Part 3: To challenge the status quo

As part of Greenpeace we are challenged to make conscious moral decisions on environmental issues which we need to communicate –that is to creatively confront the powers that selfishly benefit from the present order of things.

Business-as-usual with regard to how we extract, produce, distribute, consume and dispose comes at the cost of our planet’s limited resources. We are using too much stuff. Now I know this can be hard to hear, but it’s the truth and we need to deal with it. In the past three decades alone, one-third of the planet’s natural resources base have been consumed and this needs to be challenged because we only owe it to ourselves and the next generation to make life not only possible but also worth living in the near future.

To most of us, complaining is almost second nature, but what makes activists different is that discontent is channelled into laying the foundations for an upheaval or a ‘revolution’ -- that is, to enact drastic change in the status quo, which can be achieved by an overhaul of the existing system or through the introduction of an ambitious policy that favours the environment and people over profits.

To do this we take it upon ourselves to put discontent to good use by stepping up to the call to change for the better, be it in our lifestyles or in the systems that are in place in the societies that we live in.

Keep in mind, it is important for us to change our lifestyles while balancing it with the need to focus on the social dimension of our lives where we exist within systems of economics and politics.

This is the reason why Greenpeace chooses to act more on global issues, or on issues thatrequire change in the policies of governments and corporations when they fail to live up to their mandate of safeguarding the common good. Because no matter how green our lifestyles may be, it would be senseless if the systems that we live in do not favour the interest of the environment.

You may be asking why are we pushing for laws, when most of the time the problem is in implementing laws?

We do so because we believe that the first order of business is to have a legal framework within the government that would serve as the basis for upholding laws that favour the environment. If the government fails to implement the law, it gives people like us warrant to act in behalf of the Filipino people to see that the environment is taken cared of because, as citizens, it is the obligation of the government to do so.

This is our impetus for taking action. We act because something is wrong, or because it is right – it is that simple. When all has been said and done, the challenge is not about what we claim to know, but rather about what have we done in light of the things that we have seen and learned: thus the nagging call to make our actions speak louder than our words.