Greenpeace marching band and cheerleader activists help call attention to the threat the Arctic faces from climate change and off-shore drilling during a visit to the State Department in Washington May 3, 2013. The activists are calling on Secretary of State Kerry to step up and protect the Arctic. Photo by Greenpeace
[caption id="attachment_17720" align="alignnone" width="600"] Greenpeace marching band and cheerleader activists help call attention to the threat the Arctic faces from climate change and off-shore drilling during a visit to the State Department[/caption]
Today is Foreign Affairs Day, a holiday for the US Department of State, where Greenpeace will be among world diplomats communicating with Secretary Kerry. Our message: the United States loves the Arctic! We delivered a photo album to Secretary Kerry with photos from around the country of people showing their love for the Arctic. And we delivered that message in a very unique way: with a marching band and Arctic cheerleaders!
Call the State Department now and ask Secretary Kerry to be an Arctic champ!
An increasing amount of attention is focused on protecting the Arctic Ocean. The White House is apparently holding emergencymeetings to discuss the urgency of the melting Arctic, and hopefully improve the policies set by President George W. Bush. For the most part, Arctic policy has focused on national security and scientific research. But, as we are all too aware now, much of the attention on the Arctic now is due to serious ecosystem impacts from global warming. It doesn't help that big oil companies like Shell and ConocoPhillips want to go drill where their carbon pollution is making more accessible due to melting polar ice.
Lucky for the planet, Secretary Kerry has a long record indicating he cares about the Arctic. His effort to promote climate policy is well known. He even introduced a bill making it illegal to drill for oil in polar bear habitat until the bear is listed as an endangered species (the polar bill is still unlisted). Now, Kerry is in charge of developing and implementing much of the policies we need.
On May 15th, Secretary Kerry goes to northern Sweden to meet with countries who are part of the Arctic Council. Kerry can use the opportunity to take positive steps toward international protection. More than 40,000 Americans have already signed onto a petition asking Secretary Kerry to be an Arctic champ.
Add your voice to the chorus of Arctic protection, and we're one step closer to saving the Arctic for good!
Kyle Ash formerly served as Greenpeace's Legislative Policy Expert, responsible for domestic and international climate change policy analysis and campaign strategy. He has been quoted in Politico, Greenwire, the New York Times, and CNN, and was one of the most frequently quoted sources during the Copenhagen Climate Conference.