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

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  • 5 alarming facts about Amazon forest fires

    Blogpost by Cristiane Mazzetti - September 6, 2016 at 18:31

    The Amazon is being burned. Here’s what you need to know.

    A cloud of smoke coming from forest fires covers the forest in Lábrea, Amazonas state. In August 2016, Greenpeace flew over the Amazon to search for and register forest fires spots. 16 Aug, 2016  © Rogério Assis / Greenpeace

    Click to zoom in. Map of hotspots in the Amazon between 2015-2016 Read more >

    From July to November, it is fire season in the Amazon rainforest. But while fires can be a normal part of the life cycle in forests, most of the flames in the Amazon are far from natural – and damaging.

    Each year, people burn rainforest to clear the land for farming and pasture, as well as illegal logging. What’s worse, these practices make the forest even more vulnerable to future blazes and contribute to climate change.

    Here are five alarming facts you should know about fires in the Amazon rainforest: 

    1. In the first half of this year, 27,814 fires were detected in the Amazon. That’s the largest number ever recorded for the period and 81 percent above the historical average. Most of these fires were started by people....

  • In the last two weeks, one third of people in Havelock North have fallen ill with a gastro illness that originated in the town’s water supply.

    The source? Most likely contamination from cows, sheep or deer.

    By all accounts the last couple of weeks have been hell for the people of Havelock North. This isn’t what’s supposed to happen in a “clean, green” first world country.

    Unfortunately, the chances of it happening again are about to increase, with a series of industrial irrigation schemes planned around New Zealand.

    These schemes will mean more intensive agriculture, and therefore more water pollution. We should be cleaning up and protecting our waterways, not building giant irrigation dams that drive more agricultural intensification and compound the problem.

    This map shows where big irrigatio... Read more >

  • Ruataniwha looks dead in the dirty water

    Blogpost by Gen Toop - August 31, 2016 at 17:42

    It’s been a tough few weeks for think-big irrigation and industrial agriculture.

    As a bit of background for those not familiar with plans for even more industrial dairying around New Zealand - the Government is throwing over half a billion dollars of public money at large-scale irrigation schemes (including the Ruataniwha Dam). These schemes will enable the expansion of industrial style dairy farming, causing huge pollution in our waterways.

    But the plan’s hit several snags in recent weeks.

    In what is the worst water-borne disease outbreak in New Zealand history, over 5,000 people fell ill in Havelock North due to drinking water from their taps. The cause was likely a ruminant farm animal. 

    Last night hundreds of people turned out to a public meeting over the crisis - venting their ange...

    Read more >
  • 3 big reasons why we need ocean sanctuaries now

    Blogpost by Magnus Eckeskog - August 31, 2016 at 17:19

    Last Friday, US President Obama announced the creation of the world’s largest ocean sanctuary, and today governments from all over the world are meeting at the United Nations in New York to develop a new treaty to save our oceans. This is fantastic news for our blue planet. Two-thirds of the ocean sit outside national borders, called the ‘high seas’. In this area there is a lack of rules governing how it is protected, and as a result our oceans are suffering. Luckily, our governments are now about to change this situation meaning we could be on the verge of a massive step towards reviving our oceans.

    I am one of the lucky attendees at this UN meeting, along with colleagues and representatives from other NGOs and governments. Together we are fighting for ocean sanctuaries, large marine ar...

    Read more >
  • Today marks the International Day against Nuclear Tests. Since 1945, more than 2000 nuclear tests have been carried out at more than 60 locations around the globe. Nuclear weapons were designed and tested to be the ultimate doomsday weapon, setting a legacy of fear and destruction. No other human invention had as much impact on the story of humanity in recent decades.

    Greenpeace demonstrates against nuclear testing at the White House in DC during the 1st Bush Presidency.Greenpeace demonstrates against nuclear testing at the White House in DC during the 1st Bush Presidency.

    Nuclear tests have shaped Greenpeace. They have been a part of our story as an organisation from the outset. They have been a part of my own story, both personally and professionally. Read more >

    I was 24 when I first witnessed, in person, the disastrous impacts of nuclear testing on people, and on the environment. It was 1985 and I...

  • Sailing to the Arctic with the people who call it home

    Blogpost by Farrah Khan - August 26, 2016 at 15:25

    The courageous Inuit community of Clyde River is standing up to protect their Arctic home from devastating seismic blasting.

    The Arctic Sunrise, anchored at Clyde River. 16 Aug, 2016  © Greenpeace

    The circumpolar Arctic is home to four million people representing a diversity of cultures. As northerners, they share many connections, but in this year of record breaking high temperatures, one stands out among the rest: the Arctic is warming faster than anywhere else on Earth. Inevitably, this means daily life for those who live in the Arctic is changing fast, too.

    Mayor of Clyde River, James Qillaq (L), former mayor of Clyde River, Jerry Natanine and Jerry's daughter, Clara hold an anti-seismic blasting banner, on the bow of the Arctic Sunrise, in Baffin Bay. 13 Aug, 2016  © GreenpeaceMayor of Clyde River, James Qillaq, former mayor of Clyde River, Jerry Natanine and Jerry's daughter, Clara Natanine hold a banner reading “Save the Arctic: it’s our home” on the Greenpeace Arctic Sunrise.

    Melting sea ice is opening up new waters that are of immediate interest to the oil industry ...

    Read more >
  • Why fixing your phone is one of the most empowering things you can do

    Blogpost by Kyle Wiens - August 26, 2016 at 15:23

    Like most people, I don’t go anywhere without my phone. In the morning, its shrill alarm rouses me from sleep. During the day it bobs between my ear, my hand, and my pocket. At night, I hunt for Pokémon before putting it away on the nightstand. My phone is my MP3 player, my camera, and my GPS system—all in one. I really believe that technology is a driving force for good in the world. It makes our lives better.

    I’ve spent the last decade teaching people how to repair their electronics—things like smartphones, computers, and tablets. I do it because even though we love our gizmos, we treat them like they’re disposable: things we can use up, throw away, and buy again without a second thought.

    Today people go through smartphones like they go through jeans—at the rate of one new phone eve... Read more >

  • Microbeads: How did companies respond?

    Blogpost by Taehyun Park - August 26, 2016 at 15:21

    Remember THIS video?

    Back in July, Greenpeace East Asia ranked 30 global companies to see how they measured in terms of their commitment to phasing out microbeads – the tiny terrors that are often found in shower gels and facial scrubs, and are known to wreak havoc on our ecosystems and marine life.

    About 0.5mm or smaller in size, these tiny beads really pack a punch, running scot-free into our oceans and impacting marine life.About 0.5mm or smaller in size, these tiny beads really pack a punch, running scot-free into our oceans and impacting marine life.

    Among the major companies, such as Estee Lauder, Chanel and Amway we found that a majority of major brands have failed to remove microplastics from their products, despite promises; whilst others simply refused to publicly acknowledge the environmental impact of microbeads.

    So what's happened since Greenpeace East Asia released the microbeads ranking? Here's wh...

    Read more >

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