Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Greenpeace Visits Wilmington North Carolina

“They’ll figure it out.” My friend said to me after we visited the Greenpeace ship, Arctic Sunrise, this past Saturday downtown Wilmington, NC. “They, who’s they?” I retorted. I wanted my friend to come to hear what Greenpeace had to say about the destructive entities of coal. He grew up in North Carolina and devoured the slogan “Clean Coal” like a McDonald’s Big Mac. It looks good, it smells good, it tastes good, but far from being good for you. He, like many of us (including me not long ago) believes that the government will figure it out -that they have the Americans best interest at stake. And they do, except they have to answer to big business first.

Why would I be mentioning this in my Plastic Ocean blog? Like the plastics industry, coal, gas, petroleum and chemical companies are among the richest and strongest companies in the world. Our government knows we need them for jobs and we need the energy they provide along with other perks. In regards to subsidizing oil, Obama said tonight in his State of the Union Address, ”We (our government) need to stop giving millions of dollars to oil companies. I don’t know if you noticed but they’re doing all right on their own.” There was no applause after that statment, but I was cheering from the couch.  But yet, he still pushed “clean coal.”
It doesn’t matter if you are a Democrat, Republican, or Independent. Corporate interests have far more influence on our government policies, so really you’re just choosing which financial backer happens to be holding the strings. That said, how we spend our money affects corporations. OUR money does the voting. We need to all start thinking in terms of how we vote with our money.

I told my friend that if he wanted to help promote the change necessary to “figuring it out” he could stop turning on every light in his place when he wakes up at 6am. Read labels and buy products that are made out of and packaged in recycled materials. Drive less, walk more, eat local foods, don’t take the free mint if it’s wrapped in plastic, bring your own bag, cup, eco ware, refuse single-sized servings, don’t drink bottled water. Reducing the use of heat, air, gas, and plastic will impact the industries that market them and they will be forced to change what they offer. It really is that simple. Vote with your dollar for change. And support non-profits like Greenpeace who doesn't take a penny from industry or government. People committed to clean air, land, and water and to the health of all living things. Thank you David Pinsky for getting UNCW fired up about this past weekend event.


  1. High 5 to that Bon!!! You know that I'm right there with you!!

    We saw the film "The Last Mountain" (about mountain top coal mining) while we were at the Sundance Film Festival. I would highly recommend it... especially people who don't know how bad it all is.

    I think I need to post the trailer on my blog...check it out:

  2. In some countries, for example, in Russia, Greenpeace has not such a good reputation. Some people think it takes money from foreign governments. So it marks on all its actions and activity. What kind of reputation has Greenpeace in the US?

  3. You raise an interesting point. I will do some research on your remark. Do you have any idea what countries might want to fund Greenpeace? In our country, there are mixed reviews. Some think they are far too radical and will not ascribe to their tactics. Sometimes, I think in order to bring attention to an issue, you have to stick your neck out. As long as no one or no thing is getting hurt, I do not criticize their work. I am curious about their funding though. When they came to our town, the question was posed, "Where do you get your funding?" And the response was funding comes from individuals, not any government or corporation.