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International Campaign Launched To Protect Arctic As Global Sanctuary

Arctic icebergs

The Arctic is in serious danger, and Greenpeace has just launched an international movement to “Save The Arctic” by turning it into a global sanctuary where all industrial development is prohibited.

The campaign was launched at the United Nation’s Rio+20 summit in Brazil and is backed by popular actors, musicians, directors, writers, and business leaders. Sir Paul McCartney, Penelope Cruz, and Robert Redford are just a few of those who have signed up with the environmental group’s new mission.

Sir Paul McCartney had some of the best insight on what’s going on in the Arctic and the value of this campaign. “The Arctic is one of the most beautiful and last untouched regions on our planet, but now it’s under threat,” he said. “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.”

This is one of the biggest campaigns Greenpeace has ever created, and the time could not be more crucial with the oil drilling and fishing that’s ready to take place. Global warming has caused thick layers of ice to melt at rapid rates, opening up previously off-limits regions. The are now accessible to industrial developers hungry for oil, gas, and other resources.

Shell oil has plans to spend billions of dollars in the Arctic Ocean drilling various wells, as well as Beaufort and Chukchi seas off the coast of Alaska. ExxonMobil, the world’s largest company, has also partnered with Rosneft, a Russian oil group, to drill for oil off the coast of Siberia in the Kara Sea.

Greenpeace is particularly concerned that an oil spill under the ice of the Arctic Ocean will cause devastating effects on the environment, even more than the BP spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010.

To prevent devastating effects on the entire planet, Greenpeace is looking for 1 million signatures on a petition to give the Arctic protection by the UN, keeping it out of the hands of greedy companies and politicians. Once 1 million signatures are reached, the petition will be placed in an indestructible pod, which will be lowered to the bottom of the ocean at the top of the world, marked with a “Flag for the Future” designed by the world’s youth.

The organization has succeeded in similar efforts to protect the Antarctic 30 years ago, and it’s likely that this campaign could succeed as well. Will you be adding your name to the petition?

via Independent
Image CC licensed by Nick Russill: Icebergs in the pristine Arctic

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