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

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  • Taitu and a long history of protest in boats

    Blogpost by Nick Young - April 3, 2017 at 22:41

    Taitu

    After confronting Statoil and Chevron seismic blasting 50 nautical miles off the Wairarapa coast in small inflatable boats, we put out a call to New Zealanders to help us buy a bigger boat. The response was phenomenal. Within seven days we'd crowdfunded nearly $100,000 and bought a bigger boat! As the newest member of the Greenpeace fleet, it's got its rainbow stripes, and a new name chosen by you.

    Taitu as a verb meaning to hinder, impede, deter, and thwart an enemy. As a name for a boat it references the sea (Tai) and Tu means standing, strength, warrior spirit. 

    Soon we plan to head out again, this time in our people-powered boat Taitu, and continue our protest against climate-wrecking oil exploration.

    This is the speech that Kate Simcock gave at the naming ceremony for Taitu before it he...
    Read more >

  • Cut the cows - a double whammy for the environment

    Blogpost by pvine - March 27, 2017 at 13:35

    It’s often said that domestic opinion doesn’t count for much in this country. Watch though, as heads turn and lattes spill when that same opinion comes from across the water. It’s our endearing lack of self confidence and charming inferiority complex at work. Kiwi artists and musicians will struggle for years for domestic recognition but one good review in London or Paris and suddenly they’re a national treasure.

    One wonders whether this peculiar aspect of national character will be in play as the Government digests two international environmental reports which rolled in yesterday. Both of them hot on the fact that New Zealand’s export led economic growth, fueled by an expanding dairy industry is on a collision course with nature.

    Most reasonable people accept that you can’t have unchecked... Read more >

  • Help name our new boat

    Blogpost by Nick Young - March 16, 2017 at 23:48

    Wow - we did it! Together, we’ve bought ‘The People's Boat’. Almost 1,000 people chipped in and together we have bought the boat that’s going to confront the Amazon Warrior - AKA, The Beast.

    Now we need you to give it a name. It’s only fitting that a crowdfunded boat gets a crowdsourced name!

    We need a name that reflects its people-powered spirit, its New Zealand heritage, and its new role as a guardian of our oceans and coastlines. It's a humble 15 metre ex-pilot boat with 7 berths and gets along at a fair rate of knots. It's not flashy, but it's seaworthy and safe.

    Click here to suggest a name. Once everyone has submitted their suggestions, we’ll pick out a shortlist, and then ask you to vote on the final choice.

    We’re preparing a crew, and soon we’ll be cleaning the bilges, stockin... Read more >

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

    Blogpost by Amanda Larsson - March 13, 2017 at 16:43

    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 8:55

    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 16:12

    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 10:59

    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 9:08

    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...

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