Now Showing: Global Warming Impacts
by Maureen Bonner
September 24, 2005
More than 300 locals came onboard the Arctic Sunrise for an Open Boat tour Friday. I was stationed at the gangway (what I insist on calling “the plank”) allowing people to embark in small groups at a time, and asking others to wait for the next tour to begin. While the visitors waited, they bombarded me with questions about the ship, our history, the proposed wind farm and everything else they could think of. They reminded me of hungry restaurant patrons that were dying to reach their table. By the time they completed their tour, their change in demeanor was dramatic; they left the ship satiated, looking like they had just devoured a big bowl of pasta and they were ready for a nap.
We left Provincetown at 17:00 and set out for Hyannis where we’ll host another Open Boat day on Saturday. As we approached the canal that would take us into Hyannis, we were joined by a pilot. A pilot is a person who has detailed knowledge of a port approach or dangerous navigational area and comes onboard a vessel to guide it safely into or out of the port.
Shortly after his arrival, he received a radio communication asking him to call his home base from his telephone rather than the radio. He wondered aloud, “What is this all about?” But all of us could guess what was going on: our activists had gone into action.
Three members of our team were using one of the rigid inflatable boats to project a series of images representing global warming onto the Mirant Canal power plant in Sandwich. For about half an hour, melting glaciers, wind turbines and extreme weather events lit up the side of this dirty power plant. It’s basically the same principle as when Gotham City projects the bat signal, but we’re doing it on a building rather than into the sky.
After the pilot hung up the phone, he told us that “someone” was projecting images onto the plant and went on to point out where we should be looking to see it. We feigned surprise at the spectacle and suppressed giggles that whoever spoke to him on the phone didn’t bother to point out that the people responsible for the projections bore the same name as the side of the ship he was currently on.
The pilot hypothesized to the crew “maybe someone decided to project images of whales onto the plant to welcome you into port.” Not a bad idea, we’ll keep that in mind for next time.