Tuesday, 31 August 2010


Greenpeace protesters have shut down a British oil drilling operation in the sea off Greenland by avoiding their navy and climbing into the rig. They are now in the rig and say they have sufficient food for several days.

They say that we must wean ourselves off oil and learn to live another way. A spokesman said that they have to keep the energy companies out of the Arctic and we must kick our addiction to oil.

They intend to stop the rig from drilling for as long as they can because there is a limited amount of time available to the before the winter weather sets in and drilling has to be suspended until next spring.

One of their number said: ''The BP Gulf oil disaster showed us it's time to go beyond oil.

I suspect that, in fact, it did not. Not any more than any other disaster anywhere in the world where lives have been lost and environments hurt in the pursuit of energy.

I suspect that what it really told us is that we must not cut corners with safety. It told us that, even if it costs a bit more at the time, in the end it will cost a lot less to be careful.

The Greenpeace ship, the Esperanza, set sail from London last month with a pledge to target what the environmental group described as one of the 10 most dangerous deep water drilling sites in the world. As the Esperanza approached the site the campaigners were confronted by a Danish warship sent to protect the drilling operation off the Greenland coast. The Danish government has responsibility for the security of Greenland.

I would be the first to say that the wildlife and the environment in the Arctic Ocean are immensely important. I would be the first to say that by law, and with massive penalties for non compliance, safety on these rigs should be paramount. And I hope that if Greenland does not already have this kind of legislation, its government wastes no time in bringing it in.

We can’t and we won’t, however, stand in the way of this progress. The discovery of oil and gas will be a massive boost to the Greenland economy and make life immeasurably easier for these hard working and hard [pressed people living on the edge of the world. And whilst I agree that we should be looking beyond oil for the future (which we are), the present is still very much with us.

Perhaps Greenpeace would like to tell us how they got to Greenland, from England? This boat of theirs has oars I suppose? Maybe it would take them as far as China, where they could try climbing into a Chinese oil rig.....


  1. Nice post, Munguin. Oil as energy is a natuaral fact. It will, however be replaced, as you rightly say. As for Greenpeace, ghastly know alls without any real credibility. Kids playing in the M1 fast lane.

  2. Thanks OR...

    That's pretty much how I feel about it all.

  3. Hippie fools. I say detach the army to deal with these stupid kids. A solid beating from the good boys in uniform shall mean they will protest like decent, law abiding people rather than stupid rich kids.

    As a declaration of interest; I hold a Cartmanesque hatred for all things hippie. It is the height of non-conformity, lawlessness, chaos and Bennite lunacy.

  4. Get a life Dean with "The Magic Roundabout" way out man.

  5. Well Dean

    That's a bit on the severe side. But they do put people's lives and livelihoods at risk sometimes.

    Their intentions are good... but their methods stink on ice. I think that the Danish navy are there dealing with the situation. They may find themselves in a Greenlandic jail before long

    I rather think that Mr Benn and "hippies" (are there any of them left?) are miles apart in their philosophies. Maybe with the exception of peace.

  6. Erm yes... CH.... way out man... like....uh..

  7. Cynical, LOL, the Magic Roundabout - now there is something I'm heading off to Youtube to watch again! :)

    Tris, I have a real personal hang-up about hippies. I was actually stopping short of say 'ffing shoot em' ;)

  8. I do agree that Greenpeace are way out of order on this and suspect they will lose support by some sectors of the public. They seem to be going down the path of maximum publicity with little risk to themselves, there are far more pressing environmental issues but that entails confronting major powers.

  9. That's certainly true CH. But in that they mimic the behaviours of the USA and UK.

    We find it intolerable that Iraq has a government that mistreats its citizens, but have seemingly no trouble with China, or its friends Burma, and only a little difficulty with North Korea doing the same things. We seem to be pretty much turning a blind eye too, to what goes on inside the Russian Federation.

    We like to pick on little countries with no friends,.... and lots of oil....

    I remember boys like that at school. We called them bullies.

    I hope Greenland has draconian measures... but from what I know of the country, they don't even lock the prison doors...

  10. Oh dear Dean....

    I'm glad I'm not a hippy....

    ....I'm not.... honest.

    Dare I say it.....peace out...?

    "If you are going to San Francisco....
    Be sure to wear some flowers... tra la la..."


  11. I love it. Haven't we learned anything from the BP spill? it's time to move away from oil and on to something cleaner and more efficient.

  12. Hello Cris...

    I think, as I said in the post, that we should have learned about safety, about not cutting corners. At least if the Gulf of Mexico debacle won't teach big business about the importance of the environment they work in, they will have learned that the overall cost of this is far greater in financial terms than the shutdown that they might otherwise have had.

    I think we are moving away from oil. Scotland in particular is working very hard at renewable, despite a great deal of hindrance from the Westminster government.

    But power from renewable won’t happen overnight. So an oil find in a friendly country (Greenland is a very friendly country) will relieve some of our dependence on other countries with which we have rather dubious relationships. A source of gas (and i believe they have found gas) would also be most useful. After all we are in a bit of a mess with the current source are we not?

    I’m no supporter of big business oil companies which would probably quite happily crush me and all of mine if it would help them make more money, but Greenpeace’s actions are more likely to cause an accident than save one. If one of these idiots falls into the sea and has to be rescued.... for example.

  13. http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/aug/31/greenland-greenpeace-arctic-oil-rig

    If I were the PM I'd order the hoses on them. See how long they lasted with that freezing water. They are putting the safety of rig workers in danger.

  14. Och for goodness sakes, Chris! Lets get some things straight;

    a] Global warming is a natural cycle
    b] 'Direct action' of this sort can cost lives; there isn't anything 'peaceful' about it
    c] this constitutes a criminal and illegal occupation - if you can't make a point legally, then it isnt worth listening to

    End of.

  15. The French had an answer to Greenpeace - perhaps you would all advocate a similar response in this instance?

    brownlie the Buddist xx

  16. No Brownlie. I don't think that what the French did was right. They are another lot that clung to their outdated power by insisting on having "the bomb" and testing it in other people's parts of the world. The French were wrong in what they did in New Zealand when they blew up a Greenpeace ship rainbow Warrior. The DGSE were mad to think that that was the way to deal with the situation, just as mad as Mitterrand was to use Moruroa for their tests.

    But these Greenpeace protests are putting workers' lives at risk. No one would deny that it would be a disaster if there were a leak, but it’s a risk we take in Scotland...

    While the world works on trying to find alternatives for oil (and Scotland is doing its bit... and would do more if it weren’t being held back by Westminster), we still need oil and gas and we need it as far away as we can from contentious parts of the world. Or parts of the world where they will hold us to ransom over price.

    I don’t see why Greenpeace intruders shouldn’t be warned that if they don’t get down from the rigging, they will be brought down.

    And....guess wat... I never noticed your ‘h’ being dropped. And I am a bit of a stickler wen it comes to tose kind of tings!!....

  17. Now dean....calm down.

    I think that the door is still open to discussion on climate change.

    But chris is entitled to his opinion... as is everyone else (except Gordon Brown) on Munguin's Republic.

    Well... and Liam Fox.... and George Ffolkes

  18. ... oh.... and the Wintertons....

  19. tris,

    Taking the mickey out of my accent now, bejasus?
    BTW: The two "x"s in my previous comment were for your Mum and not for Niko!

  20. Ohhhh. I never noticed your two xxs. Sorry!

    I'll pass them on to my mum though...

    She'll be pleased. Although........you must try not to drop your "h"s in front of her.

  21. Niko, however, will be devastated

  22. "I'm still very fond of Niko" said John Brownlie - gaily!

  23. Don't see what there is to be happy about being fond of Niko.

    I rather like him in a curmudgeonly fashion myself....

  24. Best thing to do is. Do not let them off keep them in situ for two to three weeks, or until they beg to be let back to their comfy boat.
    That will sicken them

  25. Talking about the "Magic Roundabout", why did Greenpeace name their boat after the presenter of "That's Life"?

    Wasn't George Foulkes in the "Magic Roundabout" shouting "Time for Bed"?

  26. LOL Anon. It will get cold up there at night... Sounds like a plan to me.

  27. Brownlie: We weren't talking about the Magic Roudabout, as it happens. We were taking about Greenland, oil and Greenpeace....but seeing as you want to ...ok...

    I didn't know their boat was called Florence.. and you're right, George was really good as Ermintrude...mind there wasn't a lot of acting involved...

  28. tris,

    Yes, you were talking about the Magic Roundabout!! Do you never read the comments from cynical and Dean on your own blog? Consider yourself reprimanded! No wonder I gave up blogging!

  29. Oh THAT Magic Roundabout... You should have said...

    My mum says you're not to stop blogging....

  30. Ha! back to annoying Tris (at last) third party cookies enabled simples........

    ha ha ha

  31. Damn... And I thought I'd fixed that good and proper.... erm I mean.... Hello there Niko... lovely to see ya...

  32. Guilty as charged m'lud but you have to admit they don't make them like they used to.

  33. I see that the weather took a turn for the worse....so they all came down and had a nice cup of cocoa.... It's all very well protesting but not in an Arctic gale! They never thought it would be that cold...

    I hope they are in a Greenlandic jail now for endangering life and limb (or whatever that's called in Greenlandic!).