The Greenpeace Chronicles, written and edited by Steve Erwood, was published in Amsterdam, The Netherlands on 11 November, 2011. It’s printed using vegetable-based ink, and on 50% recycled, 50% FSC mixed-source paper: not only do they passionately care about sustainability and our planet, but they also care about the people on it! (You can download this issue, here, and not have to worry about wasting paper, or have concerns about inks that might effect your breathing and/or chemical sensitivities (But, you know, they probably won’t as they are vegetable inks. Woo hoo!)) As a tribute to Rex Weyler, a director of Greenpeace Foundation and co-founder of Greenpeace International in 1979, the document has been called ‘The Greenpeace Chronicles‘. Weyler was a reporter and photographer in the early Greenpeace whale and seal campaigns; he also writes a monthly column for the Greenpeace website called ‘Deep Green’: two of his articles appear in this volume. (In 1979, I was nine, and during this time, or soon after, was around the time I agonisingly watched baby white seals being slaughtered on the T.V. I’ve been devoted to Greenpeace ever since: they are attached to my heart, my purse strings and my blog.)
Don’t you just bloody love them? I do; you see, they’re the true heroes of our century. The Greenpeace Chronicles documents their own personal hero’s journey. A journey a lot of us have witnessed. Here’s a part of the The Greenpeace Chronicles foreword from Bill Darnell, the founding member of Greenpeace:
Forty years of campaigns have taught many lessons. Fundamental is to pay respectful attention to everything that lives around us; make deep connections, even with those we disagree with. When we connect deeply, we fall in love and we will not allow others to be harmed.
We have also learned that when we confront destructive activities, we are going to be scared; we know those we confront may be angry. Fear is an expected part of change but it does not stop us.
Mistakes are also to be expected and we will make them: during the first voyage of Greenpeace, if we had not made the mistake of entering the USA ‘illegally’, we would not have received the heroic support of the coast guard crew of the United States vessel Confidence. (See the account of this on pages 12-13).
Forty years of activism have taught us to work together and to trust each other. What really matters in the end are our relationship with all life on this planet.
Finally, we have learned to celebrate these loving connections by having fun. Hard work ties us together, the fun celebrates the bonds.
As Greenpeace sails into the next 40 years, I am filled with hope. The tasks ahead are daunting, but our gaze is global and our roots are with peoples in all continents. We will use our strength, intelligence and goodness to inspire people to organise.
Greenpeace has been an inspiration for me for these 40 years. I trust Greenpeace will inspire both me and you for the next 40 years.
A part of that inspiration has now been taken up by social media and bloggers. And thanks to Greenpeace it’s spread like wildfire, inspiring us to help take action by blogging about the challenges that our planet faces: Environmental Criminals need to be exposed; and governments and corporations need to be challenged when they fail to do the right thing, and/or refuse to safeguard our planet and our future. Greenpeace have my support, I blog for them when I can; I donate money when I can. How about you? Can you help? Do you? Will you? Because if you’d like to, this is what we need to do: if we could just spend 10% of our blogging time doing our best for Greenpeace, then we too, can help safeguard our planet. We hear about climate change in the news: the repetition and the spin make it all sound so helpless, making it sound as if it’s all just gonna go down anyway, so what difference can one blogger make? I’m not sure. But let’s try… How about it? Will you join me? (Cut and Paste this whole post, and re-post it, or re-blog it. I give you full permission to take my words, spread them, change them; attribute them to yourself, if you must; do what you will… Just help me to help Greenpeace, because, ultimately, they help us):
Laura Kenyon – Greenpeace International online activist and a specialist in community network – brings us up to date with the latest technological developments as Greenpeace adds social networking and cyberactivism to its powerful array of campaigning tools:
“Four decades ago the first images of Greenpeace activists putting themselves between harpoons and whales were captured. They revealed the horrific reality of modern whaling: a fleet of harpoon ships running down and slaughtering entire pods of whales, from adults to babies. After being harpooned the carcasses were tagged and towed back to a mammoth factory vessel where the whales disappeared into the bowels of the ship – devoured. The activists who raced among the fleet in small inflatable boats had never seen anything like it before. They were horrified.
This first confrontation took place far out at sea, with nobody present to witness the savage hunt or the peaceful protest but the activists, the whalers and the whales themselves. But this was 1975: the world had already entered the age of mass media, and fortunately this meant that more than just those present that day would bear witness to the industrial- scale destruction whaling represented. The images captured by the Greenpeace activists out at sea travelled all over the world, as photographs via the wire services and as video footage aired on news broadcasts. A new understanding of whaling entered the minds of everyone who saw these images, and their impact hasn’t diminished over the years. These ‘David vs Goliath’ images: activists in small zodiacs dwarfed by whaling ships like floating factories, still hang on the walls of Greenpeace offices around the world, and they remain one of the most recognisable Greenpeace images in the minds of the general public.
The lesson learned from the impact of these first images was that mass media would be a powerful tool in the struggle against environmental destruction. A single picture – if it told a compelling story – could change people’s minds.
Since those early days Greenpeace has used the tools mass media provides to extend the act of ‘bearing witness’ to more than just the individuals present at the scene of devastation, to expose those complicit in environmental crimes, to present alternatives to the status quo, and to send messages that solutions exist, that change is possible.”
Social networking is a powerful tool, one that Greenpeace have utilised prolifically. By allowing us to witness the wrongs and injustices committed by the governments and corporations of our world, they give us the power to show how much we disapprove, and how much we won’t stand for it, because social media provides us a platform where anyone can challenge a company and its policies. Even a mere blogger such as myself has this power.
Through Greenpeace, I’ve learnt that when standing up for your rights, the planet’s rights, and other human’s rights, fear is natural it’s a natural part of the process, but it’s not something to stop us. It’s just there. Let it be your friend, and move forward anyway because when you are challenging the norms, and those norms are just plain wrong, then fear is your friend because when you feel it there, by your side, it’s a signal to keep going, it’ll be over sooner or later…
Take the fragrance issue for example: I’ve been struggling with this for nine years, nowhere near as long as some, and nowhere near has it been as devastating for me as what it has for them, yet when I’m faced with situations where others are wearing fragrance products, and I need to ask them to not wear them—otherwise I cannot partake of the same activities as them because of the debilitating symptoms that their fragrances cause, meaning I must stay at home in isolation—I feel fear. Great fear. Sometimes, I want to hide because this fear is so great. My choices: stay home, or push on. And I don’t want to stay home. So, when I can, when I’m not debilitated by fragrance symptoms, I push on because I know I’m not alone in this. I’m not alone by far. There are many like me. Many, many, many and more… When I first became ill with sensitivities to a plethora of different synthetic chemicals, I became first a member, then a volunteer for the Allergy and Environmental Sensitivity Support and Research Association Inc. (AESSRA), and while researching for information about the ingredients in fragrances for a brochure that I was co-writing, I came across Perfume – An Investigation of Chemicals in 36 Eaux de Toilette and Eaux de Parfum. This inspired me in a way that still sits with me today, emanating out vibes of bravery into the core of my very being, because I know that I’m on the right side of right: I know that I’m helping the world with my own personal campaign to educate people about the toxicity of fragrances. I know that these fragrances are toxic because this investigation showed us the ingredients that are inside the fragrances; the same ingredients the manufacturers try to hide from us; the same ingredients that cause me to have to wear a mask; the same ingredients that cause so many others to hide in safety within their homes; the same ingredients that amplify many childrens’ (and adults’) asthma; the same ingredients that cause many people headaches, sinus problems, and other symptoms; the same ingredients that, when causing symptoms or exacerbating illness, make people fearful to speak up because when they do, fragrance-loving people single them out as wingers, or take offence because they think the person with the fragrance induced health problem does not like the way they smell.
But thanks to many, this is slowly changing.
It’s a small battle in the scheme of things. Nothing compared to the battle to save our precious oceans, the rain forests, or our wildlife but it’s a battle that’s interconnected with our whole ecosystem. And all of these are things that you and I can do something about!
Join me in this campaign to save our planet, and its occupants.
You can download the PDF: Perfume – An Investigation of Chemicals in 36 Eaux de Toilette and Eaux de Parfum by clicking this link
You can read The Greenpeace Chronicles here on my blog, or you can download it here
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(Ps. If you would like to put an Issuu publication on your blog, like this Greenpeace one, then you need this Plugin (If you’re with WordPress, after downloading the plugin, you need to go to your downloads folder, find the plugin, right click on it, and compress it into a zip folder. Then go to the Plugins tab in your WordPress menu and upload your Plugin, and click activate.) You’ll then need to sign up with Issuu; its free. The next step is to go and find the publication you’d like to show on your blog, and find the embed code button, click on it, cut and paste the code into your page’s HTML view, and there you’ll have it, just like mine above. Enjoy, and have fun posting ♥ ♥)