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

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  • The 'get lost zone' - a novel concept in international law

    Blogpost by Daniel Simons - May 31, 2014 at 8:24

    The bridge of the Esperanza, with the Transocean Spitsbergen oil rig in the back Read more >

    Desperate times call for desperate measures. That seems to be the thinking of Norway's petroleum ministry, which yesterday issued a highly irregular order in an attempt to bring an end to the Esperanza's peaceful protest in the Barents Sea.

    For several days now,our ship has been outfoxing the rig Transocean Spitsbergen, the rig hired by Statoil to drill the northernmost well in the world.

    On Tuesday, our activists boarded the rig to protest Arctic oil drilling. This happened while it was still in transit, which means that legally it was classed as a ship. Only its 'flag state' - the Marshall Islands - had the right to remove them.

    The Norwegian government came to Statoil's rescue by getting permission from the Marshall Islands to send its troops onto the rig and end the peaceful ...

  • Is this the most dangerous club in the world?

    Blogpost by Ben Ayliffe - May 28, 2014 at 8:48

    The most dangerous club in the world?

    As the thunder broiled and lightning split the sodden night sky, a team of activists from Greenpeace Netherlands scaled the giant drilling rig GSP Saturn in the port of IJmuiden to stop it leaving for the Russian Arctic. The rig has been hired by Gazprom to drill a well at the Dolginskoye field in the Pechora Sea.

    A few hours later, 15 volunteers left the Greenpeace ship Esperanza and climbed on-board the Transocean Spitsbergen in the northern reaches of the Barents Sea. This huge rig has been chartered by Norway's state-owned company Statoil to look for oil in these frigid waters this summer.

    International oil companies like Shell, Gazprom and Statoil are part of a new club of Arctic destroyers. Their websites and company logos might look different, but they have much more in common th... Read more >

  • National Party members forced to look climate change in the face

    Blogpost by Gen Toop - May 26, 2014 at 15:50

    At the National Party conference over the weekend, the Hamilton West National Party MP Tim Macindoe had a flippant response to the question of climate change.

     

    But for the farming families of the Central North Island severe droughts, wildfires, flooding, salt-water intrusion and increasing invasive weeds and pests are serious issues.

    Over the last six years the National government has done little to combat climate change. At its Central North Island Regional Conference climate change was, once again, left off the agenda. This, despite the fact that last summer residents of the central North Island experienced one of the most extreme droughts in NZ on record and that within the next 75 years the time spent in drought for the Waikato region is expected to more than double.

    To g... Read more >

  • Turtle Recall (World Turtle Day)

    Blogpost by Willie Mackenzie - May 23, 2014 at 8:08

    Leatherback Turtle in West Papua

    Every day is Turtle Day when you're an ocean campaigner…

    When I heard it was World Turtle Day, I hatched a plan. I know that to an international audience 'turtle' covers a multitude of reptile species, but rather than getting all Queens' English-y over what is a tortoise, a terrapin or a turtle, I thought this was a good opportunity to focus in on the seven amazing species that roam our oceans – the sea turtles.

    And there are three good reasons: they are awesome; no one will dispute calling them 'turtles'; and six out of seven species are endangered, thanks to us – so they need some love.

    So here is everything you needed to know about sea turtles, in a handy, shareable blog.

    Sea turtles are ocean wanderers. Females return to the beach they were born on to lay their eggs, but males hav... Read more >

  • Celebrating island (wild) life

    Blogpost by Willie Mackenzie - May 23, 2014 at 6:39

    Today is the International Day for Biological Diversity. That’s a bit of a mouthful, but put simply it’s a day officially set aside to celebrate the world’s wealth of wildlife. For 2014 the theme is Island Biodiversity.

    Isolated islands can be essential sanctuaries amidst the ocean for some of the world’s most loved animals, but they can often also be home to weird and wacky critters that have evolved in different ways to the more joined up mainland. So, to help celebrate, I’ve pulled together a list of some of the world’s most special islands, and the wildlife that lives there (or used to).  

    The AzoresAzores:  In the middle of the Atlantic, this group of islands provides homes for the planet’s biggest animals. Many species of whales come here to feed in the food-rich waters, powered by swirling... Read more >

  • Spending a day with Shell

    Blogpost by Phil Ball - May 21, 2014 at 14:11
    Phil Ball, member of the Arctic30 confronting board and CEO of Shell at the  annual general meeting. May 20 2014, the Hague, Netherlands.

    Spending a day with Shell. At the Annual General Meeting of the oil major that is.

    Shell has spent 5 billion dollar in the Arctic. 'What do you have to show for it? I asked them. Zero energy. Zero profit. A humiliating series of failures which the new CEO, Ben van Beurden called 'shortcomings in our logistics'. Subtle way of putting it, if you recall a juicy quote of a US Coast Guard official recently, who described Shell's irresponsible Arctic adventures in Alaska as 'a guarantee for ass kicking'.

    So in order to help Shell into the right direction, I asked 'has the board set a date by which they will have spent enough money for NO return?'

    At the Shell AGM

    The response was...
    Read more >
  • Antarctica’s Glaciers are Collapsing - Are We Ready To Pay Attention?

    Blogpost by Dave Walsh - May 19, 2014 at 14:23

    Read more >

    The “irreversible collapse” of glaciers in Antarctica is dominating headlines around the world this week. News outlets are breathlessly reporting that the dramatic rise in sea levels that’s now on the cards. So what does it mean? Should we panic? Do we need to grab the family, and head for the hills?

    Well, no, we shouldn’t panic. Not yet. If we’re going to freak out, we should perhaps be more constructive - and get real about our carbon emissions,  energy efficiency, adaption and supporting the people who needs the most help. Let’s be clear - it’s not as if a giant ice cube has been dropped into the Southern Ocean, generating a monster tsunami. We don’t need to start filling a large wooden boat with two of every living creature and one Russell Crowe, either.

    On a human scale, the proces...

  • If you go down to the concrete jungle today, you’re sure to get a surprise. If you’re in town to cut some deals, you’ll never believe your eyes.

    For there’s a bear who shouldn’t be there. Because she’s losing her home in the Arctic.