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

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  • As California's gas leak rages on, a state of emergency is declared

    Blogpost by Jesse Coleman - January 11, 2016 at 11:48

    Warnings of gas pipelines pepper the Santa Susana Mountain range miles Southern California Gas Company's fenced-off Aliso Canyon facility. 14 Dec, 2015 © Scott Liebenson

    In a sunny suburb of Los Angeles, California, an invisible menace rages.

    A massive natural gas leak is venting 50 tons of natural gas per hour into the atmosphere, making it the largest gas leak ever recorded.

    First detected on 23 October, the leak emanates from a gas storage well owned by Southern California Gas (a subsidiary of Sempra Energy) in Aliso Canyon, located in the San Fernando Valley region of Southern California. The company claims the leak will be plugged in late February at the earliest.

    While the leak itself cannot be seen (natural gas is invisible to the naked eye), the effects can; bleeding gums and noses, headaches and empty schools.

    Special equipment makes the extent of the gas leak visible. Photo Credit: EDF

    The disaster has forced thousands of residents of the Porter Ranch neighborhood in Los Angeles away from their homes and forced Ca... Read more >

  • New Year's plastic resolution: 5 simple ways to help the ocean.

    Blogpost by Willie Mackenzie - January 11, 2016 at 10:14

    We are turning our oceans into plastic soup. It’s been estimated recently that about EIGHT MILLION TONNES of plastic ends up in the ocean each year.

    Cooks River Clean Up in Sydney 3 Oct, 2015 © Greenpeace / Jane Castle

    Plastic can be amazing. But when it’s reduced to disposable, throwaway items, there’s a big problem – there simply is no ‘away’ to throw it to. And plastic hangs around for a very, very long time. A lot of plastic rubbish finds its way into the ocean. Most of that you will never see, as it’s broken down into tiny particles. But these ‘microplastics’ have been finding their way into ocean food chains for a long time, and now they are starting to turn up in the fish you eat, and in the sea salt you sprinkle on your chips. Bigger bits of plastic meanwhile are eaten by seabirds, fish, turtles and whales, which die with stomachs full of plastic... Read more >

  • Time to tear down the walls

    Blogpost by Anne Jensen - January 11, 2016 at 10:00

    It’s early morning, cloudy with a light breeze and we are on standby as a rescue team for any approaching refugee boats that might get into trouble. And then … we get the call! A boat has been spotted in a position east of ours. Survival suit on, boats started and we’re underway.

    MSF and Greenpeace conduct life saving operations in the Aegean Sea  Photo credit: MSF / Greenpeace Anne Jensen operates a RHIB off the coast of Lesbos in December 2015 as part of joint operations between MSF and Greenpeace to provide rescue activities to refugee boats in distress. MSF and Greenpeace have carried out multiple rescues since the start of operations in November.

    As soon as we approach the small, overfilled and poor-quality rubber dinghy (which we later found was carrying 52 Syrians), we could see immediately it was going to sink. We had to act and a brief moment of chaos ensued as we came alongs...

    Read more >
  • Peace and #safepassage for refugees in 2016

    Blogpost by Aaron Gray-Block - January 1, 2016 at 12:52

    A short distance outside the village of Molyvos on the Greek Island of Lesbos there is a rubbish dump of life jackets, discarded now but forever witness to the hope and suffering of those who fled war, poverty and oppression this year.

    Peace sign made from discarded refugee lifejackets, Lesvos 1 Jan, 2016 © Romain Toublant / MSF / Greenpeace

    Almost 500,000 people crossed the Aegean Sea to Lesbos, many of them Syrians, Iraqis and Afghans. The dump site stands as a statue, a silent reminder of the risks and that so many more still hold out hope of a safe crossing.

    It also includes the life jackets of those who never made it, of those who lost their lives at sea and can never return home or continue their journey north.

    In November, 97 people died in the eastern Mediterranean and 187 lost their lives in December. They are the victims, casualties of their desperation and the ongoing failure of E... Read more >

  • After Tianjin blasts, families struggle to piece their lives back together

    Blogpost by Qian Cheng - December 31, 2015 at 17:13

    Just before midnight on August 12 2015, two chemical blasts ripped through Tianjin, a major port city in northeastern China, about two hours away from the capital Beijing. So powerful were the explosions they could be seen from space, and terrifying footage of the accident was circulated around the world. 203 people lost their lives that night and thousands more were left homeless, injured, shocked and afraid.

    Since the Tianjin accident, workers have been laying out fresh turf next to the centre of the blast site. There are plans to build a 43 hectare harbour eco-park, as well as a primary school, kindergarten and other public amenities.Since the Tianjin accident, workers have been laying out fresh turf next to the centre of the blast site. There are plans to build a 43 hectare harbour eco-park, as well as a primary school, kindergarten and other public amenities.

    Triggered by a concoction of flammable chemicals that ignited at a warehouse run by Ruihai Logistics Warehouse, the impact was equivalent to detonating... Read more >

  • 11 moments that broke the internet in 2015

    Blogpost by Stefanus Wongsodiredjo - December 31, 2015 at 16:23

    As 2015 draws to a close, we reflect back on some of the people powered moments that pulled our heart strings, filled us with passion or simply inspired us.

    Here are a few of them, from Greenpeace and beyond...

    1. Imagine if we all did this just a few times a year

    Tommy Klein cleaned up a heavily polluted waterfront on his way to work in a week of half hours. He filled up one garbage bag at a time until the work was done.

    1 person did this in a week of half hours. Imagine if we all did this just a few times a year.

    Posted by Greenpeace International on Tuesday, 21 April 2015

    2. Can you help make your country next?

    It caused a mini meltdown in England when it was introduced spawning countless hilarious tweets. But many countries and cities, including Hawaii, Rwanda, a... Read more >

  • Thank you for letting me be a part of your journey

    Blogpost by Kumi Naidoo - December 22, 2015 at 13:36

    © Andreas Schoelzel / Greenpeace

    Dear Friends, 

    As I look out my window here in Amsterdam, winter is nearly here, and with it comes the retreat of another year, and the passing of what has been to make way for the spring and the new. As the days get shorter and the weather colder, I'm thinking ahead to days of renewal and new beginnings.

    As many of you know, I'm soon moving on from my post as Executive Director of Greenpeace International. I don't think of it as leaving Greenpeace, however. I think of it as exchanging my lofty title for a far more powerful one: that of a Greenpeace Volunteer. It's been an amazing journey with all of you, and I've loved every minute of challenge, every day of struggle, every week of progress, every month of triumph, every year we've been building a better world together.

    It's hugely gr... Read more >

  • 9 ways to have a greener Christmas

    Blogpost by Kamal Sunker - December 15, 2015 at 12:22

    With Christmas just around the corner - we, as consumers have all the power to minimize our environmental impact this festive season!

    1. Buy Less

    Many gifts are gestures of thoughtfulness, there are ways to give more by spending less. There is no better way to show somebody you care, other than taking the time and effort to make them their own personal gift. Whilst some gifts cannot be made at home (such as a toaster for example), if you do have to buy your loved one a gift, try:

    2. Buying Greener

    Make sure electronics have a good consumption rating, you can find this out by looking at the energy star label, and here is the Greenpeace guide to greener electronics which evaluates leading consumer electronics companies based on their commitment and progress in three environmental criter... Read more >

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