I just came across this short video from an October 24 action organized on the beach in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania. I love it because it shows a creative way to get the 350 message across and proves that there is no need for fancy (or expensive) banners and signs: all you need is sand and some sea weed! Check out the video and a description of the day from event organizer Marc Wegerif: 

After recovering from the cycle ride it was time to head to Coco Beach.   It was still intermittently pouring, which along with the dark clouds made it one of the worst beach days of the year for Dar es Salaam.  Despite this activists arrived to make a giant 350 in the sand.  A group of children came with messages they had written on sheets of card and shared these with us and others on the beach.  

A few days ago when we checked the site we had found a clean beach of golden sand, but today it was covered in seaweed and litter.  Clearly the currents had changed and brought the rubbish onto the beach.  The rain had also washed the rubbish in the drains and river beds of the city into the sea.  The local environment issues brought home to us by the lines of plastic bags, empty bottles and other litter.

We started marking out the 350 in the sand, picking up the litter and then building the numbers mostly with our bare hands, many hands making it easy work.  The seaweed came in handy for the finishing touches.  It was decided to build a graph of the carbon levels from the pre industrial revolution level of 280 up to the current level of 390 with the critical target level of 350 in the middle.  We talked people including journalists through this graph explaining the causes of climate change and what now needs to be done.  As Latif Amars one of the organizers explained “we just can’t survive at the current level, our leaders need to act now to get carbon levels back to 350”.

Throughout the afternoon people joined in and the interest it generated in other beach users was an opportunity to tell them about climate change and the need for a fair and safe deal in Copenhagen.  We were all rewarded for our work with improving weather and by the time we finished the 350 the sun was out.

Many of us stayed on the beach to relax and watch as the tide came in and started to wash away the unsustainable 390 in the sand.  The 350 was still in place when I left just before sunset.

 

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