It made for a nice headline-generating act of protest: a dozen or so activists blocked the entrance to Shell headquarters with a giant pyramid of ice cubes. The cubes, of course, instantly began to melt in the post-summer sun, symbolizing—what else?—the melting ice of the Arctic.
15 activists, part of a group called the Climate Justice Collective, were protesting about Shell's exploratory oil expedition off the coast of Alaska that began this week but was halted on Monday after sea ice was seen drifting towards the company's drilling vessel.Shell may have had to lift its drills from out of Alaska's Chukchi Sea for the moment, but the oil giant will continue its pioneering effort before long. Its multinational brethren are watching on, licking their chops. The Arctic oil gold rush has begun; at least clever acts of protest like this can help the dissenting voices—which are many—get some airtime.
Lucy, who took part in the protest but did not want to give her full name, said: "Something needs to be done right now ... This must stop, Shell must be held to account. This is an unprecedented disaster we are trying to minimise." Another protester said: "People from different backgrounds have got together. Sea ice is melting and Shell is partly responsible for that."