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:

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