Most people probably know we’re living in extraordinary times. I am privileged enough to have a job where I get to speak to random people on the street from a whole range of backgrounds. I’m a Greenpeace Fundraiser and I help to empower individuals who’re concerned about environmental issues and social justice.
Fundraisers (we call them “Frontliners”) are those jolly people you may have seen on the streets or opened your door to. After five years doing this I am continually amazed and inspired by what I learn. Don't get me wrong, it’s bloody hard work and we’re subjected to an interesting range of responses - from being ignored and rejected to occasional abuse and aggression.
But I’ve have always been passionate about this beautiful planet and having met thousands of people in my work, I realise I am not alone. I cannot count the numbers of people who’ve started a conversation with me along the lines of "you'll never change it" or 'is this about money?' then ended up them thanking me for being persistent and positive. There are literally thousands of examples of how people power is a mighty force that we must not ever give up on. This is Nuclear Free New Zealand after all.
So here we are at a point in Earth's history where we have two clear choices. (1) Business as usual in a World of finite resources and spiraling pollution, or (2) a new approach - an Energy Revolution and transition to sustainability. In my view there’s no argument.
What motivates me about this job is that the vast majority of New Zealanders know this. Yet business carries on as usual. This is because the system has done a very good job of disempowering individuals through mainstream media and advertising. Joining Greenpeace is by no means the only way to help the environment; there are tons of ways - from composting at home to talking to your local MP to supporting your local eco-group or community garden. But what joining Greenpeace does do is express your opinion in a tangible way. Democracy doesn't cease to exist between general elections (thank God). Check out this video my colleagues and I made late last year. It shows how everyday Cantabrians feel about climate change...
I feel privileged to be alive at this time. Now is not the time to despair and I’ve never been a quitter. Now is the time to stand up and be the change you want to see. It's true that the generation before us didn't know about the scale of our impact on the environment and those that come after us will be powerless to change things if we let climate change run away on us. So if you, or anyone you know anyone, has the passion and courage of conviction to help change the world, we need you. There is much work to be done.