What comes next?

by chris eaton

May 26, 2010

Greenpeace activists, scientists and photographers have been working for weeks in the Gulf, witnessing first hand the destruction of the BP oil spill. On Monday, seven Greenpeace activists took action to prevent the next oil spill. Using oil from the Gulf spill, they painted the message Arctic Next? on the bridge of a supply ship that Shell has contracted for their proposed work in the Arctic.

Activists Protest Shell Arctic Drilling ProgramThe message was directed at Interior Secretary Ken Salazar who, only miles away inspecting the Gulf at the time, has the power to cancel Shells Arctic program.

Shell hopes to begin drilling off of Alaskas North Slope this summer. It could be a bigger disaster than what were seeing in the Gulf with BP. There is simply no effective way to respond to a spill in the Arctic.

The activists were joined by each of you who helped carry this message to Secretary Salazar. So far over 27,600 emails have been sent and over 2,900 calls have been made to the Secretary!

Salazar is expected to make his decision this week on whether to allow Shell to begin drilling in the Arctic Ocean. This is a crucial opportunity to protect the Arctic. We all need to join these activists and work together to make sure Salazar keeps hearing our message! If you havent sent your message, please do so now. If you have already called, call again and get your friends to call as well.

The seven activists were arrested in the Gulf face heavy-handed charges. As Greenpeace Executive Director Phil Radford puts it, these charges are a a disproportionate response to the peaceful protest that took place while not a single BP executive has been charged for the devastation they have wrought on the Gulf of Mexico.

All this left me wondering what comes next so I asked my friend and Gulf activist, David. Heres what he had to say:

Well, I am truly inspired that thousands of Americans took action with me to prevent drilling in the Arctic Ocean. If we all keep this kind of pressure on Salazar, hell cancel Shells program and prevent what happened in the Gulf from happening in the Arctic.

I couldnt agree more.

By chris eaton

chris is the Senior Digital Campaigns Manager at Greenpeace USA. He's passionate about building movements and connecting change makers through digital storytelling. Follow him on Twitter at @chr15_eat0n.

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