Joining The Club To End The Oil Age
by Lucy Lawless
NZ Herald - 20 July 2017
OK, so I am not Greenpeace. And I don't work for them.
But I met the activist Bunny McDiarmid 25 years ago when I basically played her in a TV movie called The Sinking of the Rainbow Warrior.
She had been a crew member who was ashore at the time of the bombing in Auckland 1985. I met her and her partner, Henk, and found them to be completely unaffected, forthright, funny, educated and wise.
They were a revelation to me - nothing like the crazy hippies I had been taught to expect. I was raised in a conservative home and my Dad embraced all that Robbie Muldoon embodied in the 70s. There were "Think Big" stickers next to Rolling Stones ones on my brother's bedroom door.
Bunny eventually went on to run Greenpeace New Zealand and then after a short break last year, became the executive director of Greenpeace international. And now I count a number of their activists as the classiest and most decent people I've ever met.
So while I don't work for Greenpeace, I know who they are at their core and I believe 100 percent in their integrity.
So now I find myself on an icebreaker ship, going literally to the ends of the earth with them. Our mission is to hasten the end of the oil age.
We just cast off from the port of Tromso and the waters of the Sounds are utterly calm, the ship rolls left and right when it hits a current. The craft is crazily sensitive and makes me wonder what's ahead.
The medic administered sea sickness pills two hours ago to newbies like me. I'm wearing Norwegian boots with curled up toes as a sultan might wear. So my big toes can give a thumbs-up sign when something cool happens.
Before we left port, I went into town to get a cheap and cheerful raincoat and was lured down an alley by a shingle pointing to Tromso's (Ye olde) shoemaker. I was really charmed by the storybook cobblers, with little shoes all in a row.
"Gosh, did you make those reindeer boots or are you mending them?" I ask the apple-cheeked lady in the gingerbread apron. No, that's not reindeer she explains, "it's ....(snort, snort, snort)."
"What... pig? Like some kind of hairy boar, endemic to this area? Fancy!"
"No, not pig. It's, how do you say - oh, I wish I knew the name for it in English. You know..." she makes the action of repeatedly clubbing, "you know, the babies on the ice!"
"Oh, gosh, right, well, I don't think I'll be wanting a pair of those."
Jaysus, I thought as I left, definitely not in Kansas anymore.