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

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  • UK in the spotlight as global whale conference comes to Jersey

    Blogpost by Willie Mackenzie, Greenpeace UK - July 13, 2011 at 11:07

    In a warehouse-like hall in a hotel on the island of Jersey in the English Channel, several hundred people have gathered this week for the annual meeting of the International Whaling Commission.

    This is my first time at one of these meetings, and it’s a bit of an eye-opener.

    The International Whaling Commission (IWC) is an odd beast. And it’s a full ten years since the meeting last set foot on UK soil. So there are some hopes that this year’s meeting will be useful, but there are also a lot of worries that the IWC is so mired with difficulties that progress might well be elusive.

    Sixty-odd years ago the IWC was set up as effectively a ‘whalers’ club’, where governments would get together to regulate the world’s whaling industry. In many ways that was ground-breaking stuff, and a... Read more >

  • Raising the masts on the Rainbow Warrior III

    Blogpost by Oscar Soria - Greenpeace International - July 13, 2011 at 8:58

    It was a thrilling weekend in Fassmer shipyard, near Bremen in Germany, where many of us watched a revolutionary mast design being installed on the new Rainbow Warrior. It’s not only a key milestone in the Greenpeace flagship’s construction – this weekend also marked 26 years since the first Rainbow Warrior was sunk in New Zealand.

    The highly efficient 55m-high A-Frame mast system, created by the famous Dutch naval architecture firm Dijkstra and Partners, can carry far more sail than a conventional mast of the same size, is optimised for maximum efficiency, and is the first time this design has been installed on a vessel of the Rainbow Warrior’s size.

    William Sykes, our project manager on the shipyard, was very excited all weekend, although he did grow concerned about how the weather se... Read more >

  • A Solar Promise

    Blogpost by Nathan Argent - July 12, 2011 at 14:41

    This week, as the nation batons down the hatches to shield itself from the ravages of winter’s fury, there is a ray of sunshine piercing the grey and blustery vista. And where else but from than the solar capital of Aotearoa – Nelson.

    The launch of Solar Promise - the brain child of Nelson City Council, Nelson Environment Centre and Solar City – is an inspiring initiative. It aims to get other councils, the Government, individuals, organisations and businesses throughout the country to do what they can to make solar more affordable for more New Zealanders. And the premise is simple.

    In a world which is increasingly bound by the need to reduce carbon emissions to tackle climate change, and with energy security fast becoming the staple of global political diets, this nationwide campaign is ... Read more >

  • Whales and narwhals under threat from oil drilling

    Blogpost by Richard Page - July 12, 2011 at 11:56

    richard page portraitIn 1996 I was part of a Greenpeace team dispatched to document an oil spill resulting from the grounding of the Sea Empress on the coast of South-West Wales. Approximately 72,000 tonnes of crude oil were released into the sea, oiling seabirds and ruining beaches. I could smell the oil long before we reached Dale marine station where we were to be based and when we arrived the picturesque inlet was marred by the sheen on the water. The next few days were depressing; I remember feeling nauseous from the fumes as we filmed in the oil slick and also the pitiful sight of struggling guillemots, their feathers totally covered in glutinous oil. 

    Bearing witness to the Sea Empress was a profound reminder of one of the heavy costs of our dependence on oil, for as long as we continue to drill for ... Read more >

  • Jobs of the future

    Blogpost by Michael Tritt - July 11, 2011 at 13:42

    A big crowd braved a cold Dunedin Saturday afternoon to show their support for forty workers at the city's Hillside rail workshops whose jobs are under threat.  
    Government-owned Kiwirail wants to lay off these highly skilled workers -  people who can build and maintain the rail transport that this country desperately needs to reduce its carbon emissions and its dependence on oil.

    I was privileged to be invited to speak on behalf of Greenpeace at the rally and our message was extremely well received.

    Looking out at the crowd, I could see many signs with slogans like "green jobs now" and "keep green collar jobs", while children held placards saying "give me a future". 

    And that pretty much sums up why Greenpeace is supporting this campaign.

    We believe that the jobs under threat at Hills... Read more >

  • Will Pure Advantage fulfill its promise?

    Blogpost by Nathan Argent - July 11, 2011 at 11:49

    Last Thursday I attended the launch of the new Pure Advantage campaign – a campaign led by some of New Zealand’s most successful business leaders and entrepreneurs.

    This group, which includes the likes of Sir Stephen Tindall, Geoff Ross and Joan Withers, have coalesced to form Pure Advantage to add to the growing concert of academics, economists, progressive companies and environmental groups demanding that the Government takes action to protect our reputation and move New Zealand towards a cleaner, smarter way of doing business. 

    The venue was the salubrious Northern Club in downtown Auckland and was well attended by industry royalty, notable commentators, financiers and politicians from across the spectrum, although government representation was notable for its absence.

    The message... Read more >

  • Lego shows leadership in tackling deforestation

    Blogpost by Andy Tait, Senior Campaign Advisor Greenpeace UK - July 8, 2011 at 14:40

    But are other toy companies throwing rainforest destruction out of the pram?

    When Ken dumped Barbie last month Mattel was not the only toy company put under the spotlight for their role in rainforest destruction. Our investigation showed that Hasbro, Lego and Disney are also wrapping toys in paper products coming from Indonesian rainforests.

    The first of these toy companies to announce more substantive action is Lego, who have released a new statement on this issue today.

    We have asked all of these toy companies to take three simple steps:

    1.     Stop buying paper products from Asia Pulp and Paper – the worst forest offender in Indonesia – and any companies connected to APP.

    2.     Don’t buy from Asia Pulp and Paper until the company makes real changes on the ground that protect In... Read more >

  • VIDEO: A VW stormtrooper sees the lights

    Blogpost by Nick Young - July 8, 2011 at 8:03

    Following last week's dramatic shutting down of our rebel communications channel (YouTube to you, humans), the Rebellion has bounced back. Our videos are now everywhere - thanks to you brave Jedi - and our ranks are swelling faster than we ever thought possible.

    Promises have been made, but we still don't know how or when these promises will be kept, so it's time to crank up the pressure once more.

    We had over 2 million views to our Volkswagen campaign films before they were banned: it's impossible to say how many we've received since then – we just know it's a lot. What we do know is that there are more than 190,000 Jedi in the Rebellion, calling on VW to change. And change they must.

    Thanks to you, VW is getting the message that Planet Earth is not another Alderaan, to be bur... Read more >

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