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

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  • Responding to refugee boats in distress

    Blogpost by Aaron Gray-Block - December 4, 2015 at 8:22

    It's a crisis that can be told in numbers: around 890,000 refugees and migrants arrived to Europe by sea this year, while more than 3,500 have died and it's not over yet.

    Fleeing war, human rights abuses and persecution, refugees from Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq continue to risk their lives in a desperate attempt to reach the safety of Europe.

    Standing alert at the Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors without Borders (MSF)-Greenpeace radio room on the Greek island of Lesbos, I watch with my heart in my mouth as these tiny boats emerge as small specks of orange life jackets in a sea of blue.

    MSF and Greenpeace conduct joint sea operations to provide assistance at sea to boats in distress off the coast of Lesbos island in Greece, in coordination with and in support of the Greek Coast Guard. © Greenpeace

    Across the deceptively narrow 10km of water between Turkey and Lesbos these flimsy boats keep coming. Greece is so tantalising close, but overcrowding, sea currents, winds, bad weather and cold waters m... Read more >

  • Meet the Indonesians taking climate action into their own hands

    Blogpost by Yuyun Indradi - December 3, 2015 at 9:28

    Just over a year ago, President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo of Indonesia - one of the biggest emitters along with the US, China and India - visited a local community affected by the forest fires and vowed to tackle the devastating crisis. But with parts of the country being blanketed in toxic smoke over the past few months, local communities, volunteers and activists can't damn stand it anymore! So they're taking action into their own hands.

    Local villagers, NGO activists and volunteers build a community dam to block a canal that is draining peatlands for plantations in Paduran Village, Central Kalimantan province, Indonesia. The province has been the epicentre of Indonesia's 2015 forest fires disaster.Local villagers, NGO activists and volunteers build a community dam to block a canal that is draining peatlands for plantations in Paduran Village, Central Kalimantan province, Indonesia. The province has been the epicentre of Indonesia's 2015 forest fires disaster.

    Earlier this year Muhammad "Benny" Prasetiya, a student of film and television at the Jakar... Read more >

  • Our good old PM has gone and done it again: Put New Zealand in the headlines for all the wrong reasons.

    The speech he delivered at the launch of the Paris climate change conference yesterday was so outrageous it secured New Zealand the very first ‘Fossil of the Day Award’, gifted by the international coalition of environmental NGOs, Climate Action Network (CAN).

    News of the award quickly spread to media around the world, no doubt creating many a chuckle at our expense.

    In a nutshell, Key decided it would be a top idea to use his opening speech at the talks to call on countries to take more responsibility and eliminate fossil fuel subsidies.

    Sounds alright… aside from the minor issue that at the same time as Key and his cronies are demanding this of other countries, they are actually i... Read more >

  • Shell's not so beautiful relationship

    Blogpost by Jess Miller - December 2, 2015 at 11:00

    By now, not much that oil companies say or do to profit off outdated fuel sources surprises me. But even if they aren’t surprising, it is still entertaining to watch just how wrong they can get it.  

    Around the world, renewables are pushing fossil fuels out of the mix faster than most thought possible. And while our projections for an Energy Revolution were pretty close, we had no way of knowing how companies like Shell would react once they got nervous. One thing is for sure, in this case it is tragically funny. Have a look at Shell’s recent attempt at winning us over, called La Belle Relation (The Beautiful Relation).

    Shell’s Youtube description reads: "Renewable energy needs the perfect partner. See why the reliable and predictable natural gas can be one half of that beautiful rela... Read more >

  • Fossil fuels are the new cigarettes

    Blogpost by Russel Norman - November 30, 2015 at 13:13

    As a former pack-a-day smoker, Greenpeace NZ executive director Russel Norman says fossil fuels are like cigarettes: addictive and dangerous.


    Deliberately, knowingly, destroying the stable climate on which our civilisation depends, is insane.

    In the early 1990s I needed a job and found myself working for a year and a half on the assembly line at Mitsubishi in Adelaide. I put on the right front door lock for a few months, then moved to the left front headlight. Smoked a packet a day at my workstation. If you own a Mitsi Magna from that period there is a good chance that I had a part in putting it together. If it doesn't work it could be my fault!

    It was a pretty boring job. You'd spend months doing precisely the same set of movements, every three minutes, all day long, over and over aga... Read more >

  • In 3 steps, here is what Paris can do - and what we need to do afterwards

    Blogpost by Simon Boxer - November 30, 2015 at 9:34

    The last few weeks have seen the best and the worst in terms of climate change.

    Victories which pundits told us for years were “impossible” have been coming at a breathtaking pace. Coal demand is in terminal decline worldwide, after a dramatic - if not complete - change of course in China. Oil is also in trouble, with Shell and Statoil retreating from the Alaskan Arctic, President Obama rejecting the Keystone XL pipeline and Alberta putting a cap on tar sands oil. Meanwhile, more and more key players are signing up for a 100% renewable future - from cities to companies. Many communities hit by extreme weather are rebuilding sustainably and hundreds of thousands worldwide are building people power to push forward with climate action now - and in the future.

    At the same time the news is g... Read more >

  • Why these people are marching for climate change and why you should too.

    Blogpost by Kamal Sunker - November 27, 2015 at 12:13

    Those without a voice aren’t just animals, but also the millions to billions of people worldwide who are affected by rising sea levels and extreme weather events brought about from climate change.

    Low-income countries will remain on the frontline of human-induced climate change over the next century, experiencing gradual sea-level rises, stronger cyclones, warmer days and nights, more unpredictable rains, and larger and longer heatwaves.

    “A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in.” - Greek Proverb

    With rapid climate change, one-fourth of Earth’s species could be headed for extinction by 2050.

    If we don't act now, climate change will rapidly alter the lands and waters we all depend upon for survival, leaving our children and grandc... Read more >

  • 4 of ExxonMobil’s greatest climate denial hits

    Blogpost by Naomi Ages - November 27, 2015 at 9:40

    Exxon has known about the dangerous reality of climate change for decades.

    In the last few months, exposé after exposé has uncovered how Exxon knew about the dangerous reality of climate change before the media, politicians and just about everyone else. But instead of doing the right thing, or even just sitting on its evidence, Exxon did something much more insidious. It tried to hide the truth from all of us. 

    As we approach COP21, a global meeting to address the climate crisis, let’s take a look back on four examples of how far Exxon has gone to stop climate action:

    1. That time Exxon learned in 1982 that climate change would lead to environmental catastrophe

    As early as 1977, Exxon’s own scientists were researching human-caused global warming. Exxon dedicated a substantial research budget to studying carbon emissions, developed sophisticated models and...

    Read more >

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