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Nigeria Back in the Spotlight—Chevron Offshore Rig Catches Fire
Early Jan. 16 an offshore Chevron Corp. drilling rig caught fire off the coast of Nigeria, leaving grave doubt concerning the safety of the workers on board. The fire is the latest in a string of high-profile safety, operational and legal incidents including an ecologically disastrous oil spill off the coast of Brazil and a historic $18 billion award against Chevron for environmental and human rights abuses in an Ecuadorian appellate court.
Chevron spokesman Scott Walker confirmed reports of a fire caused by an explosion big enough to be heard by local Funiwa residents ashore, according to Reuters, although the cause and ramifications of the accident are still unclear.
“I heard a really loud bang and there was a fire,” said local village chief Young Fabby, interviewed by Reuters.
Nigeria—the fifth-largest crude oil exporter to the U.S.—is still dealing with December’s Shell oil spill, deemed the nation’s worst in a decade, spilling up to 40,000 barrels of oil (according to a Shell spokesman) and affecting approximately 115 miles of coastal Nigerian waters, according to the Associated Press.
Chevron is the world’s fourth-largest energy company. In 2010, Chevron yielded an average of 524,000 barrels of oil a day from their Nigerian operations and continues to maintain the exploration rights to approximately 2.2 million acres of space around Nigeria’s coastline and delta.
Currently, Chevron still faces criminal charges for negligence in the Brazil oil spill clean-up, with fines up to $11 billion USD. A conviction could result in a permanent ban from ever conducting business in Brazil again.
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The Rugby World Cup starts Friday in Japan where Pacific Island teams from Samoa, Fiji and Tonga will face off against teams from industrialized nations. However, a new report from a UK-based NGO says that when the teams gather for the opening ceremony on Friday night and listen to the theme song "World In Union," the hypocrisy of climate injustice will take center stage.
By Wudan Yan
In June, New York Times journalist Andy Newman wrote an article titled, "If seeing the world helps ruin it, should we stay home?" In it, he raised the question of whether or not travel by plane, boat, or car—all of which contribute to climate change, rising sea levels, and melting glaciers—might pose a moral challenge to the responsibility that each of us has to not exacerbate the already catastrophic consequences of climate change. The premise of Newman's piece rests on his assertion that traveling "somewhere far away… is the biggest single action a private citizen can take to worsen climate change."
On Monday, Sept. 23, the Climate Group will kick off its 11th annual Climate Week NYC, a chance for governments, non-profits, businesses, communities and individuals to share possible solutions to the climate crisis while world leaders gather in the city for the UN Climate Action Summit.
By Pam Radtke Russell in New Orleans
Local TV weather forecasters have become foot soldiers in the war against climate misinformation. Over the past decade, a growing number of meteorologists and weathercasters have begun addressing the climate crisis either as part of their weather forecasts, or in separate, independent news reports to help their viewers understand what is happening and why it is important.