Earthdive – a global project to save our oceans (Part 1)

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Introduced by Jeff Goodman

Many years ago on returning from a film trip to Indonesia for the BBC I was met at the airport by Chris Long. We met in the arrivals cafe where he told me of his new project earthdive, a revolutionary concept in citizen science and a global research project for millions of recreational scuba divers, snorkellers and others who can help preserve the health and diversity of our oceans. He asked if I would be interested to be part of it. For the following year I worked with Chris helping to develop this immense project.

Chris was the founder and force behind Sport Aid and Run the World, the biggest mass participation demonstration our planet has ever seen. Inspired by Bob Geldof and Band Aid, Chris organised this game-changing event 34 years ago. It involved almost 20 million people in 89 countries, running simultaneously to demand action for the famine victims of Ethiopia and Sudan.

I Ran The World – Sport Aid is Chris’s new book that details how the former hydroponicist galvanised Bob Geldof, world leaders, celebrities, rock stars and royalty to help change the world. In the process he not only raised £32 million for charity but also succeeded in pressurising governments into cancelling US$100 million of African debt. At the latter end of the book, it tells of the natural progression to try and save our oceans.

Chris Long – earthdive

When I was five I dreamed of being a scuba diver.

It never happened, something got in the way.

Thirty five years ago, I went to Live Aid and it changed my life.

One year later, I founded and organised the biggest mass participation in history, raising £35m for Band Aid, UNICEF and a handful of other international charities and NGO’s. My event, Sport Aid and Run the World, involved 19.8 million people in 89 countries running 10k through their cities to help change the world.

I worked with rock stars, celebrities, royalty, world leaders, athletes and many international sports stars. I met Charles and Diana at Buckingham Palace, had tea with Margaret Thatcher at Number Ten Downing Street and was honoured by the United Nations.

My book I Ran the World, tells the whole story and in Chapter 20 ‘New Beginnings’ I tell the story of how my dream as a five year old finally came true.

Biography

On the surface Chris Long is a regular guy. But scratch a little deeper and you’ll discover an astonishing secret: the founder/director of Earthdive, a company devoted to protecting our oceans, was also the founder and force behind Sport Aid and Run the World, the biggest mass participation demonstration our planet has ever seen.

Inspired by Bob Geldof and Band Aid, Chris organised this game-changing event 34 years ago. It involved almost 20 million people in 89 countries, running simultaneously to demand action for the famine victims of Ethiopia and Sudan.

He has now written a riveting book on how it all happened.

I Ran the World details how the former hydroponicist galvanised Bob Geldof, world leaders, celebrities, rock stars and royalty to help change the world. In the process he not only raised £32 million for charity but also succeeded in pressurising governments into cancelling US$100 million of African debt.

His racy autobiography reveals the triumphs and tragedies behind that turbulent time. How he imitated Bob Geldof to ensure Birmingham’s Olympic bid team got on board, convinced the head of UNICEF to partner Band Aid, met Prince Charles and Princess Diana at Buckingham Palace and took tea with Margaret Thatcher at Number Ten Downing Street – not to mention how close he came to committing suicide along the way.

In the foreword, former UNICEF Head of Special Events Dr. John C Anderson says: “Chris Long had a vision and a dream. He believed that people could do more than listen to music and make donations, they could actively engage in the cause – and what better vehicle than sport?

“I Ran the World is the story of how one man mobilised a team of 130 young volunteers in a small office in London, secured the support of huge organisations like UNICEF and Band Aid and then mobilised 20 million people around the world to run and demand action for Africa.

Chris agonised over writing his book for three decades: laying bare the exultation, high notes and happiness behind his superhuman achievement. . .  tempered with the blood, sweat, tears, depression and despair when it all came tumbling down.

But he decided too many people were ignoring the current crises – climate change, marine pollution, overfishing, the population explosion, the ongoing agony of refugees fleeing religious and ideological wars. And he has challenged today’s young people to take up his baton.

We’re living in dangerous times,” he says. “And never more so than during this pandemic. Finding a remedy is a matter of survival and that solution lies with all of us, not just our elected representatives. We can and must change the world in which we live. That’s why I wrote this book.

Come back tomorrow to read an extract from the book….

I Ran the World by Chris Long is available on Amazon Books here.

Visit www.earthdive.com to find out more!

Jeff Goodman

Jeff Goodman

Jeff Goodman is the Conservation editor and also the Underwater Videography Editor for Scubaverse.com. Jeff is an award winning TV wildlife and underwater cameraman and film maker. With over 10,000 dives to his credit he has dived in many different environments around the world.

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