greenpeace and the fight for the Arctic

greenpeaceThe Arctic is a special place: inhabited by creatures like polar bears and whales, full of magnificent vistas, and home to people who maintain the traditions of their ancestors. For millennia, it has remained untouched by oil-drilling or industrial fishing.

But as the ice melts from climate change, that special status is at risk. Multinational corporations like Shell are chomping at the bit to be the first to exploit this amazing area. That’s why I’m asking you to do something a little different for the Arctic in Seattle.

We’re calling for the northernmost, uninhabited areas of the Arctic to be permanently protected as a global sanctuary. This is a big vision, and to make it happen, we need all levels of leaders from around the country to join this call. To make the Arctic matter on the national stage, leaders like President Obama need to know that it really matters in communities around the country.

Your local leaders can make a difference by standing up for the Arctic. But they need to hear from you. So we’re asking you to do something a little different today: start a petition asking your community leaders to sign on to the Arctic Declaration, which calls for a global sanctuary in the Arctic.

Your petition will be hosted on a page maintained by our partners, We’ve teamed up with them to give Greenpeace supporters a way to start their own community petitions. This partnership with is brand new and we’re really excited about the potential to amplify our grassroots power.

We’re fully invested in making sure you have everything you need to make a big difference in your community for the Arctic. If your petition gets at least 250 signatures, we’ll share it with our Facebook fans in your community. If it gets at least 500 signatures, we’ll email it to everyone on our list in your area.  

Ready to get started? Great! Here’s all you have to do:

Step-By-Step Guide1. Pick a local leader to send your petition to. If you live in a city with a mayor, that is probably your best bet. You’ll need his or her email address, which you can probably find by going to your city’s website. If you don’t have a mayor, another great choice is your state representative, senator, or Assemblyman. Here are your local representatives:

Sen. Jamie Pedersen
Rep. Frank Chopp
Rep. Brady Walkinshaw

2. Go to to start your petition.  

3. Decide what you want to say to your local leader about why they should support the Arctic sanctuary. You can write your own petition language, or use this language:


Name: Protect our Arctic

Text: The Arctic is a truly special place, but it is under threat from rising temperatures, oil drilling, and industrial fishing. We ask that you use your status as a leader to endorse the International Declaration on the Future of the Arctic. This charter demands action on Indigenous Peoples’ rights, climate change, oil drilling, and unsustainable fishing. Learn more at, and please sign on today.

4. You’ll be asked to say why you’re starting this petition. You’ll want to keep this short, but it’s a good way to tell your friends and neighbors why this is important to you. If you get stumped, here’s a sample:

“The Arctic is an amazing place, home to whales, polar bears, and other amazing creatures. We need to act now to protect it for future generations.”

5. Once you start your petition, you’ll be given options to share it on email, Facebook, and Twitter. This is the important part — your petition will only be effective if you do everything you can to make sure your friends, family, and neighbors see it, sign it, and share it. And be sure to use the exact link that MoveOn sends you in an email. Note: MoveOn will only send you emails to help promote your petition.


Start your petition for the Arctic now.

So far, five million people around the world have stood up for the Arctic, and over 500 leaders have signed on to the Arctic Declaration. We’ve won some big victories, including temporarily stopping Shell from drilling, but there is still much to do in order to protect the Arctic once and for all.

The time is now to take the campaign to our communities, and you can take the first step by starting a petition in yours today. 

For the Arctic,

Ben Smith
Greenpeace USA Senior National Organizer

P.S. Your leaders need to know that people in your community care about the Arctic — start a petition today!