The Arctic ice we all depend on is disappearing. Fast.
In the last 30 years, we’ve lost as much as three-quarters of the floating ice cap at the top of the world. The volume of that sea ice measured by satellites in the summer, when it reaches its smallest, has shrunk so fast that scientists say it’s now in a ‘death spiral’.
For over 800,000 years, ice has been a permanent feature of the Arctic ocean. It’s melting because of our use of dirty fossil fuel energy, and in the near future it could be ice free for the first time since humans walked the Earth. This would be not only devastating for the people, polar bears, narwhals, walruses and other species that live there – but for the rest of us too.
The ice at the top of the world reflects much of the sun’s heat back into space and keeps our whole planet cool, stabilising the weather systems that we depend on to grow our food. Protecting the ice means protecting us all.
OIL DRILLINGA new Arctic oil rush is starting. Shell, BP, Exxon, Gazprom, Rosneft and others want to risk a devastating Arctic oil spill for only three years’ worth of oil. The same dirty energy companies that caused the Arctic to melt in the first place are looking to profit from the disappearing ice. They want to open up a new oil frontier to get at a potential 90 billion barrels of oil. That’s a lot of money to them, but it’s only three years’ worth of oil to the world.
Previously classified government documents say dealing with oil spills in the freezing waters is “almost impossible” and inevitable mistakes would shatter the fragile Arctic environment.
To drill in the Arctic, oil companies have to drag icebergs out the way of their rigs and use giant hoses to melt floating ice with warm water. If we let them do this, a catastrophic oil spill is just a matter of time.
We’ve seen the extreme damage caused by the Exxon Valdez and Deepwater Horizon disasters – we cannot let this happen in the Arctic.
We need a ban on oil drilling in Arctic waters. Sign now.
Industrial fishing fleets are starting to trawl Arctic waters. Local people have fished sustainably in the Arctic for thousands of years, but that could be threatened if we let giant fishing companies exploit the Arctic ocean.
We need a ban on unsustainable industrial fishing in Arctic waters. Sign now.
Arctic nations are preparing for possible conflict over the Arctic. As the Wikileaks cables show, the US has spoken of “increased military threats in the Arctic” and Russia has predicted “armed intervention” in the future.
Countries are spending billions on Arctic weaponry, threatening the long-term peace of the region. Nuclear-powered ice-breakers, submarines and fighter jets are being purchased by Arctic states with overlapping claims on the area around the North Pole.
The best way to maintain the peace there is to make its resources off-limits. That’s why we’re campaigning for a global sanctuary and a ban on oil drilling and industrial fishing.
Just like in Antarctica, we need an Arctic Ocean dedicated to peace and science.
No country owns the Arctic. It should stay that way. Sign now.
YOU CAN SAVE THE ARCTIC
There is no government or army to protect the Arctic, only countries and companies looking to carve it up. Help us plant a Flag for the Future at the North Pole. There are seven billion of us on our planet. Each and every one of us is affected by the health of the Arctic: by reflecting the sun’s rays off its ice, the Arctic shapes our weather patterns and the food we grow and eat.
But the Arctic is the frontline of our warming climate – heating up twice as fast as anywhere else. It’s also the frontline of the oil industry – one of the dirty, dead fuels responsible for the melting in the first place.
By stopping the new oil rush in the Arctic we are creating the conditions for a radical change in how we power our lives, accelerating the clean energy revolution that will fuel the future for our children.
We know we’re going up against the most powerful countries and companies in the world.
But together we have something stronger than any country’s military or any company’s budget. Our shared concern for the planet we leave our children transcends all the borders that divide us and makes us – together – the most powerful force today.
That is why we’re taking your name – and a million others – to the North Pole with a Flag for the Future designed by the youth of the world. It will show that our shared vision of a green, peaceful, healthy planet depends on an Arctic protected by us all.
But the flag is only a symbol. We’ll be taking your voice to every political leader in the world to ask them where they stand on the Arctic. One by one, as our movement gathers momentum, we’ll turn towards the United Nations, where we’ll demand a global deal to protect the Arctic.
30 years ago we launched a similar campaign to protect the Antarctic. Nobody thought we would succeed, but we did, and we created a world park around the South Pole.
Now the Arctic is calling.
Save The Arctic. Sign now.
190,057 HAVE SIGNED
Yes! Let’s declare a global sanctuary in the Arctic
Come with us to the North Pole. When we reach 1 million signatures we’ll plant your name and a Flag for the Future on the bottom of the ocean at the top of the world.
© 2012 Greenpeace International. All rights reserved.