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Who says climate change hasn't got a positive side? Unlike us moany sandal-wearing greenies who waste our time fretting that 97% of Greenland's ice sheet is melting right now, those boys at Shell have got knack for looking on the sunny side. Melting sea ice in the northern seas is actually making even more oil available. In true corporate style oil companies like Shell are rubbing their greedy hands together in expectation of the potential 90 billion barrels of oil (about 3 years’ worth at current consumption) lying under the rapidly dwindling ice floes.

In answer to all this - U.K activists got busy. On Monday 16th July a Greenpeace co-ordinated swoop saw seventy-seven petrol stations within the M25 shut down, and another thirteen in Edinburgh - hitting Shell on the forecourt and in their pockets. Activists disassembled the emergency fuel shut off switches and chained the pumps together, stopping business for the day. One activist who spoke to Schnews voiced concerns over the state of rust and decay found on many of the emergency switches, not surprising really considering that Shell’s safety record is only slightly better the BPs . Twenty three arrests were made with charges ranging from, conspiracy, going equipped, criminal damage and of course our old friend aggravated trespass.

Local people have been busy at their local petrol stations; with anonymous actions drawing attention to Shell’s plans to drill for oil at any cost. Activists are using “Shell out of order” signs to close the pumps and rebranding the forecourt with polar bears and hazard tape.

On Saturday 21st July more than thirty local folk took to Shell Hove as part of an international day of action, determined to stop Shell from leading the Arctic oil rush. With strong public support one protester told Schnews, “When a member of the public turns up to a protest and says "Do you know what you're missing? A megaphone." and then pops home to get you one, then you know it's going to be a good day!”

This summer Shell has decided to try its luck in a bid to get at the fossil fuel trapped under the sea ice. If they succeed their actions will of course only worsen climate change, but another danger lurks, the potential for a catastrophic spill.

The dangers of undersea oil drilling were demonstrated by the Deep Water Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, where near enough 5 million barrels of oil were pumped into the sea over 87 days. It took 6,000 ships to help clean up the spill, and even now the Gulf is still suffering the aftermath. If a spill of such enormity was to occur in the Arctic only around thirty ships are available for the clean-up process and considering the fact that it is only accessible for a few months of the year, any clean up attempt would be like throwing a towel into a full bath of water, wet, limp and utterly useless.

Activists worldwide have been busy sticking it to Shell, Greenpeace pissed them off royally when Xena warrior princess (real name Lucy Lawless) , along with six other less famous nobodies camped out on top of a drilling tower in Alaska for 4 days until the police worked out how to cut them down. Dutch Greenpeace even took over the Shell's HQ and issued proclamations of a change in corporate direction..at least until cops turned up to drag them all out and arrest them.

However, don't hold your breath for the government to start doubting Shell's credentials. Treasury ministers have met with Shell at least 12 separate occasions since coming into office, including three one-to-one dinners. Cosy. More generally, ministers have had 17 meetings with green campaign groups since May 2010. They met with reps from fossil fuel companies, airports and airlines, motoring lobby and car manufacturers on 119 occasions in the same period, keeping friends close and enemies of the ice caps even closer.



Brighton&Hove residents stick it to the man.
There are 2 comments on this story...
Added By: Anonymous - 26th July 2012 @ 4:24 AM
brilliant.nice one guys.
Added By: ecobabe - 6th August 2012 @ 11:24 AM
Fantastic! Again, again... X
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Twitter: @SchNEWS