Why Are We Scaling the Tallest Building in Britain to Save the Arctic?

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Greenpeace UK

Why Are We Scaling the Tallest Building in Britain to Save the Arctic?

We're attempting to scale the Shard to send a message to the headquarters of oil giant Shell.

by
Sabine Huyghe, Sandra Lamborn, Victoria Henry, Ali Garrigan, Wiola Smul & Liesbeth Deddens

In the last 30 years we've lost 80% of the Arctic sea ice.

The white ice cap at the top of the world has shrunk so much that scientists say the North Pole could be ice free any time in the next few decades. The last time there was no Arctic sea ice was 800,000 years ago.

This building - modelled on a shard of ice - sits slap bang in the middle of Shell's three London headquarters. They don't want us talking about their plan to drill in the Arctic. We're here to shout about it from the rooftops. Join in by sharing this far and wide.

The survival of polar bears and other iconic species is threatened by that melt. But the Arctic is more than just a home for polar bears. The vast white ice sheets reflects the sun’s rays back into space, cooling the entire Earth.

As the ice disappears our global weather becomes more unpredictable. Farming gets harder. Hunger gets worse.

The Arctic is a vital part of our home and that's why it matters to everyone on our shared planet to protect it.

Shell and other oil companies want to use the melting Arctic to drill for oil. They want to drill in the places they can only now reach because the ice is melting. And burning that oil only accelerates the melt.

It's a vicious circle that only makes sense if you're an oil executive thinking about your company's short-term profits. Or you're a politician hoping some quick money will help you win the next election.

But we are not those people. We have a responsibility to think bigger than that.

What we decide today about the Arctic and climate change will affect humanity long after these oil company logos and opportunistic politicians are forgotten.

That's why we're up here, scaling this skyscraper modelled on a shard of ice. As we look down, we're in the midpoint of Shell's three London offices. From here we want to send them a message they won't forget.

If we make it to the top, we hope to install a giant piece of art that will show the true beauty of the Arctic and why we're telling Shell to keep its rusty rigs away. We can see them, so we know they can see us.

But that's enough about what we're doing. We want to hear from you. What will you do to save the Arctic?

Let us know by sending us a message.

Sabine Huyghe, Sandra Lamborn, Victoria Henry, Ali Garrigan, Wiola Smul & Liesbeth Deddens are the international team of Greenpeace climbers who ascended the Shard skyscraper in London on Thursday, July 11th 2013.

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