image credit: Greenpeace (greenpeacede on Flickr CC)

Early this morning Greenpeace activists occupied a Cairn Energy exploratory oil rig in the Arctic Ocean off of the coast of Greenland.

Four Greenpeace activists, who are also expert climbers, avoided Greenland police and the Danish navy to climb the rig and suspend themselves in tents. The activists’ behavior has caused a temporary shut down of Cairn Energy’s drilling efforts.

From a report in the Telegraph:

The campaigners, who are protesting against what they claim are the ”huge risks” energy companies are taking with the environment by drilling for oil in deep water, say they have enough supplies to occupy the tents for several days.

Greenpeace hopes that the temporary disruption will be enough to force Cairn to abandon their exploratory drilling before harsh Arctic winter conditions set in.

According to Greenpeace, environmental concerns surrounding deep sea oil drilling in the Arctic include the risk of a Deepwater Horizon-like oil spill, compounded by a far less hospitable clean up environment than the Gulf of Mexico, as well as any eventual significant oil discoveries extending dependence on fossil fuels and thereby exacerbating dangerous climate change.

From an article in the Guardian:

In the Arctic an oil spill would destroy vulnerable and as yet untouched habitats, while the cold water would prevent the oil from breaking down quickly. Any emergency operation to tackle a disaster would encounter huge technical and logistical problems in such a remote area.

Greenland’s prime minister has criticized Greenpeace’s actions, due to their illegality and potential negative impact on Greenland’s economy.

According to a report by the Associated Press, the Danish navy has no plans to remove the activists, stating that the authority lies with Greenland’s police.

About The Author: Graham Land

Greenfudge editor and London-based writer Graham Land grew up in the suburbs of Washington, DC, where he was part of the local hardcore punk scene, playing in several bands. Through this musical movement he became involved in grass roots interests such as anti-racist activism, animal rights and Ecology. In 2000 he relocated to Europe, eventually earning an MA from Malmö University in Sweden. He has also lived in Japan, Ireland, Portugal and Greece.


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