Hi, my name is Martti. I'm the 2nd mate onboard the Arctic Sunrise, here in Baffin Bay, protesting Cairn Energy's Arctic oil drilling. We left Amsterdam three weeks ago with 30 people from 17 countries onboard. Every now and then friends and strangers ask why all these different people do what we do and how we ended up on this boat.
The answer is simple: Our eyes are open.
For contemporary western people, life is so easy. As long as there is food in the fridge and one's loved ones are safe, everything is just fine. The innovations that make this possible are a magnificent thing and there can't be anything wrong with enjoying it when everything seems to be in order right?
But everything comes with a price tag.
And in opening one's eyes, one can see that things are far from being in order. Consumption, natural resource exploitation and pollution are pushing this delicate sphere, the membrane on which we live, into a state of collapse that is unbearable and impossible to accept. Western society already consumes far more than it needs and the insatiable hunger that threatens to turn every last drop of nature's beauty into dollars and pollution only seems to grow!
Cairn Energy's plans for Arctic drilling are a perfect example of this. Business people and decision makers with bottomless pockets are racing to the Arctic in order to set a new oil rush in motion. It's the modern (black) gold rush. They ignore the risks and consequences for the fragile Arctic ecosystems and the stability of earth's climate completely.
How dare they? They just might be stealing the future from our children!
That is why we are here. NO, we don't want this and NO, we don't need this. We are not here as just citizens of 17 different countries, but as citizens of the world. And we are here to send a message to the world: Open your eyes and raise your voices. This is our world; we are only ones who can make change happen. And change is something our children deserve!
Stopping Arctic drilling is possible. Taking Arctic drilling off the table is just one piece of the change we need, but it is a necessary step in the right direction. By failing to curb our addiction to fossil fuels, we are destroying our ability to survive on mother earth at an alarming rate.
It's an ugly truth, but I invite you to look at it. Open your eyes! That is how we people ended up on this boat.
- Martti M. Leinonen,
2nd Mate, Arctic Sunrise
Photos (C) Jiri Rezac / Greenpeace