It has been two years since we lost our dear friend Becky Tarbotton, and two years since the environmental movement lost a rare and visionary force.
We still miss Becky every day. And we still feel her influence and her energy throughout our offices and throughout all of our work.
For me, this connection is very personal – Becky was the person who hired me on at RAN. And she did so in her own inimitable and intense fashion. What I thought was going to be a drawn out process was instead one face-to-face meeting followed by a phone call just hours before I was to board an international flight. She was offering me a chance to lead the campaign against Cargill and the fight to save the most rapidly disappearing rainforests on the planet.
“If you want to take on the largest private company in the world,” she said, “here is your opportunity. Take it or leave it but I need to know soon.” This meant my first day on the job would be getting on a plane to Indonesia and jumping into the deep end of what would become a seven-year battle.
But that was her leadership style – one of conviction, confidence and audacity. She embodied the belief within this organization that we cannot only settle for what’s possible. We have to strive for what’s necessary.
She is even quoted on the opening page of Naomi Klein’s latest book. Becky’s quote not only speaks to the imperative and urgent nature of the issues we face, but also illuminates the incredible person behind it.
“We need to remember that the work of our time is bigger than climate change. We need to be setting our sights higher and deeper. What we’re really talking about, if we’re honest with ourselves, is transforming everything about the way we live on this planet.”
That is the will and the drive and the vision that continues to push us forward. That is the audacity and the inspiration of Becky. And that is to what we aspire everyday at RAN.
I would like to think she would be proud of the year we’ve had and the work we’ve continued in her name.
But most of all, I would like to say to her once again, Thank you.