Carmen - Campaign manager (C) GREENPEACE / Sharomov
Carmen (otherwise known as Nautical Goddess) is a very experienced campaigner, having spent 12 years volunteering and working with Greenpeace , in various roles. I asked her to start from the beginning.
"When I was in high school I set up an environmental group and we were sent a message about a youth conference being run by Greenpeace in Wellington. It was during the time of French nuclear testing and about 60 secondary school kids from around the country met to learn about campaigning. She was transfixed (and not just by the campaigning spiel, but more on this later).
The following year, Carmen began university in Auckland, studying environmental science. And she began volunteering in the Greenpeace office; "doing anything I could do really." But before long, she was doing most of her volunteer work in the actions division. After a couple of years she became Greenpeace New Zealand's Action Coordinator.
Since then she's worked in Australia, the Pacific, India and Europe, on the toxics campaign, the oceans campaign and now the climate campaign.
"What I love most about Greenpeace is the fact that you get to meet people from all around the world, all of whom are busting their arses to make the world a better place. I also like the fact that Greenpeace does work on an international scale, rather than just locally."
How does climate change compare to some of the other environmental issues she's campaigned on? "I think that whoever said "the whole history of the environmental movement has been a dress rehearsal for the fight against climate change " was right. This is like no other issue. "
Are we going to win it? "I'm an eternal optimist, it's a bigger battle than any we've ever faced, and it's complicated, and big in scale, and it freezes people, but I think that at the end of the day, people will make the changes they need to."
Now coming back to that first breathy encounter with Greenpeace 12 years ago, turns out that person who led the campaigning course in Wellington made quite an impression. Today, she's married to him and they have a 20-month-old daughter called Isla. "And I have to say, all the work I'm doing is even more important now. Having a child reminds you why it's so crucial to safeguard the planet for future generations."