Greenpeace activists are at it again, this time boarding a Royal Dutch Shell oil rig headed for the Arctic to prove that global warming is real.
Six Greenpeace members climbed on top of Shell’s Polar Pioneer offshore drilling rig and will make camp on the underside of the rig’s main deck. The activists had been tracking the oil rig for days across the ocean in a campaign called “The Crossing” to protest the Obama administration’s decision to allow drilling in the Chukchi Sea.
As Polar Pioneer makes for port in Seattle, Greenpeace activists have been tweeting about their crusade to stop Arctic drilling. Activists had been tracking the oil rig for 5,000 miles.
I am not a hero… I am just one man from a global movement that has used his skills and taken a stand for what is right. #TheCrossing
— JOHNO SMITH (@nsp_one) April 6, 2015
It's 7 million people versus Shell. Who do you think will win? http://t.co/XyztkGrzlB #TheCrossing pic.twitter.com/LldXXCLv3q
— Greenpeace USA (@greenpeaceusa) April 6, 2015
For months, environmentalists have been ramping up their campaign to oppose offshore drilling. Protests increased after the Obama administration unveiled its five-year drilling plan which allowed for drilling in the Arctic as well as the Mid-Atlantic — though about 87 percent of offshore areas were kept off limits to drilling.
In February, an activist with the Center for Biological Diversity donned a polar bear costume at a rally against offshore drilling. Greenpeace, I guess, decided to up the ante and actually put activists — fully equipped with modern technology so they could use the Internet — on an oil rig.
Activist Johno Smith, who is on the oil rig, believes that “shining a light on what Shell is doing will encourage more people to take a strong stand against them and other companies who are seeking to destroy this planet for profit.”
Unfortunately for Joho, those profit-seeking companies, like Shell, bring hundreds of millions of people cheap power that gets them through their day. Not only that, a recent report by Department of Energy advisers said that Arctic oil will be needed when shale formations start to run dry.
“To remain globally competitive and to be positioned to provide global leadership and influence in the Arctic, the United States should facilitate exploration in the offshore Alaskan Arctic now,” according to a National Petroleum Council report.
But the Obama administration has taken an approach to the Arctic that’s close to what Greenpeace wants than what Shell wants. The administration has asked Congress to permanently close the Alaska National Wildlife Reserve to oil drilling. The administration also took large swaths of Arctic seas off the table for drilling.
The U.S. is also set to lead the multinational Arctic Council this year. While Russia and other countries have been looking for ways to increase their presence in the region, the U.S. has said it will focus on global warming and how it’s harming the region.
“The impact of climate change, especially sea-ice reduction, is already threatening certain species as well as the local communities that subsist on them,” Arctic Ambassador Robert Papp told the House in December. “Our goal is to protect the environment for the people who live there and to conserve the natural resources in the face of ever-expanding human activity that will surely have impacts.”
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