Sometimes to get the public’s attention, you have to go to pretty extreme lengths. Which is why six female Greenpeace activists are in the midst of a 1000-foot climb up the side of London’s Shard building, in order to protest arctic drilling.
The Shard was chosen for its proximity to Shell Oil’s building. “They don’t want us talking about their plan to drill in the Arctic. We’re here to shout about it from the rooftops,” wrote the women in a statement pre-climb. The climbers hope to hang a huge piece of art on the peak of the building, which will highlight the beauty of the arctic. You can watch a livestream of their ascent — shot from helmet cams – here. The women have also been tweeting mid-climb. “Three out of five pitches complete,” wrote 32-year-old Victoria Henry. “The trains below look like tiny electric worms.” The other climbers are believed to be Sabine Huyghe, 33, from Belgium; Sandra Lamborn, 29, from Sweden; Liesbeth Deddens, 31, from the Netherlands; and Wiola Smul, 34, from Poland; and Ali Garrigan, 27, from England.
In a post on Greenpeace’s site before the climb, Henry explained the group’s motives:
“I’m training for something that I hope will help stop one of the most heartbreaking acts of wanton environmental destruction – drilling for oil in the Arctic. I’m over the moon that I can play any part in the mass resistance to this horrifying practice.”
They began their climb at around 4 a.m. this morning, accessing the Shard via the adjacent London Bridge Station, and as of this writing are about two-thirds of the way up the building. The environmental nonprofit is hoping to gain around 62,000 signatures of support from the stunt.
As for Shell, the company released a statement in support of their Arctic drilling plan. “If responsibly developed, Arctic energy resources can help offset supply constraints and maintain energy security for consumers throughout the world.” [Evening Standard]