Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Hands Across the Sand 2011 Summary

It's been a few days since the 25th when people around the world joined hands in unity against offshore oil drilling, and to be honest I needed to not think about it for a few days.

This year was decidedly less spectacular than last. No doubt the lack of an environmental disaster this spring meant people easily forgot that this was an annual event.

Three people showed up in London - far less than I was expecting given the amount of effort I put into promoting it, the early press we got and the promises from other people saying they would be there. Was I disappointed? Well, yes. How could I not be? But do I regret doing it? Absolutely not. I did my best, and I would regret it more if no one did anything this year in London.

Forty US states and eighteen countries participated this year - a noticeable drop from last year following the Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico. But the cause is still strong. This year in London we talked about what had been done since the spill, and what new information had come out. It's difficult because we're still researching, measuring and analyzing the effects of the spill and we don't really have a good understanding of the environmental implications just yet. We also discussed BP's shady tactics of buying out a number of researchers in the Gulf last summer...We won't be hearing from them for several years still.

I'd like to think this is a lull in the feelings of the people while we are still sorting out this mess, and when new information revealing the true amount of damage is brought forward, there will be more people with outreached hands drawing lines in the sand.

On a personal note, this was the first environmental event I've planned entirely by myself, and it was harder than I expected. Lessons were learned and I have some experience and ideas for the next event...which I'll be mentioning soon!

I'll leave you with our tiny but happy Hands Across the Sand demonstration this year in St James's Park, London:

Friday, 24 June 2011

Hands Across the Sand 2011 Final Call


TOMORROW Hands Across the Sand comes to a beach (or public area) near YOU. JOIN HANDS if you think it's time to say NO to offshore oil drilling & dirty fossil fuels and YES to clean energy & a sustainable future!

Join me in London at noon and give 15 minutes of your weekend to the planet we all call home.

Find us on:
Hands Across the Sand
Global Ocean

Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

World's Oceans in 'Shocking' Decline - BBC

image credit Getty Images

Well I've been real busy, but if the BBC has time to smack this on their front page, I guess I do too.

Bad news for our seas and marine life:
"The oceans are in a worse state than previously suspected, according to an expert panel of scientists. In a new report, they warn that ocean life is 'at high risk of entering a phase of extinction of marine species unprecedented in human history.'"

The contributing factors? Climate change, pollution and overfishing - to name a few.

"We've sat in one forum and spoken to each other about what we're seeing, and we've ended up with a picture showing that almost right across the board we're seeing changes that are happening faster than we'd thought, or in ways that we didn't expect to see for hundreds of years."

Hundreds? Shit. That is bad.

The truly troubling part is that individual marine stressors such as agriculture runoff and ocean acidification are "working together" in their damaging effects on the marine ecosystem.

The panel of scientists was brought together by the International Programme on the State of the Ocean (IPSO), who made the following suggestions to avoid a marine species mass extinction event:

• "Stopping exploitative fishing now, with special emphasis on the high seas where currently there is little effective regulation
• Mapping and then reducing the input of pollutants including plastics, agricultural fertilisers and human waste
• Making sharp reductions in greenhouse gas emissions."

Full article here (BBC)

Friday, 17 June 2011

Hands Across the Sand 2011 Update

image credit Hands Across the Sand

Your local Hands Across the Sand event is happening a week from tomorrow! Get excited!!! (I know I am.)

To find your local event, check the map at the official Hands Across the Sand website, or register your own if there's not one close by! It's not too late!!

If you happen to be in the London area, come on down and join me at St James's Park for a fun, fast & free way to help save the environment and move towards a cleaner energy future. Check us out on Facebook, Gumtree or the official Hands Across the Sand site under "Global Locations". I promise it will be a good time!

Rain or shine, folks. No harm in getting a little wet while protecting our seas.

All welcome. Even YOU. :)

And now, I am please to bring to your attention, a lovely article which contains an interview about our event this year. I'm very happy people are taking notice of this! Click below!

Digital Journal via Alexander Baron, Op-Ed: Hands Across the Sand - To Save the Planet

I'd also like to thank London Against Cetacean Slaughter and Global Ocean for helping to promote this event. Keep fighting the good fight, guys!