moratorium on all new coal mines. This week, on the eve of the signing of the Paris agreement, I'm in the US with Tong to help him continue the push for what should be one of the first and easiest steps in securing a safe climate.

    COP21: President Anote Tong of Kiribati in Paris, 7 December 2015.  © Nicolas Chauveau / Greenpeace

    New analysis commissioned by Greenpeace from the University of Melbourne spells out what a morat... Read more >

  • Radioactive Chernobyl forest fires: a ticking time bomb

    Blogpost by Anton Beneslavsky - April 20, 2016 at 7:46

    For five years now I’ve been a member of the professional firefighting group of Greenpeace Russia staff members that is supported by well trained volunteers and I’ve travelled thousands of kilometres across Russia to extinguish fires. Firefighting is always dangerous, but when it happens in a radiation-contaminated area the stakes are much higher. 

    Forest fires in the contaminated Bryanks region. 07/04/2016 © Vladislav Zalevskiy / GreenpeaceForest fires in the contaminated Bryansk region.

    In areas contaminated by Chernobyl, wildfires are a common occurrence. Without good government management, these areas flame up every spring due to bonfires made by locals, and the fires can cover thousands of hectares. With the climate getting warmer and dryer, these fires have become more frequent and devastating in recent years.

    Firefighters tackle the flames in Bryansk region. 07/04/2016 © Vladislav Zalevskiy / GreenpeaceEvery spring, fires start in the forests and fields of the heavi... Read more >

  • Biggest Fish: Is This Corporate Giant the Key to Saving the Ocean?

    Blogpost by Chris Eaton - April 20, 2016 at 7:30

    Thai Union Group -- the owner of Chicken of the Sea canned tuna -- is an industrial monster that has sunk its hooks throughout global seafood markets. Hundreds of thousands of people are taking it on and changing the game for ocean life.

    I love the ocean.

    Nothing has made me feel more connected to life on this big blue planet than feeling its powerful, rolling waves, playing in tide pools full of small creatures, and witnessing whales, fish and seabirds migrating together far from shore.

    Thai Union Group — the largest canned tuna company and one of the largest seafood companies in the world — is plundering that ocean. It’s operations cause the deaths of thousands of threatened creatures, like sharks and turtles. The industrial fleets that supply Thai Union devastate tuna populations an... Read more >

  • War and Money

    Blogpost by Rex Weyler - April 19, 2016 at 11:57

    "Who is doing this? Who is killing us? This great evil. How did it steal into the world?
    We were a family. How did it break up and come apart?"
    – Private Witt's thoughts, The Thin Red Line, by Terrence Malick. 

    Records from the first century portray Jewish peasants – men, women, and children – marching on the governor in Caesarea, protesting atrocities of the Roman army, prostrating on the ground, and offering their lives en masse. Since the dawn of warfare, there have been peace movements. World War I, a century ago, was supposed to be "The war to end war," but the world has since remained in the grip of almost perpetual warfare. In 1971, inspired by the Quakers, Greenpeace's first campaign confronted nuclear weapons testing in Alaska, but we certainly cannot claim to have abolished militar... Read more >

  • How one woman galvanized a community to fight the landfills plaguing her town

    Blogpost by Juraj Rizman - April 19, 2016 at 11:55

    The Goldman Environmental prize is one of the world's largest awards to recognise grassroots environmental activists. Its winners are people from around the world who have made significant efforts to protect the natural environment, often at great personal risk. You can read about some of their incredible achievements here.

    This year, one of the winners is Zuzana Čaputová, a public interest lawyer who spearheaded a successful campaign to shut down a waste dump that was poisoning the land, air and water in her hometown.

    Jaroslav Pavlovič and Zuzana Čaputová, both from Pezinok initiative

    I feel incredibly fortunate to have worked with Zuzana, supporting her in the fight for a fairer and safer environment in the ancient town of Pezinok, Slovakia.

    As Zuzana led the "Dumps don't belong in towns" (Skládka do mesta nepatrí) movement, Greenpeace Slovakia sup... Read more >

  • 5 lesser-known threats to the fragile Arctic Ocean

    Blogpost by Emily Buchanan - April 19, 2016 at 11:46

    You probably know that climate change is melting Arctic ice with astonishing speed. And while some hear a warning bell, others see a business opportunity. As Arctic ice disappears, oil companies and fishing fleets are moving further north than ever before, keen to exploit the unexplored ocean opening up at the top of the world.

    The Arctic is under threat from destructive industrial fishing. Image Credit: Eve Lloyd KnightAll rights reserved. Image Credit: Eve Lloyd Knight

    You probably also know how wrong it is to take advantage of melting ice to drill for more of the stuff that caused the problem in the first place. But did you know that industrial fishing presents its own set of risks?

    Here are some of the lesser-known ways destructive fishing fleets threaten the Arctic Ocean:

    1. Bottom trawling

    Bottom Trawling. Image Credit: Eve Lloyd Knight

    Bottom trawlers are a kind of heavy fishing gear that gets dragged along the se... Read more >

  • Heading to sea to stop destructive fishing

    Blogpost by François Chartier - April 19, 2016 at 11:40

    Greenpeace Esperanza Indian Ocean 2016, Children wave to the Esperanza as the ship prepares to depart from the port of Diego Suarez. 15 Apr, 2016  © Will Rose / Greenpeace

    The smell of fish is all around the Greenpeace Esperanza. We’ve been docked in Diego Suarez in Madagascar, getting ready to take on the tuna giant Thai Union again. Fittingly, there’s a fish processing factory right next to the ship. The symbolism gets even better. As we sail out, there’s a rainbow in the sky.

    Tackling the issues of unsustainable tuna fishing

    Greenpeace has been tackling overfishing for years, and last fall we appealed to Thai Union the biggest tuna company in the world  to switch to fish caught sustainably and under humane working conditions. Over 300,000 of you joined that call, making sure Thai Union heard it loud and clear. Now the Esperanza is riding that incredible wave of support into the Indian Ocean.

    Thai Union has tried to fix the dents in its reputation,... Read more >

  • New Zealand’s clean rivers damned by industrial dairying

    Blogpost by Gen Toop - April 15, 2016 at 14:06

    Industrial dairying is failing. It’s failing people who want to swim in clean rivers, its failing our tourism industry, it’s failing our climate, and it’s failing farmers.

    A Landcorp dairy farm 2008

    The high input industrial dairying model requires more water, chemical fertiliser and supplementary feed to produce tonnes of low value milk powder from ever-growing herds of cows.

    This increases our climate emissions, degrades our land and pollutes our rivers, two thirds of which are already at times, too polluted to swim in safely. (1)

    It also puts farmers into huge amounts of debt and in some cases bankruptcy. New Zealand dairy farmers are collectively burdened with a staggering $38 billion worth of debt. When the price of milk is low the pressure then mounts on many farmers and their families.

    As New Zealand dai... Read more >

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