The Rainbow Warrior in Action!

by James Turner

May 21, 2012

Less than a year old, and the Rainbow Warrior is causing trouble already. But being a Greenpeace ship thats just what nature intended.

Five days into a majordirect actionhere in the Amazon and the new ship is holding up well. Weve been painting banners below deck, taking urgentmedia callsfrom the campaign office and eating Waltersfantastic foodin the shiny new mess. Occupying an anchor chain for nearly 140 hours has required all the tools at our disposal, and weve been hoisting inflatable boats on and off the ship like clockwork. The Bosuns workshop has seen sawing, chopping, gluing and creative improvisation (were cooking up a pretty dramatic little number right now watch this space). The conference room has been turned into a makeshift recreational area, allowing the crew somewhere to listen to music and chill out in between shifts for the action.

Theres a real sense of excitement about this situation because this is what Greenpeace ships are made for. Our community engagement work is an important part of campaigning with the ship. Weve used the ship to host communitymeetings, open boateventsand spread the world about the Zero Deforestation Law, but now is the Rainbow Warriors time for action. Now we can finally use some of the special features that we have onboard. Were incredibly lucky to have things like lithium iron batteries in the boats, state-of-the-art communication equipment and comfortable cabins to rest our weary heads. And thats thanks to every single one of your 100,000 individual donations that helped bring the Rainbow Warrior into the world. No corporate money, no investors demanding a return just the good will of our supporters like you from every corner of the globe.

Last night one of the crew told me he expects this ship to be with Greenpeace for the next 35 years at least. Thats quite a thought. To be here at the very start of this epic story is an honor, considering that I will hopefully have retired before the ship does. What will the environmental challenges of 2048 look like?Flying carspumping out helium pollution into our vertical cities? E-Waste from domestic robots clogging up our countryside? (OK, fairly standard predictions. Add your own guesses in the comments).

But heres another important thought: will Greenpeace even exist in the middle of the 21stcentury? Perhaps humanity will have moved beyond its current blind spot, and well recognize that our oceans and forests are things to be protected and respected rather than exploited for short term profit. Lots of people think that this is impossible, that were destined to use up the planets resources with our heads buried in the sand. I dont, and I hoped you dont either. That mindset is nothing more than an escape hatch for people who dont have the stomach for the (nonviolent) fight that lies ahead.

Wed all like to retire this ship before her time, safe in the knowledge that the job is done and the Rainbow Warrior has served her purpose for the world. They say that you cant sink a rainbow, but perhaps she can sail off into the sunset for a relaxing final few years in Tahiti. But somehow I suspect this wont be the case. My guess is that well still be sawing, chopping and improvising in the Bosuns workshop for quite a few decades to come.

We Need Your Voice. Join Us!

Want to learn more about tax-deductible giving, donating stock and estate planning?

Visit Greenpeace Fund, a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) charitable entity created to increase public awareness and understanding of environmental issues through research, the media and educational programs.