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Movie on a Mission: Black Ice

February 4 2015 Vegetarian Times 

Movie on a Mission: Black IcePhoto: Greenpeace/­­Denis Sinyakov When you think piracy, Greenpeace doesnt immediately come to mind. Yet that was the charge, along with hooliganism, leveled against 30 of the environmental non-profits activists in 2013 by the Russian government--after Russian special forces seized the team from the Greenpeace ship Arctic Sunrise during its protest at the site of the first-ever oil drilling operation in Arctic waters. Skillfully capturing the suspense of the event, the film Black Ice documents the ordeal of whats come to be known as the Arctic 30. When asked about the current status of the Russian energy company Gazproms oil-drilling rig in the Arctic, Greenpeace International Head of Arctic Oil Campaign Ben Ayliffe says: The rusting platform continues to pose a threat to the Arctic environment in the Pechora Sea on a daily basis. It remains a question of when an accident will happen there rather than if. Here, Ayliffe responds to additional questions. Whats the evidence that, as Greenpeace campaigner Dima Litvinov says in the film, the incident involving him and his fellow activists helped raise public awareness of the problem of the melting Arctic? The fate of the Arctic 30 captivated millions of people. Tens of thousands took to the streets of cities the world over to call for their release, whilst over a million new people joined the Greenpeace Save the Arctic campaign as a result of seeing the fate that Dima and his colleagues faced once our ship was illegally seized in the Russian Arctic. The reckless charge into the icy far north that oil companies like Gazprom are now involved in became front-page news from Mumbai to Minneapolis, and a powerful spotlight was shone on the creeping industrialization of this unique and fragile region, which otherwise may have gone unnoticed. Greenpeace are now building on the exposure the story of the Arctic 30 gave to this special place to ensure that their struggles, and the efforts of ordinary people around the world, result in the sort of lasting protection the Arctic urgently requires. How would you gauge the threats to wildlife from Arctic drilling? The prospect of an Arctic oil spill would be a nightmare scenario for this remote and fragile area. There is simply no way to clean up oil spilled in ice, and an accident here would have a devastating impact on what is a delicate and little-understood ecosystem. The Arctic is home to unique animal species like narwhal, polar bears, and walrus: all of these would directly impacted by a spill that we simply wouldnt be able to clean up. How has the current drop in oil prices affected the push toward offshore drilling in the Arctic?  The current fall in oil prices has certainly started to make more people, including investors, question the sense of such expensive and risky projects as Arctic oil. In Gazproms case, this is compounded by the low-grade oil produced by Prirazlomnaya [the companys oil platform in the Arctic], as theres currently a glut of that around. Why spend such huge amounts for a product thats available elsewhere? It makes very little sense. However, its worth considering that oil prices are volatile. We dont know what a barrel of crude will cost next week, let alone next year, so the price at the pumps today isnt perhaps the most significant factor the likes of Gazprom or Shell will consider when deciding to go farther into the Arctic, as such projects wont be commercially viable--even if they manage to find oil, a big if--for decades. Has there been any progress--as advocated in the film and patterned after the agreement over the Antarctic--toward declaring the Arctic a global sanctuary, free of economic and military development?  Were making real progress toward an Arctic Sanctuary. Finland has already backed its creation, as have the European Parliament, whilst senior politicians from places as far apart as Kiribati and Germany want to see it happen too. Additionally, over 6 million people have signed up to our campaign to Save the Arctic. A movement has been born, and we wont stop until the top of the world is protected for everyone.

Pico de Gallo

July 28 2014 VegKitchen 

Pico de GalloAlso known as salsa Mexicana and salsa cruda, this is what comes with the chips in Mexican restaurants. (Cruda means raw, not crude.) For best results, chop very finely; large chunks of tomato are hard to catch on a chip. Reprinted with permission from The New Vegetarian Cooking For Everyone   by Deborah Madison,copyright (C) 2014. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Random House LLC. Makes about 2 cups - 2 large ripe tomatoes, finely diced - 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped - 1 or more serrano chiles, finely diced, or 1 jalape?o, seeded and diced - 1/­­4 cup finely diced white onion - 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro - 1/­­4 teaspoon sea salt - Juice of 1 lime, or more to taste Combine the tomatoes with their juices, garlic, chiles, onion, cilantro, and salt in a bowl. Add the lime juice and taste for salt. If the tomatoes arent very juicy, add 1 tablespoon water. Let stand 20 minutes or so before serving. With Chipotle Chile: Omit the fresh chile and stir in 1/­­2 teaspoon pureed chipotle chile. Increase the amount until its as hot as you like it. - Here are lots more recipes for salsas, chutneys, and relishes. *This post contains affiliate links. If the product is purchased by linking through this review, VegKitchen receives a modest commission, which helps maintain our site and helps it to continue growing!


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