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In this special feature for Earth Day, we focus on just one group: Greenpeace, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary. The environmental group has been in the headlines again, confronting Russian oil tankers in many ports. They’ve attracted lots of attention and scored many victories in the years they’ve been in existence. But it’s not enough. The climate crisis is more urgent than ever, the world’s not on track to get off fossil fuels in the time we need, and the most vulnerable are paying the heaviest price. In this special, we spend the program with the leadership of Greenpeace, including co-executive Directors, Annie Leonard and Ebony Twilley Martin, the first African American woman to head a “Big Green” group. The changes the group has made to embed racial justice and equity across their organization are going to take time, they admit, but without them, they’ll never shift the power structure that’s proven so intransigent up to this point. What’s it going to take to shift power internally, avoid false solutions, and make the sort of transformation we need, as a nation, and as a group? They say there is no choice. The changes they’re making now are essential. We can’t bring about a greener, more equitable future with shortcuts. Earth Day is April 22. 

“Even though we have scientists and marine biologists and people who know how to climb and hang off of skyscrapers . . . We can’t do it alone. We need to work with lots and lots of people” – Annie Leonard, Co-Executive Director, Greenpeace USA 

“It’s time to innovate. It’s time to be creative. It’s time to imagine the world without fossil fuels, and it is possible.” – Ebony Twilley Martin, Co-Executive Director, Greenpeace USA

“People think the fossil fuel industry just pollutes our climate. That’s not all they do. They also pollute our politics—to the tune of almost $150 million in the last major election alone.” – Tefere Gebre, Chief Program Officer, Greenpeace USA


  • Tefere Gebre, Chief Program Officer, Greenpeace USA
  • Annie Leonard, Co-Executive Director, Greenpeace USA
  • Ebony Twilley Martin, Co-Executive Director, Greenpeace USA

Portions of this interview are featured in our episode “Greenpeace at 50: The Climate Crisis is a Fight Not an Argument.”

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