Artic Action, at global warming’s final frontier, the battle lines are melting. For a growing number of activists, the Arctic is the frontline for global warming. The true magnitude of climate change’s impact hit home this year, with the unprecedented melting of the Arctic sea ice, which hit a record low in September. A shocking 97% was melting at one point – faster then any scientific models have predicted. It’s pointing to the possibility of an ice free Arctic by 2020, and Garman points out, rather bleakly, “if the sea ice disappears, some scientists say that it’s in a ‘death spiral’ – which means it will never recover.

” Now that the Arctic’s vast oil and gas fields (estimated to contain more than 20 per cent of the world’s reserves) are increasingly within reach because of retreating ice, corporations and governments are clambering to stake a claim. 
 A global outcry greeted Shell’s exploratory oil expedition in Alaskan waters this autumn, Maggie James was one of the young activists who took part in the Climate Justice Collective’s protest. The group blockaded the entrance to Shell’s London headquarters by building an igloo made from giant blocks of ice. “We wanted to bring home both the unsung tragedy of the collapse of the ice sheet, but also make clear that there are companies who bear a lot of the responsibility for climate change, and that the same companies, especially Shell, are set to profit from drilling in the Arctic,”

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