Greenpeace vessel Arctic Sunrise anchored off Walpole Bay

Arctic Sunrise Photo Nik Mitchell

Greenpeace vessel Arctic Sunrise is anchored off Walpole Bay today (October 8).

The Arctic Sunrise is an icebreaking vessel operated by Greenpeace. She was previously used as a sealing vessel and activists had once confronted the ship while she was delivering equipment for the French government to build an airstrip through a penguin habitat in the Antarctic.

Designed as an icebreaker, her rounded, keelless hull allows her to navigate through sea ice. In 1997, The Arctic Sunrise became the first ship to circumnavigate James Ross Island in the Antarctic, a previously impossible journey until a 200m thick ice shelf connecting the island to the Antarctic continent collapsed.

In 2009, she spent many months working around the coast of Greenland and Arctic sea ice, documenting the effects of climate change on the region.

The vessel, built in 1975, is registered under a Norwegian flag and is 949 tonnes.

Greenpeace UK activists interrupted PM Liz Truss’s speech at the Conservative Party conference in Manchester earlier this week.

Greenpeace UK’s head of public affairs Rebecca Newsom and policy officer Ami McCarthy stood facing the prime minister close to the front rows of the hall where cabinet members were seated, holding up a banner asking: “Who voted for this?” in protest at the ‘shredding’ of environmental policies and the lifting of the moratorium on fracking.

Kent Police  RIB Invicta is also off the Walpole Bay coastline.


  1. I’ve just seen it ,we get a lot of different ships of our shores which is great, from warships to cruise ships and last Saturday saw a wooden Saling ship ,three mast .

    • Diesel ships are way more polluting both per weight and per mile than air travel. Primarily because water is far heavier than air and causes far more resistance.

        • Absolutely Peter.
          If you look at the resource intensive industries that have sprung up as a result of those “inspired by “adventurers and explorers” to have their own personal trek. Look at the film’s of queues to get to the tope of Everest. Billionaires paying to go to Space. “Safari holidays”.
          The acolytes of Attenborough, Bonnington, Cousteau, etc. do far more ecological harm than the plaster who takes his family to Majorca once a year.

      • That is utterly and completely way of the mark.
        A large container ship produces 3 grams per tonne kilometer: a plane produces 425 grams per tonne kilometer. Mainly because an aircraft requires huge amounts of energy just to stay in the air, let alone move.

  2. More than 50% of man made CO2 emissions are down to transportation and electricity generation.
    Another 25% is industry, and the rest agriculture and bits and bobs.
    Stopping the use of fissil fuels to provide motive power and electricity would be a huge help.
    I notice that the government wants to facilitate fracking and north sea oil and gas exploration. Neither of these will help towards zero carbon targets; neither will help the UK’s energy security either,, unless the government adapts Labour’s policy.

      • Peter nothing wrong with electricity it will be more green soon and a lot of us are glad that there is electricity otherwise we could not live at home we would be in hospital for more days than not, the old steam trains are great for nostalgic purposes and I remember the double decker train that ran between ramsgate and London been on both in my younger days but electric trains are cleaner to run as are electric vehicles, trams and buses to its the future mode of transportation otherwise there will be no future for our grandchildren.

        • This is part of the problem with the electric vehicle argument.
          Electric vehicles are cleaner at the point of use. However, their production is just as polluting and resource intensive as both petrol and diesel vehicles.
          Add to that the energy and resource inputs to build the necessary infrastructure – charging stations, etc.
          Then we need to look from whence other forms of energy are converted to electricity and how. Only a fraction of the potential energy within petroleum, methane or uranium actually becomes electricity. Primarily due to friction and inefficient processes.
          As for Green energy. None of the calculations presented by it’s advocates ever includes the energy inputs in obtaining the raw materials for or manufacturing of turbines, panels, etc. If they did, the prospect wouldn’t look half so green.
          I grew up with stinking internal combustion engines and coal fired homes and power stations. When I moved to Thanet I remember the “Thanet Throat” caused by the burning of Oremulsion at Richborough. Richborough has gone. 30 years ago catalytic converters came in. Most of the airborne particulate toxins are gone, thanks to advances in technology.
          I look be the fact that we have a couple of hundred wind turbines off the coast. It’s reassuring. However, they do wear out and are difficult to decommission because of the polymers involved. There are now a number of turbine graveyards around the world.
          Militarily they are insecure too. What happens if the Russian warships regularly traversing the North Sea/Channel decide to undertake an act of sabotage like those recently undertaken on their bridge and gas pipelines? No “Energy Security” there.
          As for industrial battery storage like that being built at Richborough. A similar such unit in California is currently on fire! It’s not the first either. Burning batteries are highly toxic.
          It wouldn’t surprise me if in a hundred years time we had a few more coal mines and some clean burn coal power stations.

          • There’s no such thing as “clean burn” coal. In addition to carbon, coal is placed with a cocktail of toxic compounds which are given off when coal is heated. Not to mention the CO2 produced.
            Yes,renewables have polluting consequences during manufacture and disposal. So do conventional power plants. The difference is that renewables produce virtually no pollution whilst producing electricity.
            The way forward (if profligate use of energy can be considered “forward”) is nuclear fusion – if ever it works. Almost limitless energy, and almost no polution

          • Harry agreed that the cost of building cars etc be it electric or any other fuel they is approximately the same even down to how the fuel is delivered ie-: pumps etc the green side to it is the lorries transporting all the fuel to the garages and the electricity be much greener than is now. As it is using electric cars is still better for the environment than normal petrol etc burning vehicles as making of electricity for vehicles is better for the environment than vehicles burning fuel as they are.

  3. Andrew.
    I’m not talking about chemically altering coal. I’m talking about the power generation equivalent of a catalytic converter.
    The Chinese are already doing it. Whilst the West lambasts their use of coal, it fails to explain that the Chinese stations already have this technology. They emit literally 1% of what Battersea, Southwark or Richborough used to emit.
    We could too.

      • Which can be and is captured, even in domestic gas boilers. And Chinese power stations.
        It is also plant food.
        Current CO2 levels may have been increasing for 300 years. However, for the previous 600 million it has been steadily decreasing.
        We are living in an Interglacial period of an Ice Age. We can only really make educated guesses as to what mediates these cyclical changes.
        Unfortunately, human vanity makes many attribute their/human activity responsible for far more than they/we are actually capable of causing.
        CO2 is GOOD and fundamentally necessary to Life! It was the arrival of oxygen in our atmosphere that caused the first and largest mass extinction in geological history.

        • There is absolutely no doubt whatsoever that the current increase in global temperature is due to humans burning too much carbon.
          I’m curious to know how carbon can be captured in domestic boilers?

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