How we slipped past Danish commandos

Posted by jamess — 31 August 2010 at 12:29pm - Comments

Picture of Sim from the US, setting up an occupation platform. Leila, on board the Esperanza, writes:

Blimey, this is exciting! Up at 4am, the crew scuttling around the Espy, all the portholes shut tight so that the Navy had no idea we were even awake. Nine brave activists eased into their dry suits and safety gear in the Lounge, a place usually reserved for chillaxing.

Up on the bridge the Captain, surrounded by the ice pilot, the 2nd and 3rd mates, and the actions team, was watching through his binoculars as the 1st mate snuck onto the deck. Checking the sleepy Navy warship once more, Captain raised his hand and our inflatable boats lowered silently into the water.

Still the police and the Navy, with their team of commandos onboard did not respond. At 5.45 am the Captain said one word over the radio, on a channel we rarely use: 'Go'.

In moments the three boats carrying our brave climbers had crossed the 500m security line and arrived at the legs of the Stena Don. Still no response. As we watched through our binoculars, Sim from the US, Jens from Germany, Mateusz from Poland and finally Timo from Finland made their way up the legs of the rig like spidermen.

Finally, the Navy launched their inflatables and commandos. Too late. Our boats were already on their way back. Alpha, one of ours, was chased briefly by the police, but the futility of their effort was clear as Alpha sailed smoothly away and back to its cradle - ready to be winched up onto the Esperanza.

Huge thanks to all those of you who have supported us as we've borne witness to Cairn's catastrophe waiting to happen in this freezing wonderland. The watching is over. The action has begun. We are stopping the Stena Don drilling for oil, their window to complete the drilling is brief before the sea ice returns for the winter. Our climbers are prepared to stay as long as it takes to run Cairn out of time.

- Leila Deen

Greenpeace have boarded an oil rig mid-drill in order to stop it completing a well during a relatively tight window of weather permission. I know of no public information on whether the well is at a critical point (nearing expected oil or gas contact) or not thus Greenpeace could not be expected to know either without insider information.
Stopping mid-drill cannot be in the best interests of safety, and neither can the weather window closing in.
Just taking the weather window, that leaves two options. End the well quickly or stay a bit longer beyond the safe window. One endangers the environment and the other endangers a rig and all that are aboard - neither in my view are great prospects.
For those that are happy to stop oil production, does your home have electricity? Is oil not involved in its production at some point? We cannot live without oil until a suitable alternative is available and there is no suitable alternative at this point. Oil production is not just for greed, it is more for need. Agreed that alternative cleaner methods would be far better, just that they are in their infancy and not capable of replacing oil at this point in time.
We have two options here, use oil until these alternative methods are up to speed and capable of keeping the world lit and heated and moving or live cold, dark and without cars, boats, aeroplanes etc.

Yes, spills are eventually inevitable and in this environment would be a much bigger and longer lasting disaster than the one in the Gulf. Those who are opposing Greenpeace here are either ignoring this fact or are too ignorant to be aware. We are at present facing a worldwide environmental disaster and the greatest extinction event since the time of the dinosaurs and these fools are urging us all to remain complacent. If oil must be sought it must not be in places like this and thank god there are people opposing this stupidity. We all need to be constantly demanding that our governments take the urgent action to switch to clean energy that they would take if we were going to war. Much of the technology is already available. The fact that this madness continues is a tribute to the power and influence and greed of the oil companies and their government lackeys.

"spills are eventually inevitable and in this environment would be a much bigger and longer lasting disaster than the one in the Gulf"

The size of any spill is only determined by the capacity of the storage facility it is contained within and wheter it has a continuous replenisihing supply or not. There is no suggestion (as no reservoirs have yeh been discovered) that if a spill were to occur in Greenland that it would be larger by volume spill than that of the GOM.

Due to the oceanic currents in Greenland the hypothetical spill will follow the surface currents which flow down Greenland and into the Atlantic. In the GOM the oceanic currents flow towards the coast and panhandle of the Florida coast hence why the oil was vastly depeosited there.

I have ignored no fact here nor have I made any assumptions.

""We are at present facing a worldwide environmental disaster and the greatest extinction event since the time of the dinosaurs and these fools are urging us all to remain complacent!"

Extinction is when a one single species no longer exists. A Mass extinction is when many species over a relativly short space of time become extinct.

The volume of species that became extinct 65million years ago in the cretaecous (roughly same time as the dinosaurs) wiped out approximatly 70% of all land species based of fossil records.

Prior to that around 250million years ago during the permian-triassic transition, 96% of the life in the ocean became extinct and approx again 70% of that on land. Again this is based on a fossil record of species found.

We are not in a mass extinction period. Extinction is going on, natural and partly due to the expansion of humans and partly due to the interglacial period we are now in. Previous to that it went on during the Glacial period of which extincations also occured. What is known is that the current levels of extincion do somewhat loosely follow population trends, increase the population, increase extinction. Our planets population level is unsustainable and this is by far a bigger issue than drilling in Greenland.

"If oil must be sought it must not be in places like this and thank god there are people opposing this stupidity....The fact that this madness continues is a tribute to the power and influence and greed of the oil companies and their government lackeys."

It is being sought in places like this as the demand is so high for oil as expanding and develpoing countries have the same rights to it oil as we in the western world do. Two countries which are some on the largest consumers of oil on the planet combined hold half the worlds population, India and China. Thats a frightening stastic and they are all demaning their fair share.

Now dont get me wrong, I am all for alternative energy but we do not yet have the technological nor infastructure related capacity to suddenly stop using oil. It takes time so while goverments are making some changes, keep the pressure on but remember to keep it factual and not hysterical.

Who cares what your hairsplitting definitions are. We know that species in large numbers are disappearing. 90% of the oceans large fish are already gone. The west coast cod fishery in Canada has been shut down for many years and the fish stocks haven't bounced back. And no one is expecting oil use to stop suddenly, just demanding that a major effort be made to produce power by green methods and stop the most destructive practises immediately - such as this kind of drilling and the tar sands in Canada where I live. These kinds of activities are shameful.

Solar

You have understand that calling something a mass extinction when it is not is over the top. Its like reversing your car into a bollard and calling it a moterway pile up.

Dont get me wrong I understand and can see how passionate you are but as someone who works in the geological and palaeostratigraphical field (I look at dead fossils), we are not in a mass extinction event. The extinction that occured during the Quaternary and Holocene period do not indicate this.

Even if you dont care what the correct scientific definitions are please at least have a little respect for those that do care. If I were to call a spade a plant pot you would correct me on my definition, stands to reason why I have explained the above.

Now as for the 90% of the oceans large fish that are gone, may I kindly ask which resource you found this information from? I am wondering where this number came from or is it specific to your area of the world? I am actually interested
in reading it belive it or not as I want to know what the foundation stock was is based on to arrive at this number.

As for the fishing stocks, yes I agree we over-fish and I would like nothing more that to have sustainible fishing even if it does mean fish costs an arm and a leg to purchase. I would also like to see a stop to targeted fishing as I believe that way, non targeted fish can still be as tasty as cod or haddock for instance.

There is no doubt our appetite for fish is driving this over-fishing just like our appetite for oil is driving the need to explore new sources of oil production. Wheter or not you or I disagree/agree on it, it will carry on.

I also demand many things in my life like you, some I get, some I do not. The ones I dont get are usually down to money and economics. This is the problem. Would be nice if the oil companies invested some in cleaner energy sources to help aid the reduction in our reliance of oil, a small handful actually do, hard to believe I know.

But where is the money going to come from to put this action into plan? The goverments? Oil companies? Energy companies? Ultimatley it will come from people like you and I in the form of tax, profits from household energy companies etc.

As for the tar sands, well I agree with you, its quite wrong to dig up millions of hectares of land to get at the tar/bitumen. Although a form of mining it is probably the worse kind possible and the ration of in-put vs out-put is very marginal at 1:2. The only way that this project will stop is if the oil price reduces to $40-50 a barrel rendering it uneconomical.

But please understand im not attacking your beliefs nor you passion all im trying to do is have a good discussion/debate using information and beliefs that to the best of our knowledge is true and correct. So if any of this I have offended your belief, I do appologise it is not my intention but please dont dismiss that which is universially fact.

Drilling is a hazardous operation but can be conducted safely, as demonstrated by the thousands of safe, secure, non-polluting wells all over the world.

It can also go wrong as demonstrated by the Macondo well in the Gulf of Mexico.

The drilling rigs in Greenland are the most technically advanced in the world and have a flawless safety record - it was for this reason that they were secured by Cairn Energy and they were passed fit for use by the Greenland Government.

The operations in these waters are constantly assessed for safety under some of the strictest controls ever enforced on a drilling operation. The drilling in Greenland has the full legal permission of the Greenland Government and is fully supported by the people of Greenland – this was clearly demonstrated by Greenpeace's failed attempt to drum up support at it's disastrous meetings in Nuuk, Greenland’s capital.

The drilling rigs crew will now have their concentration interrupted by these clowns that have tied themselves to the rig. Instead of being able to concentrate on the job they are trained to do they will now have to ensure that these Greenpeace idiots do not injure themselves.

The actions of Greenpeace in Greenland are irresponsible and should be stopped immediately. Any protests should be carried out by legal process not by endangering the rigs crew and the environment.

Stop this reckless action immediately; Greenpeace does not have the right to put lives and the environment at risk just to satisfy its insatiable, unhealthy appetite for publicity.

Could the previous comment be any more like a statement from a PR firm? Who are Cairn's merchants of spin anyway?

They need to improve their skills if they want to look a little less like someone employed by an oil company to get them out of a blatant mess.

I'm astonished that these hypocrites claim they are trying to protect the environment then use thousands of pounds worth of diesel and have hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of kit (only possible due to the exploration of oil) and then breach interational maritime laws. Even a fishing boat is not allowed within 500 mtrs of an oil platform - it's the law.
And yet they continue to say 'it's a peaceful protest. Greenpeace is nothing more than a cult full of brainwashed sorry indviduals with no desire to work and pay taxes.

They have gone to Greenland to board an oil installation and stop drilling then complain that a Danish Naval warship is shadowing them. Imagine that, A Danish ship in Danish waters... whatever next...”

The unbelievable comment is taken from Leila Deen's incredibly misinformed blog. She seems proud to state:

"We are stopping the Stena Don drilling for oil, their window to complete the drilling is brief before the sea ice returns for the winter. Our climbers are prepared to stay as long as it takes to run Cairn out of time".

The Stena Don is on a live well which, according to press releases, contains hydrocarbons. If they have had to suspend operations due to the risk to Greenpeace 'activists' then they will be unable to complete the well and run/cement casing. This has to be done before the season closes in.

If Greenpeace stops the rig from continuing then the Stena Don will have to depart leaving an uncompleted, highly unstable well posing an incredible pollution risk.

Has Greenpeace taken any advice from a qualified and experienced Drilling Engineer regarding the highly hazardous situation they have caused? Do they even have a Drilling Engineer onboard their vessel to advise them on the incredible risks they are taking? Do they know what the actual operation on the rig was when they caused this disruption? I doubt it.

Greenpeace have, by their totally irresponsible actions, dramatically increased the likelihood of problems with this well.

If you don't believe me ask any Reservoir Engineer and dont forget that the disaster in the Gulf of Mexico was caused by a poorly completed well with a badly cemented casing string.

Is this what Greenpeace wants to help them get the publicity they crave?

Thanks for the compliment but No, I am not a PR Company.

I am not employed by Cairn.

I am simply a concerned individual who knows the dangers off offshore drilling and is educated and informed enough to post a realistic blog rather than misinformed rants.

It saddens me that people have to demean other peoples comments just because they don't agree with them - I thought Greenpeace was a more democratic organisation than that.

realitycheck121 - I cannot believe that you would come onto Greenpeace's own blog, criticise their actions and the people that spend hundreds of hours volunteering for them and not expect to be demeaned yourself. It's more than a little hypocritical.

Your argument makes good points, but is based purely on speculation. Do you know for certain what stage Cairn energy are actually at in their drilling operation?

realitycheck121

I'm afraid greenpeace are nothing but a cult now i'm afraid and the young people that the recruit are brainwashed into believing what they are told.

If anyone condradicts their opinion (which they believe to be fact) then they are branded as wrong.
It astonishes me that some of these people are too blinkered in their views that they cannot see the damage they create wherever they go.

Obviously freedom of speech is something else they don't like.... greenpeace against Democracy - maybe they should fly that flag

Sam, are you being serious
"spend hundreds of hours volunteering for them"...

What!!! instead of working and paying taxes, like the guys on the installation working away from home to support their families, trying to make a crust - the same one that greenpeace have illegally boarded. (that means against the law... laws are there to protect society from those that do not wish to conform).
Why do greenpeace continually feel they can do what they want in order for other people to hear there views regardless of the cost, wether it means breaking the law or not.

I honestly believe these people should grow up, take stock of their lives and walk away..... they will not be thought of any less........

Further to your comment: "Your argument makes good points, but is based purely on speculation. Do you know for certain what stage Cairn energy are actually at in their drilling operation?"

Press releases, including Greenpeaces own, stated that hydrocarbons have been encountered so it is highly likely that the Stena Don is currently drilling onto a reservoir.

But the very, very, important point is that did Greenpeace check the status of the operation before they caused its suspension?? If they did not then they are not just naive, they are reckless and dangerous.

My statements are not hypocritical, they are simple and honest:

An oil rig connected to a live well in an offshore oilfield is not the place for protest. It is adding risk to the operation. That is not speculation, that is fact.

Greenpeace has the right to disagree with this drilling operation; it does not have the right to increase the risk to the oilworkers and the environment.

@realitycheck (or should that be realitycheque?):

I don't understand why anyone not in the pay of the oil industry would defend the likes of Cairn, and their reckless Arctic policy.

Petrochemicals are an ancient and hideously polluting source of energy. Not only does their contribution to global warming increase the risk of rendering the earth uninhabitable, their development potential is exhausted, and the industry is left with the most remote and inaccessible reserves, the extraction of which pose the greatest threats to the fragile ecosystem we share.

Renewable energy is clean, its research and development is still in its infancy, it's rapidly becoming more efficient and cheaper to produce... even the most selfish people on the planet should welcome it, because all the consumer products they crave will progressively cost less and less.

In historical terms, the oil will soon run out anyway. If the sums being spent wrecking the Gulf of Mexico with poorly maintained rigs, wrecking huge swathes of Canada in order to extract oil from its tar sands, and soon to be wrecking the Arctic in their greedy search - unless Greepeace and its supporters can stop them - were spent instead on further research into renewables, our world would become a brighter, cleaner and and more efficient place to live sooner rather than later, or too late.

So I repeat: why would anyone defend the old, filthy, destructive, establishment energy industry unless they were in its pay?

Cairn should pack up and go home. Their industry's record should disqualify it from extending its destructive activities any further.

CONGRATULATIONS GREENPEACE!

ALL POWER TO YOU AND YOUR BRAVE ACTIVISTS!

While I agree with the premise that we need to move beyond oil as a main energy source, this campaign appears a little bit self-congratulatory and ill-conceived.

Rather than applying pressure to the actors who are at the root of the problem - arguably big oil, the car industry and governments of several big powers - Greenpeace UK have sent white, urban, middle class activists to interference in the only source of revenue that would potentially give Greenland an economic basis for independence. This is a society of 50,000 people who would become the first state governed by Inuit people.

Why are these activists not in the Gulf of Mexico instead? Or Alaska? The safety record in any of those places (under US jurisdiction) would certainly merit sending a few boats. It smacks a little bit of condescension (to put it politely).

Moreover, I found the blog posts on the Greenlandic fishermen and their tied with nature slightly offensive considering the impact previous Greenpeace campaigns has had on their (sustainable) livelihood.

By all means, please do campaign against climate change and the environment, but be smarter about how you go about it and deal with the root causes. Harassing Greenland does not address oil demand and consumption.

Disclaimer: No, I do not and have never worked for the oil industry and there is little love lost between Big Oil and myself.

@realitycheck121, saynotogreenpeace

This action has been planned to be as safe as possible - there's no risk to the people on the rig or the Danish navy. The only risk is to the climbers on the rig, but they volunteered for this work and they're extremely experienced at this kind of thing. It won't be comfortable up there, but their well-being is a top priority for the support team on the Esperanza.

Speaking of which, the Esperanza is in constant contact with the rig manager so he knows what we're doing.

As for the drilling, the Stena Don has not found oil, it hasn't even found gas - that was the Stena Forth, the drilling ship in the same area. No chance of a spill because of our action. Cairn might not be in the same league as Exxon or Shell, but if it found oil those companies wouldn't be far behind in staking a claim. Stopping Cairn from finding oil will stop the big boys as well.

And believe it or not, it is possible to volunteer and hold down a steady job at the same time. Millions do it every day...

web editor
gpuk

Hi t_juarez,

Just letting you know that Greenpeace does actually have a ship in the Gulf of Mexico right now - you can follow it's work here:
http://www.greenpeace.org/usa/oilspilltruth

Also, it's a bit of a generalisation to say the crew are white and middle class - the crew of Greenpeace ships tends to be very, very international, and from all walks of life. Some great portraits of the Esperanza's current crew here

We all have a right to the truth. Now it strikes me that Cairn were not being in any way forthright with the media. They have specifically said they don't want to talk about what provisions they may have, were an oil spill to occur, and they have only 14 vessels anywhere near to hand; it took 3000 to deal with the Gulf, and that was a far more accessible location.

Cairn are an accident waiting to happen.

I am curious about these people who criticise Greenpeace. You are perfectly entitled to, but it seems strange to criticise and then offer no solutions. What would you all do to stop Cairn?

As far as I'm concerned, Greenpeace are doing the most effective-meets-economic protest. Sometimes you have to use some resources like oil to quit it. Besides, their ship, Esperanza, is far more efficient on the amount of oil it uses than almost any other ship afloat.

If an oil spill occurs, it's not enough to say "I told you so." I would like to thank Greenpeace, truly, with all my heart. You're the only ones brave enough to put yourselves in danger for the rest of us, and stand up and demand the right to have a say in what happens to our Earth.

Thank-you, Greenpeace, so much!

I don't really have an opinion on the matter at hand. I'm not particularly keen on the Greenpeace activitists or the oil companies, so you'll have to excuse me whilst I do not simply jump on one side or the other. In my experience, situations such as this are overwhelmingly complicated beyond a point of simple right or wrong.

As a neutral reader, it's very obvious that 'realitycheck121' is in someway associated with the Cairn Company or the Oil Industry in general and the fact that they have denied this, merely undermines everything that they have said as it portrays them as an unreliable source of information.

As for the 'Operation' itself, it seems a little desperate and perhaps even narrow-minded to simply attack the oil company in this way. They would not be out there drilling for oil if we were not all so dependant on it in the first place, if our governments were not so desperate to obtain energy and if we were not consentrating on the fact that one day fairly soon (in the grand scheme) we will have to make do with sustainable energy options.

Perhapswe should all do more towards finding soultions for that, rather than fighting over the last scraps of crude oil?

There's two sides to every argument. But I'm on this one. There is only one environment - our environment, and we share it with every other living thing - we're custodians. We have to stop our endless abuse of the environment just to support our beserk societies.

You may well think that this drilling is safe - but what does that mean? Safe as in safer than what? It's alot less safe than not doing it - and think - what if? Is it really worth it? Explain what we're doing to your great grandchildren - imagine that conversation, from both perspectives.

Well done Greenpeace. Good Campaign. I see it that you're not aiming your protest at the people on the rig. You're not just stopping this exploration, you're raising awareness by catching attention, making people think and, the way I see it, raising the profile of the debate over what we should be focussing our energy-dependent attention on. Oil? Or the Planet? Simple as.

What's best? I know where I stand.

I refer to your totally inacurate comments:

"As for the drilling, the Stena Don has not found oil, it hasn't even found gas - that was the Stena Forth, the drilling ship in the same area. No chance of a spill because of our action."

The truth is that you do not know the status of this well and I challenge Greenpeace to provide the following information for the public domain:

1. What was the status of the well before Greenpeace invaded (as a minimum: depth, downhole pressure, gas concentration, etc) and how do you know that your intervention was not hazardous? Without this simple information you cannot know that it was safe to cause a suspension of the operation and your action was reckless.

2. How do you know that the Stena Don has not encountered gas/oil? The fact that a previous blog states that the Stena Forth has moved to a different location would indicate the exact opposite;ie the Stena Forth found nothing and has moved on but the Stena Don has.

3. Do Greenpeace have a Drilling Engineer onboard Esperanza advising them on the the technicalities and dangers of exploration drilling? This question has been asked previously and remains unanswered.

4. Can you provide evidence that the Rig Manager was advised of the impending invasion by your activsists? By law every vessel MUST advise drilling units before they enter the 500m safety zone to avoid conflicts of operation. This is a fundemental safety requirement which you have breached. The so called Captain of the Esperanza should be ashamed of himself; at the very least I hope the authorities suspend his certification (if he has any) due to this breach of a fundemental safety requirement.

5. If you have caused the suspension of drilling operations on the Stena Don how are they going to secure this well before the season closes? Do you not understand that you cannot just stop and leave a live well? Again I refer to your total lack of research and drilling knowledge.

Do not assume that everyone supports your confrontational action (a quick look at your responses on this site will show you the real opinions).

Come on Greenpeace, I challenge you to prove that you know what you are talking about, that you thoroughly researched the current status onboard Stena Don and that you have not caused a hazardous situation.

And for the sake of clarity following previous insulting replies to my entries I would reiterate:

I do not work for Cairn, or any other oil company.

As part of my education and training (Geologist) I do have an in-depth knowledge of offshore drilling.

I have young children and care about the environment as much as anyone.

Do you really think a group of losers hanging off the underside of the rig will prevent operations from commencing???? I doubt it very much!!
Here's hoping a storm will arrive and knock the activists into the sea and test out there dry suits!!! Lets see how smart you lot are trying to recover those fools in high winds and heavy seas!!! Good luck!
Question for any of you lot up in the arctic onboard the "ESPY", does your boat run on seawater or does it require fuel to run??

take your sorry asses back home to your mummies and daddies, then get a real job, tie up your ships, lay up your planes, park up your trucks and save wasting time energy and fuel, you complete idiots. Oh yes, did I mention, go get a real job.

Greenpeace have boarded an oil rig mid-drill in order to stop it completing a well during a relatively tight window of weather permission. I know of no public information on whether the well is at a critical point (nearing expected oil or gas contact) or not thus Greenpeace could not be expected to know either without insider information. Stopping mid-drill cannot be in the best interests of safety, and neither can the weather window closing in. Just taking the weather window, that leaves two options. End the well quickly or stay a bit longer beyond the safe window. One endangers the environment and the other endangers a rig and all that are aboard - neither in my view are great prospects. For those that are happy to stop oil production, does your home have electricity? Is oil not involved in its production at some point? We cannot live without oil until a suitable alternative is available and there is no suitable alternative at this point. Oil production is not just for greed, it is more for need. Agreed that alternative cleaner methods would be far better, just that they are in their infancy and not capable of replacing oil at this point in time. We have two options here, use oil until these alternative methods are up to speed and capable of keeping the world lit and heated and moving or live cold, dark and without cars, boats, aeroplanes etc.

Yes, spills are eventually inevitable and in this environment would be a much bigger and longer lasting disaster than the one in the Gulf. Those who are opposing Greenpeace here are either ignoring this fact or are too ignorant to be aware. We are at present facing a worldwide environmental disaster and the greatest extinction event since the time of the dinosaurs and these fools are urging us all to remain complacent. If oil must be sought it must not be in places like this and thank god there are people opposing this stupidity. We all need to be constantly demanding that our governments take the urgent action to switch to clean energy that they would take if we were going to war. Much of the technology is already available. The fact that this madness continues is a tribute to the power and influence and greed of the oil companies and their government lackeys.

"spills are eventually inevitable and in this environment would be a much bigger and longer lasting disaster than the one in the Gulf" The size of any spill is only determined by the capacity of the storage facility it is contained within and wheter it has a continuous replenisihing supply or not. There is no suggestion (as no reservoirs have yeh been discovered) that if a spill were to occur in Greenland that it would be larger by volume spill than that of the GOM. Due to the oceanic currents in Greenland the hypothetical spill will follow the surface currents which flow down Greenland and into the Atlantic. In the GOM the oceanic currents flow towards the coast and panhandle of the Florida coast hence why the oil was vastly depeosited there. I have ignored no fact here nor have I made any assumptions. ""We are at present facing a worldwide environmental disaster and the greatest extinction event since the time of the dinosaurs and these fools are urging us all to remain complacent!" Extinction is when a one single species no longer exists. A Mass extinction is when many species over a relativly short space of time become extinct. The volume of species that became extinct 65million years ago in the cretaecous (roughly same time as the dinosaurs) wiped out approximatly 70% of all land species based of fossil records. Prior to that around 250million years ago during the permian-triassic transition, 96% of the life in the ocean became extinct and approx again 70% of that on land. Again this is based on a fossil record of species found. We are not in a mass extinction period. Extinction is going on, natural and partly due to the expansion of humans and partly due to the interglacial period we are now in. Previous to that it went on during the Glacial period of which extincations also occured. What is known is that the current levels of extincion do somewhat loosely follow population trends, increase the population, increase extinction. Our planets population level is unsustainable and this is by far a bigger issue than drilling in Greenland. "If oil must be sought it must not be in places like this and thank god there are people opposing this stupidity....The fact that this madness continues is a tribute to the power and influence and greed of the oil companies and their government lackeys." It is being sought in places like this as the demand is so high for oil as expanding and develpoing countries have the same rights to it oil as we in the western world do. Two countries which are some on the largest consumers of oil on the planet combined hold half the worlds population, India and China. Thats a frightening stastic and they are all demaning their fair share. Now dont get me wrong, I am all for alternative energy but we do not yet have the technological nor infastructure related capacity to suddenly stop using oil. It takes time so while goverments are making some changes, keep the pressure on but remember to keep it factual and not hysterical.

Who cares what your hairsplitting definitions are. We know that species in large numbers are disappearing. 90% of the oceans large fish are already gone. The west coast cod fishery in Canada has been shut down for many years and the fish stocks haven't bounced back. And no one is expecting oil use to stop suddenly, just demanding that a major effort be made to produce power by green methods and stop the most destructive practises immediately - such as this kind of drilling and the tar sands in Canada where I live. These kinds of activities are shameful.

Solar You have understand that calling something a mass extinction when it is not is over the top. Its like reversing your car into a bollard and calling it a moterway pile up. Dont get me wrong I understand and can see how passionate you are but as someone who works in the geological and palaeostratigraphical field (I look at dead fossils), we are not in a mass extinction event. The extinction that occured during the Quaternary and Holocene period do not indicate this. Even if you dont care what the correct scientific definitions are please at least have a little respect for those that do care. If I were to call a spade a plant pot you would correct me on my definition, stands to reason why I have explained the above. Now as for the 90% of the oceans large fish that are gone, may I kindly ask which resource you found this information from? I am wondering where this number came from or is it specific to your area of the world? I am actually interested in reading it belive it or not as I want to know what the foundation stock was is based on to arrive at this number. As for the fishing stocks, yes I agree we over-fish and I would like nothing more that to have sustainible fishing even if it does mean fish costs an arm and a leg to purchase. I would also like to see a stop to targeted fishing as I believe that way, non targeted fish can still be as tasty as cod or haddock for instance. There is no doubt our appetite for fish is driving this over-fishing just like our appetite for oil is driving the need to explore new sources of oil production. Wheter or not you or I disagree/agree on it, it will carry on. I also demand many things in my life like you, some I get, some I do not. The ones I dont get are usually down to money and economics. This is the problem. Would be nice if the oil companies invested some in cleaner energy sources to help aid the reduction in our reliance of oil, a small handful actually do, hard to believe I know. But where is the money going to come from to put this action into plan? The goverments? Oil companies? Energy companies? Ultimatley it will come from people like you and I in the form of tax, profits from household energy companies etc. As for the tar sands, well I agree with you, its quite wrong to dig up millions of hectares of land to get at the tar/bitumen. Although a form of mining it is probably the worse kind possible and the ration of in-put vs out-put is very marginal at 1:2. The only way that this project will stop is if the oil price reduces to $40-50 a barrel rendering it uneconomical. But please understand im not attacking your beliefs nor you passion all im trying to do is have a good discussion/debate using information and beliefs that to the best of our knowledge is true and correct. So if any of this I have offended your belief, I do appologise it is not my intention but please dont dismiss that which is universially fact.

Drilling is a hazardous operation but can be conducted safely, as demonstrated by the thousands of safe, secure, non-polluting wells all over the world. It can also go wrong as demonstrated by the Macondo well in the Gulf of Mexico. The drilling rigs in Greenland are the most technically advanced in the world and have a flawless safety record - it was for this reason that they were secured by Cairn Energy and they were passed fit for use by the Greenland Government. The operations in these waters are constantly assessed for safety under some of the strictest controls ever enforced on a drilling operation. The drilling in Greenland has the full legal permission of the Greenland Government and is fully supported by the people of Greenland – this was clearly demonstrated by Greenpeace's failed attempt to drum up support at it's disastrous meetings in Nuuk, Greenland’s capital. The drilling rigs crew will now have their concentration interrupted by these clowns that have tied themselves to the rig. Instead of being able to concentrate on the job they are trained to do they will now have to ensure that these Greenpeace idiots do not injure themselves. The actions of Greenpeace in Greenland are irresponsible and should be stopped immediately. Any protests should be carried out by legal process not by endangering the rigs crew and the environment. Stop this reckless action immediately; Greenpeace does not have the right to put lives and the environment at risk just to satisfy its insatiable, unhealthy appetite for publicity.

Could the previous comment be any more like a statement from a PR firm? Who are Cairn's merchants of spin anyway? They need to improve their skills if they want to look a little less like someone employed by an oil company to get them out of a blatant mess.

I'm astonished that these hypocrites claim they are trying to protect the environment then use thousands of pounds worth of diesel and have hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of kit (only possible due to the exploration of oil) and then breach interational maritime laws. Even a fishing boat is not allowed within 500 mtrs of an oil platform - it's the law. And yet they continue to say 'it's a peaceful protest. Greenpeace is nothing more than a cult full of brainwashed sorry indviduals with no desire to work and pay taxes. They have gone to Greenland to board an oil installation and stop drilling then complain that a Danish Naval warship is shadowing them. Imagine that, A Danish ship in Danish waters... whatever next...”

The unbelievable comment is taken from Leila Deen's incredibly misinformed blog. She seems proud to state: "We are stopping the Stena Don drilling for oil, their window to complete the drilling is brief before the sea ice returns for the winter. Our climbers are prepared to stay as long as it takes to run Cairn out of time". The Stena Don is on a live well which, according to press releases, contains hydrocarbons. If they have had to suspend operations due to the risk to Greenpeace 'activists' then they will be unable to complete the well and run/cement casing. This has to be done before the season closes in. If Greenpeace stops the rig from continuing then the Stena Don will have to depart leaving an uncompleted, highly unstable well posing an incredible pollution risk. Has Greenpeace taken any advice from a qualified and experienced Drilling Engineer regarding the highly hazardous situation they have caused? Do they even have a Drilling Engineer onboard their vessel to advise them on the incredible risks they are taking? Do they know what the actual operation on the rig was when they caused this disruption? I doubt it. Greenpeace have, by their totally irresponsible actions, dramatically increased the likelihood of problems with this well. If you don't believe me ask any Reservoir Engineer and dont forget that the disaster in the Gulf of Mexico was caused by a poorly completed well with a badly cemented casing string. Is this what Greenpeace wants to help them get the publicity they crave?

Thanks for the compliment but No, I am not a PR Company. I am not employed by Cairn. I am simply a concerned individual who knows the dangers off offshore drilling and is educated and informed enough to post a realistic blog rather than misinformed rants. It saddens me that people have to demean other peoples comments just because they don't agree with them - I thought Greenpeace was a more democratic organisation than that.

realitycheck121 - I cannot believe that you would come onto Greenpeace's own blog, criticise their actions and the people that spend hundreds of hours volunteering for them and not expect to be demeaned yourself. It's more than a little hypocritical. Your argument makes good points, but is based purely on speculation. Do you know for certain what stage Cairn energy are actually at in their drilling operation?

realitycheck121 I'm afraid greenpeace are nothing but a cult now i'm afraid and the young people that the recruit are brainwashed into believing what they are told. If anyone condradicts their opinion (which they believe to be fact) then they are branded as wrong. It astonishes me that some of these people are too blinkered in their views that they cannot see the damage they create wherever they go. Obviously freedom of speech is something else they don't like.... greenpeace against Democracy - maybe they should fly that flag

Sam, are you being serious "spend hundreds of hours volunteering for them"... What!!! instead of working and paying taxes, like the guys on the installation working away from home to support their families, trying to make a crust - the same one that greenpeace have illegally boarded. (that means against the law... laws are there to protect society from those that do not wish to conform). Why do greenpeace continually feel they can do what they want in order for other people to hear there views regardless of the cost, wether it means breaking the law or not. I honestly believe these people should grow up, take stock of their lives and walk away..... they will not be thought of any less........

Further to your comment: "Your argument makes good points, but is based purely on speculation. Do you know for certain what stage Cairn energy are actually at in their drilling operation?" Press releases, including Greenpeaces own, stated that hydrocarbons have been encountered so it is highly likely that the Stena Don is currently drilling onto a reservoir. But the very, very, important point is that did Greenpeace check the status of the operation before they caused its suspension?? If they did not then they are not just naive, they are reckless and dangerous. My statements are not hypocritical, they are simple and honest: An oil rig connected to a live well in an offshore oilfield is not the place for protest. It is adding risk to the operation. That is not speculation, that is fact. Greenpeace has the right to disagree with this drilling operation; it does not have the right to increase the risk to the oilworkers and the environment.

@realitycheck (or should that be realitycheque?): I don't understand why anyone not in the pay of the oil industry would defend the likes of Cairn, and their reckless Arctic policy. Petrochemicals are an ancient and hideously polluting source of energy. Not only does their contribution to global warming increase the risk of rendering the earth uninhabitable, their development potential is exhausted, and the industry is left with the most remote and inaccessible reserves, the extraction of which pose the greatest threats to the fragile ecosystem we share. Renewable energy is clean, its research and development is still in its infancy, it's rapidly becoming more efficient and cheaper to produce... even the most selfish people on the planet should welcome it, because all the consumer products they crave will progressively cost less and less. In historical terms, the oil will soon run out anyway. If the sums being spent wrecking the Gulf of Mexico with poorly maintained rigs, wrecking huge swathes of Canada in order to extract oil from its tar sands, and soon to be wrecking the Arctic in their greedy search - unless Greepeace and its supporters can stop them - were spent instead on further research into renewables, our world would become a brighter, cleaner and and more efficient place to live sooner rather than later, or too late. So I repeat: why would anyone defend the old, filthy, destructive, establishment energy industry unless they were in its pay? Cairn should pack up and go home. Their industry's record should disqualify it from extending its destructive activities any further. CONGRATULATIONS GREENPEACE! ALL POWER TO YOU AND YOUR BRAVE ACTIVISTS!

While I agree with the premise that we need to move beyond oil as a main energy source, this campaign appears a little bit self-congratulatory and ill-conceived. Rather than applying pressure to the actors who are at the root of the problem - arguably big oil, the car industry and governments of several big powers - Greenpeace UK have sent white, urban, middle class activists to interference in the only source of revenue that would potentially give Greenland an economic basis for independence. This is a society of 50,000 people who would become the first state governed by Inuit people. Why are these activists not in the Gulf of Mexico instead? Or Alaska? The safety record in any of those places (under US jurisdiction) would certainly merit sending a few boats. It smacks a little bit of condescension (to put it politely). Moreover, I found the blog posts on the Greenlandic fishermen and their tied with nature slightly offensive considering the impact previous Greenpeace campaigns has had on their (sustainable) livelihood. By all means, please do campaign against climate change and the environment, but be smarter about how you go about it and deal with the root causes. Harassing Greenland does not address oil demand and consumption. Disclaimer: No, I do not and have never worked for the oil industry and there is little love lost between Big Oil and myself.

@realitycheck121, saynotogreenpeace This action has been planned to be as safe as possible - there's no risk to the people on the rig or the Danish navy. The only risk is to the climbers on the rig, but they volunteered for this work and they're extremely experienced at this kind of thing. It won't be comfortable up there, but their well-being is a top priority for the support team on the Esperanza. Speaking of which, the Esperanza is in constant contact with the rig manager so he knows what we're doing. As for the drilling, the Stena Don has not found oil, it hasn't even found gas - that was the Stena Forth, the drilling ship in the same area. No chance of a spill because of our action. Cairn might not be in the same league as Exxon or Shell, but if it found oil those companies wouldn't be far behind in staking a claim. Stopping Cairn from finding oil will stop the big boys as well. And believe it or not, it is possible to volunteer and hold down a steady job at the same time. Millions do it every day... web editor gpuk

Hi t_juarez, Just letting you know that Greenpeace does actually have a ship in the Gulf of Mexico right now - you can follow it's work here: http://www.greenpeace.org/usa/oilspilltruth Also, it's a bit of a generalisation to say the crew are white and middle class - the crew of Greenpeace ships tends to be very, very international, and from all walks of life. Some great portraits of the Esperanza's current crew here

We all have a right to the truth. Now it strikes me that Cairn were not being in any way forthright with the media. They have specifically said they don't want to talk about what provisions they may have, were an oil spill to occur, and they have only 14 vessels anywhere near to hand; it took 3000 to deal with the Gulf, and that was a far more accessible location. Cairn are an accident waiting to happen. I am curious about these people who criticise Greenpeace. You are perfectly entitled to, but it seems strange to criticise and then offer no solutions. What would you all do to stop Cairn? As far as I'm concerned, Greenpeace are doing the most effective-meets-economic protest. Sometimes you have to use some resources like oil to quit it. Besides, their ship, Esperanza, is far more efficient on the amount of oil it uses than almost any other ship afloat. If an oil spill occurs, it's not enough to say "I told you so." I would like to thank Greenpeace, truly, with all my heart. You're the only ones brave enough to put yourselves in danger for the rest of us, and stand up and demand the right to have a say in what happens to our Earth. Thank-you, Greenpeace, so much!

I don't really have an opinion on the matter at hand. I'm not particularly keen on the Greenpeace activitists or the oil companies, so you'll have to excuse me whilst I do not simply jump on one side or the other. In my experience, situations such as this are overwhelmingly complicated beyond a point of simple right or wrong. As a neutral reader, it's very obvious that 'realitycheck121' is in someway associated with the Cairn Company or the Oil Industry in general and the fact that they have denied this, merely undermines everything that they have said as it portrays them as an unreliable source of information. As for the 'Operation' itself, it seems a little desperate and perhaps even narrow-minded to simply attack the oil company in this way. They would not be out there drilling for oil if we were not all so dependant on it in the first place, if our governments were not so desperate to obtain energy and if we were not consentrating on the fact that one day fairly soon (in the grand scheme) we will have to make do with sustainable energy options. Perhapswe should all do more towards finding soultions for that, rather than fighting over the last scraps of crude oil?

There's two sides to every argument. But I'm on this one. There is only one environment - our environment, and we share it with every other living thing - we're custodians. We have to stop our endless abuse of the environment just to support our beserk societies. You may well think that this drilling is safe - but what does that mean? Safe as in safer than what? It's alot less safe than not doing it - and think - what if? Is it really worth it? Explain what we're doing to your great grandchildren - imagine that conversation, from both perspectives. Well done Greenpeace. Good Campaign. I see it that you're not aiming your protest at the people on the rig. You're not just stopping this exploration, you're raising awareness by catching attention, making people think and, the way I see it, raising the profile of the debate over what we should be focussing our energy-dependent attention on. Oil? Or the Planet? Simple as. What's best? I know where I stand.

I refer to your totally inacurate comments: "As for the drilling, the Stena Don has not found oil, it hasn't even found gas - that was the Stena Forth, the drilling ship in the same area. No chance of a spill because of our action." The truth is that you do not know the status of this well and I challenge Greenpeace to provide the following information for the public domain: 1. What was the status of the well before Greenpeace invaded (as a minimum: depth, downhole pressure, gas concentration, etc) and how do you know that your intervention was not hazardous? Without this simple information you cannot know that it was safe to cause a suspension of the operation and your action was reckless. 2. How do you know that the Stena Don has not encountered gas/oil? The fact that a previous blog states that the Stena Forth has moved to a different location would indicate the exact opposite;ie the Stena Forth found nothing and has moved on but the Stena Don has. 3. Do Greenpeace have a Drilling Engineer onboard Esperanza advising them on the the technicalities and dangers of exploration drilling? This question has been asked previously and remains unanswered. 4. Can you provide evidence that the Rig Manager was advised of the impending invasion by your activsists? By law every vessel MUST advise drilling units before they enter the 500m safety zone to avoid conflicts of operation. This is a fundemental safety requirement which you have breached. The so called Captain of the Esperanza should be ashamed of himself; at the very least I hope the authorities suspend his certification (if he has any) due to this breach of a fundemental safety requirement. 5. If you have caused the suspension of drilling operations on the Stena Don how are they going to secure this well before the season closes? Do you not understand that you cannot just stop and leave a live well? Again I refer to your total lack of research and drilling knowledge. Do not assume that everyone supports your confrontational action (a quick look at your responses on this site will show you the real opinions). Come on Greenpeace, I challenge you to prove that you know what you are talking about, that you thoroughly researched the current status onboard Stena Don and that you have not caused a hazardous situation. And for the sake of clarity following previous insulting replies to my entries I would reiterate: I do not work for Cairn, or any other oil company. As part of my education and training (Geologist) I do have an in-depth knowledge of offshore drilling. I have young children and care about the environment as much as anyone.

Do you really think a group of losers hanging off the underside of the rig will prevent operations from commencing???? I doubt it very much!! Here's hoping a storm will arrive and knock the activists into the sea and test out there dry suits!!! Lets see how smart you lot are trying to recover those fools in high winds and heavy seas!!! Good luck! Question for any of you lot up in the arctic onboard the "ESPY", does your boat run on seawater or does it require fuel to run??

take your sorry asses back home to your mummies and daddies, then get a real job, tie up your ships, lay up your planes, park up your trucks and save wasting time energy and fuel, you complete idiots. Oh yes, did I mention, go get a real job.

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