This weekend, something truly amazing happened. In more than 30 countries, and as many as 160 cities, thousands of people took to the streets to make a strong and diverse call to save the Arctic, celebrating the top of our world and the public demand for its protection.
#IceRide took place from from Canada to Bulgaria, from Chile to Bangladesh, from Bergen over Bogota to the Balearic Islands. Hugely organised by volunteers, a global call was made possible because people like you from all walks of life offered tons of time and creativity!
This movement call for a really new approach to the Arctic, and the creation of a protected Sanctuary around the North Pole for the Arctic’s marine life, and iconic animals such as polar bears and walruses.
It wants to see bold action to deal with the warming temperatures that are heating up the Arctic faster than any other place on the planet. And is asking for oil companies and destructive fisheries to be banned from the entire Arctic Ocean.
As the images from Ice Rides around the world flooded our inboxes, another thing stood clear: It is a movement full of inspiring creativity and fun, bringing smiles to people’s faces, while changing the world, pedal to pedal with our friends and partners.
In Mexico the bicycle loving city Aguascalientes and the local organization ‘Aguas con la Bici’ took over the city’s big roads to show that “one of the small things everyone can do for our planet is to bike”. Each week ‘Aguas con las Bici’ support a certain cause, and as this video shows, they’re both very committed and very charming, when riding to save the Arctic.
When the future of the Arctic is at stake, it takes more than a 38 degree Celsius temperature for the people in Sylhet City, Bangladesh to seek shade and enjoy a relaxed Saturday. Rickshaws decorated with beautiful pictures of Arctic animals joined a 15 kilometer #IceRide, and founder of ‘Climate Activists Bangladesh’ Mansur Ali Jisan held a speech about the role of the Arctic in maintaining the global temperatures, telling the participants how the future of Arctic will affect the future of us all , even when living at the other end of the planet.
The same point was conveyed, when an impressive 1.200 people met up in Phitsanulok, the heart of one of the main rice producing regions in Thailand. Provincal mayor Boonsong Tanthani provided his support in an opening address, and the ride, led by Phitsanulok bike club, Greenpeace supporters, and the Climate Action Network (CAN) Thailand, highlighted that what happens in the Arctic doesn’t stay in the Arctic.
“During the past decade, we have been experiencing continuous extreme weather events such as unusual monsoon, floods and unpredicted rainfalls,” said Sakorn Songma, President of CAN Thailand. “Protecting the Arctic means protecting Thailand’s rice production.”
These inspiring stories are what the #IceRide is all about. Bikes became a symbol for this global day of Arctic action, since bikes connect people across the planet. Young or old, north or south, rebel or establishment – we all love riding bikes! At the same time bikes are possibly the most powerful and yet simple symbol of the sustainable and oil free future we want to save the Arctic, people, and planet.
A big big thank you comes with this blog to all the amazing Ice Ride organisers, helpers and participants! Together we are building a new movement to save the Arctic and to protect something truly special for our children and future generations. If you haven’t already, please visit http://ift.tt/Nv4yZu and add your name.
And finally, enjoy some photos from the day!
Cristiana de Lia is an Arctic campaigner with Greenpeace Nordic.
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