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

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  • Q&A published in Yale Environment 360. 

    In a Yale Environment 360 interview, the outspoken executive director of Greenpeace discusses why his organization’s activists braved imprisonment in Russia to stop Arctic oil drilling and what needs to be done to make a sharp turn away from fossil fuels and toward a green energy economy.

    by Diane Toomey

    Kumi Naidoo, the international executive director of Greenpeace, is intimately familiar with the Prirazlomnaya drilling platform in the Russian Arctic. In August 2012, he and five other Greenpeace activists were hosed down with frigid water and pelted with pieces of metal as they attempted to climb aboard the platform, which recently became the first offshore installation to begin producing oil in the Arctic Ocean. 

    Greenpeace and Prirazlomnaya were b... Read more >

  • The importance of being a big tree

    Blogpost by Dr Janet Cotter - January 17, 2014 at 12:47

    We know that forests are biodiversity-rich, and we know they provide us with essential ecosystem services, such as regulating water flows and influencing weather patterns. One ecosystem service often discussed these days is the role of forests in helping regulate the amount of the greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide, in the atmosphere. A new analysis in Nature, one of the top scientific journals, demonstrates that big, mature trees play an important part in this role.

    Trees in the Retezat National Park in the Carpathian Mountains.

    Forests store large amounts of carbon that would otherwise contribute to climate change. They store nearly 300 billion tonnes of carbon in their living parts (biomass) – roughly 30 times the annual amount of emissions created by burning fossil fuels [1]. But when forests are degraded or destroyed, this carbon is released into th... Read more >

  • Neil Young and Petropolis

    Blogpost by Laura Severinac - January 16, 2014 at 16:11

    Canadian musician Neil Young has created a media storm around his Canadian tour to help defend First Nation land against the unbridled expansion of the tar sands. Called 'Honor the Treaties', all profits of the four-city tour will benefit the legal defense for the people of the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation (ACFN).

    In his calm, articulate rage, Young has used his influence and creative mind to take on the Canadian government, shaming Prime Minster Stephen Harper and his government for paving the way for tar sands destruction in the name of economic progress.


    Petropolis - Aerial Perspectives on the Alberta Tar Sands (condensed) from Grimthorpe Film onVimeo.

    Several days before the tour kicked off, Neil Young’s managers contacted Peter Mettler, also an artist of influence a... Read more >

  • What is the chemical that just contaminated West Virginia's drinking water?

    Blogpost by Claudette Juska - January 13, 2014 at 11:15

    A state of emergency has been declared in West Virginia after a chemical spill from Freedom Industries, a Charleston-based chemical company, contaminated the drinking water of 9 counties in the state.

    So just what was the chemical that left nearly 200,000 people without drinking water in West Virginia on Friday? The leak from a 48,000-gallon tank contained a compound called 4-Methylcyclohexane Methanol which Freedom Industries uses to treat coal.


    Where to find clean water in West Virginia 

    4-Methylcyclohexane Methanol is used in “coal flotation”, a process designed to “clean” coal. It is a process in which the combustible portions of coal are separated from the non-combustible or waste portions (ash). Basically4-Methylcyclohexane Methanol is mixed with water (roughly 96 percent wate... Read more >

  • Oleg Naydenov arrest shows flag States need to better control their fleets

    Blogpost by Daniel Simons - January 10, 2014 at 13:18

    In the summer of 2012, small-scale Senegalese fishermen reported a rapid and significant increase in their catches. They attributed their rising fortunes to newly elected President Macky Sall's decision to revoke the licences of 29 large foreign trawlers, which together were taking as much as half of the country's catch of pelagic fish. The licences had been granted under dubious circumstances by the previous fisheries minister, as exposed in this report by Greenpeace Africa.


    About two weeks ago, a French military plane flying over Senegal's Exclusive Economic Zone detected some of the same vessels that had been stripped of their licences continuing to fish in these waters. Among them was the Oleg Naydenov, a 108 metre long Russian-flagged trawler that is no stranger to law-br... Read more >

  • 2014 - the year of the shark

    Blogpost by Greta Borren - January 10, 2014 at 11:49

    Wow! What a fantastic beginning to 2014 – the government has finally announced a ban on shark finning in New Zealand waters!

    'Sharks' in Wellington

    Yesterday’s news that its plans to make shark finning illegal is a great step in the right direction – although it’s disappointing that won’t include blue sharks until October 2016 as they are the species most often caught just for their fins. Until then thousands more blue sharks may be slaughtered for their fins with bodies dumped in our waters. That is not the kind of thing that I want happening in Aotearoa and is the motivation that keeps me campaigning for the protection of our oceans and all species that depend on them.

    But I’m definitely still celebrating! To get 45,300 submissions in to the government, and most of them demanding an immediate ban on shark f...

    Read more >
  • Submission Guide for the Exclusive Economic Zone and Continental Shelf (Environmental Effects) Act 2012 and current regulatory proposals

    It is your right as a New Zealander to have a say in what happens in our oceans, to the environment, and to the health and well being of present and future generations. The New Zealand Government has proposed further changes to the laws governing new offshore oil and gas drilling which could mean high risk deep sea drilling proceeding without public notification or consultation.

    You have 20 minutes and two choices. You can either stop reading here and let the government’s  proposal go unchallenged while you spend the next 20 minutes trawling Facebook, watering the plants, watching a bit of TV, washing your hair...

    ...or, you can keep reading and use tha...

    Read more >
  • The Value of Ancient Forests

    Blogpost by Rex Weyler - January 8, 2014 at 16:09

    I live in a forest, and know that I am fortunate. I watch flicker and siskin in the cedars. I hear thrush and vireo in the veiled vastness. Cutthroat trout inhabit the lake, wolves howl on winter nights, and raccoons venture out with their families for my scraps. But I know the forest I live in is rare and under assault. Those cedar and fir, hemlock and spruce, could be converted to money, the great driver of this modern world.

    Canadian Forest

    The value of forests is an ancient tale. We may recall that humanity’s earliest stories – Ramayana, Gilgamesh, Raven and People – take place in the forest, with awe for its mysterious immensity. Raven hops from its forest home to find humans inside a clamshell on the beach. Rama enlists the forest animals to help vanquish the world’s evil. When King Gilgamesh fall... Read more >

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