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

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  • We will win – despite Trump

    Blogpost by Jennifer Morgan - November 21, 2016 at 13:03

    I am hopeful and determined today. The first ever truly global agreement to fight climate change, the Paris Agreement, is having its first ever formal meeting. I have been working towards this moment for decades. This is no normal diplomatic affair. Few expected this first meeting to happen in this year. But here we are. The world has ratified the Paris Agreement at record speed. The cynics who claimed that the world would fail to unite against the threat of climate change were proven wrong. The world is coming together to address the biggest threat we face.

    This gives me hope. Indeed, it is remarkable to what degree these global climate negotiations are now about good news. Over the past many years these negotiations were about raising the alarm. I remember clearly the fire alarm that G...

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  • With or without nukes - war is no game

    Blogpost by Russel Norman - November 16, 2016 at 14:29

    There are at least two undeniable existential threats to human civilisation - climate change and nuclear weapons.

    In the context of the first US military ship visit to NZ waters in 33 years happening right now, I want to reflect on the time in history at which we stand and put a challenge to the New Zealand Government about the role that we, as a proud nuclear-free nation, should be taking in the world.

    The USS Texas is met by the Peace Squadron as it arrives in Waitemata harbour, Auckland on August 2, 1983. The growing anti-nuclear movement in New Zealand was hostile to visits from US ships because the Americans refused to confirm or deny whether their ships carried nuclear weapons. Public opinion was increasingly in favour of banning these visits. Between 1978 and 1983 opposition to nuclear-armed ship visits rose from 32% to 72%. In 1985 the Government effectively banned nuclear ship visits. New Zealand was the first country to declare itself nuclear free when it passed legislation in 1987. Greenpeace / Gil Hanly

    Despite progress made in the past with nuclear disarmament, things are now clearly going backwards. Both the US and Russia are investing in their nuclear arsenals and a number of other countries are doing the same. The election of Trump to the US Presidency gives us all a sense of instability and uncertainty.

    The doomsday clock - which measures humanity’s closeness to self-annihilation -... Read more >

  • Kaikoura Earthquake: How to help or get help

    Blogpost by Nick Young - November 16, 2016 at 7:28

    Wanting to lend a hand, or provide some type of assistance after NZ was shaken just after midnight on Monday? 

    Here are some ways you can help or get help.

    HOTLINES TO CALL

    The organisation All Right? works to support Cantabrians' mental health and wellbeing post quakes. They have free help available at 0800 777 846, or online.

    Federated Farmers is encouraging people in rural areas struck by the earthquake to ring 0800 FARMING so that they can get a clearer idea of who needs help.

    The Mental Health Foundation is also encouraging people who have been traumatised by the quake to get in touch.

    DONATE
    The New Zealand Red Cross has a special fund for victims of the Kaikoura quakes. You can donate here.

    ON THE GROUND IN KAIKOURA 

    In Kaikōura, volunteers are needed. If you able, go to the w... Read more >

  • Smog is India's new Instagram filter

    Blogpost by Sudhanshu Malhotra - November 14, 2016 at 16:18

    India’s capital, Delhi, is right now the most polluted city in the world. According to a WHO report, 12 out of 22 of the world’s most polluted cities are in India. It’s a public health disaster, but it wasn’t always like this.

    Winters in Delhi have always had a special appeal to me. I have grown up in its famous mist, shivering in the cold breeze. Riding on my father's scooter to Shahjahan road for chaat (Indian snacks) would be an adventure the whole family would look forward to in the winters. I don't think it was the chaat we all craved for though, it was always the freezing rides through the Lutyens Delhi - the old colonial part of Delhi.

    Years later, my memories of winters revolved around long heated discussions with friends at the local chai wallah (roadside tea stall). Winter was... Read more >

  • One year later and no justice: Communities affected by dam disaster speak out

    Blogpost by Fabiana Alves - November 10, 2016 at 16:46

    The word JUSTIÇA (justice) appears at the ruins of Bento Rodrigues school in Mariana, Brazil. The message is the school's last lesson and a remembrance of those who perished and those whose lives were affected by the mud that destroyed the Rio Doce basin. 5 Nov, 2016 © Yuri Barichivich / Greenpeace

    This past Saturday – 5 November, 2016 – hundreds of people gathered at the ruins of the Bento Rodrigues school in Mariana, Minas Gerais state, Brazil. They were there out of remembrance, and to call for justice.

    Exactly one year before, two nearby dams holding mining waste collapsed, sending a wall of contaminated mud into the surrounding community. Without any warning, the Bento Rodrigues school, along with the homes and livelihoods of thousands, were utterly destroyed. Twenty-one people were killed.

    Read more >

    That was only the beginning of this environmental catastrophe. 25,000 Olympic pools-worth of toxic mineral waste and mud released by the dams flowed into the nearest waterway – Brazil’s Rio Doce. Over the course of weeks, the contaminated material slowly worked its way to the Atlantic ...

  • I survived the strongest typhoon to ever hit the Philippines. But my family didn’t.

    Blogpost by Joanna Sustento - November 10, 2016 at 16:43

    Imagine this…

    “Super Typhoon Haiyan is moving over the Philippines this weekend bringing with it winds close to 200 miles per hour…” – ABC World News

    An elderly couple walk past rubble left by the damage caused by Typhoon Haiyan in Tacloban City. An elderly couple walk past rubble left by the damage caused by Typhoon Haiyan in Tacloban City. 

    November 7, 2013, just like any other day, I wake up to the music of the Beatles playing on the stereo. My 60-year-old parents are avid fans, especially my mom, Thelma. I go out of my room to the dining table and find my father, Cesar, taking a sip of his morning coffee as he discusses current events with my elder brother, Julius. Being lawyers, their discussion eventually turns into a debate, and the only person who can pacify the situation is my nephew, Tarin who is calmly eating his breakfast - eggs, banana and sweet potato dipped in peanu...

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  • The Paris agreement has catapulted us all into a new reality. Governments have signed it, now they must act on it. And meanwhile, a global movement of people against fossil fuels is moving ahead - and you can be a part of it. We are the generation that ends fossil fuels!

    Here are four ways people just like you are leading the charge towards a safer, greener and more peaceful future.

    1. Typhoon survivors take on world’s biggest polluters

    Around 15,000 Filipinos march in Quezon City demanding climate justice ahead of the 2015 COP. 28/11/2015 © Jed Delano / Greenpeace

    Typhoon survivors, advocates and NGOs (including Greenpeace Southeast Asia) in the Philippines made history last year when they lodged a legal complaint with the country’s Human Rights Commission (CHR). This triggered an investigation into the world’s biggest polluters’ failure to reduce carbon emissions and responsibility for increasing the risk of cli... Read more >

  • I was at eye level at the UN and the world moved

    Blogpost by Naomi Ages - November 6, 2016 at 12:41

    It’s early in the morning on Friday 4 November and I am standing outside the United Nations in New York. A year ago, I was a relative newcomer to Greenpeace, preparing to attend the COP in Paris. The Greenpeace team was mobilising to push governments to adopt an ambitious international climate agreement.

    Naomi Ages at work during the COP21 in Paris. 10/12/2015 © Christophe Calais / Signatures / GreenpeaceNaomi Ages at work during the COP21 in Paris. 10/12/2015 © Christophe Calais / Signatures / Greenpeace

    Fast-forward to 12 December 2015, when the team gathered in the media centre to watch country after country commit itself to the Paris Agreement, a remarkable step forward in international cooperation to tackle climate change. It was a moment of great hope and a moment where we knew we’d have to recommit ourselves to make sure action followed.

    Which brings me back to Friday morning. UN ... Read more >

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