Greenpeace is at it again. But this time, the activists aren’t being hosed with water in freezing temperatures or handcuffed and towed off to jail on piracy charges. The activists, who oppose drilling in the Arctic, boarded the Transocean Spitsbergen drilling rig May 27 while the rig was en route to the Barents Sea’s Hoop Area, where Statoil has plans to drill three wells on the Apollo, Atlantis and Mercury prospects from late May to September. While the company has been cleared to start drilling on the Apollo prospect, the Norwegian Ministry of Climate and Environment has halted any drilling into oil-bearing layers until Greenpeace’s concerns are addressed. “Several activists are now suspended by ropes underneath the rig, above the open sea and above the thrusters that must be kept running at all times to keep the rig in position,” Statoil said in a news release about the incident. “The weather is cold in the area, with temperatures around zero degrees Celsius. If the demonstrators were to fall down, their life and health would be at serious risk. Some of the activists are also carrying heavy equipment that could lead to drowning.” But Greenpeace is holding firm on its position in hopes that its actions will lead Statoil to ditch its arctic drilling plans, something that seems to be unlikely. The latest act is one of several carried out by activists. As companies have stepped up plans to drill in the Arctic, Greenpeace has stepped up protests. Jason Schwartz writes on the Greenpeace Blog that a group of 15 people is occupying the rig offshore Norway. The protest was one of two carried out this week. The other involved 30 activists occupying the Gazprom-contracted GSP Saturn in a Dutch port. The rig is heading to the Pechora Sea. After occupying the rig for five hours, the activists were removed with some being detained. All have since been released, according to the blog post. But the other group remained on the Transocean-operated rig. “We’ll only leave the rig voluntarily after Statoil has promised it won’t drill,” Greenpeace program manager for Norway Truls Gulowsen said in a Bloomberg article. “This area is too vulnerable, and an oil spill would drift in the wrong direction, so we can’t allow drilling.” Statoil said it has had a dialogue with Greenpeace, informing it about the company’s exploration plans and emergency response setup. Moreover, the company said Greenpeace members have been given the opportunity to voice their opinions and ask questions. Although Statoil “respects the right for legal protests and believes it is important with a democratic debate on the oil and industry,” the company said when the activists “use this form of protest we believe they act irresponsibly and illegally.” That is the truth. Statoil has already expressed a willingness to communicate with Greenpeace. And the fact that Norwegian officials are listening, too, even forbidding drilling into oil layers, shows that Greenpeace has captured their attention. Endangering lives, including their own, is not helping the activists’ cause. Contact the author, Velda Addison, at