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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.

  • 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 >

  • Enthusiasm for oil requires cognitive shut-down

    Blogpost by Steve Abel - January 24, 2012 at 12:20

    Recently some commentators have revealed something about the way their brain functions in singing the praises of new fossil fuels.

    We shouldn’t be surprised that oil companies are excited about oil, though the Sunday Star Times seems to think it warrants front page coverage.  I wonder if "tennis players say tennis is great!” would make similar headlines? 

    Lately the head of the Government’s “green taskforce” Phil O’Reilly managed to write an article all about how fab oil, gas, coal and Norway are and not mention even once a little problem called climate change.  Labour’s Shane Jones seems to be singing from a similarly oily song-sheet as the National Government when he says his iwi cousins on the East Cape are naïve for opposing deep sea oil drilling in their ancestral waters. Ngati Poro... Read more >

  • Rena 'ghost birds' appear in Auckland

    Blogpost by Steve Abel - December 12, 2011 at 9:07

    This morning 150 original ‘oil prints’ made with a little blue penguin killed by the Rena disaster appeared along Auckland’s Khyber Pass Road.

    The prints are accompanied by the message ‘Rena did this. Deep sea oil drilling could be a thousand times worse.

    The little blue penguin was found dead and covered in oil on Matakana Island by Greenpeace volunteers when they were helping the local iwi, Nga Hapu o te Moutere o Matakana, clean oil off their beaches following the Rena spill.

     

    An art collective made up of Auckland creatives and Greenpeace volunteers came up with the concept of making ‘oil prints’ with the birds and donated their time to create hundreds of prints.

    It’s a memorial to the 20,000 birds killed by the Rena disaster and also a stark reminder of the dangers of ... Read more >

  • John Key fooling no one as petition clocks 100K

    Blogpost by Steve Abel - November 11, 2011 at 14:13

    The Prime Minister’s assertions that there is no relationship between the Rena oil spill and the risks of deep sea oil drilling clearly don’t wash with the public.

    Greenpeace launched a petition last year when the Government announced its plans to create a deep sea drilling industry in New Zealand. At exactly the same time, millions of litres of oil from a deep sea blow-out were spewing into the Gulf of Mexico from a well beneath BP’s deep sea rig the Deepwater Horizon. The environmental disaster has since been named as the United States’ worst.

    Our petition calls for an end to deep sea oil drilling, as well as for a halt to plans to expand the coal industry, and a shift to clean energy. Once launched, the petition quickly gained strong support, getting thousands of signatures in th... Read more >

  • The teaspoon and the bucket

    Blogpost by Steve Abel - October 18, 2011 at 14:48

    Salvers of the Rena chillingly describe her as a “dying ship”. Bad weather will hit the Bay of Plenty again tonight and could cause the final break up of the vessel. Pumping of oil finally began again last night but a fractional 90 tonnes was removed of the over 1,000 tonnes that it’s hoped remain in the fuel holds of the Rena. So far at least 350 tonnes of the ships total original load of 1,700 tonnes of fuel oil has spilled into the precious Bay of Plenty and tarred her beaches, wetlands, rocky shores and multifarious species.

    Now the Rena is set to join the wildlife fatalities her grounding has caused. But if she breaks and the remainder of that oil is released we will see four times the volume of oil already spilled entering the environment.. It must be remembered that what we c... Read more >

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