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Steve Abel

Steve Abel is a musician and long-time environmental activist and has worked on various campaigns in Greenpeace including oceans, climate change, GE free food and the campaign to stop deep sea oil drilling.

  • Tide turns on Key’s oil drilling plans

    Blogpost by Steve Abel - December 5, 2013 at 18:09

    As John Key scowled his faux-indifferent disdain at the nation wide banners on the beach protest against oil drilling a couple of Saturdays ago, a few things were betrayed. Read more >

    In the battle of public opinion, deep sea oil drilling is losing and Key knows it.

    Whereas a year ago he would have claimed that “most” or “a majority” back the offshore program, he says now that a “large group” of New Zealanders support drilling. He picks his words.  His “rent a crowd” dismissive shows just how ticked off he is - ticked off because the swing of public feeling is against a deep sea drilling strategy that looks out of step with the warming climate, with our clean green export reputation and with our total inability to deal with the potential disasters that are inherent to deep sea drilling.

    Aside from ...

  • Government too cosy for the truth on oil risk

    Blogpost by Steve Abel - October 31, 2013 at 13:05


    I never thought we’d be quoting the “drill baby drill” former US Republican Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin on the risks of being too trusting of foreign oil companies but there you go. Read more >

    Since the release last week of our spill modelling which reveals for the first time the extent of the risk of deep-sea drilling to our economy and oceans, industry and government have been inseparable in lambasting the scenarios as “scaremongering” and “science fiction”.  Of itself, that industry/Govt cosiness is a big concern - it leads to the same diminished regulatory oversight that was a key factor in both the Gulf of Mexico oil spill and our own mining tragedy at Pike River.  The willingness of our government to hide the actual risks of deep sea drilling has seen mud slung at the s...

  • The power of protest is at the heart of democracy

    Blogpost by Steve Abel - April 23, 2013 at 15:38

    When the Government rammed through legislation on 16 April that criminalises key aspects of peaceful protest at sea, many New Zealanders were angered. Angered by the affront to democracy and to our longheld tradition and right to peaceful protest.

    As Peter Williams QC said, “The power of protest is at the heart of democracy”. Peter is himself a veteran of the 1995 flotilla protest to Moruroa against French testing. 

    So we felt it was time to recall just how we have all benefited from that right and asked Peter to voice this TV clip depicting iconic moments of the sorts of protest at sea that would no longer be possible under the Government's draconian new legislation (now known as the Anadarko Amendment) if a 500 meter distance from vessels had to be obeyed.


    The first footag... Read more >

  • An Indivisible Link

    Blogpost by Steve Abel - January 24, 2013 at 9:42

    In Auckland we had thousands of people visit the new Rainbow Warrior and, as they waited to get on the ship, we talked to them about why the Rainbow Warrior is in New Zealand and what we hope to achieve while she’s here and beyond. It went something like this:

    We feel there is an indivisible link with this ship the Rainbow Warrior and a particular moment in New Zealand history when we stood for an ideal that went on to define us in the eyes of the world and also to ourselves.

    At that time we stood against French nuclear testing in the South Pacific and fought to make New Zealand a nuclear free state, tensions were high because we were standing up to old allies France and the USA.  At the height of that, at Marsden Wharf in downtown Auckland only a few hundred meters from where we are now,... Read more >

  • On news of the baffling Cabinet decision last week to snub our “best friend” the USA over Antarctic ocean protection a couple of old maxims came to mind: Cicero’s saying that, “An enemy at the gates is less formidable than the traitor within” and Oscar Wilde’s description of a cynic as “A man who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.

    But I wonder even if Cabinet ministers Brownlee, Joyce and Carter do know the price of anything if their purported reason for scuppering an alliance with the US on Antarctic Ocean protection were, as the NZ Herald reports, “on the grounds that it was not consistent with the Government’s economic growth objectives.”

    Remembering that our pro-environment reputation is an asset on which our export industries capitialise in hard dollars... Read more >

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