Thursday, June 25, 2009

A reminder of the urgency

Guy sent me the abstract of an article from the most recent New Yorker magazine. I'm quoting part of it below. To see the whole abstract click here.

A few months ago, James Hansen, the director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS), in Manhattan, joined a protest outside the Capitol Power Plant, in Washington, D.C. Thirty years ago, Hansen, who is sixty-eight, created one of the world’s first climate models, nicknamed Model Zero, which he used to predict most of what has happened in the climate since. Hansen has now concluded, partly on the basis of his latest modeling efforts and partly on the basis of observations made by other scientists, that the threat of global warming is far greater than even he had suspected. Unless immediate action is taken—including the shutdown of all the world’s coal plants within the next two decades—the planet will be committed to climate change on a scale society won’t be able to cope with.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Studies in orange

Hello! I'm back in Virginia - I hope to post often, but my laptop isn't doing so well. I'm meeting someone in two minutes to go off to a community garden supper in Charlottesville. Bye!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Heading back to Virginia

After a lovely two weeks at home, I'm heading back to Virginia today: bus to Philly, train to DC, bus to Charlottesville, and a ride to Stuarts Draft. Tomorrow morning I'll pick up the motor home with its repaired transmission, head back to Route 11 and walk ten miles or so. Check my progress map on Wednesday.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

National Clean Energy Action Day

On Friday, after a very last-minute effort to gather a few people to participate in the 1SKY National Clean Energy Action Day, seven of us gathered in front of our US Congress Representative's local office. We were joining others around the country who took the same message to their congressional representatives:

Take action to strengthen HE 2452, the American Clean Energy and Security Act in the following ways:
- Require poser companies to produce more clean energy.
- Restore authority to the EPA to crack down on global warming pollution from
power plants.
- Reduce giveaways to polluting industries in order to bolster green job
development and protect vulnerable communitites.

Before we got started I met Lehigh student Robbie Sherrard, a rock musician, who was looking for a business at the same address, and was bold enough to ask me what "WALKING FOR THE CLIMATE" meant. We had a good conversation and Guy took a picture of us for this blog.

Margie and Bob are friends from the Unitarian Universalist Church of the Lehigh Valley, and are very committed to environmental issues, including the preservation of barns.

Sharon is an associate member of Veterans for Peace and a longtime activist. We stood along Broad St. and let the passing world know what we thought. Many passers-by slowed down to read our signs, and several honked their approval.

Tim has been working to get support for the Clean Energy Bill, one of the many ways he works for a just and peaceful world.
My husband, Guy, doesn't show in the photos because he was taking them.(I should have taken one of him instead of being in all the photos.) The seventh person, Bernie, a veteran and ardent activist, stood across the street with his sign.

After 30 minutes of holding up our placards, we went upstairs to Rep. Dent's office to deliver the packet provided online by 1SKY. Margie did an excellent job as our spokesperson, and Bob kept things friendly with his ready sense of humor.

HR 2452 will likely come up for a vote this Wednesday. It's an imperfect bill, and special interests have weakened it. Our best hope is that action by people and organizations around the country will succeed in taking out the worst provisions and restoring others, such as EPA authority. There's still time to call your congress person!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Friday - National Day of Action on Climate Change

Hi, I just signed up to join a National Day of Action for a strong clean energy bill on Friday, June 19th. I'm going to Charlie Dent's office to raise my voice for a strong clean energy and climate law that will create millions of jobs and begin to tackle global warming. Those of you who live in the Lehigh Valley, please join me on Friday in front of Charles Dent's office on Broad St. during the lunch hour, between 11:30 and 1:00. I will have signs, a packet to deliver to Mr. Dent, and I will notify the press. Hope to see you.

Those of you who live elsewhere, google 1SKY to organize in your area.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Walk with me in PA

Below is my tentative schedule for walking through Pennsylvania, always along Route 11. It has been my hope that, this close to home, my friends and fellow activists will be able to join me for a day or two, a week, or even more. Out-of-staters are just as welcome.

Please let me know if you're considering Walking for the Climate with me, as it would be good to coordinate our plans. I have no problem with several people joining at once - the more the merrier - but there will be logistical matters to consider, such as where and how to spend nights. 

The media has ignored my Walk except in two or three cities. Perhaps larger numbers of walkers can create events that will result in coverage, to call attention to the Climate Change Crisis. I would especially like to achieve this kind of attention in Harrisburg, on the weekend of July 11-12.

Mon 6 - Marion
Tue 7 -  Chambersburg
Wed 8 - Shippensburg
Thu 9 -  Carlisle
Fri 10 -  Camp Hill
Sat 11 -  Harrisburg
Sun 12 - Harrisburg

Mon 13 - Marysville
Tue 14 -  New Buffalo
Wed 15 - Liverpool
Thu 16 - Selingsgrove
Fri 17 -   Sunbury
Sat 18 -  Northumberland
Sun 20 - Danville

Mon 20 - Bloomsburg
Tue 21 -  Berwick
Wed 22 - Hunlock Creek
Thu 23 -  Wilkes Barre
Fri 24 -    Wilkes Barre
Sat 25 -   Duryea
Sun 26 - Scranton

Mon 27 - Clarks Summit
Tue 28 -  Lake Sheridan
Wed 29 - Alford
Thu 30 -  Hallstead

You can reach me by phone at home until this coming Sunday, June 21. Then I'll be back on the road, in Virginia, and you can call me at 832-971-6658. Or email me - Can't wait to hear from you.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

To leave a comment

Someone told me that it's difficult to leave a comment on my blog because you have to sign in or create an account. So I decided to remind my readers that you can leave a comment as an Anonymous poster. To identify yourself simply include your name as part of the message (please remember to do so). It's quick and easy. 

Your comment can be a question, a suggestion, a point of information, a correction, or just a friendly hello. Hope to hear from you.


Monday, June 8, 2009

Halfway point

From the train as it approached Philadelphia, 6/7/09

I'm home after a good train ride from Staunton, VA, to Philadelphia and then a bus to Bethlehem. Guy, cats, garden - all is sweet and  well. 

Google Maps tells me it's 1620 miles from New Orleans to Rouses Point on Route 11, and about 900 to Lexington.  So I've passed the halfway point by almost 100 miles. Hurray! I've actually walked 485 miles - I'd thought the percentage was higher. I think I'll travel back on the 22nd and start walking again on June 23. Maybe I'll get my walking percentage up.

I hope to do some research and culling through climate watch releases during my time at home, and I'll share some of that on the blog. So check in now and then.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

The motor home gets towed again

I blew the transmission of my TranStar motor home and on Thursday (6/4) had it towed from Lexington to Stuarts Draft, Virginia, for an overhaul. It wasn't an easy decision because I'm so ambivalent anyway about driving while I advocate for deep lifestyle changes such as not driving or at least opting for vehicles with excellent fuel efficiency. However I'm still unable to conceive of a way that I, being who I am with my particular limitations, could complete my pilgrimage without a vehicle to live in as I walk.

I plan to travel to Bethlehem for a second two-week recess, taking the train from Staunton, VA, to Philadelphia tomorrow. A bus will get me home late in the evening. I'm looking forward to time with Guy, and a visit from my Boston-area children and grandchildren next weekend. I hope to also see some of you who live in the Lehigh Valley. Give me a buzz or email me. I hope to catch up on correspondence and other chores. I will continue to post to the blog during this time.

Peace and good energy to all, Greta

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Things I'm reading

My daughter, Sofia Hart, sent me this article from the Boston Globe, knowing that this is one of the main concerns I have about Climate Change, ie. the suffering of the poor and vulnerable throughout the world. Click here for the article:
The following appeared on
Headline: Report estimates deaths by warming
Date: May 29, 2009 

"LONDON - Climate change kills about 315,000 people a year through hunger, sickness, and weather disasters, and the annual death toll is expected to rise to half a million by 2030, a report said today.

Also:  I missed the opportunity to meet David Roper, retired Physics professor at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, VA, but I exchanged emails with him and have a couple of suggestions that you might want to check out. I started reading his manuscript and think others would enjoy it.   
Triple Threats to the Human Future:

Consonant with his belief that Blacksburg represents the type of community that is best equipped to survive in the coming times, David Roper has been involved in setting up a solar greenhouse in Blacksburg:

Why Build a Solar Greenhouse?

Global Warming and Peak Oil require that humans acquire their food from local farmers or grow it themselves. In climates with cold winters, such as at Blacksburg, Virginia where Virginia Tech is located, acquiring local food in the winter time requires the existence of solar greenhouses. Of course, one could preserve summer crops by canning and drying, but fresh vegetables in winter months would make a healthy diet more likely.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Southern Virginia

Crossing into Virginia felt like entering a new country and the city of Abingdon exemplified all the sense of gentility and long traditions of education and art. Historical markers dating back to the eighteenth century, log cabins in the middle of town, women's colleges established two centuries ago - these brought me right into the history and novels of that period of American history. I don't care for the history pertaining to battles, but I love to see how people lived and what they valued. A few examples:

A reference to Daniel Boone: "Wolf Cave - Lair of wolves which attacked Daniel Boone's dogs 1790 and from which the came the original name of this town: Wolf Hills."

This magnificent Inn used to be a women's school.

In the continuing post below (blogspot only allows five photos per posting), you will see more of the countryside as I walked northeast on Route 11.

Into the hills

I had to ask how to pronounce the name of this town. It's "Chil-howie" and, according to the oldtimer who told me the pronunciation, it means "Valley of Many Deers." The sign below gives two possible meanings.

This was the first mountain I climbed. I think you can read the fascinating story on this plaque. Check the children's blog for a photo of the Black Snake that greeted me near this outlook.

On the other side of the mountain lies the town of Pulaski, where the rails are busy. I saw many freight containers with Chinese logos, a well as other languages I didn't know with certainty, perhaps Greek and Swedish.

I crossed the New River in Radford, took a side trip to Blacksburg to visit the UU church there on Sunday, and parked my van in the hay field of a wonderful couple who keep horses. I had the opportunity to speak about my Walk with a few folks at the church. Then on out of Christianburg into the rolling hills heading toward Roanoke.

Nancy Tate, who runs the Lepoco Peace Center in Bethlehem, gave me the name of her family church in Salem, just west of Roanoke, as a place to park overnight. I arrived on Sunday evening and found a very friendly group of members of the Green Hills Church of the Brethren, including the pastor and his family. I had a peaceful night in the parking lot of the church and coffee and conversation before I left this morning.