Once again it’s Earth Day, a time for people around the world to reflect on the state of the global environment, and take action to protect the place we collectively call home. We are gratified that finally in 2007 one of the world’s most pressing environmental issues—global climate change—has gotten the attention it deserves. The myriad actions that individuals are taking on April 22nd to draw attention to and reverse climate change is cause for celebration. We will be walking and riding our bikes instead of driving, turning off our lights and air conditioners, and taking other individual and collective actions to do our part. We want this greening movement to retain momentum and not merely be a one-day event. ERI and our friends have known for a long time that climate change is real, and that the oil industry plays a leading role in its destruction. With the war in Iraq and rising gas prices, people are paying attention to the true price of oil, and on Earth Day, they are taking action.
But imagine a world in which taking action to protect the environment, or to protest its destruction, brought brutal retaliation from the police, military or government forces. ERI currently represents victims and survivors of violent human rights abuses who were arrested, tortured and/or killed because they spoke out to protect the earth. At ERI, every day is Earth Day, as we continue to point out the real price of oil, and sue Chevron for its role in shooting villagers in Nigeria protesting against its contamination of their homeland, and we carry on our lawsuit against Shell for its complicity in the torture and execution of environmental hero Ken Saro Wiwa.
You can help us during this Earth Day season by taking action for the earth and those who give the earth a voice. Help raise awareness of the true price of oil by hosting a Total Denial house party, and sharing with your community the inspiring story of Burmese villagers who challenged oil giant Unocal in US courts and won! And help us wage these David and Goliath legal battles against Shell and Chevron by donating to our legal program.
Ken Saro Wiwa’s last words before he was hanged were: “Lord take my soul, but the struggle continues.”
Thank you to all who will continue his struggle, and ours, on Earth Day and beyond.