What an absolutely amazing photograph of the last weekend’s kayak protests in Seattle over Royal Dutch/Shell’s plan to begin Arctic Ocean oil drilling. If you cannot see or read the signs they say “Shell no.”
While some have already argued that the activists are using kayaks partially made from oil-based products to conduct the protest, these naysayers are missing the point. As consumers, a portion of the protesters are willing to forgo oil-based products in the future to save the Arctic Ocean and other pristine habitat today. Other protesters may not mind using a kayak made from petroleum products, but prefer oil drilling to take place somewhere other than in the Arctic Ocean. Lastly, there are brands of kayaks made from recycled products on the market, as well as an active aftermarket for used kayaks on websites like eBay, craigslist, paddling.net. Regardless of their rationale or reasons, these activists have every right to protest what they see as being a poor environmental choice for our planet – drilling for oil in the pristine Arctic.
In a time of climate change and growing use of renewable and sustainable resources, the fossil industries of the planet will need to step aside or to adapt to the winds of innovation and change. Otherwise, they will join countless other bygone industries that no longer matter. The choice is theirs.