Daily blogs from the frontlines of the Greenpeace planet down under. 

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  • #BridgesNotWalls - It’s Time for Solidarity, Love and Hope

    Blogpost by Madeleine Smith and Leila Deen - January 20, 2017 at 16:35

    New Zealand was the first on Earth to see January the 20th - the day on which Donald Trump will be sworn in as the 45th President of the United States, after a year when, around the world, the politics of hate, fear and division too often blossomed.

    Greenpeace Executive Director Bunny McDiarmid and Greenpeace New Zealand staff say #BridgesNotWalls from Auckland Harbor Bridge. Greenpeace Executive Director Bunny McDiarmid and Greenpeace New Zealand staff say #BridgesNotWalls from Auckland Harbor Bridge. 

    While we may be a country a world away from these politics - this morning, Greenpeace New Zealand joined with allies and supporters to participate in a global movement sending a loud, clear message of connection over division: #BridgesNotWalls. 

    It’s a scary time. A handful of political elites and corporate giants — including some of the biggest polluters on the planet — continue to win big as long as people are fe...

    Read more >
  • Revealed: HSBC is funding forest destruction

    Blogpost by Annisa Rahmawati - January 17, 2017 at 14:05

    Today we’ve let the cat out of the bag that HSBC - one of the biggest banks in the world - is funding destructive palm oil companies. Now its customers are waking up to the news that the bank card in their pocket is linked to the destruction of already-endangered forests.

    This secretly filmed footage shows bulldozers from the Salim palm oil group - a firm that borrowed millions of pounds from HSBC - destroying Indonesia’s rainforests. Take a look and see for yourself.

    Read more >

    This isn’t about one palm oil company though - HSBC funds multiple shady palm oil companies. Most of us will never have heard of these faceless palm oil predators - but they’re notorious in their industry for trashing rainforests, so HSBC knows exactly what it’s doing.  

    In April 2016, an influential environmental group r...

  • At this point most people know about neonicotinoids and the serious risk they pose to honey bees. Bees are a link in a chain of biodiversity and pollination of incredible value to our food production. Up to 75% of our crops directly or indirectly depend on pollination. We need to start protecting our pollinators against the threat pesticides like neonicotinoids pose. In 2013 scientific findings in Europe lead to a partial ban of four of the worst bee-harming pesticides (clothianidin, imidacloprid, thiamethoxam and fipronil) – at least when they are used on crops which are attractive to honey bees.

    Neonicotinoids: a risk to bees and other animals. 09/01/2017 © Neonicotinoids: a risk for bees and other animals

    Hundreds of new studies show threat more serious than thought

    Since 2013 research on the impacts of neonicotinoid pesticides has continued. G... Read more >

  • How green are the apps you use every day?

    Blogpost by Gary Cook - January 16, 2017 at 13:44

    Did you know some of the apps we use every day can make a difference in driving a green future by choosing to power their data centres (and our digital lives) with renewable energy? 

    The Renewable Revolution is here and some of the most innovative tech leaders are embracing green energy, but there are many who still rely on coal and other sources of dirty energy contributing to climate change.

    From Facebook to Netflix, here’s a list of renewable energy champions, others that are improving, and laggards still stuck on dirty energy like coal.

    Leading the race:

    Facebook (Grade: A)

    Since we all convinced Facebook to Unlike Coal in 2011 this tech giant has been pushing the renewable energy agenda and ensuring our likes and shares are greener than ever!

    Activists showing Facebook signs used in the campaign against Facebook's use of coal. 13 Apr, 2011  © Peter Soerensen / Greenpeace

    Google (Grade: A)

    The king of th...

    Read more >
  • Seeing is believing: Growing food for people, with people and with nature in Cuba

    Blogpost by Reyes Tirado - January 16, 2017 at 13:41

    “Ojos hacen fe.” Those are the words of Lucy Martín, an inspiring Cuban researcher with Oxfam in Havana. She has lived through decades of change in Cuba, while remaining grounded in the reality of farmers there. Read more >

    Finca Marta farm in Cuba, 14 Nov, 2016,  © Alonso Crespo / Greenpeace

    She uses those words – “seeing is believing” in English – to explain the importance of tangible examples that show how transforming our food system is possible. In Cuba, despite scarcity and a system where many challenges still remain, the country has been successfully innovating in ecological farming since the early ‘90s.

    Cuba’s agricultural transformation

    Cuba is a small country of about 11 million people. In the 1990s, the end of Soviet support brought, among other things, a massive exodus from the countryside into cities. Nowadays, almost 80% of the Cuban population liv...

  • Cease and desist message delivered to seismic blasting ship

    Blogpost by Kate Simcock - January 13, 2017 at 15:06

    Amazon Warrior, this is the Margaret Mahy. Do you copy?

    The world's biggest seismic blasting ship - the Amazon Warrior, AKA the 'The Beast' - is exploring for oil in the seas between Kaikoura and Napier. Despite the climate crisis, the risk of catastrophic oil spills and the immediate harm done to marine life, Statoil and Chevron are exploring for new oil at the invitation of the NZ Govt. 

    It’s utter madness.

    Today, two Greenpeace boats intercepted the 126 metre-long monster and from on board one  - the Margaret Mahy - Greenpeace climate campaigner Kate Simcock, delivered a message directly to the master of the ship on behalf of almost 70,000 people who have signed on to the letter to Statoil and Chevron.

    Also on board is Raihania Tipoki, of Ngāti Kahungunu. He'll deliver this message... Read more >

  • Wisdom & Foolishness

    Blogpost by Rex Weyler - January 9, 2017 at 10:30

    For Earth scientists and environmental activists, the urgent need for a dramatic shift in humanity’s relationship with the world seems painfully obvious, yet we find ourselves pushing against obsolete systems of economics and development and against a relentless commitment to a destructive path. When the wise path appears so obvious to us, why do human social systems continue to make foolish decisions?

    I believe that “intelligence” arises from natural process, inherent in life itself, in all species of life and manifested in myriad forms throughout the biosphere. Intelligence appears as the quality of organisms to interface successfully, and durably, with the world in all its complexity. 

    'Brain' coral, Ashmore Reef, Australia. 01/08/1999 © Greenpeace / Roger Grace'Brain' coral, Ashmore Reef, Australia

    We sense that humans have evolved a particularly dynamic in... Read more >

  • Every single piece of plastic ever made still exists. Here’s the story.

    Blogpost by Diego Gonzaga - January 9, 2017 at 10:26

    Plastic toothbrushes are lined up on Kahuku beach, Hawaii. 26 Oct, 2006,  © Greenpeace / Alex Hofford

    From the moment we wake up in the morning and brush our teeth, to when we watch TV at the end of the day, plastic is all around us. So much so that it can be hard to imagine leaving the supermarket without at least one item that isn’t in a plastic container.

    It hasn't always been like this. In fact, there are people alive today that were born in an almost plastic-free world. Imagine going to the beach and not finding a single piece of washed up plastic trash.

    What, in the course of history, caused such a change? Read more >

    Plastic waste is seen washed ashore in the Truk Lagoon, Micronesia. 15 Jun, 2016,  © Robert Marc Lehmann / Greenpeace

    There are a few stories of what drove the demand for modern plastics. One version is that, in the second half of the 19th century, companies in the billiard ball industry realised they needed a substitute for ivory. By then, humans were consuming at least one million pounds...

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