Everyone has their favorite heroes. Some are baseball players, others are capped crusaders who stalk the night and others might be their pet dog Sam. Though we as human beings have our heroes, nature has its own rogue hero gallery as well.
These are individuals who campaigned for the sacred liberty of the forests, streams, hills, valleys, mountains and countryside. They rose up their voice and arms to protect nature’s ancestral rights. After all it was here first. They gave voice to the voiceless and used their power to protect the powerless. These vigilante freedom fighters are known as green activists. They believe that our earth needs to remain free from the greed of industrialists, the apathy of capitalists and licentiousness of the moneyed world elite.
John Muir, Smokey Bear and the hippies of the youth counter culture all have their place in the annals of green activism. What about today? Has green activism died out? Has the man won? No it has not. There still are lone voices of green patriotism out there. Just like the patriots of our country where imprisoned, tortured, beat and hung for their stand against the British Tyranny, so are these sons and daughters of a better and greener planet. Sini Saarela is one of them
Sini Saarela who is originally from Finland, sits in a jail cell in the Russian city of Murmansk. What was her crime? Was it theft, murder, embezzlement or shady dealing with the Russian Mafia? No. It was simply peacefully protesting against arctic oil drilling. She led a Greenpeace protest against the Russian oil giant Gazprom. She felt what the the company was doing was hurting the environment by further causing climate change as well as destroying the balance and beauty of the ecosystem of the arctic circle. She felt that nature itself was at danger. It must be defended.
Instead of being a bystander and watch Gazprom commit crimes against nature, she acted. Her protests were met with harsh resistance. Gazprom and the Russian government do not want the public to know the dangers of arctic oil drilling. They want to silence the fact that drilling will cause polar ice caps to melt, horrible oil spills are bound to happen and it will pollute and kill off the animal diversity of the North Pole.
In other words, it will became a dark void landscape. They also want to keep Sari silent from teaching people to get off of fossil fuels and use alternative forms of energy. Industrialists do not care. All they want is make money, control the world economy and control the world order. Thus they get stamp out any voice of opposition. They are labeled as extremists.
Martin Luther King Jr once said, “The question is not whether we will be extremists, but what kind of extremists we will be... The nation and the world are in dire need of creative extremists."
This is Sini Saarela- a creative extremist willing to go extreme lengths to stop an extreme problem before we have extreme circumstances. Though the Russian has tried to silence Saarela, her voice will never be. Her cause is only strengthened, her bravery and courage respected and her stand as a modern day green activist never forgotten.
As she sits in jail, organizations like Greenpeace: Save the Arctic have stepped up in to educate, inform and persuade the masses to stop arctic oil drilling. Where Sini has been villianized, Greenpeace has taken her banner and lifted it high above any power of any Earthly government or corporation. Passionate ideas can never be muzzled.
John Muir once said, "Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul alike."
Sini realizes that we must keep the world beautiful. Keep it beautiful for our children and children to come. May she never lose courage, hope and may she always stand for what she believes is right in her heart and what is right for the environment in which we all live in.
May we all be encouraged by Sini Saarela's story to get involved to stop arctic oil drilling and may it strengthen our body and soul to stand up for such a noble cause as present-day green activists.