Being on a board of directors is a strange thing to do. What a bad name it has… a bunch of directors sitting around being bored. Well not so at Greenpeace. Here, I spend the day pondering the possibilities of how to leverage this worldwide organization to maximize it’s impact on everything from global warming to preventing the international whaling industry from wiping out some of Earth’s largest and most beautiful creatures.
We’re here to visit Greenpeace’s largest vessel, the 220-foot Esperanza. As we sit in our San Diego meeting room, excitement erupts as we get news that Greenpeace activists are demonstrating at Kimberly-Clark's largest mill facility in North America using a bus outfitted as a giant Kleenex tissue box
CNN reports that the activists are refusing to move until the company meets with Greenpeace representatives and sets a timeline to stop obtaining wood fiber from destructive logging operations in such places as the Canadian boreal forest in northern Ontario and Alberta provinces. Two activists have locked their arms into the giant tissue box and placed a banner between themselves that reads "Kleenex= Ancient Forest Destruction". (Help them out by sending a letter of protest!)
Kimberly Clark decides not to meet with Greenpeace. They call up the NRDC hoping to find a less combative critic. The board meeting continues. But I wish I was at the mill waiting to be arrested. The business of social, political and environmental activism is being redefined as we speak. A Democratic congress is no assurance of any real change to the status quo. If anything we need to guard against the complacency that the appearance of a more progress political dominance breeds.
The issue of aligning the priorities of 28 Greenpeace offices from China and India to Brazil and America can be a vexing process. With over 2.5 million members there is always the sense we should be doing more that we ever seem to be able to.
I am happy to be here. It is a striking contrast to last week's trip to Wal-Mart (details coming soon!)