We're living in an age of obsession with measuring every aspect of what we do. From hours of sleep, number of steps, and calories consumed, to monitoring our emotional state. New innovations and technologies being unveiled at a rapid pace makes this incredibly easy for people to do.
Last month in London one air pollution monitoring station breached its annual limit just five days into the new year. Soon
*Victoria Herrmann [2014] is a Research Associate at The Arctic Institute, doing a PhD in Polar Studies. Photo credit: Wikipedia
Yesterday Shell announced it was quitting its Arctic drilling programme. Let me just repeat that in case you, like me, couldn't quite fathom this wonderful piece of news: Shell is quitting its hunt for dirty oil in the Arctic. The thing is about these oil companies is they try and make us believe they rule the world, that their tomorrow is the only tomorrow. But today shows that the future can be rewritten. Shell execs might not publicly admit that our movement stopped them - but reading between the lines we can all see public outrage on Arctic drilling was a huge concern for them.
We've kicked Shell out of the Arctic, and for now, this battle is won. Now this bear, and this movement, is starting out on a new journey: she's going to Paris, where the nations of the world will soon gather to negotiate a deal on climate change.
Shell has pulled out of controversial drilling off the coast of Alaska some six weeks after gaining permission to do so, after
I know that I'll be called naive or hypocritical, or both. The world needs oil and we all drive cars. But things are changing at impressive speed. Silicon Valley is building more electric vehicles than you can shake a stick at. Batteries are getting better all the time and soon will be in our homes and businesses. It's not hard to imagine a future where the petrol pump is a museum exhibit that children will be boggled by. But Shell wants us to believe that this vision of the future is impossible, that renewable energy is a passing fad.
In May, Obama approved Shell's plan to drill for oil in the Chukchi Sea, in the Alaskan Arctic. According to Greenpeace, the
UPDATE: Shell's icebreaker ship, which had started heading towards the activists, has now turned back to the dock. Suspended