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Saving the Arctic (one bike ride at a time)


Arctic drilling protest in Toronto.

Arctic drilling protest in Toronto.

I joined with my friend Julie Epplett in a GreenPeace bike ride in Toronto on Sunday protesting the prospect of oil drilling in the Arctic. The event was part of a global protest that took place at the same time in hundreds of cities around the world.

It felt good to participate directly in something, and not just write about it for the magazine . Arctic drilling is something I oppose strongly, in light of the BP Deepwater Horizon blowout in the Gulf of Mexico a few years ago. BP’s appalling safety record before the event revealed it was an accident waiting to happen. I was also disturbed to learn about service provider Haliburton’s being fined for altering the results of a risk assessment after the incident. (The risk assessment had shown BP’s operation was risky and Haliburton was covering up for its client: these actions triggered multimillion dollar fines.)

Until the industry goes through a transformational change in terms of its safety culture and technology (and maybe not even then) I don’t think drilling should take place anywhere near the sensitive Arctic environment.

By the way, I’m at the Conference on Canadian Stewardship this week; if you’re attending, please say hello!


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