Solarnia: How to sustain paradise

Something truly amazing has happened in the last few days.

In Italy, Spain, Croatia, Greece and Hungary, local residents, tourists, activists and volunteers have been teaming up to worship the sun. Their sun-soaked countries hosted creative peaceful protests that demanded the protection of the Mediterranean solar paradise against the threats of new dirty fuel projects financed by their governments and authorities. 

We call this vulnerable Mediterranean solar paradise “Solarnia”.

In Italy, hundreds of volunteers wanted to make sure that their demands made sense.

So, they visited 20 cities and asked the people there what they would choose given two options: living in a place threatened by the risk of oil spills or a place where solar is the only energy source in their country.

Volunteers ask people on the beach if they would choose oil or sun for their holidays. Photo from Bari, Italy © Mario Nuzzi

The responses, based on common sense, were pretty clear: solar energy is the way to go.

However, for certain governments, the answer is, apparently, not so clear. So, our Croatian friends made sure our demands were made very visible. Literally.

Projection of the message "Quit Dirty Energy - Plenty of Sun". Photo from Dubrovnik, Croatia by © Nevio Smajic

We really didn’t want our message to go unnoticed. This is why we recruited an artist in Spain to build a huge sand sculpture on the beautiful Canary Islands, which clearly symbolized and expressed the locals’ call to make a change and switch to a new bright future made of clean, safe energy.

Artist Etual Ojeda reveals a sand sculpture of a group of people rising a wind turbine as a symbol of people pushing for a new future made of renewables. Photo from Canary Islands, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain. © Sergio Bolaños

Meanwhile, Greenpeace Greece had started up a crowdfunding project aimed at installing solar panels for families in need and to support the economy in a sustainable and long-term way.

Greenpeace activists spread a 600sqm arrow banner pointing at a Greek oil-fired power plant under construction in the island of Rhodes, to reveal one of the most unacknowledged causes of the Greek crisis; the country’s dependence on imported fossil fuels. Photo from Rhodes, Greece by © Panos Mitsios.

But, the Mediterranean isn’t just for the locals – it’s for everyone. Everyone has a stake in keeping this paradise a solar paradise and we should all join forces to protect it.

This is why, in Hungary, a press conference was organised to speak up against the dirty energy madness and also to get the public to take a clear and decisive stand against them.

That’s why, many people decided to jump on a boat (not a real one this time!) to pass on their messages and to show what a future without solar energy would look like.

Press event at the launch of Hungary's online and offline push, showing the activists in front of our photo wall. Photo from Budapest, Hungary by © Attila Polyak

For those who know us, we never give up the fight for a bright future, but we can’t do it by ourselves. We need the support of everyone in the world.

Over 27,000 people already took a stand to make our Solarnia dream come true, we can’t wait to hear your voice added to the call.

So, What can you do to make the Solarnia dream come true?

1. Add your voice and sign the petition.

2. Tell your friends that you are against oil drilling and for renewable energy, like wind and soalr.

3. Take selfies on the beach (or wherever) and share them on your social media channels with the #SolarParadise hashtag.

Let’s make our messages very visible and stay tuned for more fun activities to come!

Cristiana De Lia is a Communications Coordinator with Greenpeace Central Eastern Europe.

via Greenpeace news http://ift.tt/1HYzahx http://ift.tt/eA8V8J

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