By Gavin, climate campaign leader
Sunday was an afternoon on the beach with 500 people, all laying out to spell a message urging action on climate change. Human banner artist John Quigley was on hand to be designer & master of ceremonies, his positive energy encouraging a multi-cultural mass of people. We were working with stepitup, a US ngo whos been doing some great organising over the past couple of years in building a network of people all working to help push climate change up the political agenda. And also Global Green, a US NGO founded by President Gorbachev to encourage green buildings & cities by reconnecting humanity to the environment.
That’s one of the many cool things about this climate meeting in Bali – there are such a diverse number of organisations, all taking a multitude of approaches to the same issue. And all united under the idea that the global problem of climate change needs a global solution, with everyone playing there part.
John and a team of volunteers had been busy for a few hours laying out a design on the sand with planet earth partly submerged in the ocean, and the words Act Now! All we needed were a few hundred extra people to join in and lay in the right place, and a quick helicopter flight overhead, and we would create the perfect image to capture the urgency with which climate change needs to be tackled.
After some negotiation the police were happy to take a step back, and the gathering throngs of onlookers were invited to join in. An hour later and our photo and video crew were in the air, hovering overhead to capture the moment.
I lay out at the top of the ‘W’ along with Mike and his crew from the Rainbow Warrior who also joined in. A quick text from our photographer Ardelies above us and a thumbs up, and we were ready to call it a day.
But as the helicopter left, a call to prayer started emanating from the speakers behind us, and suddenly a number of women in the next letter over pulled out small baskets brimming with offerings, put them on their laps, and began to pray and chant. Everybody fell silent as they performed their afternoon prayer ritual. Another reminder of how every culture, every person can be impacted by climate change, and how every culture is getting involved in the campaign to tackle it.