Greenpeace Blog

Policy meltdown

Posted by John Sauven — 19 October 2007 at 9:52am - Comments

This claim to Antarctic land epitomises the government's lack of a coherent approach to tackling climate change.

In April, the British foreign secretary, Margaret Beckett, took climate change to the UN security council for the first time. Of major concern of the government, she said, were the expected "major changes to the world's physical landmass during this century," that would result from unabated climate change. It is a bitter irony, therefore, that it should now be that same British Foreign Office that is trying to profit from the melting ice of Antarctica and exploit precisely the changes to the world's landmasses that Beckett warned us about.

Greenpeace activists held captive in the Amazon

Posted by jamie — 18 October 2007 at 11:26am - Comments

A mob led by loggers prevents Greenpeace activists from leaving Brazilian government offices

A mob led by loggers prevents Greenpeace activists from leaving Brazilian government offices ©Greenpeace/Rodrigo Baleia

There's been further friction in the Amazon between Greenpeace staff and angry loggers and townspeople. It's all ended peacefully but the situation was tense and they were holed up overnight under police protection. This from Reuters:

Police escorted a group of Greenpeace activists from a remote town in the Brazilian Amazon on Wednesday after hundreds of loggers and townspeople besieged them overnight in protest against an anti-global warming campaign, the environmental organization said.

Are your tissues wiping away the last remaining forests?

Posted by jamie — 18 October 2007 at 8:55am - Comments

Tissues: not something many of us spend a great deal of time thinking about. As long as they does the job, what more do you need? But when you begin to consider where that paper has come from and the impact it has on forest areas, it starts to become a lot more interesting. That's why we've produced a new tissue product guide - search the guide to discover which brands of toilet roll, kitchen towel, and tissues are kind to forests as well as your nose.

Why can't we do better?

Posted by benet — 17 October 2007 at 6:25pm - Comments

It is easy to call for dramatic change; it's harder to deliver it. Even those of us at Greenpeace who are eternal optimists recognise that change can be tough to achieve. Just because it's difficult doesn't mean you shouldn't do it. If we are to prevent the effects of catastrophic climate change we are going to need big measures and bold leadership from our politicians.

The problem is that in this country we are simply not doing anything like enough! I have been looking into what the rest of Europe is doing to wean itself off fossil fuels and comparing it to what is happening here. All very depressing - but enough to say that the UK is languishing at the bottom of the pile for renewable energy (just 1.75 per cent if you are interested) compared to an EU average of 7 per cent. In Germany they are predicting they will get 8 per cent of their final energy from renewables next year.

Mangrove planting on Sagar Island

Posted by tracy — 17 October 2007 at 4:23pm - Comments

Tracy is on the Rainbow Warrior, which is in India to highlight the impacts of climate change and what we can do to stop it. You can follow all the tour updates on the Ban the Bulb blog, and we'll be posting tour highlights here.

Woman planting a mangorve sapling

We set off early for the southeast corner of Sagar Island, where the task today was to plant 8,000 mangrove seedlings along the shore to help hold back the advancing seas. This is an experimental plantation project started by Professor Sugata Hazra, head of oceanography at Jadhaupur University.

He says that the Sundarbans delta is already experiencing the worst of climate change. Sea levels are rising faster here than the global average and the intensity of cyclonic storms and monsoon rainfall has increased.

I'm a climate celebrity - get me out of here

Posted by tracy — 16 October 2007 at 6:23pm - Comments

From the Rainbow Warrior, which is in India to highlight the impacts of climate change and what we can do to stop it. You can follow all the tour updates on the Ban the Bulb blog, and we'll be posting tour highlights here.

I've never wanted to be a celebrity, always loved my anonymity, so being welcomed to Sagar Island by 12,000 people was a bit overwhelming.

We sailed from Kolkata at three in the morning so by noon we were well down the Hugli and approaching the Bay of Bengal. The "meeting", as it was described to us, to welcome the Rainbow Warrior to Sagar Island was due to start in the early afternoon and the Warrior was still a few hours away. We launched two inflatable boats to take us to the northern tip of the island and we would go the rest of the way by jeep to beat the ship to the Sagar Ganges beach.

A greener Apple? The iPhone fails to bear green fruit

Posted by bex — 15 October 2007 at 4:19pm - Comments

You might be looking forward to the European launch of Apple's iPhone in November (we were certainly looking forward to the possibility that the iPhone would prove Steve Jobs' newfound commitment to the environment).

Unfortunately, the iPhone's beauty only runs skin deep. A team of scientists got hold of one, dismantled it and uncovered nasty stuff that other phone makers have already stopped using, including two types of hazardous substances:

Our international office has the full story - including a report (pdf) and a slideshow of high quality images.

Here I go again - nuclear waste costs spiral up, up and away

Posted by ben — 12 October 2007 at 3:08pm - Comments

By Ben, senior nuclear campaigner.

As a closet power ballad fan, when I heard that the taxpayers' bill for cleaning up our existing piles of nuclear waste is skyrocketing (according to the UK Nuclear Decommissioning Agency, or NDA), I couldn't help but think of hard rockin' übergroup Whitesnake's "Here I go again".

Almost every time the nuclear industry gives an estimation of their costs, whether it be for building reactors, pulling them down, storing waste or somehow disposing of it, they have this very predictable habit of spiraling higher and higher, usually in very short order.

On the trail of the humpbacks

Posted by jossc — 12 October 2007 at 12:45pm - Comments

A Humpback whale swims past the Cook Island whale research boat, enjoying the warm water and the protected reefs of Rarotonga (Cook Islands)

Greenpeace has linked up with two scientific research bodies, Cook Islands Whale Research and Opération Cétatés, to tag and track humpback whales as they migrate from their breeding and calving areas in the tropical South Pacific to the feeding grounds of the Southern Ocean.

Over and out from Kingsnorth

Posted by bex — 10 October 2007 at 6:06pm - Comments

Over and out

See all Kingsnorth updates.

Phew, what a couple of days - there are lots of exhausted (not to mention dust covered) faces in the office today.

On Monday morning, we took over Kingsnorth coal fired power plant to say no to a new coal rush in the UK, and yes to a sane, clean energy future. That evening, E.ON served an injunction and the people locked onto the conveyor belt were arrested and taken into custody. Meanwhile, the climbers on the chimney began painting a message to Gordon, going strong until the light failed them.

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