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By Sylvia Ubal
The Arctic is the area surrounding the North Pole of the Earth, with an approximate area of 15 million square kilometers, including eight different countries (Canada, Denmark, the United States, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden and Russia), which Instead of looking for solutions, they argue about dividing up the land, which is not the ice but what is under it. They see an opportunity for the extraction of crude oil and to open new maritime routes for the fishing industry. In short, an opportunity to make money at the cost of the destruction and depletion of the so-called “last frontier”.
Huge oil and gas reserves are found in the Arctic. In this month of July 2014, one of the oil companies that does not cease in its interest to extract crude from the Arctic is the Anglo-Dutch giant Royal Dutch Shell, a company that tops the ranking of the largest companies in the world and that begins its ambitious project exploitation of oil in the region without thinking about the damage they can cause worldwide.
The ecosystem suffers the effects of oil exploitation
The work that the oil company intends to carry out will weaken the Arctic just by breaking through the ice, but the consequences that an oil spill can cause, in the waters of the ocean in those latitudes, would be devastating, due to the great cost that it will have, both economically and environmentally. The fauna present in the Arctic (polar bears, arctic foxes, walruses, among others) will have to change their natural ecosystem, forcing them to change their diet and mating site. Even marine life would be affected by the decrease of algae in the frozen layer or of the phytoplankton on which they feed.
But who is Shell?
On their website they define themselves as a company that "collaborates to satisfy the growing demand for energy, developing its activities in an economic, socially responsible manner and respecting the environment." But reality has repeatedly questioned this statement. In 2009, Shell was declared the most polluting oil company in the world by Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth, for being the one that generates the most greenhouse gases (GHG) for each barrel of oil produced.
In addition, it is worth noting the continuous damage it causes to the ecosystems where its facilities are located and the constant violation of human rights. Points of the planet such as Nigeria have become places where Shell is at ease due to lack of regulation and government corruption. According to the World Wide Fund for Nature (WFF) in the Niger Delta in the last fifty years, time that the area has been exploited, more than 1.5 million tons of oil have been spilled.
It is good to note that the continued pollution in the Niger River Delta, the Anglo-Dutch multinational is accused of violating human rights according to the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), Earth Rights International (ERI) and other defense lawyers. human rights in the areas where it operates.
If we go back to the 90s, members of the Ogoni ethnic group living in the Niger Delta in southeastern Nigeria, were victims of armed operations when they started protests over the continuous spills and contamination that the Shell oil company was causing in the area. Their requests were that the daily discharges and illegal gas burning be stopped, that economic compensation be carried out for all the damages caused and that there be a distribution of the wealth generated with oil.
The Shell company, together with the Nigerian military regime, which supported the oil company, were the ones that assassinated Ogoni members in retaliation for the protests, according to the organization Platformlondon. The report “Counting the Cost Corporations and human rights abuses in the Niger Delta” The Anglo-Dutch multinational has a long history of cases of spills and contamination.
The criminal Shell spill of 200 tons of crude oil, in the United Kingdom
The spill of more than two hundred tonnes of fuel into the North Sea in August 2011, on an offshore platform some 180 kilometers off the Scottish coast, was the largest in the UK since 2000. As in Other cases of spills, the lack of transparency and the two-day delay in making the spill public have been denounced by the environmental group Greenpeace. Although drilling in the North Sea is regarded as an example of facility safety, the possibility of leaks is always present.
Also in Brazil, indigenous people have been demanding that the oil company leave their lands for years, since ethanol production is affecting them in a very negative way. The sugar cane that is used to produce ethanol is grown in the territory of the Guaraní community that sees how the chemicals used are affecting the health of the population and the environment.
The Arctic appears to have become the next target for Shell, a company with a long history of environmental disasters behind it.
The farce of giving legos to children with Shell letterhead
Climate change is a huge threat to all the children of the world, but Shell tries to appropriate Lego's magic to hide its share of responsibility; he is taking advantage of the fact that children adore his toys to seal their loyalty for life. The relationship between the multinational oil extraction company and Lego began with the signing of an agreement to include the logo of the oil company on the toy parts, as part of "an image cleaning campaign" and "transmit positive values such as those toys spread. "
"Shell is installed in children's rooms to generate future consumers and followers of the brand", Lego has confirmed that it will increase its joint promotion with the oil company in the coming years. This represents an enormous increase in the promotion of Shell since since it began its drilling program, 16 million Lego packages have been sold or given away at service stations in 26 countries, which has meant an increase in the number of oil companies. 7.5% in sales worldwide, according to data provided by the environmental organization Greenpeace.
Faced with this situation, environmental organizations have launched a campaign to collect signatures to prevent a possible spill in the Arctic, which would affect "incredible wildlife, such as polar bears, whales and walruses" and would be "almost impossible to remedy with devastating effects on the environment ”.
Here are two videos so you can see what is being raised in this article:
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