Thursday, October 30, 2014

One more day...

Unless I turn an ankle or get hit by a truck today, I will have walked every step cross America from LA to DC. I can't believe I've done it, and I also can't believe it's over.

This is a piece I wrote at the request of our communications director for publication:

The Great March for Climate Action is nearly over; of our 3000 mile trek from LA to DC,, only 30 or so remain. But the real journey, to protect the future of life on Earth, is rapidly gaining momentum everywhere.

I feel bone-weary and ready to be done. And I also feel intensely sad about the dissolution of "One Earth Village," this rowdy, loving and passionate band of climate warriors. We have made it across the country against great odds and with enormous effort and dedication. I am proud to be a part of this diverse community who have supported and cared for one another and disagreed about nearly everything except our mission to inspire change in the hearts and minds and lives of citizens and legislators.

We will never know how many people we touched nor the impact we have had. We have seen, step by step, the devastating effects of climate change humans are creating. We have met the people on the front lines of the toxic practices of the fossil fuel industry. There are already millions of climate refugees across the world. We have talked with those in our own back yard. There are also those who ridicule us or simply say they don't believe "that hype."

We absolutely know we have each been transformed in ways that will continue to unfold as we continue walking our talk, talking our walk, fighting for climate justice and influencing the course of history.

I am bone-tired, sad, jubilant, and more committed than ever.

Sent from my iPhone

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Allegheny Mtns, PA

These roads have been spectacular and challenging. Almost done with this incredible journey. I'm exhausted, sore, and feeling triumphant. Only 6 marching days left. I'm so grateful for all the support you have provided to me for these many months. I am so grateful!

Geezer Gals

Judy (Portland), Kathe (Florida), Kai (San Juan Islands), Deb (Silver City, NM) and me. Great friends.

Skinny dip canoeing

Staying on lively farm before our push to DC. Four of the young folks went skinny dipping and then climbed in the canoes on the pond and had a water fight. Good to let off steam. It's been a long, arduous journey!

A moment of frivolity

A week to go. Last stay day. Beautiful friends, glorious weather, Greencastle, PA.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Frackers billboard

In Ohio and now Pennsylvania, we have collaborated with local anti-fracking groups. It is a serious problem, causing earthquakes, polluting water supplies, and poisoning the air. These companies are operating with impunity, and advancing their vast fracking operations with the aid of these billboards. Since jobs are such a huge issue here, many people are eager to sign permits. They are paying big bucks to drill on people's property, and under public lands and lakes. This is crazy! The fossil fuel frenzy is out of control and has no regard for the health of the community or the earth.

Broke curfew

What a hoot!!! Six of us went out for a glass of wine after yet another interminable meeting last night and had some great fun. Alas, upon our return we discovered that the Holy Family Institute which was housing us for the night in. Pittsburgh suburb, had locked the gate.?thus is Kim, Liz, Judy, Kathe, Deb and me climbing the fence to get back like a bunch of college kids caught out after curfew.

Halloween in the air

Even in a depressed area like Pittsburgh, people get into the fun of Halloween. We saw many creative and outlandish decorations en route to a rally at a local UU church. Most if us (about 45 of us now) are enjoying home stays tonight and tomorrow. Home cooking, laundry, shower, a trip to thrift store tomorrow to replace some clothes that no longer fit, and a delightful visit with our activist host couple Nd their two rescued greyhounds. Much needed rest!!!

Lovers Bridge near U if Pittsburgh

Bright spot in our march today - crossing the bridge on campus we encountered hundreds of padlocks attached to the dance with lovers names on them. That's Jeffrey, 33 year old Spirit Walker" from Des Moines.

Toxic coke plant in Pittsburgh

Here's what my friend Judy posted a out this plant where they burn coal to make "coke" for the steel industry. As always near these places, air, water, and health are suffering. Not to mention the compounding effects on climate.

Judy wrote: "Into Pittsburg today on the great climate action march. Along the Ohio river where the beauty of autumn is nearly outpaced by the vulgarity of industrial degradation as in this coke piles. Of course asthma, cancer, poverty, and despair also abide here. We can change this...together."

Day marchers in Pittsburgh

Leah & sons. Petcoke (byproduct of tar sands oil refining) plant here is causing health problems and Leah testified at local health dept.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Standing vigil for Terry Greenwood

Terry's story

Several years ago Terry Greenwood and his wife bought a farm and retired to Eastern Ohio. They had no idea that in 1922 the mineral rights had been sold. So when the oil company put a fracking well on their property, they had no legal recourse. Soon there was an "accident/spill" into a pond where Terry's cattle got their water. The EPA tested and said the water was safe. Several months later Terry's cows gave birth to 1/2 the usual number of calves, and every one was stillborn with cleft pallets and hooves, and without eyes. The EPA told Terry it was his bad farming practices or bad luck. A year leter, Terry was diagnosed with brain cancer and died soon after. More bad luck, I guess. We went to the Youngstown Chamber of Commerce, which is a big supporter of local fracking in the area, and silently stood for 5 minutes holding this sign. No one said or did anything. The police were called, but since we'd not broken any laws, they were courteous to us. When we left the building, I sat on a bench in front and sobbed. The citizens of Ohio and all over are suffering because of these practices. Children are ill in increasing numbers near frack wells, and people have no recourse. Then the carbon is spewed into our atmosphere, killing our oceans and causing over 100 species per day to go extinct. It has got to stop!
People don't want to hear the truth about what we are allowing the fossil fuel industry to do and what is happening to our planet. It's not a happy story and the outcome is going to be unimaginable. Not for our great grandchildren,
at some vague future time. It's happening now all around the earth. Please don't change the channel at this awful truth. Get involved. Join CCL or or your local clean water group. Action, I have found, is the best antidote to hopelessness and despair. I walk for Terry. I walk for the children. I walk because I cannot pretend this is not happening. I walk because humanity his facing the most urgent and devastating thing we've ever faced. Perhaps we can still halt it and reverse the worst impacts. But only if we do it now.

Constant coal & oil trains

The reality we face

As the Great March for Climate Action walks across the USA, sounding the alarm about the irreversible and catastrophic impact humanity is having on our planet home, we hear the stories from local people about the devastating impacts they are facing from the fossil fuel industry. The reality is: as we are already dealing with unprecedented impacts from greenhouse gases in our biosphere, coal, dirty tar sands oil, , and natural gas are being taken from the earth where they have been sequestered for millennia , transported, refined in extremely toxic industrial plants (we've spoken with some of the workers), and sold abroad for unprecedented profits. WWe may have up to 15 years to reverse this. We may already be too late. I have learned what the climate scientists around the earth are telling us, and it is all bad news. Yet we also see signs that people are waking up. Yesterday as I walked, a woman came out of her place of business and asked me why we were marching. When I told her she started to cry and said, "bless you. We must save our Mother." We held one another and cried.

Beautiful PA countryside

Friday, October 10, 2014

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Hosts in Kent, OH

Sylvia Rhodes, Landon Hancock,  Keith and Hobbs. One of many hospitable home stays we have enjoyed across the country. Nice folks!!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Lauren & Pat

Delightful couple from Ontario joined us for a week.


> One month left to go on this amazing and enormously difficult journey of despair and hope. Fun and exhaustion. Chaos and cooperation. We continue marching and planning and doing everything we must do to keep moving forward with this mission to protect our earth by demonstrating with our feet and our lives our passionate awareness and concern for life on the planet. We have walked our talk. It's all here; each of us brings our own biases, habits, strengths and challenges. As a marcher who started in LA and has walked every step, I've witnessed and experienced the whole gamut; climate crisis realities across this land and our own community struggles to resolve inequities and work together to keep on track and on schedule. Each day brings something new on the landscape (inner and outer) as well as plenty of the "same old." Putting one foot in front if the other - day after day after day. With a month to go, I can see a change in myself and the One Earth Village community. New marchers add to our small army of passionate activists and inevitably alter the flavor of our community. The "winding down" process has begun as each if us begins to ponder the big question: "What's next?" We are bone-tired (perhaps I should just speak of my own weary 71 year old bones) and are facing the most difficult stretch of road in PA as autumn brings darkness, cold, and wet weather. No one who has not been part of this journey will ever completely understand what the cost has been nor the personal investment and sacrifice. Each of us has found our niche and contributed in unique and important ways. Our petty differences have always taken a back seat to the mission: sounding the alarm and inspiring action on the greatest threat faced by humanity. We will never know for sure what the impact has been for the communities we engaged and the folks we met. We do know that this journey has deeply and irrevocably impacted each of us. We were called "climate patriots" when we started. Today I would change that to "climate warriors."
> Sent from my iPhone