Welsh singer Charlotte Church performed a live version of “Requiem for Arctic Ice” in protest to Shell’s Arctic drilling for oil, outside Shell’s headquarters in London on Wednesday.
The action, which occurred outside Shell’s offices in the South Bank area of central London, was part of Greenpeace’s month-long series of orchestral protests against Arctic drilling.
“Requiem for Arctic Ice”was inspired by the poignant tale of a string quartet that continued to play as the Titanic sank after colliding with an iceberg in 1912. Its creators hope the music will push Shell’s employees in Britain to ask their managers to revise their plan of drilling in the Arctic Ocean.
— Greenpeace UK (@GreenpeaceUK) August 26, 2015
Speaking outside Shell’s headquarters on Wednesday, Church – who in June was a prominent celebrity protester on a 250,000-strong march against austerity in London – said humanity’s impact on the planet is terrifying. “I can’t see how anyone could see footage of the Arctic melting and not feel moved,” she said.
“This song just felt so appropriate to why I came here today. I wanted to capture the sorrow and regret that feels tied up with the melting ice, and the bitter irony of Arctic oil drilling.” Shell is risking a catastrophic oil spill in the Arctic’s icy waters for the duration of its drilling operation there, Greenpeace says.
Extreme conditions in the Arctic, including stormy waters and large free-floating icebergs, make offshore drilling there very risky. The US administration previously conceded there is a 75 percent chance a large oil spill will occur throughout the drilling operation.
Scientists say such a spill would severely endanger local wildlife and be impossible to clean up. Shell received the last permit it requires to begin drilling in the Arctic in mid-August.
But with billions of dollars at stake, it only has several weeks to locate oil before it must withdraw from the pristine region.
Church’s live recording has been made available online to download to raise awareness about the dangers of drilling in the Arctic.
Addressing crowds gathered outside Shell’s offices in central London, the Welsh songstress and political activist expressed deep concern over the energy firm’s plans to drill in the Arctic. “I can’t believe the risks that Shell is willing to take.
The Arctic ecosystem is already weakened because the ice is melting, yet Shell is willing to risk an oil spill there that they wouldn’t be able to clean up,” she said. “It’s a disaster waiting to happen.”