From Green Right Now Reports
Greenpeace International activists boarded the Russian oil drilling platform operated by Gazprom today to demonstrate the group’s opposition to drilling in the arctic.
Gazprom staff hosed the activists with icy water.
The action, and reaction, raised a lot of online chatter. Several environmentalists hailed the action for drawing attention to the risks posed by drilling in the Arctic, where they say a spill in these deep icy waters would be extremely difficult to clean up. Their tweets raised the action (#savethearctic) to the second highest trending story on Twitter on Friday afternoon.
An article about the action on the Greenpeace website reports the group is concerned because the Russians don’t have the best record of stopping oil leaks, even on land.
Ironically, climate change, caused by greenhouse gas emissions produced by burning fossil fuels, is opening up the Arctic to drillers, as sea ice melts and oceans warm.
With oil companies around the globe, Shell in the U.S., preparing to drill in Arctic waters, groups that want to protect the region are campaigning to stop the exploration.
The oil companies say that their drilling operations will be safe, and that new oil supplies are needed to keep fulfill rising demand for vehicles, particularly in fast-developing nations like China and India. U.S. companies also say that drilling in the Alaskan waters can help the U.S. pump up its domestic supplies, making it less reliant on Middle Eastern oil.
“Melting Arctic ice,” counters Greenpeace International Executive Director Kumi Naidoo, “is a warning, not a business cry.”