'/> Uncommon Hours: 'Hands Across the Sand': Kansas City
Blogging on culture, politics, and the environment since 2008.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

'Hands Across the Sand': Kansas City

Opponents of offshore drilling line the International Bridge
in Kansas City as part of Hands Across the Sand.

On Saturday, June 26th, activists, environmentalists, and people who’d never attended a public protest rally of any kind formed symbolic human chains at 750 locations worldwide to demonstrate their opposition to offshore drilling for oil and their support for clean energy policies.

Hands Across the Sand began in Florida as a statewide effort to oppose lifting the ban on drilling in Florida waters months before the Deepwater Horizon sank in the Gulf of Mexico .

In Kansas City, about sixty people participated in Hands Across the Sand, lining Ward Parkway and later marching across the International Bridge in a show of solidarity with opponents of offshore drilling.

I asked a number of participants two questions: Why are you here today? And do you have any message for Judge Martin L.C. Feldman of the United States District Court in New Orleans, who lifted the moratorium on deepwater drilling in the Gulf of Mexico.

Here are some responses:

“The point of being out here today is to say that we have to change the way we live. We have to stop using so much oil if we’re going to stop future gushers. The only solution to a disaster like this is phasing out oil and getting on to clean energy as quickly as we can.”

"We fool ourselves if think judges are above politics and above self interest. I think [Judge Feldman] was acting on his own self interest, however subconsciously, with this ruling. The government should have the power to put a moratorium on this deep water drilling because they’re proving every day that they don’t know how to stop a gusher this deep.”
―John Kurmann, 350KC

“That’s a good question: Why is Kansas out protesting offshore oil drilling since we don’t have any shores in Kansas? We’re standing here in solidarity with those on the coast who are protesting, and we want them to stand up with us when we talk about clean energy in Kansas, and together we’ll all have a safe green energy and economy.”
―Steve Baru, Chair of the Sierra Club’s Kanza Group
“Because I realize that there’s power in numbers and because we want to relay a message to people who may not think about this even though it’s in the news every day, and just make a statement, a peaceful statement.”

―Robbie Meyer, first-time protester
“I’m here because the nation needs to understand the seriousness of this problem and needs to act for stronger and better regulations for this kind of drilling, if it’s going to continue at all.”
―Elaine Giessel, marine biologist and Sierra Club member

“It’s gone too far. If we don’t stop it now we’re doomed.”
―Barbara Wallin

“I’m here because I’m concerned about what’s happening in the Gulf and about the environment in general and America’s lack of action to help resolve global climate change.”
―Susan Pavlakis, Sierra Club member

Emily Hatcher, Eric Page, Felicia Drury, and Mike Drury

"I'm here because we need to quit our dependence on oil and move to greener and cleaner energies. There’s no reason we should be dependent on oil in this day and age and we just need to stop.”
―Felicia Drury
“We can’t keep going like we are now and keep this planet as it is.”
―Mike Drury

“Stop offshore drilling! We have many cleaner energy options that we’re choosing not to use. We’re putting profit over our environment, and that needs to end.”
―Emily Hatcher

“Accountability. We’re killing the earth and the future. It’s the most important issue we face.”
―Brent Almasi

“The thing is that we are responsible. It’s not just BP. It’s us. When you use a plastic bag, when you go to the store and buy something plastic made in China, you are just as responsible for what’s happened in the Gulf as BP, and we have to take responsibility, and to do that, we’ve got to stop consuming crap.”
―Vicki Walker

“Clean energy now! Right now!” ―Lori Wohlschlaeger
“I’m here because it’s obvious that we need to get off oil and other fossil fuels. We should have done that decades ago, and now we’ve got a big accident that just shows the true cost of using oil. Gasoline should cost ten dollars a gallon, but we subsidize it so heavily.”

“I think President Obama was correct in trying to get a ban on deepwater drilling because obviously this accident shows that they don’t know what they’re doing. This thing is almost as dangerous as a nuclear plant and yet it’s regulated much more weakly.”
―Craig Volland, Sierra Club member
“We have solutions. There are really good solutions to get us off oil. If we all work together we can get it done and move to a clean energy society.”

“[Judge Feldman and supporters of offshore drilling] have to understand that they don’t realize the damage this has done to us, and not just to the people in Louisiana but to people all across the country. The people of the United States get it, and we can’t allow them to continue this very damaging process. It’s going to destroy our environment forever. The ecosystems and the ocean are all connected, and we have to tell that judge, ‘No, sit down, shut up!’ We can solve the problem if can stop people like him from allowing the damage to continue.”
―Joe Spease, Sierra Club member
“I’m a labor person. I’m for strong unions and better wages, but I’m also for good jobs, clean jobs good green jobs.”

―Molly Madden, labor organizer

“We need to finally take steps to get away from gas and oil.”
―Diane Ranum

"What she said!" ―Rick Ranum

Bob Sommer
Uncommon Hours

1 comment:

  1. Bob, nice job covering the event. I can forward your link to friends and family - so they can see my picture :-) and maybe learn a bit from voiced concerns about our fuelish ways.