Four Greenpeace Activists Shut Down Arctic Oil Drilling

Four Greenpeace activists on August 31 scaled an oil rig off the coast of Greenland, forcing a British energy company to shut down its oil drilling operation in the Arctic, according to a report in The Guardian.

How did they do this? Here’s what Greenpeace stated: “At dawn this morning our expert climbers in inflatable speed boats dodged Danish Navy commandos before climbing up the inside of the rig and hanging from it in tents suspended from ropes, halting its drilling operation.”

A Halt to Drilling for Oil in the Arctic

Greenpeace continued, “If they succeed in stopping drilling for just a short time, then the operators, Britain’s Cairn Energy, will struggle to meet a tight deadline to complete the exploration before winter ice conditions force it to abandon the search for oil off Greenland until next year.”

Is this the latest Tom Cruise action-adventure movie to hit the big screen? No, this is really happening in Greenland, thanks to activists like Sim McKenna, who said, “We’ve got to keep the energy companies out of the Arctic and kick our addiction to oil, that’s why we’re going to stop this rig from drilling for as long as we can.”

Suspended from Ropes 50 feet above the Arctic

What does this mean for these climbers? They are right now hanging from the oil rig 50 feet above the icy Arctic ocean in those tiny tents. And they have enough supplies to occupy their hanging tents for several days. That kind of action takes real commitment and real guts.

The Danish navy said that it had no immediate plans to remove the activists, explaining that it was up to police in Greenland, a semi-autonomous Danish territory, to decide what to do.

Stop Drilling for Oil in the Arctic!

Some background: the four activists were able to evade a small flotilla of armed Danish navy and police boats which have been guarding the rigs in Baffin Bay off Greenland since the Greenpeace protest ship Esperanza arrived last week. These oil rigs belong to Edinburgh-based Cairn Energy, which last week raised concern amongst environmentalists when it disclosed that it had found the first evidence of oil or gas desposits under the Arctic. As a result, Exxon, Chevron, Shell, and several other multinational companies are waiting for permission to begin deep sea drilling in the Arctic.

A Monumental Disaster in the Making

Kudos to Greenpeace for such a brave and inspired action. Of course there should be no drilling in the Arctic, for a multitude of reasons. As Greenpeace points out, the Arctic drilling program is extremely perilous because of the intense weather conditions in the region. According to the organization, the risks posed by this operation go “far beyond” the Deepwater Horizon oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. In the Arctic an oil spill would destroy the region’s vulnerable and untouched habitats, while the cold water would prevent any oil from quickly breaking up. And of course, any emergency operation dealing with such a disaster would encounter huge problems in such a remote area.

The bottom line? All oil drilling in the Arctic should stop. And these four activists deserve a medal.

Creative Commons - mikebaird

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199 comments

LMj Sunshine

Thank you.

LMj Sunshine

Thank you.

LMj Sunshine

Thank you.

LMj Sunshine

Thank you.

LMj Sunshine

Thank you.

Elizabeth K.
Elizabeth K.4 years ago

@Don I

"I don't praise criminals."

Sure you do, I've read you defending republicans all the time.

Elizabeth K.
Elizabeth K.4 years ago

YEAH GREENPEACE!!!!

Some one has to have guts, good for them.

Don Isaksen
Don I.4 years ago

Forgot to include that 14 other Greenpeace activists were also arrested during this incident.

Thumbs up to the Danish Navy. :D

Don Isaksen
Don I.4 years ago

Greenpeace = eco-terrorists

Love the outcome of the Greenpeace activists actions. "the four Greenpeace activists were arrested yesterday after an Arctic storm forced them to abandon a protest on an oil rig off western Greenland. Police also seized a Greenpeace helicopter on Greenland on the grounds that it could be used as evidence in the investigation. The arrested activists could face fines, prison terms and/or deportation."

Their fines should be significant (maybe 2 days worht of blocked work output from the oil rig)

@Jae A,
YES!!! Terrorist I say, ... of those foolish people who I don't want to save my butt from oil companies toxic products. LMAO,... "You should be on your knees praising them", ... NOT. I don't praise criminals.

Carol Cowbrough
Carol Cowbrough5 years ago

Noted. Thanks.