This is a blog by Dan Marrow originally posted on Stuff.co.nz
Dan Marrow: If you'd like to join Dan or one of the other Greenpeace frontline teams working around NZ you can apply online
I am a Greenpeace Frontliner - you know, those friendly, cheerful people you see on the streets interacting, motivating and signing up new supporters for the greatest cause there is - our planet.
This is the only job I know that will give you an honest, unfiltered reflection of how the New Zealand public feel about the issues. Just try it, ask a complete stranger how they feel about climate change, deforestation, GE. Some people find it a provocation, some a chance to connect with likeminded folk, some embrace the opportunity to make a difference but most “don’t have the time”. A strange paradigm, considering we all live longer and work towards more leisure time.
Anyway a job like this doesn’t sit like any other job, it’s a lifestyle, so it only works if you put your heart and soul into it and it can be an emotional rollercoaster - no doubt.
I’ve been on the frontline for over four years, talked to thousands of people (signed up something close to 3000), talked at dozens of schools, organised direct communications, been involved in actions, volunteered unknown hours and hired/trained countless fronties. If it didn’t inspire me everyday I would not do it. People do genuinely care for this world and I’ve met them.
This blog will be a reflection of my work and home life eco choices. Having just had a wee baby come into our whare, there are many reasons to do all we can to Be The Change (check http://www.bethechange.org.nz ).
Each day I meet people who are simply Being the Change. Last month I met a guy who is making prototypes of small portable wind turbines for campervans. A few months ago I was treated to the inspirational Sustainability Expo in Rolleston. Absolutely awesome, everything from zero-waste advice to planting natives to solar hot water quotes. Even the NZ entrant in the Darwin-Adelaide solar car race!
I saw a recent poll saying 37% think we should look at nuclear power. It’s still amazing to me how nuclear power is still cited as a solution to climate change. I don’t come across it on the streets often but enough for me to do my own research.
No matter how hard I look, the most ardent pro-nuclear fan or publication still has no reponse for the waste issue; it’s almost as if that doesn’t matter cos we’ll “find a way”. Umm, they also said electricity from nuke power would be so cheap you couldn’t meter it!
There are so many reasons why we must not jump out of the CO2 pan into the radioactive fire! And nearly all people I meet are very proud of NZ’s nuke-free status.
The global nuclear industry has been in economic decline and so cites climate change as a reason for its revival. It seems almost desperate and so clings to any possible hope of its resurgence. I think it’s quite sad and should just die with dignity. Govt funding should really be pulled to allow that death to happen.
Our climate solutions are quite clear and energy efficiency is at the forefront. With wiser use of power and simple availability of such things as solar hot water, our demand from the grid is decreased hugely. I know that many people know this and it’s time to get active and vocal.
If you'd like to join Dan or one of the other Greenpeace frontline teams working around NZ you can apply online