“Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth.” — Oscar Wilde
With so much at stake in the Arctic, and so much mind-boggling corporate ineptitude at play in places like Alaska, Greenpeace International has taken matters into its own hands — or rather, put the power back in the hands of the everyday workers who are confronted nearly daily with the reality that the industry is simply not Arctic Ready.
The new Arctic Truth website aims to encourage employees and subcontractors of oil companies involved in Arctic drilling to come forward and to help expose the incredible risks corporations are taking as they look to plunder the resources of this pristine region — particularly on issues such as operational safety, bad practices and potential breaches of environmental regulations.
Following the launch of www.arctictruth.org this morning, posters advertising the new website began appearing in the streets surrounding the London offices of Anglo-Dutch oil giant Shell — one of the biggest oil companies leading the Arctic resource rush. Flyers will also be handed out to employees outside the company's headquarters in the UK and the Netherlands. We are also launching an online charm offensive to reach Shell's staff through the professional networking site LinkedIn.
This latest initiative in our campaign to protect the Arctic from creeping industrialisation comes at a time of heightened concern over the safety of drilling operations in the region, where a series of recent incidents in places like Alaska have made it clear that major oil companies are not taking the necessary steps to prevent serious spills and accidents. Over the last year, Shell has lurched from one safety blunder to another — its oil spill containment was “crushed like a beer can” during tests; its barge failed to meet safety standards; one of its rigs ran aground in Alaska while the other had a fire in its engine, and both are now under federal, criminal investigation.
This list of blunders reads like a ‘how not-to’ of Arctic drilling. But if it hadn’t been for close public and media scrutiny, very little of the truth about Shell’s appalling safety practises would ever have come to light. That is why we are looking for information relating to oil drilling in the far north, which would usually be kept under wraps. The public deserves to know about the incredible risks these companies are taking each and every day as they gamble with the planet for just three years’ worth of oil.
Arctic Truth offers the opportunity to submit information securely and in confidence. Greenpeace International will treat all information with absolute respect and use it to challenge irresponsible practices in the Arctic, whilst ensuring that our sources are protected.
We hope employees, subcontractors and others will use this new website to help reveal the truth about the gamble oil companies like Shell are willing to take. Their bravery could be the key to help to Save the Arctic for future generations.