One nearly universal value we all share here at dailyKos (and on other liberal forums, large and small) is our concern about our fellow creatures, whether human or otherwise. No matter what our individual environmental interests and "causes" are, the important thing is that we all share a deep concern for the Earth and its future.
I have been a volunteer at Greenpeace International here in Amsterdam for a while now; currently, I'm part of a blogger team for our current "defend the whales" campaign.
One of our ships, the Esperanza, is currently in the Southern Ocean, off the coast of Antarctica. We are there to bear witness and take non-violent direct action - putting ourselves between the whales and the harpoons, in order to bring attention to the Japanese government's yearly Antarctic whale hunt, which is commercial whaling under the guise of "research" (you can read more about it here, too).
I'd like to leave the discussion of these issues for another diary. What I want to talk about today are the recent events in the Southern Oceans.
More on the flip.
- : The Esperanza receives a distress call from the Japanese whaling factory ship, the Nisshin Maru. A fire had broken out onboard the vessel. The Esperanza continues on course, prepared to tow the Nisshin Maru out of danger.
- The critical issue is the danger of a huge oil spill as a result of the fire/accident on the Nisshin Maru. The whaling ship carries at least 1,000 tons of oil. Being less than 100 nautical miles from the largest Adelie penguin colony in the world, an oil spill would be an environmental disaster.
- : Even though the Esperanza is now in the vicinity of the Nisshin Maru, the Fisheries Agency of Japan refuses their help.
- : The Esperanza continues standing by to help tow the whaling ship out of danger. Time is growing short because the sea will soon start freezing over. The Esperanza and the whaling ship have been in contact, the Esperanza providing information on ice conditions, and the Nisshin Maru updating the Esperanza on their repair progress.
I cannot emphasize enough that there is increasing danger of an oil spill. Because of the ice conditions, the longer the Nisshin Maru stays at its current location, the greater the chance of an environmental disaster.
Yes, we know you'd love to be in the Southern Oceans, helping out on the Esperanza.
You can do the second best thing and...
Click the following text, and send a letter to the Japanese Environment Minister, (politely) asking him to do the right thing.
Now that you've done one cyberaction, head on over to whales.greenpeace.org and sign up. You can start your own campaign there - be creative!
Pressed for time? Here's a "30-second actions" campaign at whales.greenpeace.org. Find out how you can use del.icio.us to rate up news articles, Greenpeace updates, etc. . In other words, "freep it"!
, spread the word, and send this diary to all of your friends.
A cool extra: here's a general report from our media officer on the Esperanza. She's talking with the captain, the helicopter pilot, and our two onboard campaigners.