I don't really think our small action led directly to their release, but we did get favorable media coverage and many of us spread the word on social media. Peter himself credited all the solidarity actions in total with leading to their release. (Not to mention the upcoming Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. We also celebrate the release of the two remaining members of Pussy Riot, though none of these activists should ever have been arrested in the first place.)
It was different for me being on the other side of the microphone and the reporter's notebook as I was interviewed, but I guess it's something that's likely to happen more often as I step more publicly into an activist role on climate change.
The good news is that the 30 are free, and they have become a global symbol of the kind of courageous action that's necessary to resist the fossil fuel behemoths' insatiable appetite for profit via ever-expanding oil and gas drilling and coal digging. As Bill McKibben noted in his seminal piece for Rolling Stone last year, our planet home can withstand no more than 20 percent exploitation of the known fossil fuel reserves if we have any hope of avoiding a tipping point of global temperature rise and the end of life as we know it.
The very bad news is that just a few days ago Gazprom, the Russian state oil and gas company, began drilling operations from the very rig Greenpeace had targeted. More bad news: after withdrawing from the Alaskan Arctic last year amid a flurry of accidents and equipment malfunctions, Shell announced plans to return to the Arctic in 2014 and try again -- with the blessing of the "all of the above" Obama energy strategy.
My friend Steve Norris, who created the Walk for Our Grandchildren to tackle climate change, in which I participated this past summer, is now thinking about a bold new action for 2014, so we can create our own tipping point toward climate sanity. And Jeremy Brecher, an author and activist from Connecticut, just published a fascinating article in Truthout, Climate Protection: The New Insurgency. Check it out.