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Actress Lucy Lawless Joins Greenpeace Protest Against Arctic Drilling
Eleven peaceful activists from the Greenpeace ship Arctic Sunrise have taken to the water in inflatable boats with handheld banners to oppose the Statoil Songa Enabler oil rig, 275 km North off the Norwegian coast, in the Arctic Barents sea.
The banners say: "People Vs. Arctic Oil" and are directed at Statoil and the Norwegian government, which has opened a new, aggressive search for oil in the waters of the Barents Sea.
Climate change survivor and activist Joanna Sustento from the Philippines, and actress and activist Lucy Lawless from New Zealand, are among the 19 nationalities who have traveled to the high Northern waters onboard the Arctic Sunrise. Sustento wants the Norwegian government to take responsibility for its climate commitments and development of a new oil frontier in the Arctic. She lost her entire family, except for her brother, to Super-typhoon Haiyan in 2013 which left large parts of her hometown, Tacloban, in ruins.
"It is hard for me to grasp and accept that a government like Norway's is opening up new Arctic oil drilling, knowing full well it will put families and homes in other parts of the world at risk. I'm here in the Arctic to see this irresponsibility with my own eyes; share my story about the human consequences of climate change; and call on the Norwegian government to put a stop to this dangerous search for new oil," said Sustento.
Activist Joanna Sustento in the Barents Sea.Will Rose / Greenpeace
Just two weeks after signing the Paris climate agreement, the Norwegian Government awarded 13 oil companies 10 new licenses in a completely new area, for the first time in more than 20 years.
"It is scary to think that super-typhoons could become the new normal if governments like Norway's allow more oil drilling. I couldn't stop the typhoon that destroyed my home, but Norway could play a role in curbing the severity and frequency of these storms right now. It gives me hope to see that right now people are taking peaceful action for the climate all over the world and holding governments accountable," added Sustento.
Greenpeace and the Norwegian organization Nature and Youth, have also filed a lawsuit against the Norwegian government, arguing that the new oil licenses violate both the Paris climate agreement and paragraph 112 of the Norwegian Constitution, which commits the government "to safeguard the people's right to a clean and healthy environment for future generations."
More than 250,000 people have added their names to support the climate lawsuit, and these witness statements will be used to support the case in court.
Lucy Lawless in RHIB with Arctic Sunrise in the background.Greenpeace
"I can't stand by, doing nothing, when we know beyond a doubt that we can't burn a single barrel of oil from a new well if we are to avoid a climate catastrophe. I don't ever want to look my kids in the eye and explain why I didn't do all I could to protect them from climate change. It is beyond my understanding that the Norwegian government is giving Statoil a ticket to drill like mad at the expense of future generations," said Lawless.
The Statoil rig Songa Enabler is currently looking for new oil at the Gemini North license, and is expected to continue to the Korpfjell license later this summer. Both licenses were awarded in the 23rd licensing round that is subject of the court case filed by Greenpeace and Nature and Youth, scheduled for hearing on November 14. Statoil and the Norwegian government have decided to go ahead with the drillings despite the legal dispute.
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‘Companies Should Not Be Allowed to Use Hazardous Ingredients in Products People Use’: Michelle Pfeiffer Speaks Up for Safer Cosmetics
The beauty products we put on our skin can have important consequences for our health. Just this March, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned that some Claire's cosmetics had tested positive for asbestos. But the FDA could only issue a warning, not a recall, because current law does not empower the agency to do so.
Michelle Pfeiffer wants to change that.
The actress and Environmental Working Group (EWG) board member was spotted on Capitol Hill Thursday lobbying lawmakers on behalf of a bill that would increase oversight of the cosmetics industry, The Washington Post reported.
By Julia Conley
Scientists at the United Nations' intergovernmental body focusing on biodiversity sounded alarms earlier this month with its report on the looming potential extinction of one million species — but few heard their calls, according to a German newspaper report.
The climate crisis is a major concern for American voters with nearly 40 percent reporting the issue will help determine how they cast their ballots in the upcoming 2020 presidential election, according to a report compiled by the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication.
Of more than 1,000 registered voters surveyed on global warming, climate and energy policies, as well as personal and collective action, 38 percent said that a candidate's position on climate change is "very important" when it comes to determining who will win their vote. Overall, democratic candidates are under more pressure to provide green solutions as part of their campaign promises with 64 percent of Democrat voters saying they prioritize the issue compared with just 34 percent of Independents and 12 percent of Republicans.
President Donald Trump has agreed to sign a $19.1 billion disaster relief bill that will help Americans still recovering from the flooding, hurricanes and wildfires that have devastated parts of the country in the past two years. Senate Republicans said they struck a deal with the president to approve the measure, despite the fact that it did not include the funding he wanted for the U.S.-Mexican border, CNN reported.
"The U.S. Senate has just approved a 19 Billion Dollar Disaster Relief Bill, with my total approval. Great!" the president tweeted Thursday.
"There was a lot of devastation throughout the state," Governor Mike Parson said at a Thursday morning press conference, as NPR reported. "We were very fortunate last night that we didn't have more injuries than what we had, and we didn't have more fatalities across the state. But three is too many."