#Greenpeace – Save the Arctic

Greenpeace word mark Русский: Текстовый символ...
Greenpeace word mark Русский: Текстовый символ «Гринпис» (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In recent weeks a major Greenpeace campaign has captured headlines around the world.  The campaign aims to prevent further damage to the Arctic which is facing catastrophe due to melting ice.  This is being exacerbated by man-made climate change and a number of corporations are trying to turn a disaster for us all into profits for their shareholders.

One such company is Shell which intends to drill for oil in the region.  Greenpeace held a major piece of direct action in which activists climbed London’s tallest building, the Shard, used by Shell.

At last month’s Belgian Grand Prix, one of the biggest days of the sporting calendar for Shell, Greenpeace managed to pull off a major coup.  As a motor sport fan and an environmentalist I am determined that my sport takes responsibility for the affect it has on the planet.  Other fans aren’t minded to support environmental campaigns.  When it emerged shortly before the race that Greenpeace activists were on one of the grandstands the motor sport community on twitter were immediately angry.  Some just didn’t like Greenpeace “hippies” whilst others were worried that they might have their Sunday afternoon disrupted.  A valid point from others was that motorsport is dangerous enough as it is without having protesters making it worse.  And this is where Greenpeace got it right.  They weren’t just protesting about a sport that damages the environment; they made it specific to Shell and they did so without interrupting the racing.

Bernie Ecclestone’s company controls the race TV coverage so it was natural to see the protest edited out of the live broadcast but thankfully the fans at the track will have seen the points made and this video shows what happened.

I think motorsport fans will come round to our way of thinking.  It will take time but motor sport itself will need to address issues of the environment if it wants to retain credibility.

Take part in this campaign.  You can pledge your support here and you can join the march through London this Sunday, 15th September with a massive polar bear puppet!

  • F1: Greenpeace’s unlikely friend (allthingsf1.wordpress.com)
  • Go well, go Shell… (joesaward.wordpress.com) – here’s the counter argument by long-standing F1 journalist Joe Saward.  It’s not up to much and makes the point that fans at the track were not best pleased.  History will no doubt find it strange that the crowd booed a group of people trying to save the planet as if sport is more important.  F1 will have to grow up and its fans will too.

One thought on “#Greenpeace – Save the Arctic

  1. It’s nice to read an article of a like-minded person on this subject. I’m not sure if it’s ignorance, selfishness or what from a lot of F1 fans on this but the reaction online says a lot about quite a few of them and does the sport no favours. I love racing but there comes a point where people have to realise things can’t stay the same forever because we don’t have forever if we want to keep using oil. People would be better off embracing moves towards greener technology, particularly in motorsport, otherwise the planet will suffer and there won’t be a sport left to watch. Thanks for the pingback btw!

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