The rumors are true, Greenpeace has sent the Rainbow Warrior III to find the Mikhail Ulyanov, a Russian oil tanker carrying a shipment from the first rig to ever extract oil from the Arctic.
That rig, called Prirazlomnaya, is the same one that activists aboard another Greenpeace boat, the Arctic Sunrise, confronted last year. After that action, the 28 people aboard the boat (dubbed the Arctic 30) were incarcerated in Russia on charges that ranged from piracy to hooliganism for 100 days, sometimes in harsh conditions. Those charges were later dropped.
Anne Mie Roer Jensen, one of the Arctic 30 activists, navigating on the Bridge of the Rainbow Warrior 3 during the hunt for the Mikhail Ulyanov.
Some of the Arctic 30 are aboard the Rainbow Warrior III and are playing active roles in the search. Among them are Captain Peter Wilcox, who is at the helm of the ship, just where he was on the Arctic Sunrise.
Drilling in the Arctic is a terrible idea. Given the harsh conditions and the historic carelessness of the oil industry, experts believe a spill there is inevitable. If you think clean-up is impossible in relatively accessible waters like the Gulf of Mexico (where, after the BP Deepwater Horizon spill, only a tiny percent of the oil was recovered), then imagine what a blowout would do in the Arctic? Forget about open water — imagine hundreds of millions of gallons of oil slipping beneath Arctic ice.