Top News: The market responds to Greenpeace Arctic action with losses for Cairn; fracking operations suspended as second earthquake hits UK town; and a new report reveals nearly 10% of toys in China are unsafe.

Photo: © Jiri Rezac / Greenpeace

#Oil/Action It seems that financial markets share our concerns about the dangers of drilling in the Arctic, with Cairn Energy’s stocks suffering a steep drop after Greenpeace activists attached a survival pod to the underside of the giant Leiv Eiriksson oil rig, off the coast of Greenland – they’ve now been there three days. The activists have blocked Cairn from commencing drilling for oil in the remote, pristine and extremely hazardous Arctic – which has attracted the attention of the Danish navy. According to a fairly breathless report in the Alaska Dispatch, “armed Danish commandos have (possibly) been summoned to monitor Earth-loving "hippies" clinging to the underbelly of an Arctic deepwater oil rig.” Seems a pretty fair analysis…

#Frackinghell A 1.5 magnitude earthquake in the northern English town of Blackpool – the second to hit Lancashire since April – is being blamed on a fracture drilling operation in the area. Fracking, as it’s also known, involves high pressure injections of water and rock-dissolving chemicals far underground in order to extract natural gas. The method of retrieving at fossil fuels has come under fire for the damage it causes to the environment and the potential for the chemicals to seep into the water table. Cuadrilla Resources has been forced to suspend drilling while the British Geological Survey (BGS) gathers data and decides whether it is safe to resume. The BGS website stated: "Any process that injects pressurised water into rocks at depth will cause the rock to fracture and possibly produce earthquakes.”

#ToxicToys Nearly one in ten toys in China are unsafe, according to a report by China’s safety watchdog. Along with finding dangerous amounts of heavy metals such as lead and chromium and toys designed with sharp edges, the study also referenced a Greenpeace report identifying that some toys in mainland China and Hong Kong contain phthalates. Banned in the EU and US, phthalates have been associated with hormone malfunctions and toxicity in the reproductive system.