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

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  • To save the climate, we must all push beyond our comfort zones

    Blogpost by Amanda Larsson - March 13, 2017 at 15:43

    I’ve always been mortified of breaking the rules.

    Looking back at my childhood and teens, I’m almost embarrassed by how righteously rule-abiding I’ve been. Never once got a detention in school. Never ever handed an assignment in late. Never got yellow-carded in soccer.

    I come from a family where “don’t stick your neck out” is a guiding philosophy. My whole life, I’ve learned to be a peace-maker; to never upset anyone or make enemies. In my family, putting your name to a petition is risky. Going on a protest march is deeply troubling. Blockading an oil conference? Absolutely out of the question.

    And yet, this is where I find myself. Prepared to join hundreds of people who will peacefully put their bodies on the line to stop oil industry executives from making plans to dig more unburnable ... Read more >

  • Our oceans, our responsibility

    Blogpost by Mike Fincken - March 2, 2017 at 7:55

    For some people the oceans may seem vast - to me they are my garden and my home. For the last three decades I have spent most of my life as a sailor and a captain. So you can imagine I feel a special tie to our blue planet. The many years at sea also mean I have witnessed how things have increasingly gone wrong for our oceans.

    Year by year, more and more fishing boats are out there, and they are getting bigger and bigger as well. There is so much over-fishing going on, so much poor management of fisheries and so much illegal fishing.

    Philippine Purse Seine Fishing OperationDiver Joel Gonzaga of the the Philippine purse seiner 'Vergene' at work using only a single air compressor hose to the surface, in and around a skipjack tuna purse seine net, in the international waters of high seas pocket No1   © Alex Hofford / Greenpeace

    Having sailed with Greenpeace for a long time now, I have been up-close and dirty with industrial fishing boats. I have witnessed bulging nets so large they could not be brought on board but had to be sucked up through a pipe lowered into the sea. I hear in... Read more >

  • Is Nick Smith Minister for Magic?

    Blogpost by Gen Toop - February 27, 2017 at 15:12

    It seems the critical issue of clean swimmable water for New Zealanders has passed into the realms of magical realism.

    Minister for Magic, Nick Smith waved his blue wand and wadeable rivers miraculously turned into ones you can swim in.

    Nick Smith

    All it takes is a little fiddling with the standards.

    This week Smith made a brave promise that 90 per cent of rivers would be swimmable by the year 2040.

    On the surface an applaudable sentiment, a move in the right direction, but anyone who has been following the freshwater debate will see right through it.

    Only a year ago the Environment Minister was saying that aiming for swimmable rivers was "impractical".

    So what changed to make it practical?

    Over the summer there's been a tipping point in public opinion.

    Thanks to efforts by many environmenta... Read more >

  • Don't get freaked by the eco

    Blogpost by Phil Vine - February 25, 2017 at 9:59

    Funny how, over time, crazy weird becomes the new normal. There were certainly some nutty ideas floating around when I was a young fella studying Agricultural Economics at Lincoln University last millennium.

    Outlandish thoughts like growing fruit or running livestock without pesticides and herbicides. Absolutely barmy. Other hair-brained schemes involved running a cowshed on power from the sun. Nah mate, it'll never catch on.

    So when the Feds dairy guy Andrew Hoggard uses the dodgy term "mumbo jumbo" to describe this new idea Ecological Agriculture, it takes me back. Makes me wonder which side of history he'll end up on? Maybe sharing a porch with those those who sneered at organics and solar power.

    We live in fast-evolving times, characterised by massively confronting global problems th... Read more >

  • HSBC promises to cut ties with forest-trashing palm oil companies

    Blogpost by Annisa Rahmawati - February 22, 2017 at 8:08

    There's been a major breakthrough in protecting Indonesia's forests: HSBC has committed to breaking its links to palm oil companies destroying forests and peatlands. This is a fantastic result for everyone who has been campaigning over the last few weeks, although the hard work doesn’t stop there. The real test now is how those words will be put into practice. Read more >

    HSBC’s new policy - released today - says they will no longer provide funding to companies involved in any kind of deforestation or peatland clearance, both of which were missing from previous versions. Another big step forward is insisting that all HSBC's customers must publish their own forest protection policies by the end of June.

    Excavators clear intact peatland forests and build drainage canals in an oil palm concession by PT Andalan Sukses Makmur, a subsidiary of Bumitama Agri Ltd. The concession is next to Tanjung Puting National Park in Central Kalimantan

    Excavators clear intact peatland forests and build drainage canals in an oil palm concession by P...
  • We are going to court!

    Blogpost by Michelle Jonker-Argueta - February 21, 2017 at 8:26

    It's time we hold governments accountable for their climate promises; we must protect the pristine Arctic - it's critical for the preservation of our planet for future generations.

    That’s why we’re taking Arctic oil to court.

    Statoil-Operated Oil Drilling Platform near Tromsø, Norway. 24 Jan 2017 © Matthew Kemp / GreenpeaceStatoil-Operated Oil Drilling Platform near Tromsø, Norway. 24 Jan 2017 

    Our legal case against the Norwegian government, which granted new oil drilling licenses in the Arctic ocean, finally has a court date. On November 13th we are going to court!

    My name is Michelle. As one of the attorneys behind this groundbreaking case I'll be updating you as it moves ahead.

    When I think of future generations, I think of my niece Blythe. At five months, she has every right to a full and healthy life - free from the catastrophic effects of climate change we are already seeing ... Read more >

  • Missing the Target

    Blogpost by Rex Weyler - February 21, 2017 at 8:22

    The urgency to solve our climate crisis feels something like a ship heading off course: The longer you delay, the more you have to turn the wheel.  

    Consider these numbers: 2, 350, 1990. These were the original climate goals. In 1975, at the time of the first Greenpeace whale campaign, environmental economist William Nordhaus proposed that the danger threshold for a temperature increase above Earth’s preindustrial average would be 2°C. This goal was not considered entirely safe, but beyond this target we risked severe climate disruption and likely runaway heating.

    James Hansen from the US, Climate Scientist and professor, outside the Norwegian courthouse in Oslo while an unprecedented legal case is filed against the Norwegian government for allowing oil companies to drill for new oil in the Arctic Barents Sea. The plaintiffs, Nature and Youth and Greenpeace Nordic, argue that Norway thereby violates the Paris Agreement and the people's constitutional right to a healthy and safe environment for future generations. The lawsuit has the support of a wide group of scientists, indigenous leaders, activists and public figures.  © Christian Åslund / Greenpeace
    Dr James Hansen, 2016

    The 350 figure came from several climate scientists, including Dr James Hansen, who co-authored the first NASA global temperature analysis in 1981. Hansen proposed that to remain below the 2°C target, we w... Read more >

  • Our RSVP to PEPANZ

    Blogpost by Russel Norman - February 14, 2017 at 14:43

    This year, for the first time ever, PEPANZ have invited us to the petroleum conference. Every year New Zealand hosts this conference to discuss the oil and gas industry's future.

    But the problem is, oil and gas don't have a future.

    Here's our response:

    .

    And the text is here:

    As Tēnā koe Cameron,

    I’m writing in regard to your invitation to attend the 2017 Petroleum Conference, taking place in Taranaki this March.

    I appreciate that this must be a significant step for PEPANZ, as it is the first time that Greenpeace has been formally asked inside the conference.

    However, we must decline.

    We understand that by inviting Greenpeace, you are hopeful that we may be able to engage in a dialogue about the role that oil and gas should play in our future.

    Our issue with this is fossil fuels l... Read more >

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