- Congress sends sweeping defense bill to Obama
- Multiple injuries as balcony collapses at London’s Apollo theatre during performance
- Egypt rights center raided, 2 Mubaraks acquitted
- New Mexico Supreme Court rules same-sex marriage constitutional
- Blame Bush: 5 years later, that’s still the mantra, pollsters find
- Dutch prostitutes demand same retirement benefits as soccer stars
- John McCain to Harry Reid: I’ll ‘kick the crap’ out of you
- Dogs that talk: Researchers seek $10K for ‘No More Woof’ technology
- 1,000 firefighters called to battle stubborn Big Sur wildfire
- Black Friday brouhaha: Millions of Target shoppers hit by credit card theft
Arctic becomes cold war zone
Question of the Day
STOCKHOLM — Global warming has ignited a rush to exploit Arctic resources — and Greenpeace is determined to thwart that stampede.
Employing the same tactics it has used against nuclear testing or commercial whaling, the environmental group is now set on preventing oil companies from drilling for oil near the Arctic’s shrinking ice cap.
The campaign took off in May 2010, when oil was gushing from a ruptured well in the Gulf of Mexico. At the time, Greenpeace was startled by reports that a small Scottish energy firm was proceeding with plans to drill for oil and gas in iceberg-laden waters off western Greenland.
“It felt slightly surreal,” said Ben Ayliffe, now the head of Greenpeace’s campaign against oil drilling in the Arctic. “After what happened in the Gulf of Mexico, how can anyone respond to that by going to drill in similar depths in a place called Iceberg Alley?”
That stunt, a similar one in 2011 off Greenland and protests last month at an oil rig off northwestern Russia are at the core of what Greenpeace calls “one of the defining environmental battles of our age.”
Spreading a simple message
“Polar work feels like it’s going back to the early campaigns: simple message, people get it and the lines are very clearly drawn,” Mr. Ayliffe said.
From a publicity standpoint, the campaign has been successful: Greenpeace officials said 1.6 million people since June have signed the group’s online petition urging world leaders to declare the Arctic a global sanctuary, off limits to oil exploration and industrial fishing. Dozens of celebrities, including Robert Redford, Paul McCartney and Penelope Cruz have announced their support, said Greenpeace activist Sarah North.
The impact on the oil industry, however, is unclear. The Arctic is thought to hold up to a quarter of the world’s undiscovered oil and gas reserves. Despite difficult operating conditions and high costs, the payback for Royal Dutch Shell PLC, Gazprom OAO, Statoil and other companies searching for commercial quantities of hydrocarbons could be huge.
“It probably sounds a bit cynical. But if they invest billions of dollars, it’s not likely they will give it up just because somebody is attacking their oil rig,” said Mikhail Babenko, an oil and gas specialist at the World Wildlife Fund’s Global Arctic Program.
Greenpeace and other environmental groups say an oil spill in the Arctic could cause irreparable damage to wildlife and marine ecosystems.
By Michael P. Orsi
Edward Snowden should declare his patriotism in court
- Citing 'unfair system,' Obama commutes sentences for 8 crack offenders
- Gov't wasted $30 billion on 'pillownauts,' crystal goblets -- buying human urine!
- Homeland Security helps smuggle illegal immigrant children into the U.S.
- Huge backlash mounts over suspension of 'Duck Dynasty' star Phil Robertson
- PRUDEN: 'Tis the season for apologies
- EDITORIAL: Red faces at the White House
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
- UHLER and FERRARA: Obamacare, the end of the progressive era
- Sebelius adds yet another exemption for Obamacare
- Breaking Bad: Alligators becoming the new pit bulls for drug dealers, cops say
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Southern Fried Politics from the Lens of a Persian-American Millennial
All of the world’s problems, solved on your back porch
Paul Rondeau exposes the propaganda, media tricks, and government policies that undermine our families, faith, freedom…and even life itself
Implement these actionable tips, how-to’s and best practices in 10 minutes or less to leverage online communications and technology for brand, business and career development.
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.
Extraordinary day at Redskins Park
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow