Monday, August 31, 2009

We did it!

On Saturday, August 29, we approached the end of the Climate Walk in a cold, windy rain, perhaps the wettest day of the whole trek. Six of us walked the last 12 miles together: Guy, who is taking photos, and (left to right) me, Jaqi, Tim, Adrienne, and my son Zeke.

I felt wonderful with the great company and the end in sight.

We entered the Village of Rouses Point, which I'd been talking about from the first day, since New Orleans and Rouses Point are the two ends of US Route 11.

Mayor George Rivers of Rouses Point welcomed us and read a proclamation recognizing the achievement of the Walk that called attention to Rapid Climate Change. Village Clerk Carol Henfield was also there to welcome us. I felt honored by their generosity - they helped make the day very special. I was also delighted that several citizens of the village showed up to cheer us on, and s few even walked the final two or three miles with us.

And here, in steady rain, are the six of us at the very end - or beginning - of Route 11, just a few feet from the Canadian border. What a joyful moment! I walked 1150 miles of the total 1743 between New Orleans and Rouses Point.

My greatest hope is that several hundred people actually became aware for moment or a day of the importance and urgency of climate change during the months that I walked, by the sight of my shirt and through the fliers I handed out. My vision is that some day soon trucks will cease to fill the roads, cars will be much more fuel efficient, public transportation will be available everywhere, and we will always see many people getting around on foot and bicycle.

I plan to continue this blog - I'm not done. Please come back soon.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Today's the Grand Finale

To anyone who's visiting this blog because of the article in the New York Times today, welcome. I'm delighted to have more people reading this blog and sharing the work of bringing attention to Climate Change.

Today I will be walking the final few miles of my trek, and below is a photo of my husband, my son, and three close friends who are joining me for the grand finale. I believe there will be others meeting up with us along the road and an official reception in Rouses Point at 4:30 or 5:00 pm. Join us if you can!

A wind farm near Chateaugay, NY. A good thing!

Mowers, new and old, lined up for sale. Not so good - gas mowers emit a lot of greenhouse gases. Alternatives? muscle and/or smaller lawns. Electric mowers are better as far as emissions are concerned, but then they use electricity that probably created a lot of emissions.

Please check again soon. I have more pictures to post, and more thoughts to share, but now I have to go walk.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

The Northern Country, NY State

As I drove back up to Gouverneur, I glimpsed these water lilies on Lake Brant, near Lake George. (Try clicking on the photo to enlarge it.)

Back on the road, I got a boost from this couple, Erin and Mike, who stopped to chat because they had seen the news10now video (Syracuse) about my Climate Walk.

I loved this bright red building in De Kalb Junction, near Canton, NY.

Some giants just don't give up. I wonder what happened to this tree that left the huge trunk standing tall without what must have been an amazing top of branches and foliage. Why didn't they take the whole tree down? If left to its own devices, what will it look like in five or ten years?

I haven't wanted this Walk to be about my "gypsy wagon," but I have to say that it's become a fond sight, my refuge from the rain and dark, my resting place when I'm tired and aching. Sometimes I feel like a gypsy, stopping on the edge of town in an unused clearing such as this one.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Back on the road Friday, August 21

This week I've been taking a break to spend time with family, including one of my grandchildren. I plan to return to Route 11 tomorrow and walk every day until Saturday, August 29, when I will arrive in Rouses Point, at the Canadian border.

Several other walkers will join me for the final miles and I invite anyone who would like to finish up the Climate Walk with us to come on up and walk. There is a train from New York City, the Montrealer, that stops in Rouses Point. It would be great to make an event of it.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Nuclear power

Yesterday when Tim and I visited the beach at the campground, I saw a nuclear tower off in the distance, on the edge of Lake Ontario. As I mentioned in my Berwick entry, the sight of nuclear towers and their plumes distress me at a gut level. Of course, they can be rejected at an intellectual and scientific level as well.

Here's what Chris Williams writes in his article Hothouse Earth: Capitalism, climate change and the fate of humanity, in the March-April 2009 issue of International Socialist Review:

Nuclear power is expensive and dangerous. Nuclear power stations only emerge as cost competitive with fossil-fuel power stations or alternative energy sources when government subsidies and the huge decommissioning costs are not included as part of the cost of building and running them.

Williams' critique of nuclear power concludes that nuclear power plants are expensive, "wildly inefficient and extremely dangerous,"The fact that the plants double up as atomic bomb factories is what attracts the US and other countries to nuclear power, "not its environmental benefits."

This is the second part of a two-part article by Chris Williams available at Powerful reading.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

1000 miles - Pulaski, NY

Hurrah!! (Please scroll down and check the next post - it's new.)
This photo was taken by Tim, who has been walking with me for the last few days.

We talked this morning with a local man who told us that the fierce storm we witnessed two nights ago killed a couple people near Buffalo, NY, in flash floods. I asked if storms here are worse than in the past. "You bet," he said. "And the temperatures - we've had a weird summer: only one day in the 90's, and that was in April!"

Making our way through New York.

Robyn and Brian, sister and brother who recognized us from the news10now TV newscast, came over to the gypsy wagon to chat for awhile with Tim and me, just north of Syracuse. It was great to have the TV coverage as we walked through town - we had many people stop to talk with us, and more honk and wave from their cars. We were able to hand out fliers to those who actually stopped.

When I read more about Climate Change, such as an excellent article in the International Socialist Review, my frustration and anger at the capitalist system that drives our consumer society rises again to the high level that prompted me to take this walk from New Orleans to the Canadian border. I don't have the article with me at the library but I promise to quote a couple of short sections next time I get online.

One of the purposes of my walk is to bring serenity in face of the heartache that I experience with the realization of the vast suffering that rapid climate change will inflict on children, the poor, and otherwise vulnerable populations, including other species. Beauty such as this scene below, between Binghamton and Syracuse, reminds me of the beauty we hope to protect, and it brings me calm and joy.

Ditto for this garden.

What a pleasure to come upon this Green Party office on Route 11 in the south side of Syracuse. I remain convinced that the Green Party has the best platform on issues across the board. We've been right on the environment from the beginning, as well as on peace and justice issues. I wish Howie Hawkins a successful race this fall.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Into New York State

This is my last view from Pennsylvania, the Susquehanna River at Great Bend. I walked along this wonderful river from Harrisburg, past Shippensburg and Sunbury, Bloomsburg and Berwick, and Wilkes Barre, and caught up with it again at Great Bend. Someday I'd love to take a long canoe trip down my favorite river - Canoeing for the Climate!

My good friend from the Lehigh Valley peace community (LEPOCO), robert, and his girlfriend, Kim, came up to Bingamton to visit her sister and to walk a few miles with me. I loved their company as we walked 7.8 miles together, into the city and back out again. We were amused by this stop sign - no road, no traffic to stop.

These new friends from the Binghamton UU church, Wes and Gerry, braved a downpour to walk a couple of miles with me just north of the city. There was a lot of traffic because of the Spedie Fest (the spedie is a regional sandwich, a kind of chicken gyro), but the rain put a damper on the fest goers as well. I would have enjoyed the hot air balloons but they weren't flying.

On out into the hills between Binghamton and Syracuse - beautiful country. I was disappointed to learn that here too the digging for gas in the shale is going on.

A windmill - the first I've seen, having missed those in the PA northeastern area - is a welcome sight, but it seems it's too little, too late.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

An article and a video

From FOX40, Binghamton, NY - click here. From the article you can go to the video. Enjoy.