Shell, it’s never too late to turn around

by Cassady Sharp

August 31, 2012

A team of 6 Greenpeace activists including Executive Director of Greenpeace International, Kumi Naidoo, board energy giant Gazproms Arctic oil platform Prirazlomnaya off the North-eastern coast of Russia in the Pechora Sea. The activists have supplies that will last for several days. Gazprom looks set to begin full commercial drilling operations by early next year, becoming the first ever company to start commercial oil production in the offshore Arctic.

© Denis Sinyakov / Greenpeace

[caption id="attachment_9836" align="alignnone" width="600" caption="Greenpeace activists take action to protect the Arctic"][/caption] You're walking home through air so hot and thick that your steps seem twice as hard and your breaths half as deep. You can't wait to step through your front door and meet the chilly relief from your churning air conditioner. However, when you step through the front door, you're met with stale, hot air instead. Just when the summer reaches its hottest days, your air conditioner went and quit on you. Imagine the impact of the global air conditioner quitting on all of us. Except, in this case it has the help of oil companies like Shell and Gazprom, a Russian company, to accelerate the process of its failure. The Arctic serves as our giant climate regulator since the sea ice there reflects sunlight, and we're already seeing signs of its sputtering numbered days. The sea ice level has hit its lowest level ever this year, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center. When there is less sea ice present to reflect sunlight, the ocean thenabsorbs that light resulting in a warmer Earth. While this is sorrow news for most of us, it's good news for big oil companies, like Shell and Gazprom, as less sea ice clears a path for them to drill in this pristine and fragile environment. In fact, the U.S. Interior Department just announced that Shell has the green light to begin preliminary drilling. We're not giving up the fight to save the Arctic. We put serious pressure on Shell by communicating the hazards of drilling in the Arctic.Last week, Greenpeace activists took a more literal approach by interrupting work on Gazprom's Russian offshore oil platform. This is a desperate race for the last remaining oil in a critical region of the planet which actually only equates to a few years of consumption. It's not too late to turn around and invest in a greener future. Help us save our big air conditioner.

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