By the time you read this, I will be somewhere in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, literally closer to satellites than land. And if you choose to join the six of us, these past few weeks and the ones still to come will have been worth it.
If you decide to stand with us, all of the worries that are swimming round and round in my mind right now will have become inconsequential. I may have scaled an oil rig on its way to the Arctic, or I may have run into insurmountable obstacles in the process. But I will have tried and we will have poured every ounce of perseverance and skill into the trying.
I would like to think that I’ll be about 40 meters up, literally in the belly of the beast, shining the brightest light we can muster at a devastatingly foolish plan. Shell is determined to drill in the Arctic, even with the knowledge that it is a critical battleground for the preservation of life on the planet. And even with the evidence that it is not properly prepared to run a safe operation in that severe environment.
Time is short, so we must be just as determined to stop them. They have already ruined enough lives with their insatiable greed, and I for one still want to be able to step outside on a crisp morning and take in a long, deep breath of clear air that you can feel travel all the way to your lungs. I want to live on a planet with weather patterns that are stable enough to grow all varieties of food. I want the beaches of my childhood to still be above water in 50 years, so that I can feel the same sands beneath my bare feet when my hair has turned white. The same sands that I walked on as a baby. And beyond all this, I want to be able to bring new life into this world without the ever-looming fear of an inhospitable future. That’s why, as you read these words, I will have put aside my fear of heights (yes, I’m afraid of heights) and my desires for comforts like hot food and showers and even a solid surface to sleep on. I will have ignored any number of aches and pains and put aside communications with the people I love. I will have done everything in my power to stop one of the world’s largest corporations from thinking it can buy a pass for whatever destruction it finds convenient.
If you join me, my five teammates and the more than 6 million people around the world who have already said the Arctic is where we draw the line – if you join your voice with ours in any way you can – then it doesn’t matter if I was able to board a ship on the high seas, or keep the contents of my stomach where they’re meant to be, because regardless, we will have succeeded. We will have gained an invaluable ally in a battle that is going to take all of us to win.
Aliyah Field on board the Polar Pioneer. @aliyahfield
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