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

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  • Marine life soaking up radiation along Fukushima coast

    Blogpost by Greg McNevin - May 26, 2011 at 17:16

    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 13:38 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, 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



    Dear Prime Minister Key,

    Encouraged by youth of New Zealand, especially members of the organization, 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 >

  • The cleantech political race begins

    Blogpost by Nathan - May 23, 2011 at 17:59 1 comment

    This weekend, Labour fired the starting gun on their election campaign by offering a glimpse of their vision for rebuilding the nation's economy.

    Bruised from the debate that engulfed last week’s budget cuts, the opposition party have set about putting some distance between themselves and John Key's slash and burn approach to the economy by articulating a cleaner, smarter vision for our future.

    There's no question that the Government's budget was a missed opportunity to create jobs and stimulate sustainable economic recovery by failing to signal investment in our home grown potential in the clean energy sector. Instead, the Government chose to back the nation’s biggest polluters to the tune of nearly a billion dollars of taxpayer’s money, and in doing so deny Kiwi clean tech businesse... Read more >

  • The Flotilla’s back … but we’ve only just begun

    Blogpost by Jay Harkness - May 23, 2011 at 13:15

    If a Petrobras executive had happened to be on Auckland’s waterfront on the morning of Saturday, May 21, they would now be seriously worried about their company’s investment into deep sea oil in New Zealand.

    That’s because they would have seen the strength of the opposition evident at the welcome home for the Flotilla to Stop Deep Sea Oil. It was noisy, passionate, and determined.

    A huge contingent from the iwi te Whānau-ā-Apanui made the trip from the East Cape. As well as being there to celebrate the Flotilla’s achievements, the iwi also wanted to make it clear, as spokeswoman Dayle Takitimu put it, that they are obligated to make sure that deep sea oil drilling does not happen in the Raukumara Basin.  

    Five of the Flotilla vessels were tied up to Princes Wharf: Secret Affair, Tiam... Read more >

  • Will the rush for Arctic oil push us over a stupidity tipping point?

    Blogpost by Iris Cheng - May 20, 2011 at 13:26

    The Arctic sea ice has retreated steadily for the past 10 years reaching record lows, or close to it, every year. The retreat promises to reveal all manner of riches for those willing to risk everything. Unfortunately there seems to be no shortage of takers.

    The world seems to be racing headlong towards a point of no return – one that seems to me best described as a ‘stupidity tipping point’. Allow me to show you:

    Exhibit 1

    Faced with possibly the most worrying and unequivocal sign of climate change, our collective response seems not one of sense and urgency, but more of joy and greed. As the diplomatic cables released by Wikileaks last week showed, respectable national leaders are about to tip over from the realm of reason to descend into a frenzied resource grab. An ‘Arctic carve up’, ... Read more >

  • Pams: a change of tuna

    Blogpost by pcrawfor - May 17, 2011 at 14:57

    Good news last week with the Pams brand starting to take steps towards changing its canned tuna to sustainable sources.

    In the last three weeks more than 5000 of our supporters have emailed the ‘change your tuna’ message to the five main brands of ... Read more >

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