In 2012, Royal Dutch Shell failed to drill a single hole in the Arctic off the coast of Alaska thanks to a series of dangerous blunders and mismanagement that led to the U.S. government calling the company "screwed up." This year, they trained their sights on the much less regulated waters off the coast of Russia, teaming up the Russian oil giant, Gazprom, to open up the newly accessible Russian arctic to drilling.
Greenpeace didn't think enough people were paying attention to this, so they teamed up with the Yes Lab to create a spectacle in Amsterdam that would get people talking.
On August 21st, a barge filled with Russian and Dutch officials, a marching band, a young Russian child singer, and a giant cage containing what appeared to be a drugged up polar bear, wound its way through the canals of Amsterdam to the city's zoo. Gazprom held a ceremony presenting the bear to the city as a gesture of good will and partnership, launching the Polar Partners initiative, including an interactive website and video.
The promotional video of the event immediately went viral with high-profile Twitterers like Pamela Anderson, Adam McKay, Occupy Wall Street, and 350.org tweeting their outrage.
- Animal New York: The Yes Men Brought a Sedated Polar Bear to Amsterdam to "Celebrate" the Shell Gazprom Partnership
- Stuff: When Stuff hits an iceberg
- Platform London: Gazprom polar bear 'gift' seeks to gloss over the reality of Arctic drilling
- AT5: IJsbeer in gracht kwam rechtstreeks vanNoordpool
- RTV: 'Ijsbeer' vaart over Amsterdamse grachten
- NRC: Shell, Gazprom en de bedrieglijke list met de Artis-ijsbeer