Hundreds of kayakers gathered in the waters of Seattle’s Elliott Bay on Saturday to protest Shell’s plans to begin Arctic drilling this summer.
The group that planned the event, called the “Paddle in Seattle,” said Saturday’s demonstration began a three-day “massive peaceful resistance,” the Associated Pressreports. Protesters of all ages, on land and in the water, carried signs with phrases like “Climate Justice” and ”Shell No, Seattle Draws The Line.” On Monday, the group plans to block access to the oil giant’s rig parked in the Port of Seattle’s Terminal 5 and delay preparations for drilling.
Environmental activists argue that Shell’s drilling plans in the Arctic pose a threat to local wildlife and will contribute to dependence on fossil fuels. They also cite the company’s failed attempt to drill in 2012 as evidence that Shell would not be able to respond adequately to a large-scale oil spill.
By Justin Worland for TIME magazine
Read the full article: http://ti.me/1JysK6K
Toast the Coast brings people together
"Shell is right now moving its Arctic fleet into position to begin drilling for oil in Alaska's ice-covered waters—oil they want to eventually ship in super-tankers South along the coast," the Toast the Coast web page states.
One of the speakers will be Oscar-winning actor Jane Fonda, who's been a vociferous critic of Shell's plans.
Fonda's opposition to Arctic drilling has been inspired by Canadian writer Naomi Klein's recent book on climate change, This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate. It demonstrates how grassroots activists are transforming the debate over global warming with direct action and promoting divestment in fossil-fuel companies.
By Charlie Smith for The Georgia Straight
Read full article: http://bit.ly/1Ff9LLz
Royal Dutch Shell's offshore oil rig, the Polar Pioneer, departed Monday morning from Seattle to Alaska's Chuckchi Sea, where it will spend the summer on an oil drilling expedition environmentalists warn could wreak havoc on not just the region but the globe, The Seattle Times reports.
As the rig set sea, some 50 activists defied the rig's 500-yard safety zone and took to kayaks and canoes in an attempt to disrupt its departure. Thirteen of the activists, including Seattle City Councilmember Mike O'Brien, were arrested.
Environmentalists have been protesting in Seattle and attempting to disrupt the rig's departure since January, when Shell announced plans to park the rig at the city's port for the eight months of the year it is not drilling in the Arctic. Local politicians, including Seattle's mayor, have attempted to kick Shell's rig out of the city, to no avail.
BY KRISTEN GWYNNE for Rolling Stone Magazine
Read more: http://rol.st/1IjgIkU
Shell’s fleet is already heading north to Alaska, even though the firm still needs to obtain two site-specific drilling permits and letters approving the “harassment” of land mammals including polar bears and walruses – Shell has already got their permit to harass thousands of whales and seals.
In a letter to the US Secretary of the Interior, a coalition of environmental groups – lead by law non-profit Earthjustice – pointed out that, under 2013 Fish and Wildlife Service regulations, drilling rigs are required to be placed no less than 15 miles apart.
Shell’s proposed drill sites have only nine miles distance between them, however, according to Shell’s own Arctic oil exploration plans.
Update 1 July: The Obama administration has ruled wildlife protections for walruses and polar bears bar Shell from drilling two wells simultaneously in the Chukchi Sea this summer. The firm will be able to move its two contracted rigs to the waters off the Alaskan coast, but only bore wells with one at any given time. This is because the wells are only 9 miles apart, not the 15 miles required.
By Holly Dove for Greenpeace Energydesk
Get the full story: http://bit.ly/1BAVjT9
A damaged icebreaker that is critical to Shell’s Arctic drilling campaign is set to be repaired in Portland, Ore., rather than in Alaska, potentially delaying the company’s work on an exploratory oil well in the Chukchi Sea.
Shell Oil Co. officials said Monday they were still hoping to launch drilling this month at the firm’s Burger prospect 70 miles off the Alaska coast. But it was unclear whether federal regulators would allow the activity, since the damaged vessel was supposed to keep ice from intruding on Shell’s planned drill site and supply equipment in case of an emergency.
The decision ends a week-long drama over the fate of the MSV Fennica, after a meter-long gash appeared in its hull July 3, soon after it departed the Alaska port of Dutch Harbor for the Chukchi Sea.
By Jennifer A. Dlouhy for FuelFix from The Houston Chronicle
Full article: http://bit.ly/1K2Lktb
ACTION: Shell will soon start destroying the Arctic and the natural habitat of the Polar bear. We don’t have long to join our voices and stop them.
If the Arctic suffers, we all suffer, so we want you to make a statement by merging your Facebook or Twitter profile pictures with the #SHELLNO oil spill.
1. Go to twibbon.com/support/SaveTheArctic and follow the instructions.
2. Add your new oil spill profile picture to Facebook or Twitter
3. Share a post with the #SHELLNO hashtag to help raise awareness
ACTION: We want to have a direct negative effect on Shell before they have a negative effect on the Arctic. If as many people as possible post to Shell’s Facebook page and share with thier friends and contacts, it’s sure to be problematic for them. If we all do this at the same time, they will have a hard time removing everything!
1. Copy the following text:
Shell could start drilling in the Arctic sea by August, which could result in disaster, but we are still in time to stop it! http://grnpc.org/IgDck
2. Go to Shell’s Facebook page (Royal dutch Shell) https://www.facebook.com/Shell?fref=ts&rf=114853711863793
3. Paste the previous text and post to page
4. Take a picture of your action before it's too late, share it using the hashtag #SHELLNO and invite your friends to do the same!
ACTION: The Global Day of Action is approaching fast- it’s time to get crafty and get prepared to #GetUpAnd #SaveTheArctic
1. Craft your own message to display in your windows, in your town or to take with you to a local GDA demonstration on May 30.
2. Use A3 or A4 colored paper, with one of the suggested #tags, and write your own message below it- you could use paints, markers, paper collage and more. The brighter the better- you can’t ignore a rainbow!
3. Here are some suggestions:
#GetUpAnd SAVE THE ARCTIC
#GetUpAnd STOP ARCTIC DRILLING
#GetUpAnd STOP SHELL
#GetUpAnd STOP USING FOSSIL FUELS
#GetUpAnd SWITCH TO SOLAR
ACTION: An informed public is a powerful public. Help us to raise awareness about Shell’s risky plans to drill the Arctic which could result in potentially irreversible damage. Download our Protesting Polar Bear pack and create your own stencils or stickers to use in your town, at your work, at demonstrations, anywhere you can think of. Get involved with creative action to help us Stop Shell and Save the Arctic.
*We recommend that these resources are used responsibly and that you always seek permission before placing a sticker or stencil art.
1. Download your printable pack:
2. Print your pack and start cutting, sticking, coloring — really make it your own!
3. Encourage everybody you know to get involved too: share the petition and tell them all about the Action Countdown!
ACTION: Finland was the first country to propose Arctic sanctuary but now it's sending its icebreakers to take part in Shell's oil exploration venture. We want Finland to SAVE the arctic, not help destroy it! Helsinki is protesting "en masse". Show your support and add your voice by sharing this flyer on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, anywhere you like! Check out the event page https://www.facebook.com/events/1601234600146622/ to follow the action.
1. Share on Facebook asking Finland to dissolve its contract with Shell. Use the hashtags #ShellNo #PeopleVsShell #HelsinkiVsShell
2. You can also share the flyer on your friend’s Timeline or in a specific group and to really help it travel you can tag your friends when you post!
60 high profile celebrities have joined the campaign to Save the Arctic. Right now, their photos are on display on the London Underground, near Shell’s HQ. Shell could start drilling for oil in the beautiful Arctic in a matter of days.
The photos - shot by world renowned celebrity photographer Andy Gotts MBE - see them wearing original t-shirts designed fashion icon Vivienne Westwood.
It’s not just these celebrities who are backing the campaign - there are 7 million of us all across the world who have signed the petition. Can you sign too?
ACTION: Go to the landing page and share the picture of your favourite celebrity on your facebook wall or twitter timeline.
You can also share photos on your friend’s timeline or in a specific group. Another way to raise awareness about the cause is tagging your friends directly in the post.
There is a 75% chance of an oil spill if Shell is allowed to pump oil commercially from the Arctic Chukchi Sea.
We don’t think Shell are prepared AT ALL. There is no proven way of cleaning up oil spilled in ice and the industry’s plans for dealing with an accident have been described as “imagineering, not engineering.” A ruptured well under ice could leak for many months, perhaps even as long as 2 years, risking catastrophic damage to this fragile and little understood ecosystem.
In order to send a message to Shell, Greenpeace Germany is attempting to construct the world’s largest cleaning rag. You are invited to create your own rag to share on your social media pages and send a personalized e-mail which will be handed over to Shell with their giant cleaning rag!
Will Shell need to use the rag? Or will they realize their plan is too risky and call a halt before it’s too late?
1. Click TAKE ACTION to go to the Rag Factory
2. Choose the colour and design of your rag and add your own personalized message
3. Share your rag message to your facebook wall and tell all your friends that you stand against Arctic drilling
4. Click “SEND MESSAGE”
5. Afterwards Greenpeace Germany will print and assemble all the messages collected on real rags to create a huge cleaning rag from the people against Shell.
Shell’s Arctic drilling fleet is on the move. The drillship, Noble Discoverer and the oil rig Polar Pioneer are on their way to the Alaskan Arctic via Seattle. We aren’t going to allow them to slip into the far north unnoticed and here are just a few reasons why not.
September 2012 - In an initial test in Puget Sound, WA, Shell's Arctic oil spill containment system is "crushed like a beer can."
November 2012 - The drillship, Noble Discoverer, catches fire.
December 31, 2012 - Kulluk drilling rig breaks loose from tow lines five times in heavy storm and runs aground off Kodiak Island, Alaska.
The company that operated the Noble Discoverer and the infamous Kulluk oil rig for Shell, pleaded guilty to 8 environmental and maritime felonies in 2014.
Other oil companies have stated that Arctic drilling is too risky, and have even allowed their own permits to expire.
Does that sound like a company that should be trusted with the future of the Arctic?
Launched in February 2002, the Esperanza is the largest vessel in the Greenpeace fleet. And Esperanza – Spanish for "hope" – was the first Greenpeace ship to be named by our supporters. The ship has been there to shine a light on Shell’s activities ever since the threat to the Arctic became clear.
In April 2015, the Esperanza followed Shell’s Polar Pioneer drilling platform across the Pacific Ocean, where 6 activists scaled the massive rig and stayed there for 6 days! With their actions the People Vs Shell movement truly began.
When the Esperanza reached Canadian waters, Greenpeace Canada invited the first ever Indigenous Delegation on board to bring coastal Indigenous Communities and Arctic Defenders together to protest Arctic drilling.
When the oil rig left the port of Seattle in June (after many kayactivist protests) the Esperanza was ready and waiting to intercept and take Indigenous Activist Audrey Siegl face to face with the the 300-foot-tall structure. Her message was clear: #ShellNo!
The Arctic is home to an incredible and diverse wildlife, of which the polar bear is one of the most recognizable species. But many Arctic species depend on sea ice to survive, and this ice is vanishing at a terrifying rate.
Without sea ice to hunt, rest, and breed, the very survival of polar bears and other wildlife is under direct threat. Mother polar bears are struggling to find food and maintain strength and reproduction amongst polar bears is declining. The cubs that are born must fight against increasing odds just to survive into adulthood.
Unless we take action soon, experts warn that polar bears could disappear completely from the Arctic in the next 100 years. Act now to protect their home.
Over 13 million people call the Arctic region their home. Indigenous Peoples have inhabited the region for countless generations.
Many communities in the Arctic continue to rely on sustainable hunting, fishing, whaling and the gathering of wild plants for food and medicine, all of which is a big part of their cultural identities and critical to providing sustenance. Climate change in the Arctic is already affecting the lives of its residents as hunting becomes increasingly risky and animals migratory patterns keep changing.
An oil spill in the Arctic region could bring devastation to the communities that rely on the health of its ecosystem for their survival. Many people in these communities are speaking out against reckless fossil fuel development. We stand alongside them in solidarity to say Shell NO.
The Arctic is the like a global air conditioner. But thanks to climate change it's warming twice as fast as the rest of the world and sea ice is vanishing before our eyes.
The ice at the top of the world acts as a parasol and reflects much of the sun’s heat back into space and keeps the planet cool, stabilizing the weather systems that we depend on to grow our food.
Because of pollution from fossil fuels, the amount of sea ice in the Arctic Ocean is falling rapidly. This melting could further disrupt global weather patterns and make warming happen faster. The Earth would begin to absorb more of the Sun’s energy, causing even more warming which would be devastating not only for the people and animals who live in the region - but for the entire planet. Protecting the Arctic means protecting us all.
Shell has faced many challenges on its path to destruction, but the most problematic and unanticipated of all has to be...the PEOPLE.
In May 2015, the Obama Administration gave Shell conditional approval for their plans to drill for oil in the Arctic. This was the catalyst that ignited colorful and impassioned protests, particularly in Seattle, where the Shell fleet was attempting to dock prior to their Arctic voyage.
The Paddle in Seattle ensued. Hundreds of activists took to the waters of Elliot’s Bay in a rainbow of kayaks and canoes to give Shell a resounding ShellNO! The images were striking as brave “kayaktavists” from many organizations and groups arranged themselves near Shell’s gargantuan oil rig. The demo attracted worldwide attention from the media and it wasn’t long before President Obama himself felt the need to speak out in defense of Shell’s plan.
June 15 saw a kayak blockade of the Polar Pioneer as it attempted to set off to the Arctic. Activists succeeded in delaying Shell by several hours both in the harbour of Seattle and nearby at Bainbridge Island. It became apparent that Shell was not prepared to manage unexpected circumstances, which does not bode well for their period of exploration in the Arctic.
The PEOPLE have made it clear: Arctic drilling is not acceptable.
What if...there is an oil spill?
Shell claims it can recover 95% of oil spilled, but in many cases, in kinder environments, recovery rates are less than 10%. So Shell is probably not able to come even close to their claimed number. On top of that research shows that most oil recovery techniques do not work in Arctic conditions. On top of THAT oil is barely affected (so it is barely broken down) by natural processes in the Arctic. The result would be a disaster.
What if...Shell finds oil?
This will result in a lot of extra pressure on the currently pristine Arctic waters due to increased traffic from oil rigs and tankers, creating an impact on the local wildlife. More oil companies will start exploration and Shell would expand drilling efforts, increasing the risk of the inevitable oil spill.
If Shell finds oil in the Arctic and this oil is burnt, we could see global temperatures rise above the globally agreed limit of 2°C to avoid the worst effects of dangerous climate change.