British Actress Emma Thompson said “governments are too easily persuaded by big businesses and oil” at an anti-drilling protest yesterday.
Ms Thompson said she does not support the oil giant drilling in a place “of such ineffable beauty”.
She told ELN: “It is already melting because of Shell and other oil companies drilling.”
When asked about her message to Barack Obama she said: “You can’t on the one hand say in Alaska it’s terribly important to protect the ice and the Arctic and then on the other hand give Shell permission to drill.”
Ms Thompson added the two messages are “completely in contradiction” and she has seen “successive governments ignore the advice of an increasing number of scientists”.
ELN spoke to members of the public at the protest to find out their reaction.
One said: “There must be other sources of oil which will have less effect on the environment.” Another added it is “ridiculous” but oil companies “do what they want…they’re all the same”.
Ms Thompson’s daughter, Gaia, who also attended the protest told ELN: “If you care about your children and your grandchildren and actually your entire species, you won’t carry on with this insane and actually psychotic plan.”
Shell said in a statement: “Shell respects the right of people to protest against the activities we undertake to ensure the world’s energy needs are met.
“However, it is disappointing that Greenpeace continually chooses to focus on mounting publicity stunts rather than engage constructively in the debate about how to meet the world’s growing demand for energy while reducing CO2 emissions.
“We believe we can play an important role in developing the Arctic’s energy resources. We choose to explore there because we have the expertise and experience to operate responsibly and be profitable at the same time.”