Journalist tells of Rainbow Warrior bombing, Pacific fallout on ABC

Journalist, media educator and author David Robie … Rainbow Warrior bombing reflections after 33 years. Image: PMC

Pacific Media Watch Newsdesk

Pacific environmental and political journalist David Robie has recalled the bombing of the original Greenpeace flagship Rainbow Warrior 33 years ago in an interview with host Sarah Macdonald on the ABC’s Nightlife programme.

Dr Robie, now professor of journalism and director of the Pacific Media Centre at Auckland University of Technology, wrote the 1986 book Eyes Of Fire: Last Voyage of the Rainbow Warrior that has been published in four countries and five editions.

LISTEN: Terrorism in Auckland in 1985

The 2015 edition of Eyes of Fire with the Rongelap evacuation on the cover. Image: LIP

He was awarded the 1985 Media Peace Prize by the NZ Peace Foundation for his coverage.

He spoke of the humanitarian voyage of the Rainbow Warrior to Rongelap Atoll in the Marshall Islands to fetch the islanders to safety in a four-voyage relocation mission.

The Rongelao community had been ravaged by the fallout and the long-term health impact of US nuclear testing.


His reflections were broadcast in a 23-minute programme broadcast at the weekend marking the bombing by French secret agents on 10 July 1985.

David Robie’s cover story for the Fiji-based Islands Business on the Rainbow Warrior bombing in August 1985. Image: PMC

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MIL OSI – Source: Evening Report Arts and Media

Australia accused of ‘bullying’ Pacific neighbours out of climate compo

MIL OSI – Source: Evening Report Arts and Media

Headline: Australia accused of ‘bullying’ Pacific neighbours out of climate compo

Greenpeace political message to COP23 on fossil fuels. Image: Greenpeace

Pacific Media Report Newsdesk

Australia has picked up a second Fossil of the Day award at COP23 in Bonn for seeking to twist, water down and delete references to finance from the loss and damage decision text, Greenpeace reports.

Loss and damage refers to impacts of climate change including slow onset events such as sea level rise, and extreme weather events, such as tropical cyclones, which may both result in loss of lands, livelihoods and in small island states, coastal areas.

“Australia has long lacked many things – sympathy, support, and solidarity among them – with its Pacific Island neighbors, but these bullying tactics are over the line, even for them,” the Climate Action Network, which presented the award on day six of COP23, said in a statement.

Australia’s reported hypocritical behaviour also appears to contradict the comments it made in its opening statement on behalf of the Umbrella Group of non-EU developed countries to current COP President, Fiji’s Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama.

“We are mindful that this is the first time a Small Island Developing State has held the presidency and we are committed to providing our full support for your successful presidency, including to bring the Pacific consciousness to this COP which we know to be an important aspect of your presidency,” Australia said in its opening statement to the COP plenary.

“Australia’s domestic policies, such as support for the fossil fuel industry through subsidies, is insult enough to the Pacific. Couple that with blocking financial mechanisms for the highly affected, and you do not have a recipe for friendship,” Greenpeace Australia Pacific head of Pacific Net Matisse Walkden-Brown said.


The Pacific Island Climate Action Network (PICAN) condemned Australia’s reported obstruction, saying the region is already experiencing loss and damage from climate change.

“Support is necessary and deserved from countries who have caused this problem. Developed countries’ fossil fuels is the Pacific’s loss and damage. The issue of Loss and Damage finance needs to be advanced not continuously pushed to the next session,” PICAN said.

Australia was awarded the Fossil of the Day along with Canada, the EU and the US.

Australia, through the Umbrella Group, also argued in 2015 that there be no reference to loss and damage in the Paris Agreement, reportedly driven by fear of being forced to pay compensation for climate damage caused by their emissions.

On day two of COP23 Australia received the Fossil of the Day for its support of the Adani Group’s plans to build the world’s largest export coal mine.

Activists from Greenpeace in Germany and Pacific Island representatives have sent a message to leaders meeting at the UN climate talks in Bonn, projecting an image of faces onto a coal power plant and calling for an urgent phase out of fossil fuels, Greenpeace reports.

The message “No future in fossil fuels” and #COP23 was projected onto the polluting Neurath coal power plant alongside faces from the Pacific Islands and around the world to put a spotlight on the impact the emissions from climate summit host nation Germany have on the Pacific.

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