Hands Across the Sand at Maho Beach: a statement against offshore oil drillingPOSTED: 08/6/12 12:18 PM
Locals and tourists holding hands across the sand at Maho Beach.
MAHO, St. Maarten / By Shakira Sankies – Last Saturday, locals and tourists joined hand across the sand at Maho Beach. People all over the world joined hands at their local beaches or parks to say no to offshore oil drilling and yes to clean and renewable energy. The St. Maarten Light Workers organized the local initiative.
Elsewhere in the world others joined the cause: in Egypt, Jordan, Ireland, Portugal, Cambodia, Greece, New Zealand, the Netherlands, Australia, Belgium, Brazil Canada, Germany and 32 other states held hands across the sand at noon. All in all there were 200 events across the globe.
“We are joining hands for clean energy. We are joining hands to keep near and offshore oil drilling out of our waters. We are joining hands to end our dependence on the dirty fuels that foul our air, water and food,” initiator Elaine Christopher said. Christopher is a member of Lightworkers SXM, an organization that strives for alternative and community-oriented solutions. She explained how the love for the ocean brought the organization to plan this event. “They are working on renewable energy projects on the island and with this global event they are protesting offshore drilling. We don’t have to drill our way to energy independence — in fact, we can’t. What we can do is support clean domestic energy solutions to meet our energy needs with our own resources and our own people. To replace offshore drilling, we must mitigate our need for oil as a transportation fuel and for natural gas as a heating and electricity fuel,” Christopher said.
“The first thing we should do is to use the energy we create more efficiently. This will go a long way in helping us to lessen our need for more energy. Meeting our remaining energy needs with renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, and biomass will allow us to power the future with minimal pollution and little dependence on fossil fuels. Renewable energy can provide us with the energy we need cleanly, cheaply, and indefinitely.”
Hands Across the Sand is a movement made of people of all walks of life and crosses political affiliations and the borders of the world, Christopher added. “This movement is not about politics — it is about the protection of our coastal economies, oceans, marine wildlife and fisheries. The accidents that continue to happen in offshore oil drilling are a threat to all of the above. Expanding offshore oil drilling is not the answer; embracing clean energy is.”
Hands across the Sand shares knowledge, energies and passion for protecting the planet against the devastating effects burning of fossil fuel and offshore drilling present. So on Saturday many people around the world joined hands to champion clean energy solutions.
“Embracing a clean energy future now is the path to a sustainable planet,” Christopher said. “On a local, national and global level, joining hands sends a powerful visual message of human solidarity to our nation’s leaders. We are unified in the defense of the air we breathe, the water we drink and the food we consume from dangerous, dirty energy sources. Every time we join hands that message is reinforced. It’s simple and logical: embrace clean energy. A line in the sand is a powerful thing and St. Maarten is part of this movement.”