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

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  • There's more bad news that's come out Christchurch today which could set back the city's recovery. It's disappointing to learn that Designline, the bus company that invented the gas turbine hybrid and various other innovative, clean transport technologies, has gone into liquidation, which could result in the loss of hundreds of jobs.

    The Christchurch-based Kiwi company has built a global reputation for pioneering the development of cutting edge electric and hybrid buses that were transforming the public transport sectors in the US, Europe, the UAE, and Australia. Designline is the kind of company that could be part of New Zealand's transport solutions too. However, it seems that not only is it another business that’s fallen victim to the Christchurch earthquake, but that perhaps it’s failu... Read more >

  • (C) GREENPEACE / Steve Morgan

    In the freezing seas off Greenland, activists from the Greenpeace ship Esperanza are taking direct action against oil drilling in the Arctic.

    Luke and Sigurd are now hanging from the underside of Cairn Energy’s giant oil rig in our Arctic survival pod with enough food and water to stay there for a good long time. Their action will prevent the rig starting its dangerous deep water drilling 100 miles west of the Greenland coast.

    There will be live updates from the survival pod on the oil rig, and from the two Greenpeace ships near by.


    Click to enlarge

     

    Here’s what’s happened so far.

    At 3am local time three climbers left the side of the Esperanza in inflatable speedboats. They slipped past the navy warship guarding the rig and climbed high into the superstructure of the 53,000 tonn... Read more >

  • Street fundraising in NZ – a South African’s perspective

    Blogpost by jharknes - May 27, 2011 at 16:07 2 comments

    Thato Matela is one of Greenpeace’s travelling street outreach campaigners. He’s just arrived in the country from Greenpeace’s South Africa office.  These are his impression of his first week at work in New Zealand.

    It was the afternoon of the 24 May 2011, when I first headed out for my travel trip with a colleague of mine by the name of Duncan. I didn’t know what to expect but what I did know was that it was going to be one exciting experience.

    We took off from Auckland - the big city - and headed off for Hamilton. We made a stop in Huntly - a small Waikato town where the main employer is the Huntly power station. It was so quiet and I remember asking myself “how on earth are we going to recruit supporters here?” Duncan was determined to sign everyone up and I was so inspired by that ... Read more >

  • James Hansen’s Dear John Letter

    Blogpost by Nick Young - May 27, 2011 at 12:22

    James HansenAs he left New Zealand, Jim Hansen wrote an open letter to prime minister John Key on behalf of the youth of New Zealand, and specifically 350.org. It’s worth a read because it outlines a strong case for taking action here, and now.

     

    Dear Prime Minister Key,

    Encouraged by youth of New Zealand, especially members of the organization 350.org, I write this open letter to inform you of recent advances in understanding of climate change, consequences for young people and nature, and implications for government policies.

    I recognize that New Zealanders, blessed with a land of rare beauty, are deeply concerned about threats to their environment. Also New Zealand contributes relatively little to carbon emissions that drive climate change. Per capita fossil fuel emissions from New Zeal... Read more >

  • Marine life soaking up radiation along Fukushima coast

    Blogpost by Greg McNevin - May 26, 2011 at 15:16

    Left to right: Giorgia Monti of Greenpeace Italy (far left of pic), Sakyo Noda of Greenpeace Japan, Tuomas Heikkila (driving boat), Jacob Namminga (at rear of boat). Crew from the Rainbow Warrior collect sea water and seaweed samples to monitor for radiation contamination levels as the Greenpeace ship sails up the eastern coast of Japan, in the vicinity of Fukushima.Two weeks ago we released preliminary results from our marine radiation monitoring work off the coast of Japan, near the melted-down and leaking Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. These results showed worrying levels of radioactive contamination in seaweed – a staple of the Japanese diet.

    After having difficulties finding a lab in Japan to do detailed analysis, we sent samples of seaweed, fish, and shellfish collected by our radiation monitoring teams both onshore and on the Rainbow to professional labs in France and Belgium. The results of the details analysis are back – and we can say that the situation in the ocean along the Fukushima coast is worse than we originally thought.

    The new data shows that some seaweed contamination levels are not only 50 times higher than safety limits – far ... Read more >

  • Our little jar of marmite on board the Arctic Sunrise has polarized the crew – you either love it or you loath it. There’s no middle ground and, for some reason, it’s a popular topic of discussion over breakfast in the mess.

    So this morning’s news that Denmark has banned marmite caused a bit of a stir, and also raised the obvious question: If Denmark is banning marmite because it contains added vitamins – why not ban risky deep sea oil drilling because an Arctic oil spill would release all manner of toxic chemicals and be near impossible to clean up?

    The Cairn Energy oil rig we are confronting right now here in the freezing waters near Greenland is set to drill four exploratory wells in the dangerous waters between Canada and Greenland.

    In 2010, Cairn stressed that its drillings off Gree... Read more >

  • James Hansen’s open letter to John Key

    Blogpost by Jay - May 25, 2011 at 11:38 3 comments

    The world’s foremost climate scientist, James Hansen, has finished his tour of New Zealand. Before he left, he wrote an open letter to John Key, on behalf of the young people of New Zealand, and 350.org, one of the groups that – along with Greenpeace – brought Dr Hansen to New Zealand.

    Here is that letter, in full. It’s a great read.


    Rt Hon John Key

    Prime Minister of New Zealand

    Parliament Buildings

    Wellington

     

    Dear Prime Minister Key,

    Encouraged by youth of New Zealand, especially members of the organization 350.org, I write this open letter to inform you of recent advances in understanding of climate change, consequences for young people and nature, and implications for government policies.

    I recognize that New Zealanders, blessed with a land of rare beauty, are deeply conce... Read more >

  • Nick Young is Greenpeace New Zealand’s Web Manager, but right now he’s on the Greenpeace vessel Arctic Sunrise, in the Arctic Circle.

    The oil industry is pushing further and further into the world’s most remote and pristine environments, to drill in deep and deeper water, in its pursuit of the last drops of oil. That search has taken it both to the Arctic, and to New Zealand. Greenpeace is campaigning against this around the world, because of the increased risk of spills that come from operating in extreme environments like the Arctic, and in deep water, and because any oil recovered from the final frontiers of the fossil fuels industry will only make the climate crisis worse.

    Despite it being the size of a small cathedral, locating Cairn Energy’s oil rig Leiv Eiriksson amongst the iceb... Read more >

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