Instagram Weekly Picks: Five Photographers to Follow via EverydayClimateChange

Guest Post: @bobramsak for @everydayclimatechange We all remember our first time. Mine came late on a chilly sun-drenched morning midway through a bouncy ride on a boat filled with tourists on the Last Hope Sound. We were journeying through a picturesque setting that included cliffs of nesting condors and a massive rock that’s home to a cormorant breeding colony, framed all the while by dramatic peaks in the distance that grew taller the further on we traveled. We were moving at a decent clip, bouncing over the wind-swept waves when Balmaceda came into view, the mountain that's home to its eponymous glacier. Ice clung to the rock behind a curtain of fog that lingered over the higher portion of the mountain; just below, the bright whitish aqua of the glacier abruptly turned to a brown stone that cried into the sound. I was momentarily saddened that my first contact with a glacier saw cascading mountain runoff as a metaphor for tears. Just fifteen years ago, our guide said, the base of the glacier was at sea level. It’s said that the navigator Juan Ladrillero gave the sound its name back in 1557, thinking it was his last chance to reach the Strait of Magellan. Instead he reached a dead end at a glacier. For the rapidly retreating Balmaceda, all hope is gone. I felt glad that I made the opportunity to add it to my ‘So Very Glad I Saw it Before it Disappears’ file. Balmaceda Glacier, Last Hope Sound, Patagonia, Chile #glacier #globalwarming #patagonia #chile #climatechange #globalwarming #climatechangeisreal Check out our friends @everydayafrica@everydaylatinamerica @everydayusa@everydaymiddleeast @everydayiran@everydayeverywhere @azdarya We're beginning to re-post photos with hashtag #everydayclimatechange

A photo posted by Everyday Climate Change (@everydayclimatechange) on

If you’re on Instagram and not following Everydayclimatechange, you really should be. And not only because they reposted one of my photos yesterday.

My intention today, with this post here, was to inaugurate a new series in which I introduce and give a shout out to five photographers each week that I’ve come across on Instagram whose work inspires and deserves a wider audience. Since I can’t pass up the opportunity to reshare this shot again –selfish, I know—I decided to slightly alter this intro by focusing on five photographers whose work I discovered through EverydayClimateChange.

The core group comes from all corners of the planet, united in their passion to document the alarming impact of man-made climate change through the images and stories that they share. Officially launched on New Year’s Day, EverydayClimateChange has already attracted, as of this morning, more than 12.7 12.8 13.1 thousand followers. You can join them here.

There’s also an associated Facebook page and they’ve just launched a blog on The Huffington Post. The first post is here.

I’m sure you’ll enjoy browsing their work. First up..

Caroline Bennett / @carobennett / carolinebennett.com / Twitter / Facebook

I can’t remember if I first came across Caroline Bennett’s work through EverydayClimateChange or EverydayEcuador. In any case, I’m glad it was shared. Her work is remarkable, conveying the strong connection between the people she photographs and the environment in which they live. Preserving and portraying dignity is important to Bennett; she walks that line exceptionally well. She’s currently based between San Francisco and the Amazon region.

This shot was taken in Sarayaku, Ecuador.

Latest for @everydayclimatechange "Our indigenous communities are already feeling the impacts of climate change,” Patricia Gualinga, Kichwa leader from Sarayaku, Ecuador and countless others have told me time and again. "Our elder wisdom-keepers have been warning us for many years, they knew about this but weren’t listened to. They said there would be problems if we continued preying on Mother Nature, causing impacts so great they won’t only affect nature but also humankind. We are out of time, now is the moment for us to be responsible and bet on life as our existence on this planet depends on it.” There are solutions! The earth’s climate is changing in ways that have profound global impacts on its lands, waters and peoples as we enter unchartered territory. Our success in building resiliency as a species depends on how well we understand, predict and adapt to a fundamentally different planet than the one we have inhabited throughout the Holocene. The scientific and academic communities have made significant advances in understanding the behavior and dynamics of Earth’s systems, but a very important voice has largely been missing from the conversation about climate change. What role should ancient wisdom play in confronting our biggest modern challenges? What could western science learn from indigenous knowledge and practices? #climatechange #indigenousvoices #solutions #climate #amazon #wisdom #explore @amazonwatch #everydaylatinamerica #TPS1Million @thephotosociety

A photo posted by carobennett (@carobennett) on

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San-Blas-8

The Sinking San Blas Islands – Image Gallery and Notebook

A visit to the San Blas Islands, an archipelago of about 370 islands off of Panama’s Caribbean coast, has made it onto many a list of ‘Places to See Before I Die’. And with good reason.

Its islands seemingly pose for the pop culture fantasy icon snapshot, that of a pair of palms sprouting from a white sand beach hidden in romantic seclusion. It’s also the only corner of the planet that I’ve visited where the water is so clear and warm that you can watch the starfish sweat.

Even by 21st century standards, The islands and the immediate Guna Yala semi-autonomous area, spread over 226 kilometers (140 mi), are fairly remote, set in a surprisingly undeveloped area which means your visit won’t coincide with that of too many others.

But start making your travel plans to the islands soon. It’s increasingly likely that they’ll all be gone within the next three decades.

~~

 

 

Most of the islands are tiny; only about 45 are inhabited and the vast majority float just a few feet above sea level.  According to scientists at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama, sea levels around the islands are rising at a rate of about three-quarters of an inch annually. At that pace, the islands will be underwater in the next 20 to 30 years.

That’s a harsh, bitter reality for the Guna (or Kuna) indigenous people who have inhabited this corner of Panama since moving from the Darien Province area to escape the Spanish conquest. Now, 500 years after fleeing the conquistadors, the increased frequency and severity of surging storms and flooding on the islands is forcing them to retreat once again. In 2012 Guna leaders made the decision to move.

“Climate change will sooner or later affect the islands … it’s our responsibility to prevent a catastrophe.”

~~

 

 

‘Climate refugee’ began to appear in the lexicon about two decades ago, a term describing those forced to flee the impacts of climate change. Those living in low-lying areas are particularly vulnerable as the polar icecaps continue to melt and sea levels rise.

In Bangladesh, one of the most extreme examples, scientists say that rising sea levels will cover 17 percent of the land and displace about 18 million people by 2050.

The Pacific islands of Tuvalu and Kiribati are expected to disappear by 2100, creating entire stateless populations.  The New York Times reported in March that Kiribati has already purchased 6,000 acres on Fiji “to protect its food security as the sea encroaches on its arable land – and possibly, in the future, to relocate its residents.” Fiji itself is already relocating residents from outlying islands to higher ground. The Maldives Islands in the Indian Ocean face a similar scenario.

 

 

Like Bangladesh, which produces just 0.3 percent of the emissions fueling climate change, these sinking island nations, Panama’s San Blas Islands and many other extremely vulnerable low-lying areas are bearing the brunt of an ecological catastrophe they didn’t create.

That’s not to say that climate change is the only cause in the San Blas Islands; poor resource management on the part of the locals and increased carbon dioxide emissions helped speed up the process. From the international ocean conservation organization Oceana:

Coral reefs that once surrounded and buffered the islands from storm surges and flooding have been destroyed after decades of exploitation (ironically, the Guna mined the reefs to build up the islands). It has been enough, according to Reuters “to submerge the Caribbean islands for days on end”.

And

The sad tale of the Guna, who are currently managing their retreat to mainland Panama, provides a cautionary tale of how climate change and poor resource management can combine to create disaster. But it isn’t just the direct exploitation of coral that threatens so many similar tropical, predominantly poor, coastal communities around the world. Coral reefs of the sort that once surrounded the San Blas Islands are under threat worldwide from carbon dioxide emissions that, when absorbed by the ocean, make it more acidic. When corals struggle in the more acidic water so too does the kaleidoscopic variety of life that depends on them. These once flourishing paradises may become barren monuments to changing ocean chemistry.

Displacement Solutions, a Geneva-based organization who works with people who have been or will be displaced by climate change, recently studied the Guna Yala situation, and estimates that the number of people that will need to be relocated will reach 40,000.

And moving the fiercely independent Guna, who won fame for their rebellions against conquistadors, pirates and the modern Panamanian state, won’t be easy.

Scott Leckie, director of Displacement Solutions, told the New York Times this past March:

“The government of Panama recognizes that many of the people don’t want to move. The younger the person is, the more likely they are to accept the move. The most able-bodied and highly educated people will move first. Thus, the least employed, the most ill, the oldest and weakest and most disabled, the least willing to move, will be the ones left behind.”

A Guna gallery below.

 

 

Sailing to the San Blas Islands – Trip Notebook

Some make their way to the islands from Panama City; I came via a five-day four-night trip in June 2013 over the Caribbean from Cartagena, Colombia, aboard The Independence, an eighty-five foot early 1960s yacht captained by a Slovenian [Website][Facebook].

I’d never been sailing; he’s been plying these waters for over a decade and never had a Slovenian passport-holder on a trip until I climbed aboard.

Michel is a sprightly 72 and recently married a Colombian woman, trained in the Colombian Navy, 50 years his junior. She’s the boat’s very able No. 2.

Although there is some modest lodging available on a small handful of islands (if you’re searching for luxury and regular wifi connections, look elsewhere), most visitors to the area choose the boat trip approach. Many options are available with prices for a five-day journey, with a bunk and three meals, generally running about US$500 per person. It’s worth every cent.

Day 1 –

I was among a diverse group of sixteen passengers, all in the midst of long-term travel. There was a German couple with two small children, ages five and three; a lawyer from Australia and his younger brother; a New Zealander winding down a two-year round the world adventure; four Canadian women on a gap year trip; a German woman touring South America for several months after quitting a job; a German motorcyclist writing a book about his journey up the spine of South America; and two Dutchmen who I’d encounter a few weeks later at a hospital in San Jose, Costa Rica. But that’s another story.

Some two hours after The Independence sailed out of Cartagena harbor, we’re surrounded by nothing but cobalt blue, our setting for the next 28 hours. About two hours before sunset we sail through a school of large dolphins. Immediately after dinner I go outside to lie down and watch a pleasant starry night pass by; I don’t leave my spot until after dawn.

Day 2 -

Land beckons shortly before noon as a pair of birds appear on the horizon. We later anchor within swimming distance of two small islands. On one I see an exquisite mola, the brightly-colored traditional Guna design, for the first time while another, just a little farther away, is home to two small trees that can’t hide a large pile of trash. Some was brought in by the tide, some left by clueless tourists. For dinner we have a fresh, succulent lobster delivered by locals that afternoon. It’s the best I’ve ever tasted.

Day 3 -

Much of the day is spent reading, swimming and kayaking. (And beachcombing; a gallery is here.) The water is so warm and clear that you can watch the starfish sweat. During a forty minute journey to our anchorage for the night, we pass a wreck where the handcuffed bodies of a husband and wife were found. Lots of intrigue floats just below the surface here.

Day 4 -

We sail another short distance and anchor among a handful of small islands. Less than a handful are inhabited. On one, Isla Caracol, or Conch Island, an old woman, typically tiny like most Guna/Kuna, sits in the shade sewing a mola skirt. We watch a dolphin swim around the channel looking for a way out of the shallow waters. We end the day with dinner on nearby Elephant Island after the week’s most colorful sunset [Pic 1][Pic 2].

Day 5 -

For the fourth straight day I’m awake at just past six, and the boat is already on its way. After the captain takes care of the immigration chores, we reach land about a kilometer up the still and narrow Rio Barsukum, where we’re stuffed into SUVs bound for Panama City.

For the first hour, we drive over hellaciously steep ascents and descents through the jungles of eastern Panama. Three hours later we arrive in the capital, home to one of the world’s most modern skylines. It’s a raucous symphony of metal and glass that, coupled with the heavily congested streets, is a parallel universe away from the two-tree islands of San Blas. I want to turn around and go back to the archipelago but decided against it.

I’ve still got about 30 years.

~~

And, finally, some of the friendly faces of the passengers and crew. I hope you’re all doing well.

 

Further reading and resources:

 

All images © Bob Ramsak 2013-2014. All rights reserved.
For stock or editorial use please get in touch.
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[More San Blas Islands-related posts] [More Panama-related posts] [More Galleries]

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Project Ice screen cap

Project: Ice – Review

There’s a lot to like about PROJECT: ICE, a new feature length documentary about the Great Lakes of North America, now making the rounds on the festival circuit. It’s part history, part folklore and part geology lesson, all beautifully shot over the course of 27 months from 2011 to 2013.

First off, it’s a fascinating history, documenting the area from its geological origins as a massive chunk of ice to the pivotal role the lakes, and the people that would be attracted to the shores of what’s become known as the U.S. ‘North Coast’, played in the westward expansion and industrialization of the U.S. and parts of Canada.

The Great Lakes –Superior, Huron, Michigan, Erie and Ontario—the film reminds us, contain a staggering twenty percent of the planet’s fresh water. Lake Superior, by area the largest continental lake in the world, itself holds ten percent of Earth’s fresh water supply. Collectively, they cover a surface area of 94,250 square miles, or 244,106 square km, roughly the size of the United Kingdom.

As lakes go, they’re massive. Unless you’ve spent time near one –I lived more than twenty years of my life less than a 15-minute drive from a shore of Lake Erie—you can’t imagine just how large they are. You can’t see the other side; with their strong currents, large waves, distant horizons, legendary storms and significant depths, they are, for all intents and purposes, inland seas. And as such, play a crucial role on their immediate environment, home to 25 million people in the United States and 8.5 million in Canada.

As the title suggests, the film is framed by ice: on one end, by the large retreating ice sheets that formed the lakes’ basins 10,000 years ago, and on the other by the profound disappearance of ice on the lakes in recent years.

The latter isn’t the story that Washington DC-based filmmaker William Kleinert, a veteran of six documentaries, necessarily set out to tell. But it’s the one that ultimately emerged.

“We kept hearing the same stories from different people, about how the climate was changing, about the mild winters, the lack of ice,” Kleinert said after a screening at the Ohio Independent Film Festival earlier this month.

That said, the film isn’t ‘about’ Global Warming per se. Kleinert in fact chose to avoid delving into many of the complexities of climate change, choosing to tell that story through the stories told by the interviewees themselves, a diverse group that included local fisherman, small town mayors, hockey players, coast guard captains, regional historians, adventure tour operators and even a photographer.

That’s not to say that the scientific perspective and ecological impacts of global warming are ignored. Kleinert brought on Marie Colton, a former director at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory (GLERL), and Henry Pollack, a scientist at the University of Michigan and contributing author the IPCC climate change report that won the Nobel Prize in 2007, to discuss the ecology of the lake system and how its been affected by climate change, and the likely direction the impact is heading.

The film is also just as much about how this part of middle America, those large swaths of land, water and shore almost dismissively referred to as flyover country, has evolved and developed. With its tales of ice-fishing, ice climbing and ice hockey, there is an appealing small town-like sensibility emanating from the film. At 119 minutes it could have been too long, or a bit too ambitious. But I wanted more. And that’s not a bad thing.

In short, PROJECT: ICE is important as a history of this corner of the planet – and critical as a look at the impact climate change is having on it. I hope it finds the distribution it deserves.

The film’s website is here, a listing of upcoming screenings is here and the official trailer below.

A few resources addressing climate change and the Great Lakes:

~~

Notebook from the screening at the Ohio Independent Film Festival on 8 November:

  • In the Ojibwe, or Chippewa language, ice means the ‘blood of the earth mother’.
  • Commercial and sport fishing on the Great Lakes contributes more than $4 billion annually to the basins’ economies.
  • and, a sad fact about Ohio and its relationship with Lake Erie brought up during the post-screening discussion: the entire state of Ohio has half as much public access to Lake Erie than the city of Chicago has to Lake Michigan.
planina-plain-flooding-10

13 Photos From Recent Floods in Planina, Slovenia

This is currently the end of the road where the village of Planina and Planinsko polje, the plain that bears its name, converge. If you weren’t familiar with the area, you’d think you were standing at the edge of small boat launch on the shore of calm lake.

The plain, about 5km (2.6mi) long and 2.5km (1.3mi) across, often floods, but is rarely this inundated. Heavy rain last month, coupled with a sudden thaw of snow and ice have led to record high water levels in this area just north of Postojna, or about 45 kilometers southwest of the capital Ljubljana, forcing the evacuation of more than 50 homes in the village. In some areas here the water was up to 18m (60ft) deep.

Flooding has been a regular staple of the news throughout Slovenia the winter, but the hardest hit were pockets in the country’s western half. This battle against rising water in Planina came just two weeks after an ice storm wreaked havoc in the region, ultimately causing an estimated €500 million (US$693 million) in damage.

Floods are increasingly becoming an alarming and expensive problem throughout Europe.

According to a study published last week in the journal Nature Climate Change, the annual costs from flood damage in Europe are set to rise from €4.9 billion to €23 billion by 2050, a near fivefold increase.

The study, conducted by research teams at the University of Amsterdam and the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis in Austria, also found that frequency of destructive floods could nearly double in that period. Two-thirds of the losses will come from increased wealth and development expected during that period, with the other third attributed to climate change and changes in rainfall patterns on the continent.

From Climate News Network reporter Tim Radford’s summary of the study:

From 2000 to 2012, floods in European Union countries averaged €4.9 billion ($6.8 billion) a year in losses. In the floods of June 2013, losses tipped €12 billion ($16.6 billion) in nine countries of Central and Eastern Europe. The annual average losses could increase to €23.5 billion ($32.4 billion) by 2050.

and

Unprecedented floods like those of 2013 occur on average once every 16 years now. By 2050, the probability will have increased to once every 10 years.

Damian Carrington also reported on the study in The Guardian, focusing on the projected economic losses, the lack of insurance in place and the return on investment improved flood defenses would bring.

Ten more shots from Planina are below.

All images (c) Bob Ramsak 2014. All rights reserved.
For stock or editorial use please get in touch.

 

 

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Laguna Torre, Glaciares National Park, Argentin

Patagonia’s Laguna Torre and Glaciar Grande – A Seven Image Gallery

Wrapping up this three-post series on a pair of day hikes from El Chalten, Argentina, is this mini-gallery of the Glaciar Grande and the lake it overlooks, Laguna Torre.

Even shrouded in clouds the scene does an admirable job advertising this corner of Los Glaciares National Park as the hiker attraction that it is. It’s also, like the majority of the Southern Patagonian Ice Field (wiki|map) that it sits in, a “kind of poster child for rapidly changing glacier systems”.

That’s according to “Ice loss from the Southern Patagonian Ice Field, South America, between 2000 and 2012”, a late 2012 study published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters.

Laguna Torre 6

From an abstract on DailyClimate.org:

Ice fields in southern South America are rapidly losing volume and in most cases thinning at even the highest elevations, contributing to sea-level rise at “substantially higher” rates than observed from the 1970s through the 1990s

and

The rapid melting, based on satellite observations, suggests the ice field’s contribution to global sea-level rise has increased by half since the end of the 20th century, jumping from 0.04 millimeters per year to about .07 mm, and accounting for 2 percent of annual sea-level rise since 1998.

and

Warming air temperatures contributed to the thinning throughout the mountain range, [the report ] noted. And the warmer temperatures increased the chances that rain – as opposed to snow – would fall on and around the glaciers. That double threat increases the amount of water under the glaciers, decreasing friction and moving more ice to the oceans.

This ice field, along with its northern neighbor, comprise the largest mass of ice in the southern hemisphere outside of Antarctica.

According to the study, which compared satellite imagery over a 12-year period beginning in 2000, found that glaciers in the Southern Patagonian Ice Field thinned by an average of six feet per year.

I left this rocky lake shore with the same contentedly queasy feeling I had after leaving other glaciers, before and since, behind: happy that I made the opportunity to see them while they were still around.

Laguna Torre 9 Laguna Torre 8 Laguna Torre 7 Laguna Torre 2 Laguna Torre 4

Here’s a 45-second timelapse of the lake I shot over the span of about 25 minutes with my GoPro. The cool soundtrack is Broken Music Boxes by Ilya Monosov. I chose it because the description for his album Vinyl Document #1 –a record that focuses on sounds derived from broken or otherwise mistreated machines– fits well. Please check out more of his excellent work.

For posterity’s sake, here’s the GoPro at work and below that me, who is always at work. :)

Laguna Torre 5

On the way to Laguna Torre.

On the way to Laguna Torre.

Check out the previous two posts from this series:
~ Hiking Patagonia’s Fitz Roy Trail: El Chalten Day Hike 1
~ Patagonia’s Laguna Torre Trail – El Chalten Day Hike 2

And finally, this post is linked up with Travel Photo Monday #34 on Travel Photo Discovery. The direct link is here. Check it out!

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zerowastepic1

On the Path to Zero Waste

That was the title of a roundtable discussion last night at Ljubljana’s Kino Šiška following the second of two screenings of Trashed, a 2012 documentary that examines and exposes the risks waste poses to the environment and food chain through air, land and sea pollution. (More on the film later.) Among the panel participants was Joan Marc Simon, the executive director of Zero Waste Europe (website / Facebook / Twitter) and a consultant on the film.

While the discussion among the panel members focused primarily on waste management and reduction in Slovenia in Slovene, Simon spoke more generally, sharing examples and insights from his experiences with the organization. He discussed the path and process towards achieving zero waste in a community; the importance of working with local authorities, policy makers and businesses; and ensuring that the process remains democratic. Audio of his comments, totaling about nine minutes, is below.

Among the key takeaways for me was that Slovenia is planning to construct two more waste incinerators, one in the capital Ljubljana and another in Maribor, the country’s second largest city. One already exists in Celje, Slovenia’s third biggest city. On incineration, Simon said, “Incineration is a source of corruption. I’ve seen in my experience that it can break democracy in countries.”

Other panel members included Dr. Andrej Kržan, from the National Institute of Chemistry; Janko Kramžar, Director of Snaga, Ljubljana’s municipal waste management company; and Uroš Macerl, president of the NGO Eko Krog (Eco Circle). Some Members of Parliament were contacted more than two months ago and asked to participate but none accepted the invitation, said panel moderator and TV journalist Eva Kobe.

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Who are the Arctic 30?

Who are the Arctic 30?

Who are the Arctic 30? The Guardian profiles the 30 men and women from the Greenpeace ship Arctic Sunrise who have been held under arrest by Russian authorities since the group’s attempted protest on a Russian oil rig on September 18. The 30, 28 Greenpeace activists and two journalists, are facing piracy charges.

There was an international day of action calling for their release on October 5. In case you missed it, several photos and some video I collected –plus more background on the case– from the vigil here in Ljubljana, Slovenia, is here.

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At a rally in Ljubljana, Slovenia, calling for the release of Greenpeace activists currently detained in Russia. 05-Oct-2013

Vigil in Ljubljana for Greenpeace Activists Jailed in Russia

Here are half a dozen photos and a short video piece from today’s vigil and rally in Ljubljana, Slovenia, demanding the release of the so-called Arctic 30, 28 Greenpeace activists and two journalists, who been detained by Russian authorities for the past 17 days. The gathering in the Slovenian capital today was one of at least 140 held in nearly fifty countries in support of the 30 detainees from 18 countries who were arrested after an attempted protest on a Russian oil rig on 18 September.

I had a train to catch so couldn’t stay long; I estimate that about 100 people — demonstrators and supporters milling about, observing or writing letters– were in the central Prešeren Square just before noon.

“It’s extremely important that our brave colleagues, who are currently behind bars in Russia, know that they’re not alone,” said Greenpeace Slovenia representative Dejan Savić in a statement. Members of other local citizens groups and non-governmental organizations –Amnesty International Slovenia and the environmental organizations Umanotera and Focus– also took part to show their support.

Pressure continues to mount on Russia since the incident on 18 September when two Greenpeace activists tried to climb the side of the Prirazlomnaya platform on the Pechora Sea (the southeastern part of the Barents Sea), to hang a banner to protest drilling in the Arctic. Russian coast guard commandos swept down to capture the pair and then took command of their ship, the Arctic Sunrise, the following day. They’ve since been held in custody in the northern city of Murmansk where all 30 have been charged with piracy. If convicted they face up to 15 years in prison.

The Prirazlomnaya platform, owned by the state energy giant Gazprom, is due to begin operations in early 2014 which would make the company the first to drill offshore in the Arctic.

Since the seizure of the ship more than one million people have sent letters to Russian embassies demanding the immediate release of the detainees. Kumi Naidoo, Greenpeace International‘s Executive Director Kumi Naidoo has called the incident the most serious assault against the organization since the group’s flagship, the Rainbow Warrior, was bombed by the DGSE, the French intelligence service, in 1985.

“The activists were taking a brave stand to protect all of us from climate change and the dangers of reckless oil drilling in the Arctic, Naidoo said in a statement published on the Geenpeace website. “Now it’s imperative that millions of us stand up with them to defend the Arctic and demand their immediate release. Gazprom, Shell and the other oil companies rushing to carve up the Arctic and destroy its fragile environment must see that we are millions and we will not be bullied and intimidated into silence.”

A few more photos:

Arctic 30 LJ IMG_3656 Arctic 30 LJ IMG_3657 Arctic 30 LJ IMG_3663 Arctic 30 LJ IMG_3677 Arctic 30 LJ IMG_3679

Candlelight vigil in Ljubljana, Slovenia, calling for the release of Greenpeace activists currently detained in Russia. 05-Oct-2013

Candlelight vigil in Ljubljana, Slovenia, calling for the release of Greenpeace activists currently detained in Russia. 05-Oct-2013

And, using vimeo’s 5×5 project as a guide –piecing together five five-second segments– here’s a brief bit of video using seven.

Keep up with the hashtag #FreeTheArctic30.

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International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer

Did you know that today is the 20th International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer? Until a few days ago, I didn’t either. Neither do most of the world’s English-language media outlets. As of noon CEST, less than a dozen mentions of the UN observance appear in a google news search. Most of those are in India, with a smattering in The Philippines and the Gulf States.

The designation was made in 1994 marking the date, in 1987, when the The Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer was signed. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s message is here.

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