Lack of Environment

A blog on the politics and psychology underlying the denial of all our environmental problems

Posts Tagged ‘Go Beyond Oil

The Arctic 30 are back – please help Shell say no to Gazprom

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Latest email from Greenpeace:

Five months ago, they tried to silence us. They arrested our activists, and threw them in jail for peacefully protesting oil drilling in the Russian Arctic. The oil giants thought they could scare us away with intimidation. But as long as the Arctic is in danger, we’ll take action to protect it. We’re ready to do whatever it takes to prevent an oil spill in the home of the polar bears. This morning, 80 activists confronted a tanker carrying the same oil the Arctic 30 protested against to a refinery in Rotterdam. Seven of the original Arctic 30 joined them. 

Join the action, tell Shell and Gazprom that Arctic drilling is a losing battle.
As dawn broke, a dramatic chase unfolded with the Rainbow Warrior chasing the Russian tanker into Rotterdam harbor and the Esperanza speeding in to support the Warrior. As the tanker slowed down to turn, the more nimble Rainbow Warrior slipped in front and put itself between the tanker and the dock where it was to unload the oil. Dutch police then quickly stormed the Warrior taking control of the ship and arresting the crew. They are safe and are currently in contact with colleagues on the ground. This isn’t just any oil. It’s the first ever Arctic oil extracted from ice-covered waters by Shell’s partner, Gazprom. It comes from the Prirazlomnaya platform, where the Arctic 30 were violently arrested following a peaceful protest last year.No Arctic Oil
These aren’t just any activists. Despite spending two months in jail for their last protest, seven of the Arctic 30 are back, defiantly fighting for the Arctic. Their fellow brave activists witnessed their unjust detention, but refuse to be silenced.They know the Arctic is too valuable to lose. They aren’t alone. You, me, and over 5 million people are standing with them.

Plagued by our daring actions and relentless pressure, oil giants and investors are finally waking up to the risks of drilling in the frozen north. Just last month, Shell backed out of their Arctic drilling plans. If we keep up this momentum, we know we can win. 

As a citizen and consumer, you have the power to resist the destruction of the Arctic. We engage in peaceful civil disobedience because public confrontation is often the only way to get results from billion dollar companies.

But only you, and our millions of dedicated supporters, can amplify our voice.

Click to stand up against Gazprom, Shell, and all Arctic destroyers. 

Wherever they go, we’ll follow. For every plundered drop of Arctic oil, we’ll make sure the other oil giants pay the price of humiliation and infamy. However they try to destroy the Arctic, we’ll be there to stop them. Thank you for standing with us.

Ben Ayliffe
Arctic Campaigner


Greenpeace petition to help get Colin Russell out of jail

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Dear Greenpeace member,

Collin Russell (Photo via Greenpeace)

I’ve never written to you before, but I really hope you can help me today.

My dear husband Colin Russell is one of the Arctic Sunrise crew members arrested at gunpoint for protesting Arctic oil drilling. Just this week his bail application was denied in a Russian court – even though every other crew member had their bail applications approved and all but one other have been released.

This could mean at least three more months alone in a prison cell during the icy winter in St Petersburg. This is difficult for me to take in. Col stays positive and strong in difficult circumstances. But with this latest news, I just know he’s being tested beyond his limits.

Greenpeace has launched a global petition demanding freedom for Col and all his Arctic Sunrise crewmates. Can you please help by adding your name today?

Col was so happy when we spoke on the phone over two months ago. I remember how upbeat he was, just so happy to be back on a ship he’s grown to love during 14 years of working as a radio operator for Greenpeace. We made plans to visit friends and family in Melbourne, maybe spend a week together on the coast over Christmas. But now, who knows when I’ll see him next?

I’ve hardly been able to speak to Col much since he went to prison. We had a short phone call, but that was over a month ago. Now it’s been 67 days of worry and anxiety for me and our 24-year-old daughter Maddie. All of this because Colin and 29 others were brave enough to tell oil companies like Shell and Gazprom to stop drilling in the Arctic.

The Australian foreign minister Julie Bishop spoke to Russian authorities about Col several weeks ago. But there’s more that she and our government can do to rescue these heroes and bring them home. Tony Abbott, Australia’s prime minister, must call President Putin to ensure Colin is also granted bail.

It would really mean the world to Maddie and I to have your name on this petition.  Please click here to join us.

I can’t write down in words how frustrating it is not being able to speak to him right now. I just want to tell him that Maddie and I – together with millions of Greenpeace supporters in every corner of the world – are thinking of him today.

That old saying, that alone we are only one voice and together we are powerful, has a whole new meaning for me now.

Thank you for helping us out. It means so much to us having you on our side.

Chrissie Russell, on behalf of Greenpeace.

P.S.  It’s been over two months since the Russian coast guard illegally boarded the Arctic Sunrise ship and arrested my husband and 29 others at gunpoint — all for peacefully protesting against the terrible threat of an Arctic oil spill. Please make sure your name is on this petition today. Thank you.

Written by Martin Lack

25 November 2013 at 12:40

Why we will probably fail to prevent catastrophe

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Alex Salmond, First Minister of Scotland, was interviewed by offbeat TV presenter Eddie Mair on The Andrew Marr Show yesterday on BBC1.

Salmond’s comments about energy policy highlight the intellectual incoherence and dishonesty to which our politicians are driven by growthmania.

Although Salmond should be commended for standing up to Donald Trump’s opposition to offshore wind farms, he still appears to be basing his aspiration for a future independent Scotland on future revenue from extracting crude oil and gas from beneath what would be its territorial waters.

Scotland may well already be near the top of the international list of countries with the greatest percentages of installed renewable energy generation, it may well be the home of European research and development into Tidal power, but, its would-be independent government still appears to be assuming it will be OK to generate revenue from oil production over the next 50 years equivalent to those of the last 50 years.

This does not sound like a good idea to me.  It is one very good reason not to vote for Scottish independence.

Scottish independence does not look like it will be compatible with preventing anthropogenic climate disruption (ACD).  Furthermore,  ACD is probably making its presence felt right now across the UK in the form of unusually cold weather.  Sure, it is not possible to attribute any single event to ACD but, all the same, ACD was predicted (from a basic understanding of atmospheric physics) to give rise to wider range of more extreme weather events of increased frequency and intensity.  This is exactly what we are now observing.  In fact, we have been observing it for about 50 years but, until quite recently, it had not been that obvious.  This is what James Hansen and his colleagues showed us last August:  The climate dice are now loaded – which means we get double-six a lot more often (and a few more double ones than we used to as well).

Shell abandons Arctic drilling this year – Greenpeace

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A view of the Kulluk aground southeast of Sitkalidak Island. The grounding was only the latest of the problems Shell has run into in seeking to drill north of Alaska. (NYT [Jan 1, 2013])
(Photo: Petty Officer 3rd Class Jonathan Klingenberg/U.S. Coast Guard).

This is great news but, what we really need is an International agreement (like that which protects the Antarctic from resource exploitation). If we need to despoil the Arctic to get fossil fuels, then we are very clearly far too dependent on them: The time has come to invest in and/or subsidise the pursuit of renewable (i.e. infinite) alternatives. Here is the appeal for help from Greenpeace.


Hi Martin,

Last night, Shell announced it’s giving up on plans to drill for oil in the Arctic in this year.

It’s amazing news, because it means no drilling in the pristine waters of Alaska this year. And the pressure you put on Shell helped make this possible.

Right now I’m thrilled, this is a huge success for the Arctic.  But the fight isn’t over. We’ve got a real opportunity to stop industrial exploitation in the Arctic, forever.

Let’s urge President Obama to make the Arctic off limits to industrial exploitation, forever.

Last month, President Obama ordered a sweeping review of Shell’s plans to drill in the Arctic. Meanwhile, Shell was found to have 16 safety and environmental violations on their rig that ran aground in Alaska. Now it’s time for Obama to abandon the idea of Arctic drilling completely.

I’m sure you won’t want the good news to stop here, and that in the days ahead you’ll still be part of the movement to keep Shell out of the Arctic forever.

But for the moment it’s all about enjoying what we’ve accomplished together. Thank you so much for all the work you have done to protect the Arctic.


John Sauven
Greenpeace Executive Director

P.S. This is great news, but there is much more to do. Our Arctic campaign and all the work we do to protect the environment depends entirely on your support. Can you make a donation now to help make a protected Arctic a reality? (Link to Greenpeace UK website here.)

Greenpeace big splash in the Daily Telegraph

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Latest email from Greenpeace:

We’re making headlines. Our ad – which 1,269 amazing Greenpeace supporters helped pay for – has made a splash in the Telegraph, Britain’s most widely-read broadsheet. We’re also hoping to get the ad printed in the Times tomorrow.

Thank you to everyone who has taken part in this campaign. Together, we’ve exposed Shell’s long list of costly Arctic blunders to investors, politicians and the public at large – and we’re not done yet.

Want to keep the pressure up until we’ve won this thing for good?

Right now, Greenpeace is looking for a few creative, eco-conscious youngsters to design a flag for all the world to see. The winning design will be taken to the North Pole, where it will join a scroll featuring millions of names demanding the Arctic be protected forever. We will plant it at the bottom of the ocean at the top of the world, where it will remain: a statement from people who care about the health of our planet and a symbol of the conscience of humanity.

Why? Because the Arctic belongs to everyone, yet young people today will most likely live to see a time when there is no more Arctic sea ice in the summer – a fate unthinkable just a few decades ago. We know that Arctic drilling to burn more oil will accelerate climate change and is a folly driven by greed, and as a movement we’re doing everything we can to stop it. Today that means inviting the youth of the world to be heard. Click here to find out more information, then get a young person involved – or send this email on to someone you know.

Thanks for being part of this,

Ian and the Arctic team

Written by Martin Lack

24 January 2013 at 00:02

Please tell Obama to stop Shell drilling in the Arctic

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The latest email from Greenpeace/,


Dear  Martin,

Right now, one of Shell’s Arctic oil rigs with 139,000 gallons of diesel and 12,000 gallons of hydraulic oil on board, is being retrieved and assessed for damage after it ran aground within sight of Alaska’s fragile coastline.  The Kulluk got into serious trouble after hitting a typical winter storm off the island of Sitkalidak, near Kodiak.  The old rig was stranded just miles from an endangered sea otter and sea lions habitat, threatening the area with a potential oil spill.  After this latest fiasco Shell’s reputation is now in tatters.

This isn’t the first time Shell has put their crew and the Arctic at risk this year.  The grounding of the Kulluk is the latest in a series of embarrassing accidents that have plagued Shell’s attempts to find oil in the extreme Arctic.  The company intends to try again next year and the decision about whether or not it gets that opportunity will be made soon.  This is our chance to stop Shell from drilling in the Arctic next year and beyond.  Tell United States President Barack Obama to call ‘timeout’ on Arctic drilling and suspend Shell’s permits.

A Greenpeace team is in the area monitoring the situation.  The 30-year-old Kulluk was being towed back from the Arctic when it hit heavy weather that caused the towing line to break.  After a 48 hour rescue attempt the situation became too dangerous and the team was forced to let the rig drift free.  The US Coast Guard evacuated crew members by helicopter, and the rig ran aground just miles from the Kodiak Island National Wildlife Refuge.  After six days of struggling harsh weather conditions, the rig is now being finally towed away.

This is more proof of the recklessness and unchecked greed of corporations like Shell. We cannot let them put the most precious areas of our planet at risk in search of oil and profits.  Tell President Obama that we cannot trust Shell’s assurances on safety. He must protect the Arctic and its wildlife and suspend Arctic drilling permits immediately.

This is the latest mishap Shell has suffered after an extremely rocky drilling season. Their woes included another grounding – this time of their drillship the Noble Discoverer – a flash fire on board this ship, an oil spill containment dome that failed spectacularly and “was crushed like a beer can” during testing, and warnings from the US Coast Guard for inadequate pollution prevention and safety equipment.

With Big Oil in the Arctic, disaster is not a question of if, but when. Shell’s top officials have admitted that “there will be spills”.  It’s time for us to put a stop to this insanity before it’s too late, and right now with the media coverage of this accident we have a good chance of making our voices heard.  Ask President Obama to suspend Shell’s permits and protect the Arctic for all of us, and please forward this email to friends and family.

Thank you,

Written by Martin Lack

8 January 2013 at 09:48

Greenpeace – we told you this would happen

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Latest email from Greenpeace:

Our greatest fears about Shell’s incompetence in the Arctic are starting to be realised.

The Kulluk – Shell’s creaking Arctic oil rig – was being towed back to harbour for maintenance when it was hit by a storm. The tow line broke and despite several attempts to reattach it the onboard crews failed and it eventually ran aground. Shell’s crew was rescued by the US Coast Guard.

The rig now sits abandoned perilously close to the rocky shoreline of Sitkalidak Island in Southern Alaska. This part of the coast is home to endangered species of sea lions, otters and over 250 bird species.

This proves – yet again – that the company is simply not prepared for the hazardous Arctic conditions where any spill could take years to clean up.

So far the more than 139,000 gallons of diesel fuel on board the Kulluk have not leaked into the fragile marine environment. The longer it remains near the cliffs the likelihood of a spill will increase.

But this is only the latest in Shell’s long list of Arctic failures. In the past year, it lost control of another one of its drill ships in a ‘stiff breeze’, crushed its safety equipment and had an on-board fire. The list goes on.

Shell cannot be trusted with the Arctic.

It’s essential that we get this news out to as many people as possible. Please forward this email to a friend who will join us in our bid to protect the Arctic.

Invite them to join us by signing here:

We have a Greenpeace team on the way to Sitkalidak right now to monitor the situation closely and we’ll update you very soon.


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