The Russian government and the Greenpeace organization are arguing over the Prirazlomnaya oil rig in the Arctic. The rig is owned by Gazprom, a Russian state-owned company. The base of the rig is so heavy that it cannot be moved, and it sits about 20 meters (66 feet) deep on a seabed.
The issue with the rig is not its structure. Instead, it is the possibility of a spill in the Arctic waters. Campaigners say that “the nature here is unique,” as the animals, such as polar bears, walruses, and narwhals, have nowhere else to go if there is a spill. The arctic ocean has two narrow entrances to the remaining oceans: one by Iceland and the other by Alaska. Therefore, there is little mixing with other seas, causing oil spills to stay in the Arctic. Also, an oil spill would be catastrophic because of the low temperatures in the north. In tropical waters, oil becomes absorbed readily by bacteria and other microorganisms. These microorganisms do not live in cold waters, so the oil would stay in the Arctic for about 100 years. Companies also do not have the technology to collect spilled oil under ice.
Gazprom claims that they have extremely safe measures intact. The rig is in shallow water, enabling the wellhead to be inside the rig. There is also a cut-off system that offloads the oil into tanks. There are detections on the tanks to detect movement, and if there is too much movement by a factor such as ice, oil stops flowing. The company also claims that they could clean up a spill under the ice by using icebreakers. Two icebreakers are near the rig, which would enable skimmers to enter the water and clean oil if needed.
The safety measurements are not enough for Greenpeace activists, who repeatedly attempt to climb the rig in protest. By climbing the rig, the activists are creating risk to the rig’s possibility of spilling. Workers have even started to spray the rig with fire hoses while the activists attempt to climb up, but the activists claim that the use of inflatable boats and lightweight ropes deters them from being a threat.
This year, when 30 Greenpeace activists attempted to climb the rig, the FSB, Russia’s federal security service, pulled the activists off, pointed guns at them, and opened fire onto the water. The activists are now in jail with charges of “piracy as part of an organized group.” The Netherlands, where the Greenpeace ship that went to the Arctic is registered, is currently challenging the arrests with an argument of the “Convention of the Law of the Sea.”
View the full article here.
The Black-Jew Dialogues is coming to Brandeis!
What’s so funny about two US American marginalized groups that have slavery, the KKK, and chicken livers in common?
That’s what you’ll find out in this extraordinary two-actor play on the history and absurdity of prejudice and racism and the power of tough conversations that push us closer to coexistence. The Black-Jew Dialogues combines fast-paced sketches, improvisations, multi-media, puppets and a game show to create a show that has gained praise across the U.S., Canada, and the U.K. at universities, high schools, synagogues, and theaters.
Where: Lown Auditorium
When: November 14, 9:30 PM
Entrance is FREE!
View the trailer here. Hope to see you there!
The Brandeis Department of Sociology Colloquia brings Liah Greenfeld to campus. Professor Greenfeld teaches at Boston University and has been described as ”one of the most original thinkers of the current period.” Please view the flyer for additional information.
Our department is hosting a meet the majors/minors event next week! Free pizza will be served, and faculty, UDRs and other students will attend. Don’t miss out!
Come talk to Cheryl Hansen about how to apply for a Karpf and Hahn Peace Prize!
The Interfaith Chaplaincy invites the Brandeis community to join them this Wednesday at noon at the Peace Memorial near Usdan Student Center to join in a brief remembrance of the events of 9/11.
Kathryn Davis, one of the United States’ most well-known philanthropists, passed away at age 106 at her home in Hobe Sound, Florida. Dr. Davis has made an everlasting impact at Brandeis University through her funding of the Davis Peace Projects. In 2007, for her 100th birthday, she pledged $1 million in order to provide 100 college students with the opportunity to develop peace projects that would be implemented throughout the world. She kept on providing grants for students all over the country since then. This year, Ardak Meterkulova ’13 and Mangaliso Mohammed ’13 were the recipients of the grant, and they will be implementing AIDS projects in Kazakhstan and Swaziland. Brandeis University is forever grateful for Dr. Davis’ generosity and kindness. Click here for more information regarding Kathryn Davis’ life and accomplishments.