Greenpeace confronts reckless oil exploration

Feature story - August 12, 2010
Greenpeace is sending two ships to the frontiers of the world's oil problem. The mission of the Esperanza is clear: to confront the kind of reckless oil exploration that keeps wrecking our environment. In the Gulf of Mexico the Arctic Sunrise will examine the drastic long-term impacts of what happens when it’s all going wrong.

Baby pelicans

Baby pelicans covered in oil from the BP oil spill at a rescue centre. © Daniel Beltrá / Greenpeace

Accidents like the sinking of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig, which caused the biggest oil spill in US history, are bound to happen again. That is unless we leave dirty fossil fuels behind and instead start using the affordable, efficient and renewable energy technologies that are available today. That’s why the Esperanza is taking the message "go beyond oil" right to the source of the problem.

Oil giant BP might have finally managed to close its leaking well, but the crisis in the Gulf of Mexico is far from over. In fact, many of the spill’s impacts – for endangered wildlife, the region’s ecosystems and its fisheries – will only become clear with time. The Arctic Sunrise will host a team of independent scientists, who will examine everything from the plankton on the surface to the subsurface plumes and the deep-sea corals on the floor of the Gulf.

It was in BP’s best interest to limit media access to oiled wildlife as the oil was still spilling from the well; it’s in their best interest now to see the world’s attention move on quickly. We’re not prepared to see that happen. The team aboard the Arctic Sunrise will tell the full, unabridged truth about the extent of this oil catastrophe – and its impact on the ocean, which could last for decades.

The Arctic Sunrise in Saint-Petersburg, Florida, prior to departure. © Greenpeace / Robert Meyers

Meanwhile, Greenpeace supporters will be able to board a ship themselves – and for this one, seasickness isn’t an issue. Our virtual vessel the good ship Energy [R]evolution will soon need a team of passionate virtual crew members to campaign for clean energy solutions. Do you have what it takes? Sign up today to be the first to know how you can help steer the world away from oil to an Energy [R]evolution.

The Esperanza in the UK before departure on the "Go Beyond Oil" tour.

With both ships underway to do their vital work, supporters can already sign up to be part of the 10/10/10 global day of action. We're teaming up with 350.org, 10:10, and a global coalition of folks for this. Help us make October 10th the biggest single day of action against climate change that the world has ever seen.