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

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  • Is Nick Smith Minister for Magic?

    Blogpost by Gen Toop - February 27, 2017 at 16:12

    It seems the critical issue of clean swimmable water for New Zealanders has passed into the realms of magical realism.

    Minister for Magic, Nick Smith waved his blue wand and wadeable rivers miraculously turned into ones you can swim in.

    Nick Smith

    All it takes is a little fiddling with the standards.

    This week Smith made a brave promise that 90 per cent of rivers would be swimmable by the year 2040.

    On the surface an applaudable sentiment, a move in the right direction, but anyone who has been following the freshwater debate will see right through it.

    Only a year ago the Environment Minister was saying that aiming for swimmable rivers was "impractical".

    So what changed to make it practical?

    Over the summer there's been a tipping point in public opinion.

    Thanks to efforts by many environmenta... Read more >

  • Don't get freaked by the eco

    Blogpost by Phil Vine - February 25, 2017 at 10:59

    Funny how, over time, crazy weird becomes the new normal. There were certainly some nutty ideas floating around when I was a young fella studying Agricultural Economics at Lincoln University last millennium.

    Outlandish thoughts like growing fruit or running livestock without pesticides and herbicides. Absolutely barmy. Other hair-brained schemes involved running a cowshed on power from the sun. Nah mate, it'll never catch on.

    So when the Feds dairy guy Andrew Hoggard uses the dodgy term "mumbo jumbo" to describe this new idea Ecological Agriculture, it takes me back. Makes me wonder which side of history he'll end up on? Maybe sharing a porch with those those who sneered at organics and solar power.

    We live in fast-evolving times, characterised by massively confronting global problems th... Read more >

  • HSBC promises to cut ties with forest-trashing palm oil companies

    Blogpost by Annisa Rahmawati - February 22, 2017 at 9:08

    There's been a major breakthrough in protecting Indonesia's forests: HSBC has committed to breaking its links to palm oil companies destroying forests and peatlands. This is a fantastic result for everyone who has been campaigning over the last few weeks, although the hard work doesn’t stop there. The real test now is how those words will be put into practice. Read more >

    HSBC’s new policy - released today - says they will no longer provide funding to companies involved in any kind of deforestation or peatland clearance, both of which were missing from previous versions. Another big step forward is insisting that all HSBC's customers must publish their own forest protection policies by the end of June.

    Excavators clear intact peatland forests and build drainage canals in an oil palm concession by PT Andalan Sukses Makmur, a subsidiary of Bumitama Agri Ltd. The concession is next to Tanjung Puting National Park in Central Kalimantan

    Excavators clear intact peatland forests and build drainage canals in an oil palm concession by P...
  • We are going to court!

    Blogpost by Michelle Jonker-Argueta - February 21, 2017 at 9:26

    It's time we hold governments accountable for their climate promises; we must protect the pristine Arctic - it's critical for the preservation of our planet for future generations.

    That’s why we’re taking Arctic oil to court.

    Statoil-Operated Oil Drilling Platform near Tromsø, Norway. 24 Jan 2017 © Matthew Kemp / GreenpeaceStatoil-Operated Oil Drilling Platform near Tromsø, Norway. 24 Jan 2017 

    Our legal case against the Norwegian government, which granted new oil drilling licenses in the Arctic ocean, finally has a court date. On November 13th we are going to court!

    My name is Michelle. As one of the attorneys behind this groundbreaking case I'll be updating you as it moves ahead.

    When I think of future generations, I think of my niece Blythe. At five months, she has every right to a full and healthy life - free from the catastrophic effects of climate change we are already seeing ... Read more >

  • Missing the Target

    Blogpost by Rex Weyler - February 21, 2017 at 9:22

    The urgency to solve our climate crisis feels something like a ship heading off course: The longer you delay, the more you have to turn the wheel.  

    Consider these numbers: 2, 350, 1990. These were the original climate goals. In 1975, at the time of the first Greenpeace whale campaign, environmental economist William Nordhaus proposed that the danger threshold for a temperature increase above Earth’s preindustrial average would be 2°C. This goal was not considered entirely safe, but beyond this target we risked severe climate disruption and likely runaway heating.

    James Hansen from the US, Climate Scientist and professor, outside the Norwegian courthouse in Oslo while an unprecedented legal case is filed against the Norwegian government for allowing oil companies to drill for new oil in the Arctic Barents Sea. The plaintiffs, Nature and Youth and Greenpeace Nordic, argue that Norway thereby violates the Paris Agreement and the people's constitutional right to a healthy and safe environment for future generations. The lawsuit has the support of a wide group of scientists, indigenous leaders, activists and public figures.  © Christian Åslund / Greenpeace
    Dr James Hansen, 2016

    The 350 figure came from several climate scientists, including Dr James Hansen, who co-authored the first NASA global temperature analysis in 1981. Hansen proposed that to remain below the 2°C target, we w... Read more >

  • Our RSVP to PEPANZ

    Blogpost by Russel Norman - February 14, 2017 at 15:43

    This year, for the first time ever, PEPANZ have invited us to the petroleum conference. Every year New Zealand hosts this conference to discuss the oil and gas industry's future.

    But the problem is, oil and gas don't have a future.

    Here's our response:


    And the text is here:

    As Tēnā koe Cameron,

    I’m writing in regard to your invitation to attend the 2017 Petroleum Conference, taking place in Taranaki this March.

    I appreciate that this must be a significant step for PEPANZ, as it is the first time that Greenpeace has been formally asked inside the conference.

    However, we must decline.

    We understand that by inviting Greenpeace, you are hopeful that we may be able to engage in a dialogue about the role that oil and gas should play in our future.

    Our issue with this is fossil fuels l... Read more >

  • A view from Waitangi by Mike Smith

    Blogpost by Mike Smith - February 3, 2017 at 20:51

     Over the last couple of days I’ve been getting calls from friends, colleagues and media organisations wanting to know what was happening at Waitangi this year.

    Here’s what I’ve been telling them. 

    Depending on your point of view, Waitangi day is either a day of celebrations, a day of rage against the government or, for the majority on NZers, a day off work to enjoy a long summer weekend.

    All of these aspects come together at Waitangi on Waitangi day.

    The Navy provides a bit of pomp and ceremony backed up by the frigates firing their guns out in the bay. The Government provides some bouncy castles and other family friendly activities and entertainment across the bridge at the Treaty grounds.

    Meanwhile at the “bottom” marae, the local elders and community welcome and feed the thousands ... Read more >

  • The Amazon Reef: Brazil’s newly discovered and already threatened treasure

    Blogpost by Thaís Herrero - January 27, 2017 at 14:50

    We’ve launched a new campaign to defend the Amazon Reef, a unique and largely unknown biome that may be soon threatened by oil exploration

    The Greenpeace Esperanza on the Amazon riverIn the far north of Brazil, where the Amazon River meets the sea, there is a newly-discovered natural treasure—a hidden coral reef in a region where no one thought possible. Because muddy water from the Amazon River clouds the sea surface, almost no light reaches the reef making finding a reef with a complex marine life there unlikely.

     But that is where the Amazon reef was found – a unique and very special discovery. And it is huge! We are talking about 9,500 square kilometers of formations including giant sponges (which are longer than 2 meters/6.5 feet) and calcareous algae, called rhodolith.

    Amazon River Mouth mapThe discovery of this reef was announced in April 2016 w... Read more >

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