Love of Salish Sea Ignites Groundswell Opposition to Shell’s Arctic Drills in Seattle During Earth Week

A message from Earth Day of a possible future:

“It is on this day, this remarkable day, we give thanks to our ancestors. In the darkest time of our species’ history they faced a profound challenge. They faced themselves.

It is the very fact that we are here, alive today in abundance and safety, surrounded by our kin in this unfolding story of life, that we know they were mindful of our coming. We give our deepest thanks that they saw past the persuasions of an old and broken worldview, that they looked past dire uncertainty with courage and incredible strength.

We give our gratitude to you, ancestors, for unifying as One Human Family in the vision of a new story that teaches us, even now, to walk lightly on the Earth together with respect, with generosity… with compassion forever in our hearts for this Earth that we dearly love.”

-Ode to the Ancestors
in the Time of Great Remembering
Earth Day, Year 2200
 

Today is April 24, and it is Earth Week in the year 2015. Right now…you are alive, and what a time it is to be alive! We live in momentous times… At our fingertips we have access to a universe of knowledge and information that couldn’t even be fathomed just fifty years ago by the brightest thinkers. We have discovered laws of the universe that would baffle Newton himself. We are beginning to understand just how profoundly that all life is interconnected, that we are more like one great interdependent “super-organism” instead of the isolated individuals we may believe ourselves to be.

It is Earth Week 2015, and we – the “big-we,” the “human-race-we” – have profound opportunities placed before us, choices that are only ours to make. Can we transmute the knowledge and information we have acquired now into wisdom, and into compassionate action? Instinctually, we know that the war we are waging with nature must come to an end…this planet, after all, is our home. When the Earth suffers, we all suffer.

In Seattle, we are in the middle of celebrating the Compassion Games “Love This Place! Serve the Earth Week” coopetition (April 8-26). Communities around the world are challenging themselves and each other to inspire one another ignite our biophilia, or “love of life”, into compassionate action for the Earth. The Games are playful, but the stakes here are high; we are doing heavy lifting with a light heart. In the Pacific Northwest, an onslaught of fossil fuel companies intend to turn our home into a fossil fuel corridor for profit headed overseas, jeopardizing the land and waterways that life depends upon.

Biophiliac and Proud Meme SmallAmidst this backdrop of proposed fossil fuel development, Shell’s arctic drilling rigs are approaching Seattle ports, planning to dock and wait for a key seasonal window to explore the arctic and drill for oil. The lease for Shell to dock in Seattle was acquired privately without a public hearing. Consequentially and inevitably, a groundswell of opposition has arisen at the thought of such a tool being harbored here, considering Shell’s history of oil spills and disaster unpreparedness. For one, an environmental impact evaluation was never conducted to assess the risks of housing the oil rigs in Seattle waters. Perhaps even more critically, leaving the arctic oil in the ground is a high priority for all of us wishing to prevent Earth’s global temperature from rising two degrees celsius. A price, as they say, cannot be put on the havoc left behind in the event of an oil spill, or for that matter, the devastating cost of climate change.

Screen Shot 2015-04-24 at 12.28.21 PMEnvironmental groups from the “sHell No Coalition” such as Greenpeace, the Sierra Club, BackBone Campaign, 350Seattle, Climate Solutions, and many others are organizing rallies and direct action to disrupt the rigs. Bill Moyer of the Backbone
Campaign says they aim to welcome the rigs into Seattle with the infamous “Flotilla of Kayaks,” but then make sure “the rigs never leave.” If successful, Shell’s rigs will miss their brief window to explore the arctic to drill for oil. (The rigs have already attempted to find oil, but Mother Nature has thus far taken a dire toll on the operation. Many fear an oil spill is inevitable if they continue, and would be impossible to mitigate).

So how do we actually turn our love into action and spark a movement to solve the challenges of our time? The last day of the Compassion Games “Love This Place! Serve the Earth Week” is on Sunday, April 26, and we are taking to the streets to act on behalf of the Earth.

A “Love Activation Dance Mob” will be starting at 11 a.m. in North Seattle and culminating at 2 p.m. at Seattle Center’s International Fountain, bringing together dancers, activists, percussionists, and musicians to celebrate the end of Earth Week.

The dance mob will then head down to the “sHell No – Seattle Draws the Line” rally at Myrtle Edward’s Park. The Nawtsmaat Alliance – an Indigenous lead alliance of Native and Non-Native peoples who aim to protect the region – will be represented. Sundance Chief Rueben George and Elder Ta’Ah George of the Tsleil-Waututh Nation, Hereditary Chief Phil Lane Jr., and Annie Leonard of GreenPeace will be among the speakers. The rally is leading up to a peaceful direct action in may known as the “Festival of Resistance,” where the people’s flotilla will attempt to prevent the rigs from leaving. (Have a kayak and want to train to get involved for the action in May? Go here!).

RSVP for the “Love Activation Dance Mob” here, and contact the organizer Sommer Joy Albertsen (Sommer@IslandJoyWellness.com) to coordinate get involved!

Go here to RSVP for the “sHell No – Seattle Draws the Line” at Myrtle Edwards Park on Sunday, April 26 at 2 p.m.!

Do you have an unrelinquishing love of the Salish Sea? Do you feel called to unleash your biophilia, or “love of life,” to ensure the Earth and all her species are protected in this life and for generations to come? It’s going to take all of us! Play in the Compassion Games “Love This Place! Serve the Earth Week” coopetition and join us this Sunday at 2 p.m. We look forward to rallying with you in the name of wisdom, compassion, and of course, life itself!

Our relatives of the future will appreciate it.