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

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  • Deep sea drilling will soon commence in the rough waters off the NZ coast. This could mark the beginning of an oil rush in which democratic process, public concern, environmental protection and safety considerations are all swept aside.

    The Arctic is a unique and globally significant ecosystem. It is a fragile wilderness that is being rapidly reshaped by human actions. Anthropogenic climate change is driving the loss of sea ice, leaving ever greater expanses of the Arctic Ocean ice free.

    With a tragic inevitability, oil companies like Gazprom and Shell are greedily eyeing up the opportunities for offshore exploration in this new frontier. If an oil spill were to happen in the Arctic, the damage would be devastating on a global scale. 

    This is why 30 brave people took part in a peaceful p... Read more >

  • In Russia, the future of the Arctic is up for debate

    Blogpost by Martin Lloyd - November 7, 2013 at 12:05

    The Russian public are far less sure than Gazprom about the question of drilling in the Arctic. In a poll produced by Russian research agency FOM, 42% said drilling and mining in the Arctic was not appropriate. Just behind the 45% who felt it was.

    And if they're unsure about the wisdom of drilling, they're even more unsure about the wisdom of making territorial claims. Asked if neutral Arctic territory should be split up between the nations which border it, 69% said no. Just 17% favoured partition.

    That shows that, as in most Arctic nations, the question of what to do about the Arctic is far from settled in Russia. Elements of Russian media, some state owned and some directly owned by oil company Gazprom have gone out of their way to talk up the benefits of drilling in the Arctic. But... Read more >

  • Tonight on TV3's The Vote, along with Russell Norma and Manu Caddie I’m going up against representatives of the oil drilling and mining industry to debate the question: "Does NZ need more mining?"

    In the face of new coal mining approvals given for conservation land and dangerous deep sea drilling about to start later this summer, the answer should obviously be a pretty loud ‘NO!’ and now we have the chance to make our voices heard.

    Pushing our economy further towards mining, drilling and fracking is the wrong direction for New Zealand for many reasons. But, we’re not trying to ‘hold back progress’ - far from it  - New Zealand has the choice now to move towards a clean economy which is better for long term sustainability and prosperity, better for jobs and better for the climate. That woul...

    Read more >
  • From Russia with love - letters from the Arctic 30

    Blogpost by efreeman - November 4, 2013 at 9:26

    We've received a number of letters now from the Arctic 30. We'd like to share a few highlights from a sample of them. They reveal what life is like for them in Murmansk, and how important your support is to them.

    Frank HewetsonBritish detainee Frank Hewetson is managing to keep his sense of humour despite the situation. In a letter to the Independent on Sunday he says he's unsure about the "hostel" he is staying in. He writes:

    "At about 07:00 “house cleaning” pop in, all dressed surprisingly in the same combat blue fatigues. It seems as if all the broom heads have fallen off their rather stout broom handles and I may be mistaken but the room seems rather messier than when they arrived. I might try to write a letter to the management and leave it in the “comments” box attached to the 5” plate steel part... Read more >

  • Gazprom vs. Greenpeace Arctic 30

    Blogpost by Rex Weyler - November 1, 2013 at 10:07

    Russia's overreaction to the Greenpeace Arctic protest — and their ludicrous waffling on the actual charges — will not work out well for Russia. Their extraordinary response will more likely help the global climate movement meet its goals.

    Public dissent against abusive authority appears as old as any remembered human history. The Sumerian story of King Gilgamesh begins with public complaints that the king exploited young men for war and young women for his lust, failing in his role as the "people's shepherd." In Antiquities, Jewish historian Josephus recounts peasant protests against Roman abuse, governor Pilate sending assassins and how this overreaction incited men, women and children to offer their lives en masse by laying prostrate in the city square.

    In our era, Gandhi liberated Ind... Read more >

  • Seabirds and Oil Spills

    Blogpost by Rachael Shaw - November 1, 2013 at 9:00

    Albatross at sea

      Read more >

    Across the centuries and across cultures, the albatross has captured human imagination. They are just one of the iconic seabirds found in the rich waters surrounding New Zealand. Together with petrels, prions, penguins, shearwaters, shags and gannets, albatrosses make up the 140 or so species which frequent the ocean covered by New Zealand’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).

    It is no exaggeration to say that the New Zealand archipelago is a global centre of seabird diversity. However, plans to drill in some of the deepest waters of our EEZ mean that this crucial seabird habitat is potentially under threat.

    Last week, we released a spill model showing the possible impacts that a deep sea oil spill could have in New Zealand’s EEZ. Forest & Bird have also released their own fact file which...

  • Government too cosy for the truth on oil risk

    Blogpost by Steve Abel - October 31, 2013 at 12:05


    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...

  • Dear Alex

    Blogpost by Amrekha Sharma - October 30, 2013 at 11:37