25 November, 19:38
4,1 km, Amsterdam, NED
My name is Robert Geleijnse I'm 51 years old. I was born in Amsterdam. I can can still remember that as a little boy I was always dreaming and fascinated about nature, wildlife and the oceans. My worries than and now about how we, as a responsible species, treat our environment has always filled me with curiosity, sadness and frustration. So, one day, more than 20 years ago I joined Greenpeace Netherlands as a volunteer, and not long after I joined the action team. Up until now I have participated in many actions in many places. And I feel privileged that I'm able to give my contribution this way. I have seen and experienced on many occasions the level of human interference and stupidity in regards to our precious eco-system. So I will stay active as long as I have the energy, health and strength that life will grant me. About 17 years ago I left for Canada to work as a volunteer at Orca-lab, founded by Paul Spong (also one of the founders of Greenpeace) It was an experience I will never forget. And it shaped the rest of my life in a very important way. There I was, in my heart still a Dutch city boy, suddenly surrounded by the most beautiful nature I have ever witnessed. And I saw and experienced up close these magnificent creatures, the Orca whale. Such intense beautiful and powerful and yet so gentle and wise beings who play such an important part of the oceans eco-systems. These beings, that are known for their amazing intelligence and empathic ability are now just one of the many many threatened species of beings that have crucial role in the bio diversity of our lonely planet. The same bio diversity that, some say, is collapsing as we speak. This makes me just as mad and sad as the orca whale itself being displayed as entertainment for our amusement. For me these mammals still embody my inspiration to act. And to still see them locked up to perform stupid tricks in a concrete basin is beyond my understanding. It than fills me with shame to be part of the species that have the power to really do something about many many of our wrongdoings. And anger that we continue to be driven by greed, stupidity, and indifference. It is just an example, but as I read and learned about their habitat and how it is threatened by pollution, overfishing and so on, it made me even more resolved than before. Whenever I seek inspiration or purpose for what I'm doing right now I sometimes play back their songs, sounds and conversations we recorded. It fills me with joy as much as sadness. In British Columbia I also witnessed the day in day out logging tug boats than carry the dead trees, as I realized that this process is being repeated 24/7 all over the world. So I run for the forests in Indonesia that are being slaughtered because of palm oil. I run to make a small contribution to the global awareness, that we have to stop the massive ecocide worldwide and make responsible and binding agreements in order to save what precious nature, clean air and water we have left. I run for the dignity of mankind. I run for the future quality of life of all sentient beings. I run because I'm angry. I run because I'm still hopeful. I run because I can. I run because I have to.