This year marked a major turning point for Kiwi actress Lucy Lawless, who took her green activism to the next level when she was arrested in New Plymouth aboard an oil-drilling ship bound for the Arctic. Last month, the sentencing of Lucy and seven other protestors was adjourned to early 2013. Here, she writes to her as-yet-unborn grandchildren about her motivations and fears for the future.
Having spent four days occupying an oil rig bound for the Arctic circle – and cooling my heels in a jail cell – I’ve had a bit of time to think about why I took it upon myself to be part of the Greenpeace mission. It comes down to only one thing: I love you more than my life and I will fight like a tiger mother for your wellbeing.
I desire that you grow up in a world where polar bears and the magical narwhal still exist, where forests thrive, the air is pure, food nutritious and clean water is available to every form of life. What we now know is that our current practice of burning fossil fuels will guarantee you none of these things.
It is unthinkable that we who claim to love our children would knowingly choose to furnish them with a degraded and volatile environment in which to grow. Our unwillingness to move away from fossil fuels is sowing the seeds of a terrible harvest. We will have been neglectful of our duty to you.
Please know that in 2012 your grandmother and others risked life, liberty and reputation to engage in a peaceful and relentless battle to protect you even before you were born. There are many like us. We see oil drilling in the Arctic as an unspeakable violence against its native peoples and species and against you, my darlings.
One day it will be an accepted fact that crimes against the environment are crimes against humanity, but for now we must hold ourselves, our corporations and our governments accountable so you won’t have to. There can be no partial victory here. Failure is not an option.
With greatest love,
Your tiger grandmother, Lucy