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Actress Lucy Lawless and Greenpeace blocks Shell arctic driller

Earlier this week a group of Greenpeace activists, including the actress Lucy Lawless, scaled an oil drill ship that was due to travel to the Arctic. After spending over 76 hours onboard the ship, Lucy Lawless and the five other activists have now been arrested by the police.

The ship was scheduled to travel to the Chukchi Sea off the coast of Alaska yesterday to drill three exploratory oil wells for the global oil and gas company Shell. But the activists successfully managed to stop and delay the ship from leaving the port of Taranaki in New Zealand. Greenpeace is critical of Shell’s planned exploration for oil in the Arctic which the environmental organization says “signals the beginning of an Arctic oil rush” that could potentially cause “irreparable harm” to the fragile nature and its inhabitants.

If you remember the BP/Deepwater oil well explosion in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010 you should have a fairly good idea what kind of “irreparable harm” they are talking about.

“A major oil spill in the Arctic would be an environmental disaster”, said Nick Young from Greenpeace in New Zealand. “Experts say it would be virtually impossible to clean up, due to the harsh weather conditions and the sheer lack of vessels and infrastructure in the area. More than 6,000 vessels were pulled in to deal with the Deepwater Horizon disaster, and even so only a meagre 17% of the oil was recovered”, Young said. “The US Coast Guard has made clear there is no way they could deploy thousands of vessels to deal with a blow-out in the Arctic.”

You can send a message to Shell's CEO Peter Vosser and demand that they stop with the risky oil drilling in the Arctic: http://www.greenpeace.org/savethearctic

For the latest updates from the action in New Zealand follow the hashtag #SaveTheArctic or check out the live updates from Greenpeace here: http://www.greenpeace.org/new-zealand/en/

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