I still find it remarkable that this global organisation, which operates in over 40 countries, is funded by individuals - and only individuals.
It was Margaret Mead who said that we should ‘never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has’.
I could not agree more: ever since that little boat courageously set sail in 1971 to halt nuclear testing in Amchitka, Greenpeace has consistently campaigned against environmental degradation worldwide. We promote open debate about society's environmental choices; use research, lobbying and quiet diplomacy to pursue our goals; and – as you may have noticed – engage in high-profile, non-violent action to raise the level of public debate.
In Africa, we have been campaigning on three fronts: for an Energy [R]evolution to preserve the environment, reduce coal pollution and reach a nuclear-free society, defending our oceans so that African fishers’ nets, and futures, are full, and saving our rainforests which are so crucial not just to the environment but to the people and animals who inhabit them.
So what drives three million individual supporters - from different backgrounds, and distinct cultures, all over the world – to join an organisation like ours? Sure, it is the dire situation our planet faces, but is that all? Is it also the courage we draw from each other, from this beautiful planet of ours; the unquenchable optimism for a different, better world; and the indomitable will of the human condition?
There are some who say that the odds are stacked against us, that we will lose to the mighty corporations, that the people are not on our side. Really?
On Sunday the 15th of September - in 35 countries, in 75 cities - thousands upon thousands of Greenpeace supporters, volunteers and staff will take to the streets to call for the protection of the Arctic – guided by the philosophy that: In a gentle way, we can shake the world.
So now I ask: How can we not win?
Thanks a million - a million x 3 - for your support. We appreciate it.