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I am walking in the Climate March from New Mexico to Washington D.C.! Stay tuned to Viridorari to read about my adventures! Also follow bluegirl3666 and climatemarch on Instagram for picture updates. Check out www.climatemarch.org
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With a heavy heart, on October 10th I left the Climate March on the
same day it crossed into Pennsylvania, and I returned home to New York.
Recently, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) approved
Texas-based company Crestwood Midstream's proposal to store methane in
old salt caverns along the Western shore of Seneca Lake. This, I had
told myself, would be the one situation that would draw me away from
finishing the Climate March early. So, here I am.
I soon discovered that I was not only returning home to a lake in crisis, but also a mother in crisis.
My mom and I during her visit to the Climate March in Ohio
nights ago my heart was broken as my mom broke down in tears and sobbed
in a panicky voice about the outside pressures she was feeling in her
The day after the largest climate march in history flooded
the streets of New York City, a group of 3,000 impassioned citizens flooded
Broadway outside the entrance of Wall Street, and a little over 100 of them
were arrested after a long day of occupation. Five of the people arrested were my
fellow Climate Marchers.
Here are Marchers Sean Glenn and Mack McDonald, two of the five arrested
Marcher Kelsey Juliana carrying Simon, 6, on her shoulders during Flood Wall Street
The 1986 Great Peace March for Global Nuclear Disarmament,
which was also a cross-country march seeking to change the world, lost one
marcher to a vehicular collision. The Great March for Climate Action has gone
for seven months without incident, but that awesome track record came to an end
on Friday, Sept. 26. While walking along Route 65 out of Maumee and toward
Toledo, a pick-up truck operated by a sleeping driver struck me head on. Unlike
the unfortunate Peace Marcher in 1986, I can live to tell the tale.
During my time on the Climate March I have come to realize that the
climate crisis is more dire than I could have ever imagined. The reality
of the situation has affected me very deeply and has begun to lead me
down paths I didn't even know existed. Since this transformation in my
thinking about the future has been very personal, I thought it would be
more appropriate to share this in a letter rather than a
typically-formatted blog post. The following is an excerpt from a letter
I wrote to Chris, the Climate March's Colorado State Coordinator and my companion, while on the bus
from Montpelier, Ohio to New York City.
response to the Climate March I hear a lot is, "Isn't it hypocritical
to say you're walking to fight climate change while you're using all of
those gas-guzzling vehicles?"
you caught us. The Climate March is not fossil-fuel free. We have a
gear truck, a kitchen truck, a truck to haul our Eco-Commodes and
several personal vehicles. We rely heavily on these vehicles to make it
through our days, and attempts to reduce our number of vehicles are
often stymied due to the wide variety of needs from our diverse
In response to people being skeptical of the March
because of our vehicle use, I'd like to quote two of my fellow Marchers.
During one of our emotionally-intense group meetings about our
fossil-fuel usage, Jeffrey Czerweic pointed out that it takes fossil
fuels to produce wind turbines and solar panels. My fellow marcher Mack
McDonald often cites the following statistic: if every single American
started living a truly sustainable lifestyle tomorrow, it would only cut
about 20 percent of our emissions. The other 80 percent comes from
industry and corporations.
true; we need to drastically cut our carbon emissions if we have any
hope of even a bearable future on this planet. While it is important to
make changes in our own lives, it is even more important to tackle
industry, consumerist capitalism and wasteful individualism. Currently,
our daily lives and the resources we use and think we 'need' encourage
this system, and one way we can bring down the giant is to remove our
monetary support from it.
why, inspired by my fellow marcher Kelsey Erickson, who has been
carrying her own gear in a cart or a backpack for most of the March, I
decided to start using a cart in Nebraska and I am still going strong
Q: What is the Keystone XL Pipeline?
A: The Keystone XL Pipeline, or KXL, is a proposed 1,179 mile pipeline from a Canadian company called TransCanada. It would carry crude tar sands oil from extraction sites in Alberta, Canada to Steele City, Neb., where it would connect with the southern section of the pipeline to run to refineries in Texas. Tar sands is dirtier than other crude oils and emits more carbon dioxide in its lifetime. Not to mention, if spilled, it is nearly impossible to clean up due to its heavy, sticky nature, especially in water. Because it crosses an international border, the pipeline requires presidential approval.
Q: When the KXL project was first proposed in 2008, it was considered a 'done deal.' Why hasn't it passed yet?
A: Activists and concerned citizens.
As I marched my way across the gorgeous state of Colorado, I couldn't get over the mountains, the wide open spaces, the crazy rock formations, the gentle forests and the big blue sky. At that time, I was still settling into March life and was perpetually amazed by the kind and welcoming spirits of my fellow Marchers. I noticed something else too; I couldn't stop thinking about how much my friend Rob Lister would love the Climate March.
One night as we camped in the San Isabel National Forest — which remains to be one of my favorite campsites so far — I sat down beside a bubbling stream near our campsite, dipped my feet into the cool water and wrote Rob a letter. I described to him the beauty of Colorado, the physical challenge of walking 15 to 20 miles each day and the incredible new family I had acquired in the Marchers. I ended the letter by begging him to come out and see it for himself.
Note: This post has been in the works for far to long. It should have gone up long ago, and I apologize that it hasn't. I am currently focusing most to all of my time on the Climate March and my responsibilities here. Keeping the March going logistically, financially, and successfully takes a lot of work, and we only have about thirty to forty people to spread it between at any given time. I am re-committing myself to catching up on my blog, and I hope you'll bear with me as I work to catch you up from Nebraska to now (Iowa)!
Today I am writing from a gas station in Benkelman, NE, during our second day of walking through Nebraska. Yesterday, our crossing from Colorado into Nebraska (which also happened to be the Climate March's halfway point) was absolutely magical, and the day only got better from there.
Our last full day in Colorado ended in an unforgettable sunset, and we all gathered around to sing our sunset song, which goes like this:
A marcher named Sean took a vow of silence at the start of
the march. Her original intention was to march the entire 3,000 miles, from LA
to DC, in complete silence. She recently ended her silence early, as she needed
a change in energy, but she and another silent marcher, Mack, asked the marching community to take shifts with
silence. The purpose of constantly having someone silent on the march is so we
can represent those who have no voice in this issue.
It is my turn to carry this torch. Ben just finished his 10
day silence, and in his place I will be silent for a week (at least that’s what I’m thinking
now). Earlier in the march, before I was here, the marchers organized a week of actions that anyone around the world could participate in to show solidarity with the Cowboy and Indian Alliance. The Alliance camped out in D.C. for about a week to demand climate action. One of the daily actions was a day of silence, which I partook in. I really enjoyed it, and all of my friends were impressed, but it was really hard and I slipped up a few times.
Despite the difficulty of the task, I was particularly inspired to do this after yesterday’s march, in which we witnessed a concentrated animal feeding operation. We walked by another one today.
They are overcrowded, do not have much space to move in, and are standing in deep mud and manure.
As we are now entering summer in the Midwest, the Climate March is preparing to deal with major storms, including tornadoes. Last night after walking about 16 miles we arrived at our camp — the beautiful Riverside Park in Fort Morgan, Colorado. It seemed like a small paradise, with lots of trees and a pond and a swimming pool with showers. But not long after dinner our little paradise turned into chaos.