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

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  • Can deforestation affect global weather patterns?

    Blogpost by Dr Janet Cotter - December 18, 2013 at 9:37

    Forests, like other ecosystems, provide ‘ecosystem services’. These are services people need (such as pollination and flood control) and use, but often don’t realise we depend on. They provide us with essential services like the uptake and storage of carbon - reducing human’s impact on the climate. Now, new science is emerging on another ecosystem service provided by forests: Their influence on global weather patterns.

    Forests are a vital part of the water cycle as they transfer water from the ground into the atmosphere (evapotranspiration), which eventually falls back to earth as rain. It’s been known for some time that deforestation weakens this cycle locally. However, it now appears that the influence of forests over rainfall and weather patterns is not just local, but extends to whol... Read more >

  • Action on climate change would wipe billions off oil company balance sheets and they are determined to silence their critics.

    Twenty-six of the Arctic 30 in St Petersburg, 3 December 2013. 'Peaceful protests on oil rigs in the freezing Arctic Ocean are the only rational response to years of deliberate inaction.' Photograph: Dmitri Sharomov/Greenpeace

    I've heard it said by Greenpeace old hands that when they first arrived in the Russian Arctic back in the 1980s, Russian fishermen would shower them with gifts. They found it acutely embarrassing. When I went to the Arctic Ocean last year to take action against Gazprom's Prirazlomnaya drilling rig, I got a decidedly less friendly reaction, but there were no arrests and certainly no talk of years in prison.

    My protest was hardly the stuff o... Read more >

  • High Noon at the High Court

    Blogpost by Nathan Argent - December 11, 2013 at 12:17

    On Monday, we had our court case heard at the High Court in Wellington. Our beef: that the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) – the agency set up by government to safeguard our oceans – had given Anadarko the green light to start drilling without looking at eight key documents. These documents included a report detailing the environmental effects on our coastlines in the event of an oil spill and how Anadarko would deal with this.

    The lawyers for the EPA admitted that they hadn’t looked at them before marking their application to drill as ‘complete’, because they argued that they didn’t need to.

    Astonishingly, lawyers for Anadarko told the court that they had offered to leave these key documents with the EPA to look at, but were told that it wouldn’t be necessary. The EPA just went ... Read more >

  • Knowing where we stand

    Blogpost by Steve Abel - December 10, 2013 at 10:55

    Tributes to Nelson Mandela mingled with recollections of Eva Ricard (mother of our host Angeline Greensill) - the late great matriarch of Whaingaroa - and her succesful struggle to have land returned to the iwi, mingled with the latest outrage at, and struggle against the seabed mining and deep sea drilling being forced on the peoples of the Raglan coast.