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

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  • Greenpeace Training with the Safety Pod. 09/09/2013 © Denis Sinyakov / Greenpeace

    Greenpeace International has a long and proud history of peaceful protests in defence of the environment, but right now Russian authorities are holding 30 of our activists on board the Arctic Sunrise for opposing the reckless oil company Gazprom.

    It comes after officials from the Russian security service FSB, armed with guns and knives, abruptly stormed the ship using a helicopter and ropes. Once on the ship, they rounded up our activists and ordered them into the mess.

    It was a swift and aggressive follow-up to the arrest of two other Greenpeace International activists who climbed Gazprom's dangerous Arctic drilling platform earlier this week. They're now being held with their fellow activists.

    The Arctic Sunrise arrived in these icy waters alongside millions of people around the worl...

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    25 activists, including two Kiwis, have been arrested by armed Russian Coast Guard. The crew of the Arctic Sunrise had been peacefully protesting against risky drilling at an oil rig in the Arctic when the Russian Coast Guard, using helicopters and ropes, illegally boarded and detained the activists.

    Greenpeace International activists locked inside the radio room of the boat said they saw the activists held on their knees with guns pointed at them. Earlier on Wednesday, the Coast Guard had arrested and held without charge two Greenpeace activists who had scaled Gazprom’s drill platform.

    The head of Greenpeace International Kumi Naidoo said:

    “This illegal boarding of a peaceful protest ship highlights the extreme lengths that the Russian government will go to to keep Gazprom’s dangerous...

  • To hell and back to Save the Arctic

    Blogpost by Camila Speziale - September 19, 2013 at 10:00

    Portrait of Camila Speziale on the Arctic Oil Tour. 09/08/2013 © Denis Sinyakov / Greenpeace

    This morning at 4 a.m. I hugged my fellow climbers good luck before heading out to climb Gazprom's oil platform, the Prirazlomnaya, from the Arctic Sunrise.

    It was a terrifying moment for me as I jumped into the inflatable boat in total darkness; I knew the Russian Coast Guard was waiting for us. They had been on our tail since Monday, watching our every move, and I could see the huge water cannons in the distance. But we had a mission and we were determined: to stop the world’s first oil from being produced from ice-filled Arctic waters.

    It didn't take long to reach the platform and when I did, two of the climbers had already managed to get a line up so we could start our ascent. Before I had a chance to scale the platform, two boats headed towards us from the Coast Guard vessel, with ...

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  • Every act of peaceful rebellion adds up

    Blogpost by Kumi Naidoo - September 19, 2013 at 9:28

    I woke up at the crack of dawn this morning with my stomach in knots as I scrambled to check my twitter feed and email.

    It was five a.m. but I was wide awake; physically in Amsterdam but my heart in Russia where I knew that five of my fellow activists were launching into action at a giant oil rig in the Russian Arctic — a rig that I’m all too familiar with.

    As I scoured through the first images and read the tweets from the Arctic Sunrise, it all came flooding back — the crisp, salty morning air on my face as the inflatable zipped along towards Gazprom's giant rig; the roughness of the rope against my hands as I hung on for dear life; the mean red face of the massive Prirazlomnaya towering over us, the David vs. Goliath metaphor more real than ever before; next to me, Sini's eyes peering o...

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  • Deep sea oil and gas drilling: not in New Zealand, not anywhere

    Blogpost by Aaron Gray-Block - September 17, 2013 at 14:55

    Like the Arctic, the deep waters off the coast of New Zealand are under threat as oil and gas companies feverishly line up to start exploratory drilling operations in search of climate-destroying carbon fuel deposits.

    In a new oil rush, exploratory drilling off the New Zealand coast during the southern hemisphere's summer is expected to be the busiest in recent history, with an unprecedented three offshore rigs due to start drilling wells.

    In particular, Texan oil company Anadarko, which was a 25% partner in BP's doomed Macondo oil well in the Gulf of Mexico, has recently detailed where it plans to start drilling in coming months.

     

    Anadarko said it would drill off the west coast of New Zealand's north island near Raglan and in the rough waters not far from the Otago Coast, ne... Read more >

  • Every day is Black Friday for NZ Sharks

    Blogpost by Phil Crawford - September 13, 2013 at 15:12

    As a former press photographer I always used to dread Friday the 13th.  Not because I’m superstitious but because the editor always expected an outstanding Black Friday photo for the front page. My colleagues and I would be sent out to get photos of black cats and people walking under ladders – often with lame results. However, those memories were quickly forgotten on this Friday the 13th as our team of volunteers created a stunning Black Friday photo opportunity right on the Wellington waterfront.

    Black Friday means bad luck and for sharks swimming in New Zealand waters every day is Black Friday. That’s because here it’s still legal to catch and kill a shark, slice off its fins and throw its body back in the ocean. If you follow our blogs you’ll already know that – but most Kiwis don’t.... Read more >

  • REPORT: As climate denial gets stronger, the “dealing in doubt” continues

    Blogpost by Cindy Baxter - September 12, 2013 at 9:57

    Who likes being lied to by people paid by the oil industry who pose as “experts” on climate change?

    Did you know it’s been going on for 25 years?

    In a couple of weeks, the UN’s official advisors on climate change science, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) will update its global assessment on the issue.  Yet in the background, more attacks on the climate science are underway.

    For the last quarter century, the climate science denial machine, its cogs oiled by fossil fuel money, has been attacking climate science, climate scientists and every official US report on climate change, along with State and local efforts – with the aim of undermining action on climate change.

    Our new report, Dealing in Doubt, sets out the history of these attacks going back to the early 90s.  T... Read more >

  • Putting clean and green back into conservation

    Blogpost by Phil Crawford - September 11, 2013 at 14:26

    LicenseAttributionNoncommercialShare Alike Some rights reserved by Earthrace Conservation

    Earlier this week I wrote about the start of New Zealand’s first-ever Shark Awareness Week. I should have also mentioned that it’s Conservation Week. Not that you’d know that when it comes to looking after life in our oceans.

    Last Friday the government announced it was further delaying plans to increase protection measures for Maui’s dolphin, already on the cusp of extinction, and less than 24 hours later announced it was massively scaling back its proposal for a marine reserve in Antarctica’s Ross Sea.

    As Labour’s Conservation and Environment spokesperson Ruth Dyson said after the Ross Sea back-down it doesn’t appear that conservation is a government priority at all. There’s certainly been scant evidence to prove otherwise.

    Let’s start with Maui’s dolphin. Eighteen months ago the governm... Read more >

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