Bristol Citizens Join ‘Wildlife’ To Protest Shell’s ‘Wild Lie’
the environment |
Friday December 14, 2007 15:52 by Joshua Hart - Arctic Associates velorution at yahoo dot com
While Shell Sponsors Polar Bear Photos, Scientists Say Arctic Ice Will Disappear By 2013
This Saturday December 15th, starting at Noon, a herd of "wild animals" will be protesting the opening of the Shell Wildlife Photography Exhibition hosted by Bristol Museum.
The animals, together with some of their human friends, will be demanding that Bristol’s public museum reject the exhibition of wildlife photographs because of its sponsorship by Shell Oil Company, whose activities are causing climate change and habitat destruction, devastating the very wildlife which is the subject of the exhibition.
Shell has made life in Nigeria a living HELL
Lisa Tozer, a first year sociology student at UWE who donned polar bear garb for the protest, said “It’s surreal that the BBC Wildlife Magazine and the Natural History Museum can allow the world’s second largest oil company to sponsor their photography competition. Do they read the newspapers? Scientists tell us that climate change threatens extinction of at least one quarter of the world’s species by midcentury.”
Visitors to the exhibition will be informed about the truth of Shell’s impact on wildlife and human life in 145 countries around the world- for example:
• Shell's Sakhalin Island oil extraction project in Siberia is helping to push the Western Pacific Grey Whale to extinction.
• Shell is planning to pump toxic waste into Broadhaven Bay in County Mayo in Ireland, an important breeding area for whales and dolphins. Shell’s plans will disrupt habitats including peat bogs, sand dunes and coastal grassland.
• Shell has a well-documented record of intimidating local residents who raise objections to their projects, with massive police brutality in County Mayo, and extending to complicity in the state murder of Ken Saro Wiwa and eight other environmental activists in Nigeria in 1995.
• Shell have acquired "rights" to explore for oil in the rapidly melting Arctic, a pristine wilderness where any such exploration would threaten many species of wildlife, including polar bears.
• Shell is one of the biggest global causes of climate change- their carbon production exceeds the combined emissions of Mexico, Argentina and Chile.
Despite dozens of people contacting the Bristol City Council and the museum and asking them to reject the exhibition, these requests have been met with excuses, buck passing, or simply silence. Its clear that our leaders would rather not face up to the fact that our public museum is in fact advertising and greenwashing one of the worst multinational oil companies which is wreaking havoc on people, wildlife, and habitat the world over.
Through exhibitions such as the Wildlife Photographer of the Year Award, the public is led to believe that Shell is a “green” company, thus boosting sales of its products, and inflicting further damage to the atmosphere. From Shell’s perspective, it is cheaper to propagate the illusion that they are green rather than making actual reductions in their carbon emissions. The £750,000 sponsorship is no doubt very useful, but comes at a cost. Shell’s sponsorship has undermined the strong wildlife and environmental protection message of the competition and photographers. Bristolians will not be silent while our museum is used to propagate such lies.
Notes for the Editor
In addition to the Shell's direct threats to wildlife listed above:
- Shell is aggressively pursuing a policy of increasing its rate of fossil fuel extraction each year, with production expected to increase by 8-13% between 2005 and 2009. Climatologists say that if urgent action is not taken on curbing carbon emissions, global temperatures could rise by 6 degrees C by 2100, while a study in Nature in 2004 concluded that a rise of just 2 degrees C could cause the extinction of a quarter of land animal and plant species.
- Shell continues to flare gas 24 hours a day in the Niger delta, despite this practice now being illegal, and has said it does not plan to stop flaring until 2009. The gas flaring has contributed more greenhouse emissions than all other sources in sub-Saharan Africa combined, as well as poisoning the environment with a toxic cocktail of pollutants.
Sources: "Shell. Wildlife Destroyer of the Year", Friends of the Earth,
Arctic Ice Free by 2013: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/7139797.stm