we’re 4 & 1 now …
June 19, 2006
day 4 now of the iwc in st. kitts – there’ve been 5 votes, with the anti-whaling nations having won the first 4. things got quite heated yesterday with all sorts ofnot nicelanguage being used. again, i don’t imagine it should come as a surprise, but for diplomats, a lot of these folks aren’t very diplomatic!
i have had the good fortune of meeting a lot of amazing people here – true heroes to me … some that have almost single-handedly turned things around for whales, the oceans, the planet … admittedly, a lot of these people work for greenpeace, or have worked for us in the past.
the energy and dedication … the refusal to be dissuaded … it takes a lot of heart.i was speaking last night with a couple from guatemala. they were telling me about how violent it is there, how afraid the people are there to speak out. 60% of the population there cannot read. they are essentially one of 2 organizations that truly campaigns for change, from what i understand. they started their group years ago, just the 2 of them, and we can thank them (and their now-expanded staff of 5 total, including them) for guatemala not being here at the iwc, casting votes with japan.
it’s truly incredible, the power of the individual to affect real and meaningful change. makes me think about my home, the u.s., and our relatively high literacy rate, our democratic government that affords the opportunity for its citizens to speak out and call on our elected officials to represent the will of the people – while it’d be easy to be a little discouraged by the lack of civic engagement, given all this, i remain optimistic – if not us, who? if not now, when?
so, i’m putting this out there in hopes of reminding myself and others to keep our chins up – and to use our voices to call on our government to back up their words and be real leaders on this issue, to step up and take advantage of the fact that the u.s. will be hosting the iwc next year in alaska, to be a true host to the interest of the whales and our oceans.
here’s to our blue planet …