I've been an activist since the age of 15. I've seen the inside of a prison cell for the cause, but nobody -- even with experience -- can honestly say that there is no fear when you set out to take action involving risk to personal safety, or the risk of imprisonment.
Across the nation's breadbasket, many farmers are out of time waiting for cooling rains to salvage crops blistered by one of the hottest and driest summers on record. But up in the frigid arctic, another battle with nature is playing out; the race against ice.
The Obama administration has been fast-tracking Shell's dangerous drilling plan, while paying remarkably little attention to the ecological fears it raises and the potential devastation a major spill or spills would cause to the native peoples of the north.
In the years to come, when we look back at the lost mooring of a Shell drill ship, we can say that this was when we lifted our collective anchor and set course for a green, sustainable and peaceful society. This must be our turning point.
Well, every story has conflict and conflict is raging in the Arctic now over oil and gas drilling. Enormous oil giants are lobbying furiously for the rights to drill in more and more places with fewer and fewer safeguards.
We have to begin thinking and organizing ourselves beyond the arbitrary constraints of nations and beyond our current, resource-devouring economic system. We have to imagine a global culture that doesn't pit humanity against nature.
The reasons not to drill just keep mounting -- and the reasons to drill? Well, there seems to be just one, and I can't say it in politically correct company. I can give you a hint: Republican rhetoric and the 2012 presidential election.
If there is a spot on Earth as sacred or as critical to the future of our wild birds as the Gulf of Mexico, it is the unspoiled Arctic. The potential harm from a BP-scale spill is almost beyond comprehension.
Shell is suing 12 environmental organizations to preempt legal challenges to exploration in the Arctic Ocean. It's a bully image that can only hurt, and Shell should know better because it's happened to them over and over again.
The Arctic recently sent a strong warning that hubris has no place in one of the world's most challenging, high-stakes environments. Shell Oil, which is ready to take a dangerous drilling gamble in the Arctic's icy waters, should take note.