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Greenpeace activists take over

1 Comment 30 September 2010

Greenpeace activists take over

Forty years ago, a small group of young activists who believed that a single individual could make a difference, set sail from Vancouver, Canada with a particular and unique goal in mind. Their ultimate mission was to witness the USA nuclear testing at Amchitka, a island on the Coast of Alaska. The authorities quickly intercepted the boat, yet their actions had a significant symbolic meaning. Public awareness was raised and this group of young dreamers gave birth to a world organization we all know today, Greenpeace. Today this international organization wants to give a voice to the fragile planet Earth that often suffers from the careless actions of mankind. Climate change and ocean conservation are two of the many issues that are a priority for Greenpeace’s interventions.  On September 21st Greenpeace activists climbed up the humongous anchor chain of the giant ship operated by Chevron.

Greenpeace members Anais Schneider from Germany and Victor Rask from Sweden had recently returned from a trip to the Arctic where they took part of a protest group with the scope of stopping the deep water drilling executed by Edinburgh-based Cairn Energy. This experience didn’t frighten the two activists as decided to take direct action against Chevron. They literally climbed up the giant anchor chain and suspended themselves in a tent to it with signs that could read “Go beyond oil”. There courageous action is impeding the anchor from being pulled and there it is preventing the ship from going to the drilling site. The actions of the two young activists are not simply a spur of the moment impulsive move, as they are calling upon the North Sea competent authorities in order to take action against the drilling and hopefully ban it. Activist Victor Rask, and occupant of the tent declared:

UK Prime Minister David Cameron said his government would be the greenest every, but he wont even support a plan to protect our seas from a BP-style disaster. Instead on drilling for the last drops in places like this, the oil companies should be developing the clean energy technologies need to fight climate change and reduce our dependence on oil. In order to shift the oil companies and governments need to ban deepwater drilling. In the longer term we need a permanent shift awat from fossil fuels towards clean energy solutions” (Source:

While the activist’s comments are strongly valid, authentic and in sync with the values defended and represented by Greenpeace, there is no doubt that various other stakeholders and lobby associations are putting a considerable amount of pressure on the Prime Minister in order to force him to consider the economic interests in this situation.  It appears that concealing both opposing points of view is a much harder task than what it seems. BP, the oil company responsible for the greatest catastrophe, is already operating in the area with three oil and gas field they also have further plan to start drilling deeper. The young and courageous Anais Schneider described with frenzy her experience as something incredible:

“It was incredible to climb up the anchor chain, the rungs were nearly as big as I am and Chevron’s drilling ship is one of the biggest things I’ve ever seen at sea. It’s time to go beyond oil. Our addiction is harming the climate, the natural world and our chances of building a clean energy future” (Source:

The infamous duo is also supporting a new initiative called “Go Beyond Oil” (find out more at a call to action brought to you by Greenpeace as a response to the BP oil accident. This call to action is also a way to force people to reflect upon their dependency on oil and the risks it could present for the future of our planet. According to the official website, governments shouldn’t subsidize oil companies, instead they should put money towards the development of a sustainable long-term clean form of energy. Yet, things are not always so crystal clean when it comes to doing the right thing. Indeed Chevron went to court and demanded for measures to be taken against the two environmentalists that now risk to get arrested for their environmentalist act of bravura. Chevron declared that such action is “foolhardy and demonstrates that Greenpeace is willing to put its volunteers at risk to carry out such reckless publicity stunts” (Source: While this stunt is indeed dangerous, the activists  partly got what they wanted; managing to raise public awareness and getting the media involve on the case.

Greenpeace is a world-respected organization that fights for the conservation of our planet and its wildlife. While the actions of the activists can be somewhat debated, the reflection they propose is a very valid one. Has our dependence on oil gone overboard? What will happen once the planet runs out of oil? Perhaps it is indeed time to focus on cleaner forms of energy.



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  1. Mary says:

    WHat they did was courageous but I am not sure that it was really efficient. extreme manners do get you media attention but do they really make a difference..?

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