Do you remember the movie “The day after tomorrow” ? When I watched it a shudder ran through me and I felt helpless with this dooms day atmosphere in relation to Climate Change. Entering the climate defenders camp this morning here in Iloilo, Philippines in the area of a proposed coal fired power plant, reveals a completely different picture; laughter, colourful flags and banners all around the site, happy but tired Greenpeace activists are working to improve the camp and an atmosphere of peace prevails.
The local children have found their way into the camp and use our improvised pier made of rafts as a platform to jump into the sea. Shouting, clapping and splashing are filling the air. Next to us some workers of the existing power plant have set up camp. I overheard that they are quite happy to be here as they are paid overtime and just have to sit and watch. I feel relieved. The situation looked differently yesterday. Police and the local pro coal village officials came with a whole crowd into the camp and threatened to dissemble the camp. After some negotiation they backed off. This morning they blocked off the road to the camp not letting any camp supporters like nuns and bikers through. Now everything has calmed down.
Being among so many passionate people gives back the feeling that we are doing something meaningful. Sometimes I miss this feeling working in the office and just reading about all the great activities that people organize to combat climate change.
Most important is the feeling of giving hope to the community here. A nun came to me 2 days ago and thanked me for Greenpeace being here. That makes even the worst heat bearable.