Monday, 30 September 2013

Worrying about the Arctic

Researching White Fear in the Arctic
Several Greenpeace activists - including two Britons - are being held on remand in Russian prisons.

They were arrested during their protest against the oil giant, Gazprom, which is drilling in the Arctic's Pechora Sea. Their protest was part of Greenpeace's on-going Save the Arctic campaign.

I have been following the campaign since 2011, when I travelled to the Arctic to research my children's book, White Fear (Puffin Books) which is set around a fictional conference in the Arctic that aims to avert disaster in the region.

Reading about oil and gas exploration in the Arctic and how it will affect all of us, not least the communities who live there, was very disturbing. Then seeing what a spectacular place the Arctic is - as I searched for settings for my novel - made me understand what the region has to lose.

White Fear is a children's spy story which - although it raises awareness of global warming, the Arctic and its issues - is verging on the far-fetched. In the book it appears the villain is a Russian, but, in fact, it turns out the Russian is passionate about the Arctic and it is an American (named Frank Hawk) who is the baddy. Either way, my child spies stop the do-badders in their bid to make the world a better place.

I didn't make the Russians the villains of White Fear because I thought it would be a cliché. Perhaps I should have understood that many clichés come from realities.

Read about the fantastic book about Arctic geo-politics, The Future History of the Arctic by Charles Emmerson here.

Read the BBC article the Greenpeace prisoners here.

Protest to the Russian government via the Greenpeace website, here.

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