Blogger profile

Ben Ayliffe

Ben is a staff member from Greenpeace UK. A keen ornithologist who has worked on many Greenpeace issues, Ben is head of the Arctic oil campaign. He lives in London and watches a lot of Arsenal matches.

  • Shell is trying to stifle your freedom of expression

    Blogpost by Ben Ayliffe - September 24, 2012 at 8:35

    Last Friday, activists from Greenpeace Netherlands showed up in Shell gas stations in their country and blocked the petrol pumps. They were protesting against Shell’s reckless Arctic drilling plans – which has since then been suspended for this year.

    activists at a shell petrol station in the netherlandsTheir reasons for taking peaceful direct action were simple: the Arctic is under extreme threat from climate change.

    Just yesterday, it was announced that Arctic sea ice was at its lowest extent ever in recorded history. This disastrous sea ice melt is caused by companies like Shell, who for decades have encouraged society’s fossil fuel addiction.

    To allow Shell to drill for oil in the Arctic will only make a catastrophic situation even worse.

    In addition, the Arctic is more vulnerable to oil spills than other regions on the planet. The... Read more >

  • polar bear on a shell petrol station

    You did it.

    For over six months, huge numbers of us have been pressuring Shell to stay out of the Arctic. Well this morning, company bosses announced they were scrapping their oil drilling programme for this year. It's a huge victory for people power.

    We started six months ago in New Zealand, when Lucy Lawless climbed and occupied Shell's Noble Discoverer rig, as it started its long journey up to drill in the Arctic. As Lucy said, "six activists went up, but 133,000 came down".

    But that was only the beginning.

    As thousands of you spread the word of the unparalleled insanity that is Arctic drilling, more and more people became involved.

    When Penelope Cruz, Sir Paul McCartney and One Direction joined the growing voices calling out for Arctic protection it was obvious that this movement was going... Read more >

  • activist in a polar bear costume Last night as we slept, a team of intrepid polar bears from Greenpeace visited Gazprom’s flashy headquarters in Moscow. At the same time, activists from Greenpeace in Germany set up a leaking oil derrick outside the Gazprom offices in Berlin.

    Why, you ask, would such a sensible creature as a polar bear take such extreme action in the heart of one of the world’s biggest cities?

    Simple. To demand that Gazprom, one of the world’s biggest energy companies, scrap it reckless plans to drill for oil in the pristine waters of the Russian Arctic.

    Just the other week, Greenpeace International Executive Director Kumi Naidoo and a team of activists took direct action to stop Gazprom’s hulking oil platform Prirazlomnaya preparing to drill in the Pechora Sea. This rusting monstrosity c... Read more >

  • Shell’s Facebook moment of truth?

    Blogpost by Ben Ayliffe - July 20, 2012 at 8:03

    If there’s one thing to love about social media, it’s this: no matter how many millions companies like Shell throw at it, they’ll never crack it. Because they don’t control the message -- you do.

    Shell spends a ridiculous amount of money on advertising worldwide. It claims to have 1.5 million fans on Facebook, but wiser internet gurus have told me they suspect these hordes are mostly robots.

    I’m not fussed about the fans, but I really want to know if Shell’s mega-million social media operation is also run by robots. The only real way to know is to ask them some simple questions.

    We learned a couple of astonishing facts this week and we want Shell to answer questions about them. This week Shell asked users on Facebook to fill in the blank: "I use Shell fuel to power my ... Read more >

  • nobile discoverer in dutch harbour

    UPDATE: Over the weekend, Shell quite literally ran into further problems with its near-farcical attempts to drill in the Arctic when its dilapidated drillship Noble Discoverer appeared to run aground after slipping its anchors in Dutch Harbour, Alaska, in what was described as a “stiff breeze.” Whilst Shell denied its vessel had grounded, eyewitnesses painted a very different story, with one local saying that “the stern certainly struck bottom and any report to the contrary is a pure fabrication bordering on outright lies.” Either way, the bizarre scene of a giant rig floating aimlessly towards the shore in such sheltered waters does not say much for the ability of Shell to operate safely in the much more extreme conditions of the icy Polar north...

    Despite spending the GDP of a ... Read more >

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