08/24/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Oil Spill And The Green Movement: Tapping The Anger

So while the live-streaming underwater oil cam and the photos of oil-slickened pelicans are fresh on everyone's mind, activists have begun working them to their advantage. When they heard of Rauschkolb's highly visible (and relatively easy to engage) Hands Across the Sand stunt, the Sierra Club delivered about 25 of its top field staffers to organize beaches in eighteen states and Greenpeace sent five employees and 500 of its top volunteer activists. McKibben's group made sure that members of Congress were invited to events at beaches in their districts. Friends of the Earth's media team taught local organizers how to write press releases and deal with reporters. All told, more than a dozen national environmental groups, as well as liberal groups like MoveOn, signed on as sponsors and activated their massive e-mail lists.

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