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

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  • From Russia with love - letters from the Arctic 30

    Blogpost by efreeman - November 4, 2013 at 9:26

    We've received a number of letters now from the Arctic 30. We'd like to share a few highlights from a sample of them. They reveal what life is like for them in Murmansk, and how important your support is to them.

    Frank HewetsonBritish detainee Frank Hewetson is managing to keep his sense of humour despite the situation. In a letter to the Independent on Sunday he says he's unsure about the "hostel" he is staying in. He writes:

    "At about 07:00 “house cleaning” pop in, all dressed surprisingly in the same combat blue fatigues. It seems as if all the broom heads have fallen off their rather stout broom handles and I may be mistaken but the room seems rather messier than when they arrived. I might try to write a letter to the management and leave it in the “comments” box attached to the 5” plate steel part... Read more >

  • Gazprom vs. Greenpeace Arctic 30

    Blogpost by Rex Weyler - November 1, 2013 at 10:07

    Russia's overreaction to the Greenpeace Arctic protest — and their ludicrous waffling on the actual charges — will not work out well for Russia. Their extraordinary response will more likely help the global climate movement meet its goals.

    Public dissent against abusive authority appears as old as any remembered human history. The Sumerian story of King Gilgamesh begins with public complaints that the king exploited young men for war and young women for his lust, failing in his role as the "people's shepherd." In Antiquities, Jewish historian Josephus recounts peasant protests against Roman abuse, governor Pilate sending assassins and how this overreaction incited men, women and children to offer their lives en masse by laying prostrate in the city square.

    In our era, Gandhi liberated Ind... Read more >

  • Seabirds and Oil Spills

    Blogpost by Rachael Shaw - November 1, 2013 at 9:00

    Albatross at sea

      Read more >

    Across the centuries and across cultures, the albatross has captured human imagination. They are just one of the iconic seabirds found in the rich waters surrounding New Zealand. Together with petrels, prions, penguins, shearwaters, shags and gannets, albatrosses make up the 140 or so species which frequent the ocean covered by New Zealand’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).

    It is no exaggeration to say that the New Zealand archipelago is a global centre of seabird diversity. However, plans to drill in some of the deepest waters of our EEZ mean that this crucial seabird habitat is potentially under threat.

    Last week, we released a spill model showing the possible impacts that a deep sea oil spill could have in New Zealand’s EEZ. Forest & Bird have also released their own fact file which...

  • Government too cosy for the truth on oil risk

    Blogpost by Steve Abel - October 31, 2013 at 12:05


    I never thought we’d be quoting the “drill baby drill” former US Republican Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin on the risks of being too trusting of foreign oil companies but there you go. Read more >

    Since the release last week of our spill modelling which reveals for the first time the extent of the risk of deep-sea drilling to our economy and oceans, industry and government have been inseparable in lambasting the scenarios as “scaremongering” and “science fiction”.  Of itself, that industry/Govt cosiness is a big concern - it leads to the same diminished regulatory oversight that was a key factor in both the Gulf of Mexico oil spill and our own mining tragedy at Pike River.  The willingness of our government to hide the actual risks of deep sea drilling has seen mud slung at the s...

  • Dear Alex

    Blogpost by Amrekha Sharma - October 30, 2013 at 11:37

    Alexandra Harris, activist aboard the Arctic Sunrise and member of the Arctic 30, has been in a cell in Murmansk for more than a month on charges first of piracy, and now of "hooliganism" in response to their non-violent protest against Arctic oil drilling. In an emotive letter to her parents quoted in The Guardian she wrote that "Being in prison is like slowly dying. You literally wish your life away and mark off the days." The following is a letter from her friend and colleague, Amrekha Sharma. 

    Dear Alex,

    I'd emailed you about three weeks ago to see if you wanted to catch up at the Opera Bar when I got back to Sydney, and thought it was really unlike you not to reply right away. Two days later, the news came that you were aboard the Arctic Sunrise, and it was seized by the Russian Co... Read more >

  • Deep-sea drilling does not add up to a win

    Blogpost by Simon Boxer - October 30, 2013 at 10:30

    Oil companies and the Government need to be more open about the potential effects of an oil spill, writes Greenpeace's Simon Boxer.

    There is no substitute for facts and figures," thundered the Dominion Post leader on deep-sea drilling (Riches, or ruin? Reassurance is vital, Oct 25).

    I could not agree more. But unfortunately, the debate about deep-sea oil drilling in our waters has been far, far too absent of facts and figures.

    The reason? The oil industry and the Government have been keeping information hidden. They have compiled information about the potential impact an oil spill may have.

    They will have modelled spills, and projected how long it would take to stop such a disaster happening.

    This is all hugely important. And, if we are to have a frank and open discussion, it's vital f... Read more >

  • Oil on the Sea of our Souls: The Delusion of Deep-Sea Drilling.

    Blogpost by Dan Kelly - October 26, 2013 at 11:00

    “There is nothing more frightful than ignorance in action” – Goethe

    The charge of ignorance is not one I would level lightly. Ours is a complex world and people act for a variety of reasons; it is at the core of a liberal perspective to respect these – but even liberal tolerance has its limits. These aren’t arbitrary limits or the decree of some paternalistic dictator – but the very real limits of biological systems, set by Mother Nature herself. It doesn’t matter what the supposed economic benefit are: the ongoing pursuit of deep-sea oil by Messrs Key and co. flies in the face of all available evidence. This isn’t open to interpretation or only the domain of a small subset of society, but a key – the key - issue of our day. Climate change is no longer a problem that we can leave to “futur... Read more >

  • Mischa Davis: New Zealand Surfing Champion, Law Student, Piha Local

    (Photo: Jereme Aubertin)

    My name is Mischa Davis. I am the 2013 New Zealand Women’s National Surfing Champion, a title I won in my home of Piha this past summer. I was very lucky to be born into a surfing family and to grow up on Piha beach. I have spent my whole life in the ocean and now I can’t imagine my life without it. It’s my escape from my busy mind and hectic schedule at law school. We can all relate to that feeling of being in awe of nature when we visit places like Piha. For me, having Piha as my playground has taught me independence, given me purpose, and very importantly taught me to respect nature. I can't imagine a life not wanting to protect it.

    However our precious coastlines are now facing a very serious threat. New Zealand is witnessing the largest oil exploration prog... Read more >

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