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

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  • Breaking free from fossil fuels – the risk we take is not taking action

    Blogpost by Jennifer Morgan - May 24, 2016 at 13:37

    Last week, #BreakFree2016 wrapped up across the globe. Greenpeace joined with many inspiring organisations in a global wave of peaceful actions that lasted for 12 days and took place across six continents to target the world’s most dangerous fossil fuel projects.

    In places like the Philippines, Germany and Indonesia, thousands of people gathered together to take action. They occupied mines, blocked rail lines, linked arms, paddled in kayaks and held community meetings in 13 countries.

    Break Free Action in Jakarta: Thousands of people have taken to the streets in a carnival atmosphere to urge the government to end Indonesia’s addiction to coal. 11 May, 2016  © Afriadi Hikmal / Greenpeace

    The wave of activity is stemming from a growing global awareness that the impacts of climate change are real and increasing. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced that April 2016 marked the 12th consecutive month of record warmth for the globe. Research released by Greenpeace...

    Read more >
  • Cats love tuna, just a little too much

    Blogpost by Kate Simcock - May 18, 2016 at 9:43

    Aerial view of a FAD at night. The devices also pollute the ocean with ‘ghost’ nets and debris, which wash up on beaches and coral reefs. Photograph: Will Rose/Greenpeace

    Every day, all around the world, people and their pets eat tuna sourced from a Thai seafood conglomerate that has been condemned for destructive fishing methods and a connection to slave labour, including the locking of indentured workers in cages.

    Whether we’re talking about exploiting people or our oceans, until they clean up their supply chain, any seafood from Thai Union should be seen as bad seafood. Thai Union supplies tuna to a whole bunch of major pet brands, including brands owned by MARS like Iams and Whiskas.

    Cat food might not seem like a big deal compared to the tuna human beings eat, but let’s paws a moment and do some calculations.

    We’ll start with New Zealand, it’s a small country, around four and a half million people, one hobbit, and nearly 1.5 million cats. According t... Read more >

  • Break Free 2016. New Castle, Australia

    Break Free was an unprecedented wave of people power.

    Over twelve days, on six continents, in countries all around the world people acted. Individuals, communities, local and international groups all came together to Break Free from fossil fuels.

    In New Zealand, 350 Aotearoa shut down several ANZ branches over several days to pressure the big bank to divest from fossil fuels. Forest & Bird added its weight by threatening to pull its business from ANZ.

    In Germany, thousands with Ende Gelände shut down Europe's largest coal plant — occupying it for over 48 hours and reducing the plant's capacity by 80 percent.

    Hundreds stood up to South Africa's most powerful family with a march that delivered coal to their front door.

    Break Free action in Johannesburg, South Africa: deliver coffin full of coal to Gupta's House. Shayne Robinson | Mutiny Media
    Image credit: Shayne Robinson | Mutiny Media

    10,000 ... Read more >

  • Does MPI help the fishing industry dump on New Zealanders?

    Blogpost by Russel Norman - May 17, 2016 at 15:08

    A historical orange roughy catch

    An explosive report released yesterday by the University of British Columbia and University of Auckland has revealed that the total amount of marine fish caught in New Zealand waters between 1950 and 2010 was 2.7 times more than was officially reported. Unreported commercial catch and discarded fish make up most of the difference.

    Equally troubling, the report suggests the government department in New Zealand responsible for managing the fishery, Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI), has helped the industry cover up illegal fishing.

    It looks like the Ministry charged with looking after our oceans, has instead been looking after the short term interests of the fishing industry.

    The report cites an internal MPI report which stated:

    “It is more than sustainability. It is more than the ... Read more >

  • Earlier this week, almost 90,000 gallons of crude oil leaked into the Gulf of Mexico near Shell’s Brutus drilling platform. New photos taken on Saturday show that it’s not a pretty sight.

    Two days after it was initially reported, oil sits on the surface of the Gulf of Mexico after a Shell well leaked 88,200 gallons into the Gulf. Photo by Derick E. Hingle / Greenpeace.
    Two days after it was initially reported, oil sits on the surface of the Gulf of Mexico after a Shell well leaked 88,200 gallons into the Gulf. Photo by Derick E. Hingle / Greenpeace.

    In the midst of a remarkable global wave of resistance to fossil fuels, we’ve received another stern reminder that it’s time to keep it in the ground and say no to deep sea oil drilling.

    Shell’s oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico this week — just 90 miles off the coast of Louisiana — is the largest since BP’s 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster, the effects of which are still resonating throughout the region.

    Currently estimated... Read more >

  • Greedy coal company is forcing farmers to crawl to get to their land

    Blogpost by Aghnia Fasza or Tides - May 15, 2016 at 10:17

    In Batang Regency, on the north coast of Central Java, one of Indonesia’s largest coal companies have made themselves at home… right in the middle of land owned by local farmers. How are they able to get away with this?

    Batang residents hold a protest in their rice farm that is under threat of development by a massive coal-fired power plant project.Batang residents hold a protest in their rice farm that is under threat of development by a massive coal-fired power plant project.

    “Batang united! Reject the coal power plant!” Read more >

    My body shivers from head to toe hearing the furious roar of the villagers. For five days in April the people of Batang have been working together, using “art as protest” and erecting large banners, signs painted with death skulls, and hand-drawn portraits of farmers with a clear message about the injustice they have had to endure.

    “Coal plants take away land and livelihood!” says one large, yell...

  • Disruption, change and the growing wave against Thai Union tuna

    Blogpost by Tom Lowe - May 14, 2016 at 10:21

    The waves are surging higher around the Esperanza today. We’re headed north towards busier fishing areas, the horizon line heaving up and down as the ship barrels every which way amid the rolling, white-peaked swell.

    Waves crash against the Esperanza bow. 12 May 2016. © Will Rose / GreenpeaceWaves crash against the Esperanza bow. 12 May 2016. © Will Rose / Greenpeace

    For the past few weeks, we’ve been hunting reckless fishing vessels in the Indian Ocean that supply Thai Union, the mega-company responsible for producing much of the tinned seafood on supermarket shelves across the globe.

    We’ve been collecting these unscrupulous vessels’ fish aggregating devices (FADs), which enable them to scoop up huge volumes of any and all types sea life, pick out the marketable tuna and dump everything else – the ‘bycatch’ – back in the sea, dead.

    Greenpeace crew members on the Esperanza pull in a FAD (fish aggregating device) for inspection. 17 April 2016. © Will Rose / GreenpeaceGreenpeace crew members on t... Read more >

  • BUSTED: The Overfishing Denier

    Blogpost by John Hocevar - May 14, 2016 at 10:11
    A Greenpeace investigation shows that a prominent American fisheries scientist took millions of dollars in funding from fishing industry groups without publicly disclosing it.

    Dr Ray Hilborn - over fishing denier

    Warming and acidifying waters. Massive bleaching of corals. Collapsing fisheries. Pollution from oil, chemicals, plastics, and human waste. The oceans and ocean life are in trouble, and most scientists in the field agree. To begin to turn it around, civilization needs to look at the state of the oceans with sober and clear eyes. Now a Greenpeace investigation shows that a prominent scientist—one who has presented a rosier picture of the oceans than most of his peers—has accepted millions in research funding and additional consultancy payments from fishing industry groups without disclosing it to the public or the v...

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