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

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  • China says 'no' to genetically engineered rice

    Blogpost by nyoung - February 2, 2012 at 9:13

    It took seven years, teams of young campaigners and hordes of devoted supporters, but September 2011 the Chinese government finally said it was suspending the commercialisation of genetically-engineered (GE) rice.

    See the full story in Greenpeace East Asia's online magazine.

    The origins of rice cultivation can be traced to the valleys of China's Yangtze River, with some estimates putting it at over 7,000 years ago. In that time, rice has become an integral part of Chinese life and culture. It dictates the lives of millions of farmers in the Chinese countryside, feeds over a billion Chinese citizens each year and is synonymous with Chinese cuisine and culture. And Yunnan, in southwestern China is where much of this rice originates from.

    Back in 2004, the GE rice campaign was one ... Read more >

  • The big picture behind ‘Big Miracle’

    Blogpost by Martin Lloyd - January 30, 2012 at 23:13

    We Saved the Whales:  Big Miracle

    “This is Campbell Plowden, Whale Campaign Coordinator for Greenpeace.  I’d like to let you know that the Soviet Union is going to send two icebreakers to help clear a path for the whales trapped in Alaska.”  

     24 years ago Greenpeace found itself caught up in the midst of a Cold War drama, as the American and Soviet governments came together to rescue three gray whales trapped in the sea ice off the Alaskan coast. The amazing story has been transformed into the feature film ‘Big Miracle’ by Universal Studios, starring Drew Barrymore as a Greenpeace activist.

    To get the inside story on what really happened we got in touch with Campbell Plowden, who, in 1988 was head of the Greenpeace USA Whales Campaign. In a fascinating extended account, Campbell, now working to protect the Ama... Read more >

  • Kumi Naidoo on the Rainbow Warrior

    If I bump into Professor Klaus Schwab, who started and still runs the World Economic Forum here in Davos, I will challenge him on the purpose of the event. Schwab has described the WEF as “a platform for collaborative thinking and searching for solutions, not for making decisions”.

    The Davos meeting may not be a bastion of democratic or transparent democracy and participation, but it is a place where solutions should be discussed and plans made to tackle the cacophony of crises that our planet in faces. But important decisions can also be taken here, decisions by corporations, politicians or CEOs.

    The time has come for this gathering of powerful people to address the escalating public frustration over growing inequity both between and within countries. It is time they explained ... Read more >

  • Is European tinned-tuna giant Bolton the latest company to change its tuna?

    Blogpost by Oliver Knowles - January 27, 2012 at 9:13

    Oliver Knowles onboard the Rainbow Warrior

    European tinned-tuna giant Bolton has started 2012 with a press release full of highly ambiguous language about its environmental commitments. The release appears designed to both get Greenpeace off the company’s back and to convince customers that it is working to achieve maximum s

    ustainability in it

    s tuna supply chain. In the press release, Bolton claim to be aiming for ‘100% sustainable tuna by 2017’. But what does this mean?  On closer inspection, it seems that Bolton is failing to make a clear commitment to adopt responsible fishing methods, such as pole and line and fishing without the use of destructive Fish Aggregation Devices (FADs).

    Our question to Bolton is – are you committing to source only from pole and line or FAD-free fishing in line with your previous commitm... Read more >

  • Historic Human Overshoot

    Blogpost by Rex Weyler - January 26, 2012 at 13:39

    In nature, any successful species can overshoot a habitat, consuming resources faster than Earth’s ecosystems can replenish them. On Earth today, indicators such as species extinctions, soil loss, and global warming – tell us that humans have reached this state of overshoot on a global scale. In seeking solutions, we may benefit from some historical perspective. 

    University of British Columbia professor Dr. William Rees and his colleague Mathis Wackernagel originated the “ecological footprint” analysis, now universally used to measure personal, family, or regional ecological impact. Rees estimates that humans now use about fifty percent more resources in a year than Earth can replenish. In 2010, Rees wrote “The Human Nature of Unsustainability” for the Post Carbon Reader, expl... Read more >

  • Enthusiasm for oil requires cognitive shut-down

    Blogpost by Steve Abel - January 24, 2012 at 13:20

    Recently some commentators have revealed something about the way their brain functions in singing the praises of new fossil fuels.

    We shouldn’t be surprised that oil companies are excited about oil, though the Sunday Star Times seems to think it warrants front page coverage.  I wonder if "tennis players say tennis is great!” would make similar headlines? 

    Lately the head of the Government’s “green taskforce” Phil O’Reilly managed to write an article all about how fab oil, gas, coal and Norway are and not mention even once a little problem called climate change.  Labour’s Shane Jones seems to be singing from a similarly oily song-sheet as the National Government when he says his iwi cousins on the East Cape are naïve for opposing deep sea oil drilling in their ancestral waters. Ngati Poro... Read more >

  • Conversations with Greenlanders (and non-conversations with oil companies)

    Blogpost by Jon Burgwald - January 23, 2012 at 8:59

    The fjord next to the town Sisimiut on the Greenlandic west coast.I’ve passed north of the polar circle on our trip visiting the west coast of Greenland. The temperature has dropped to minus 15 Celsius; snow is mounting outside my window and in the beautiful harbour city Sisimiut, the fjord is filled with ice. At night time, the Northern Lights are dancing in the sky to the distant howling from the town’s sledge dogs. This wolf-like dog is only allowed north of the Arctic Circle. In a few days, I will be debating oil drilling at the local college – a college that specifically focuses on minerals and petroleum.
    We have spent the last couple of days in Greenland’s capital Nuuk, a visit that proved quite interesting. I’ve talked to 200 students about the dangers of oil drillings, but also on how Greenland in general can ensure a sustainable d... Read more >

  • Obama stands up to Big Oil and polluter politicians

    Blogpost by Phil Radford and Daryl Hannah - January 20, 2012 at 10:04

    Alberta Tar Sands

    Yesterday, President Obama stood up to Big Oil and its puppets in the US Congress, denying a permit for the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. This is encouraging news for the communities whose air and water would have been directly threatened by this pipeline, from Canada to Nebraska to the Gulf Coast. And it's an important piece of the struggle to avert a runaway climate catastrophe. But since the Keystone XL has become a pitched political battle, this announcement is also an encouraging affirmation of the power of people, creative protest, and grassroots organizing in the face of the entrenched power and big bucks of the oil industry.

    Earlier this month, American Petroleum Institute CEO Jack Gerard, the oil industry's top lobbyist, directly threatened President Obama with "huge p...

    Read more >

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