Pacific Swell

Southern California environment news and trends

Greenpeace launches star-studded campaign to save the Arctic

Sir Paul McCartney, Livia Firth, Jack White, Bianca Jagger, Richard Branson and Radiohead are among the 100 notable names that have teamed with Greenpeace to launch new global campaign, Save the Arctic. The goal of the initiative is to protect the high Arctic from unsustainable fishing and oil drilling, calling for the area to be legally protected by the United Nations. This move comes at a time when the Shell oil company is actually getting ready to begin exploratory drilling in Alaska.

"The Arctic is one of the most beautiful and last untouched regions on our planet, but now it's under threat,” said Sir Paul McCartney in a Greenpeace press release. “Some countries and companies want to open it up to oil drilling and industrial fishing and do to the Arctic what they've done to the rest of our fragile planet. It seems madness that we are willing to go to the ends of the Earth to find the last drops of oil when our best scientific minds are telling us we need to get off fossil fuels to give our children a future. At some time, in some place, we need to take a stand. I believe that time is now and that place is the Arctic."

As part of the campaign, Greenpeace is creating an Arctic Scroll, inscribed with the names of the first 100 luminary supporters such as the ones listed above (Red Hot Chili Peppers, Jude Law, Thom Yorke and Thandie Newton are also on that list, includes nine Oscar winners, ten Golden Globe winners and five Grammy Award winners). When the scroll reaches one million names (names can be added here), Greenpeace will plant it on the seabed at the North Pole, 2.5 miles beneath the ice surface, marked by a “Flag for the Future.”

"We have to stop the oil giants pushing into the Arctic,” explained Thom Yorke, lead singer of the band Radiohead. “An oil spill in the Arctic would devastate this region of breath-taking beauty, while burning that oil will only add to the biggest problem we all face, climate change. That's why I'm backing this campaign, and why I have signed the Arctic Scroll. I'll know whenever I look north that my name is planted at the bottom of the ocean at the top of the world as a permanent statement of our joint commitment to save the Arctic."

"The Arctic is coming under assault and needs people from around the world to stand up and demand action to protect it,” said Greenpeace International executive director Kumi Naidoo. “A ban on offshore oil drilling and unsustainable fishing would be a huge victory against the forces ranged against this precious region and the four million people who live there. And a sanctuary in the uninhabited area around the pole would in a stroke stop the polluters colonizing the top of the world without infringing on the rights of Indigenous communities."

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