Posted on August 19, 2012 by Bob Berwyn
Greenpeace biologist John Hocevar shows a piece of raspberry coral from the seafloor of the Chukchi Sea near a proposed Shell drill site. To date, no form of corals are know to exist in the area. The Greenpeace ship Esperanza is on an Arctic expedition to study unexplored ocean habitats threatened by offshore oil drilling, as well as industrial fishing fleets. Photo courtesy Jiri Rezac/Greenpeace.
Greenpeace biologists say they’ve found previously unknown coral species near planned Shell Oil drilling site
By Bob Berwyn
SUMMIT COUNTY — Oil companies and the Obama administration are rushing to start Arctic Ocean oil drilling despite warnings from scientists that not enough is known about the region’s ecology to be able to thoroughly evaluate potential impacts.
The discovery of coldwater corals on the floor of the Chukchi Sea lends support to the idea that there are still to many unknowns to proceed with risky drilling operations.
Greenpeace submarine researchers recently collected specimens of a sea raspberry coral (Gersemia rubiformis) from an area where Shell plans to drill in the coming weeks.
Following the discovery, conservation groups called on the U.S. Department of the Interior to fully analyze the potential damage Shell’s Arctic drilling could have on those cold-water corals in the Chukchi Sea. (more…)
Filed under: Arctic, biodiversity, coral reefs, Environment, oil drilling | Tagged: Arctic Ocean, Arctic oil drilling, Chukchi Sea, Environment, Greenpeace, Shell Oil | Leave a Comment »
Posted on January 15, 2012 by Bob Berwyn
Three humpback whales surrounded by birds in NOAA's Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary. PHOTO COURTESY NOAA.
Economics, marine science professors team up to offer a market-based solution to whale conservation
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — A marine science professor and an economist from California say a market-based approach to whale conservation could help sustain populations of the cetaceans and also help whalers who make their living from killing the marine mammals.
Anti-whaling groups like Greenpeace, Sea Shepherd, and the World Wildlife Fund spend at least $25 million per years on a variety of activities intended to end commercial whaling, yet every year, commercial whaling not only continues, but grows.
Instead of spending that money on anti-whaling activities, the groups could use the money on an open whale conservation market to purchase a share of the quotas, thus saving whales directly.
Under the current, largely unregulated system, the number of whales harvested annually has doubled since the early 1990s, to about two thousand per year and many populations of large whales have been severely depleted and continue to be threatened by commercial whaling. (more…)
Filed under: biodiversity, endangered species, Environment, Summit County news | Tagged: Arizona State University, cap and trade, Environment, Greenpeace, International Whaling Commission, marine science, Summit County News, University of California, whale conservation, whales | 2 Comments »
Posted on December 1, 2011 by Bob Berwyn
Oil company execs sit through 15-minute session staged by Greenpeace activists
By Bob Berwyn
SUMMIT COUNTY — European Greenpeace activists arranged a classic action in Denmark this week, when they staged an informational session about oil drilling off the shore of northeast Greenland.
Working in Copenhagen during a meeting called by the Greenland Bureau of Mineral and Petroleum, the group set up its own presentation, then told oil company executives that the venue for the official meeting had been changed. Click here to read the Greenpeace blog post on the meeting.
The anti-drilling advocates then led the representatives from Shell, BP, ConocoPhillips, Statoil and NunaOil into the alternate room. Along with coffee and cake, the activists then gave a 15-minute presentation on the potential financial pitfalls and the environmental risks of drilling in an as-yet untouched area along the northeast coast of Greenland. (more…)
Filed under: BP Gulf oil spill, Environment, oil drilling, Summit County news | Tagged: Arctic oil drilling, Environment, Greenland oil drilling, Greenpeace | 3 Comments »
Posted on August 7, 2011 by Bob Berwyn
Who's in charge of Arctic science? PHOTO COURTESY USGS/STEVEN AMSTRUP.
Federal regulators say scientists integrity and contracting are at the basis of the investigation
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — Two national environmental groups have formally requested a full investigation into the suspension of Dr. Charles Monnett, an Arctic researcher who has been the subject of an ongoing investigation by the Department of Interior Inspector General.
Monnett works for the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement, the federal agency that permits offshore drilling. During a research project several years ago, Monnett saw drowned polar bears in the Arctic Ocean and later published an article on his observations.
The Center for Biological Diversity and Greenpeace say they are looking for documents that might show whether Monnett was the subject of correspondence between the agency and Shell Oil, which last week won approval for a controversial plan to drill in the coastal water of the Beaufort Sea.
Monnett’s circumstances were brought to light by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, a watchdog and whistle-blower protection group. Memos and other documents suggest that the investigation of Monnett focused on his polar bear research. (more…)
Filed under: biodiversity, endangered species, energy, Environment, global warming, oil drilling, Summit County news | Tagged: Arctic offshore oil drilling, BOEMRE, Center for Biological Diversity, Charles Monnett, Environment, Greenpeace, Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, Summit County News, United States Department of the Interior | 1 Comment »
Posted on April 26, 2011 by Bob Berwyn
Greenpeace posts huge volume of documents obtained by FOIA; some emails suggest that certain response measures were not scientifically sound
One of the emails describing NOAA efforts to understand the impacts of the oil spill response on endangered sea turtles.
A Kemp's Ridley turtle is returned to the Gulf for release off Cedar Key, Florida, following rehabilitation from oil exposure resulting from the Deepwater Horizon/BP spill. PHOTO COURTESY NOAA.
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — As oil gushed from BP’s ruined Deepwater Horizon drilling operation last summer, federal officials hastily approved all sorts of emergency measures, including major dredging projects aimed at protecting low-lying coastal areas and beaches with sand berms.
But a chain of emails among various federal officials obtained by Greenpeace under a Freedom of Information Act request indicate concern about an “extraordinarily high” level of sea turtle mortality and suggests that approval of the dredging was rushed, taking place even before the head of NOAA’s sea turtle program had a chance to review the plans.
The approval may have been a politically motivated decision, according to Barbara Schroeder, sea turtle coordinator for NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service:
“This is insult to injury for a politically forced berm project that all experts say will fail and is ecologically unsound,” Schroeder wrote in a July 10 email to other NOAA officials. (more…)
Filed under: BP Gulf oil spill, endangered species, Environment, Marine biology | Tagged: BP oil spill, Deepwater Horizon, endangered species, Environment, Greenpeace, Kemp's ridley, national marine fisheries service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, sea turtles, Summit County News | 2 Comments »
Posted on September 23, 2010 by Bob Berwyn
Greenpeace activists are still trying to draw attention to the Gulf oil spill.
Live Sept. 24 webcast planned from aboard the Arctic Sunrise
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — Greenpeace activists are cruising the Gulf of Mexico to do their own followup research on the oil spill, and part of their activities will be streamed live on the web this Friday, Sept. 24.
At the same time, other activists with the group climbed aboard a Chevron drilling sheep near Scotland’s Shetland Islands to draw attention to a deepwater drilling expedition planned for the ecologically sensitive Atlantic Frontier area.
In the Gulf, Greenpeace is studying the extent, composition and impacts of the oil and gas that has remained in the Gulf’s deep water. Gauging dissolved oxygen levels and the ratio of stable carbon isotopes present in dissolved inorganic carbon chemicals, is a way to locate areas affected by the oil spill.
The data will be shared with other scientists working in the area to establish a broader picture of the oil spill aftermath. According to the latest estimates, about 4.9 million barrels of oil leaked into the sea, making it by far the worst oil spill in U.S. waters.
Get more information on the live Greenpeace webcasts here.
Filed under: BP Gulf oil spill, Environment, Summit County Colorado | Tagged: Environment, Greenpeace, Gulf oil spill, Summit County Colorado, Summit County News | Leave a Comment »
Posted on July 20, 2010 by Bob Berwyn
The MV Arctic Sunrise will sail to the Gulf under the Greenpeace flag to assess oil spill impacts.
Researchers to examine plankton and deep sea life in an independent assessment of oil spill impacts
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY —With some oil seeps detected on the seafloor, and the possibility of gas leakage from BP’s busted well, there is still a lot of uncertainty among Gulf residents as to whether they will ever get the full story from the federal government or BP.
Both the private company and the government agencies responding to the spill have focused on downplaying the most serious aspects of the disaster, so now Greenpeace is sending a ship to the Gulf of Mexico to do independent assessments of the oil spill damage. (more…)
Filed under: BP Gulf oil spill, Environment, Summit County Colorado | Tagged: BP, Environment, Greenpeace, Gulf oil spill, independent assessment of oil spill impacts, Summit County, Summit County Colorado, Summit County News | 2 Comments »