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

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  • Seismic testing stopped in Norway but coming soon to Northland

    Blogpost by Mike Smith - August 22, 2014 at 11:00

    Seismic testing for oil in the Arctic Barents Sea, commissioned by the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate has been stopped one month ahead of schedule 4 days after Greenpeace exposed it to the media.

    But off the coast of Northland in New Zealand waters, Norwegian oil giant Statoil is due to begin seismic mapping to find oil this summer.

    Seismic mapping is the first step of oil exploration. Before the oil rigs even arrive, before the drills go in the seabed, companies must first determine where to find the oil.

    Seismic tests are done from a ship at the surface. An air gun shoots low-frequency sound pulses that penetrate the seafloor and the reflected sound waves are then recorded by sensors dragged on long cables after the ship. The data collected is used to map the seafloor so that oil co... Read more >

  • Norway in sneak attack on the Arctic

    Blogpost by Sune Scheller - August 22, 2014 at 8:05

    Greenpeace Esperanza - Arctic Ship Tour 2014. 06/02/2014 © Greenpeace

    The Esperanza has been in Svalbard, in the Arctic, for a few weeks now and we recently became aware of something urgent and disturbing. A seismic company called Dolphin Geophysical, commissioned by the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate, has begun seismic mapping in the far north of the Barents Sea.

    Seismic mapping is the very first step of oil exploration. Before the oil rigs even arrive, before the drills go in the seabed, companies must first determine where to find the precious pockets of oil. So, right now, we're en route to intercept a vessel conducting these tests to expose this sneak attack on the Arctic by the Norwegian state.

    Seismic tests are done from a ship at the surface. An air gun shoots low-frequency sound pulses that penetrate the seafloor and the reflected sound waves ar... Read more >

  • Arrest of forest rights activists symbolic of what's wrong in India

    Blogpost by Aaron Gray-Block - August 19, 2014 at 7:43

    Peaceful Forest Protest in India. 02/27/2014 © Udit kulshrestha / Greenpeace

    It was just past midnight when Indian police hauled two Greenpeace India activists out of their sleep and arrested them this week as a crackdown on protests against a planned coal mine in the Mahan forest intensified.

    The arrests are the latest example of intimidation tactics used in India to quell unrest over the plans by Indian conglomerate Essar to turn the Mahan forest into a climate-wrecking coal mine.

    The timing of the arrests is far from coincidental. The local community was due to hold a Gram Sabha, or village council, sometime between 16-22 August to vote on the proposed coal mine development by partners Essar and Hindalco.

    The police also seized a mobile signal booster and solar panels that Greenpeace India had set up in Amelia village to help spread the news from the communi... Read more >

  • How the peaceful protest at Prirazlomnaya made positive change in Russia

    Blogpost by Maria Favorskaya - August 18, 2014 at 7:29

    MY Arctic Sunrise Departs from Murmansk. 08/01/2014 © Enot 51 / Greenpeace

    The dramatic Greenpeace International action at Prirazlomnaya in September 2013 is mostly infamous for causing a lot of problems for the 28 activists, two freelance journalists and the Greenpeace ship Arctic Sunrise. But what media doesn't report and people don't know about this peaceful protest is that it also made possible positive changes in Russian policies regarding the Arctic.

    After the Prirazlomnaya action, Russian authorities and oil company Gazprom started making slow, but important steps in the right direction; at least appearing to solve environmental problems in the Arctic that Greenpeace Russia and other NGOs have been pointing out for years.

    Here are the 6 most notable changes: Read more >

    1. Russia announced in the Arctic Council that it will support a legally binding international a...
  • Let's stop feeling so guilty about global warming

    Blogpost by Emma Thompson - August 8, 2014 at 8:58

    Emma Thompson and her daughter in the Arctic with Greenpeace. 08/05/2014 © Nick Cobbing / Greenpeace

    Emma Thompson is currently in the Arctic aboard the Greenpeace ship Esperanza. She wrote these words after walking out onto the fragile sea ice for the first time alongside her 14 year old daughter Gaia.

    We're told that it is all our fault, global warming — we want the fuel, we want our cars, and that the oil industry is merely responding to the needs of a greedy public. But that's simply not fair. Most of us want to live cleaner lives, but our governments don't make these things easily available.

    The changes we need, that the Arctic needs, must come from the top as well as the bottom. We need electric cars to be cheaper and more accessible. We want safer bike lanes in every big city. We want plastic bags to be banned for good. We need governments to stand up to the dirty industries tha...

    Read more >
  • Greenpeace’s Supreme Court win made New Zealand’s democracy a little stronger

    Blogpost by Duncan Currie - August 7, 2014 at 12:41

    Sometimes you just have to take a stand. Greenpeace’s win yesterday in the Supreme Court in a precedent setting case about an arcane charity law was one of those times.

    The story goes back years, when Greenpeace first started applying for charitable status. The Charities Commission (as it then was) said that although the bulk of Greenpeace’s purposes could be considered charitable, the purpose of promoting peace and disarmament was too political and was enough to block its application.

    Believe it or not, New Zealand’s charities law dates from a 14th century poem and a 17th century English statute. The so-called ‘political’ exception in contrast is comparatively recent: it stems from an English 1917 case called Bowman, about whether a charity promoting secular society could be charitable. The... Read more >

  • Greenpeace believes that peace is the best self-defense, and that war is the biggest threat to the environment. This story is a call for peace by Daisuke Miyachi of Greenpeace Japan. Daisuke is from Hiroshima and his grandmother was one of the surviving victims of the atomic bombing on August 6, 1945.

    The atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima at 8:15 am on August 6 1945. 

    Sixty-nine years have now passed.

    Peace Doves - Hiroshima Atomic Bombing 60th Anniversary. Japan 2005 ©Greenpeace / Jeremy Sutton-HibbertPeace Doves - Hiroshima Atomic Bombing 60th Anniversary. Japan 2005.

    It unleashed a thermonuclear fury of toxic destruction that indiscriminately destroyed everything within a two mile radius. The far-reaching radioactive fallout would also leave its unrelenting and unforgiving scars on the people and natural environment of Hiroshima and surround areas. For the current generation of... Read more >

  • New video sees children at heart of LEGO campaign

    Blogpost by Ian Duff - August 5, 2014 at 22:11

    No one loves LEGO as much as a seven year old who's just built their first masterpiece. But everyone who has played with the toy carries the joy of their inner child on through life. That's why LEGO is such a desirable brand for Shell to piggy back on. Where Shell signifies mess and destruction, LEGO brings bright and bold creativity. This is also why Greenpeace supporters around the world are calling on LEGO to end the deal: for children, for the Arctic, and for the future.

    The film we've launched today, 'I Dream of the Arctic', encapsulates children's awe and wonder for the Arctic. The magical icy place at the top of the world represents not only the home of beloved animals, but also the delicate cooling system of the whole planet. For our kids, a world without the Arctic is ... Read more >

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