21 June 2012 New Hands On Deck

Nick Mokobane, Helen Hansen, Pablo Bullrich, Fenton Lutunataba, Harmony Lambert, Seychelle Collard and Sean Lang

I cannot believe tonight is officially my last nightwatch shift here in Rio onboard the Rainbow Warrior. It has been an incredible, informative and inspiring stay here. An experience filled with many sweet and bitter moments.

Firstly, it has been a great privilege to get onboard the Rainbow Warrior as part of the New Hands On Deck project.

This current vessel is magnificent and majestic in many aspects, none more so than its environmental credentials. The coating on the hull is 100% free of biocides and biological sewage treatment. The ship has the highest environmental standards of all engines – the heat produced from the engine is channelled to heating for the cabins, and because of the design of the hull, the ship conserves more fuel than other vessels like it.

My favourite part about this Rainbow Warrior is that it will predominantly use the wind as its fuel with the option to switch to diesel-electric propulsion in the event that this is needed. This vessel is truly a masterpiece, a functional work of art that will exist for many years.

One more sweet moment onboard the Rainbow Warrior that I must mention was from this past weekend. I had my first experience of an open boat, and it was truly inspiring to see thousands of people come and visit the ship. Over 4000 people received a tour of the ship, over 90 new supporters joined Greenpeace, we sold out of T-shirts, and 40 dedicated and passionate volunteers worked from 8 AM to 7PM!

By now, you are probably wondering what my bitter moments are! The ones I have experienced have been the same ones as the crew, staff and volunteers here in Rio.

To describe the context of these unsavoury moments, I’ll quote Greenpeace International Political Director, Daniel Mittler, “Rioplus20 has turned into an epic failure. It has failed on equity, failed on ecology and failed on economy”

The world leaders and fossil fools who are playing Russian roulette with the future of our planet and the future we want, compel me to consider the words of Desmond Tutu closely: “If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse, and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.”

Rioplus20 has solidified the injustices that we are seeing in our oceans and rainforests. It has thus far ignored the cry from broad parts of society, science and technology to address the threat of climate change.

This Rainbow Warrior will, just as the previous namesakes did, continue to take a stand, confront and bare witness to environmental abuse globally. However she cannot do it alone!

To this end as I write from onboard the Rainbow Warrior here at Riominus20, I echo the call that was made when the new Rainbow Warrior was launched last year. This call is for more Rainbow Warriors – this call is for you.

Get onboard!  

p.s you can get onboard Rainbow Warrior @gp_warrior or www.facebook.com/newhandsondeck