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Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Earth Day 'virtual march' to protect ANWR

A coalition of environmental groups has launched an Earth Day Virtual March on April 22 to protest recent political moves to open the Arctic Refuge to oil drilling. The group's website will be the hub for an "avalanche of emails, phone calls and faxes" to persuade politicians to reconsider exploiting ANWR for oil.

"We wanted to give individuals the means to have their voices heard collectively by the politicians in Washington and see the impact of joining forces with activists across the country," said Randy Paynter, founder of Care2, one of the groups coordinating the "march." Defenders of Wildlife is the other leading sponsor.

Through the website, individuals will find easy ways to send their thoughts to virtually every federal politician, including Pres. Bush. The site also includes a novel tool that allows bloggers to create a "personal impact tracking map" to see where members of their blog have joined from. At this writing, nearly 10,000 people from every state have joined the march already.

This is the first such "virtual march" that I've heard of. It's a novel idea, but I wonder how effective it will be. Politicians must know already that they are ignoring poll results on ANWR, which lean strongly against drilling. I suppose events like this are meant to make those poll results harder to ignore.

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