“For a leader who has made fighting climate change a priority, President Barack Obama’s decision to approve Royal Dutch Shell’s return to oil and gas exploration off Alaska was seen by many environmentalists as a contradiction.”
— Timothy Gardner, Reuters
Talk about understatement! To the shock and outrage of state and national green groups, the Obama administration earlier this month gave conditional approval to a controversial proposal by Shell to drill for oil in the Arctic Ocean this summer. The exploration plan for the Chukchi Sea entails drilling up to six wells approximately 70 miles northwest of Wainwright, Alaska. Activists warn that this “unconscionable” decision to ignore the counsel of scientists begs disaster.
Decades of international conferences and non-binding agreements have done nothing to stop the escalating destruction of the global environment. Melting ice caps — the most obvious measure of climate change — has served to open vast new areas for exploitation. Disaster capitalists rejoice!
Using the justification of “national security,” our government has sabotaged climate talks, encouraged dangerous drilling, fracking, plunder and exploitation and jailed environmental activists as “terrorists.”
Interior Department confirms 75 percent spill risk… Shell moving oil rigs to Alaska
We can’t wait for some savior from the Democratic Party. A Washington Post survey of 2016 candidates — from both parties — found little promise to change course. It is up to us to create a political situation where “business as usual” is interrupted. We find inspiration in Kayaktivist flotillas blocking passage of Shell drilling rigs berthed in Seattle.
Hundreds of protesters on land and sea challenged the leasing agreement between the city and Shell with “Paddle in Seattle” action on May 16. Environmental organizations are spreading a Pledge of Resistance to Arctic Drilling and planning events in other ports. Two activists climbed onto the chain anchoring the Arctic Challenger ship in Bellingham Bay over the weekend. Greenpeace has released a video, A Song of Oil, Ice and Fire, where apocalyptic montages of actual oil spills replace backdrops of iconic paintings like Andrew Wyeth’s Christina’s World.
Support the coalition of activists, artists and “noisemakers” at sHellNo.org.
Weekly PEACE vigils sponsored by CODEPINK, World Can’t Wait and Occupy San Francisco! Wednesdays, 5:30 – 6:30 pm, McKesson (BART) Plaza, Montgomery & Market Streets. Join us!
The World Can’t Wait Chapter in the San Francisco Bay Area can be reached at sfbaycantwait.net.