What an amazing day we all had in Tofino on April Fools Day! The sun was shining, the skies were blue, there were smiles all round and spirits were high. There couldn’t have been a better day to stage what I will assume is the most interesting April Fools trick yet for Tofino.
Waking up on the morning of April 1st 2014 to a newly named ‘Fossil Fools Day’, those checking Twitter would’ve been in shock to see the #Tofino hashtag taken over by news of an Oil Spill in Tofino. Tweets generated by almost 150 people monopolized the feed.
Not only were people seeing a Twitter take-over, but those checking Facebook were in for a treat too. Four different videos had been released on numerous different pages and news feeds, shocking people into thinking there had been an oil spill in Tofino.
As we didn’t want to cause too much upset however, we made it obvious that this was only a ‘Mock’ Oil Spill. The intention was to allow people to truly feel what the effects of increased oil tanker traffic could lead to.
Those driving into town were met by our smiling group of volunteers at the four-way stop on First Street.
The Build Up
We’re all aware of the looming possibilities of the Northern Gateway and Kinder Morgan pipelines—it would be hard not to, considering the amount of money Enbridge and Trans Canada are throwing into marketing. It’s not easy to compete with unlimited pots of money from one of the richest industries on the planet, but we gave it a shot.
Keen volunteers met each week for 6 weeks leading up to Fossil Fools Day. Ideas were put forward, tasks were allocated and action began.
From a simple email seen by one person, the plan was hatched and the momentum carried a small team forward. It is amazing to see what can be achieved when people get together with an intention and a goal. This campaign resulted in a full morning of street action, complemented by a huge online ‘cyber’ action.
Nine volunteers met at the Common Loaf Bakeshop in Tofino at 8am to launch the campaign, some using their digital skills and others their people skills to pull together this amazing morning. All were united in one common goal, a clean energy future.
We all know what damage fossil fuels are causing, not only to the planet, but to the inhabitants too. Smog in China is at an all time high, cancers for those living near the tar sands are increasing in numbers and many more dangers present themselves in the form of fracking and oil spills.
The time to move to clean energy is not today, nor is it tomorrow. The move to clean energy, should have happened decades ago.
We know it’s not an easy path and we know it will take time. Waiting for our ‘leaders’ to make this change is not the right thing to do. They have already been bought. It is down to each individual to prioritize their energy needs, and to make any savings or changes necessary to reduce their dependence on fossil fuels.
Whilst the thought of an oil spill off the coast of Tofino is a very sad prospect, we wanted to bring joy to people—yet with a serious message. The entire town of Tofino relies on the clean waters and beaches for its survival.
The fact that April Fools Day was such a beautiful day helped us to send the message of how amazing Tofino is, and highlighted the importance of protecting the wild, untouched beauty that Tofino is so famous for.
We asked the people we met that day to write down what they Love about the coast—check out the smiling faces and the positive things people get from this beautiful place.
Online Cyber Action
The online aspect of the campaign was a success with unimaginable numbers of people heading to the TofinoOilSpill.com page from all over the world, including, Singapore, Austria, Chile, Brazil and Australia. Head there yourself now and watch the videos we produced with the help of amazing local supporters.
We certainly raised awareness of this insane proposal.
The volunteers for this campaign wanted to thank ALL of those people who visited our pages and those who bumped into us in the street. The response was overwhelming and it’s comforting to see the amount of support there is for for a clean energy future.
If you want to be kept up to date with any happenings then drop your email in the box below and we’ll be happy to keep you in the loop.
Alan is a volunteer for Clayoquot Action and was the behind the scenes guy for the website and video for the TofinoOilSpill.com project.