In a bid to protect the Alaskan coastline from oil drilling, Actor Lucy Lawless and six Greenpeace New Zealand activists have settled in for an overnight stay onboard Shell’s Arctic-bound drillship the Noble Discoverer in the port of Taranaki, New Zealand.
The activists scaled the drillship at 7 a.m. Friday morning in New Zealand, and set-up camp on the top of the ship’s 53 metre drilling tower. They vowed to stay for as long as possible. "We are prepared to stay here as long as we can — every hour delay is an hour's less drilling in the Arctic," said Lawless.
The climbers occupied the drillship to prevent it from departing on a 6,000 nautical mile journey from New Zealand to the remote Arctic, to start an exploratory oil drilling programme that threatens to devastate the Alaskan coastline.
The action has already inspired more than 48,000 people worldwide over the course of today’s protest to email Shell CEO Peter Voser asking him to drop plans to open up the Arctic to oil drilling.You can do so here
Responding to Shell’s press statements that its Arctic drilling plans are ‘safe’ and ‘environmentally responsible’ Greenpeace Campaigner Nathan Argent said, “I think Shell must have a different definition of safe and responsible from the rest of the planet because there’s nothing either safe or responsible about drilling in the pristine Arctic.”
“The company itself admits that most of the technology it will use to deal with a spill either hasn’t even been built or won’t work properly in ice. Bizarrely, the central role in Shell’s spill response will be played by a Dachshund called Tara. You couldn’t make it up. The truth is that Shell is being reckless in the extreme. A spill in the Frozen North would be devastating because there is simply no effective way of cleaning up spilled oil in ice.”
The New Zealand police issued a press release at 6 p.m. local time saying they would leave the activists “in situ at this stage. Police will continue to monitor the situation and will be ready to respond to any development or to the protestors coming down from the drilling tower.”