This blog entry was originally written by Teresa on April 26th, but due to our website migration appears to be from a different date and author.

24/04/2010 Greenpeace protest outside BASIC meeting in Cape Town

The BASIC countries (Brazil, South Africa, India and China) met in South Africa on Sunday to discuss how to speed up a process of finalising a global agreement that would require rich nations to cut carbon emissions and reduce global warming by 2010. Greenpeace Africa political advisor Themba Linden said in a statement: "Greenpeace urges the governments gathered in Cape Town to take the opportunity to make a clear and unanimous call for a fair, ambitious and legally binding deal to avert catastrophic climate change." The story appeared in France 24, after being picked up by the news wire AFP.

Greenpeace volunteers were present displaying banners reading “climate change needs BASIC leadership” on a boat directly opposite the 12 Apostles Hotel in Camps Bay where the conference took place.

Greenpeace is highlighting the urgent need for the BASIC group of countries, four of the most influential emerging economies in the world, to take climate leadership in the run up to the next UN Climate Summit in Cancun, Mexico, at the end of the year.

The Koch-ing around is far from over

Remember that Koch Industries report Greenpeace released a couple of weeks ago, “Koch Industries: Secretly Funding the Climate Denial Machine”, exposing the funding of climate denial by the fossil fuel industry? Well, it has surfaced in the news once again.

Reuters carried the story today under the headline " Murderer, liar, fraud, traitor" about Koch Industries and other climate change deniers, such as ExxonMobil. They oppose climate change science because of concerns about the multi-billion dollar costs associated with carbon trading schemes and clean energy policies. In an attempt to greenwash themselves Koch Industries says on their website that all they are trying to do is to "encourage an intellectually honest debate on the scientific basis for claims of harm from greenhouse gases". If that is the case, why are the companies US $50 million being quietly funneled to front groups which deny climate change?

Chernobyl is not a thing of the past

AFP reported today, Greenpeace was in action in France raising awareness of the dangers of nuclear power, for the 24 year anniversary of the explosion of a reactor in Chernobyl (Ukraine) in 1986. Greenpeace activists, wearing masks (pictured) installed a tower symbolizing a chimney of a nuclear power station. The article includes a photo of a Greenpeace activist during a demonstration this Saturday in Nice.

Opponents of nuclear power formed a 120-km (75-mile) human chain between reactor sites in Germany on Saturday to protest against government plans to extend the power plant. Protesters hope to draw attention to the issue before a May 9 regional election, after which they fear Merkel's coalition will move to extend the reactors' lifespan.

More Greenpeace protests where held Sunday morning at the Labour party conference in Nijmegen, The Netherlands, to try to persuade politicians to vote against nuclear power and instead opt for clean energy.

About a thousand people demonstrated against a nuclear dump site in a town in Spain (Albala). The Spanish government is still deciding on which town will be used as a storage place for nuclear waste, but opposition is growing stronger.

Dirty (oily) mess will cause environmental disaster

21/04/2010 Fire boat response crews battle the blazing remnants of the off shore oil rig Deepwater Horizon

BBC reported fears of an environmental disaster in the Gulf of Mexico (after a drilling rig leased by the oil company BP exploded and sank off the Louisiana coast last week in roughly 5,000ft of water after burning for two days) as efforts to clear up an oil spill have been suspended because of bad weather. Some 1,000 barrels of oil a day are leaking into the sea from the damaged well, officials say.

Earth Day

Academy Award nominated actress and environmentalist Sigourney Weaver wrote in the Huffington Post about testifying before the US Congress on an emerging environmental threat. She stood before the Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries, and Coast Guard of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee and spoke about the topic of ocean acidification. She was urging them to put aside their differences and begin America's transition to a clean energy economy that will increase our energy efficiency and invest in renewable power, while cutting carbon pollution.

Sigourney Weaver has also recently accompanied Canadian film director James Cameron (director of Avatar), in protest of the proposed Belo Monte hydro-electric dam on the Xingu river, a tributary of the Amazon in the northern state of Para, which has long been a source of controversy. The project, first abandoned in the 1990s, will cause devastation in a large area of the rainforest and threaten the survival of indigenous groups.

A historical perspective to Earth day and various environmental landmarks are nicely presented by the The Jakarta Globe.

In short

DPA reports, that most fast food restaurants in Germany are opposed to GE potatoes.

As the New Zealand Government plans to mine some of New Zealand's most beautiful and iconic land for such things as coal, Greenpeace ambassadors Lucy Lawless and Robyn Malcolm went down to the Paparoa National Park on the South Island's West Coast, to promote our March Against the Mining by making a 'scandalous' video.

Picture credit: © Shayne Robinson / Greenpeace, South Africa

Picture credit: © The United States Coast Guard, Gulf of Mexico