I was very fortunate to go to Goblin Coombe last weekend to a Greenpeace skillshare. I've come home with new skills, inspiration to get me online and a contented glow from spending time in a beautiful place with amazing people.
Having travelled from the furthest north, I was very grateful to be told that there would be a man in a brown jacket waiting at the local station of Yatton to collect me. On the journey to Goblin Coombe he told me that he had heard that Apple had capitualated and would be using renewables for their new data centre in North Carolina. This was brilliant news as it only felt like a few weeks since I had travelled to the Apple HQ in Cork with an international Greenpeace team to launch the campaign against their use of energy from coal for their icloud.
What a great start to the weekend!
This was followed by a warm welcome from some familiar faces and quite a few new ones and the welcome sight of a keg of very drinkable ale from a brewery a couple of miles away.
On the Saturday we were updated on various campaigns including the Be a Fishermans friend campaign which is forming alliances with small scale fisheries to call for reform of the Common Fisheries Policy:
We also heard about the Arctic campaign and watched a breathtaking video of our activists boarding the icebreaker Nordica which Shell has hired to accompany their drillships and is heading for the Arctic as we speak.
Last week the Nordica was preparing to leave Helsinki in Finland when it was occupied; then after activists were removed and it set off there were swimmers and small craft in the water blocking its way; they were removed and then there were more and then it was boarded. Massive respect to Greenpeace Nordic for 4 sucessful actions in 4 days - wow!
Check out the video of the boarding, it's the second video down on this page:
There's something that really gets to me when I think about oil companies going to drill for oil somewhere as wild and beautiful as the Arctic, and the arguments against it are so compelling, we really need to stop this one.
There is a great example from the past that gives me hope that we will save the Arctic. Greenpeace spearheaded the campaign to protect Antarctica. If we could win on Antarctica, we can win on the Arctic too.
The weekend gave me renewed inspiration on the campaigns and inspired and informed me on how to get blogging - I've got a few other ideas up my sleeve too.
But the thing I most appreciated about the skillshare was the reminder on the importance of enjoying the environment, and this wasn't just words. A nature walk was planned for the sunday morning which was absolutely wonderful. Along with the chance to explore our lovely surroundings it was another opportunity for those all too valuable and enriching conversations with other activists.
So now I'm back home tapping away on my computer, looking forward to campaigning to save the Arctic and very proud to be part of this global group of people called Greenpeace.