Featured in this video, CAAV founder Cathy Strickler participated in the 60 mile Walk For Our Grandchildren from Harpers Ferry, WV to the White House July 22- 27.
CAAV members Cathy and Charlie Strickler will be among the 100 concerned climate activists walking 60 miles from Harpers Ferry, W.V. to the White House July 22-27 “to tell President Obama and other policy makers that enough is enough. We must keep the majority of fossil fuels in the ground. We demand climate action now! ” Please consider joining them for all 6 days or any single day of the walk.
from Greg with the Walk For Our Grandchildren organizing group:
I admit it’s a bit odd. Climate change is daunting—rising temperatures, extreme weather, powerful political and economic forces which work against finding solutions—and I’m proposing to do something about this by taking a walk? It wouldn’t surprise me to have someone point and laugh, but there’s more going on with this Walk For Our Grandchildren than meets the eye.
I used to be isolated. I’d sit in front of a computer screen and read scientists’ predictions about the consequences of carbon pollution and I’d feel so low, not just because the predictions were depressing, but also because it seemed no one was paying attention. It was difficult to talk about, to be that guy who brought it up to friends and family, at work or at church. Good, otherwise emotionally healthy people have filters in place to screen the stuff that is depressing or scary, and especially if they feel like there’s nothing they can do about it, anyway. For a long time, climate change was simply getting caught in the filters.
But that’s been changing. At some point in the last few years I feel like the tiny little trickle of awareness I had about the enormity of the climate challenge became one tributary to a gathering river of people. These folks aren’t just worried or wringing their hands, either. Like any good river, they’re moving. We’re taking action. I’ve even learned how to do it myself and it’s actually not so hard. You just empty your hands, setting aside a few parts of your life for a moment to ready yourself for work that needs doing. Then you think about what you love and want to protect, you roll up your sleeves, and you wade in.
I’ll be walking on this Walk with one of the things I love, my fourteen year old daughter, Anna. She and my son, Will, are reason enough to make any sacrifice I need to make in order to know they’ll live lives safe from catastrophic climate disruption. But the reasons I’ll walk don’t end there. I’m a public school teacher who just completed his first year in the classroom. Unlike my own kids who’ve grown up with a daddy who rambles at the dinner table about Keeling curves and ocean acidification, my students are as yet largely and blissfully unaware of such things. And I don’t begrudge them that. I love it when they shyly tell me of their dreams of becoming a marine biologist, a nurse, or a chaplain. It didn’t take many days in my new job for me to realize that the least part of my calling is teaching them algebra. My real job is leaving them a world in which such dreams as they have can still come true.
Here, to me, is the meaning of this Walk: it’s not about what will be said by us, or about us, or how someone important will pay attention and do what we ask with respect to the Keystone XL, or how our voices may get lost in the clamor of the moment. It’s that I’m marking a moment in my personal history when my intentions began to align themselves with my knowledge and my convictions. It’s about marking a larger historical moment, based not on wishful thinking but rather on mounting evidence, that a critical mass of my fellow citizens are on a similar path. Protest is a word that doesn’t even begin to capture the seriousness of my intent. I am walking because I mean to leave behind a time when I was the willing and pliant accomplice to corporate ecocide. I and those I’ll be walking with intend much more than what our sweaty, sunburned faces will suggest we’re capable of. Using the proven power of nonviolence in action, we aim to dismantle those institutions and petty, profit-grubbing kingdoms which entertain such insanity as part of their agenda.
We’re not fools. We know it won’t happen on July 27, 2013 when we reach the White House. But our journey doesn’t end at the White House. Yet neither will it extend far into some far flung, quasi-mythical future of human perfection. Because we understand somewhat the physics of greenhouse gases on a warming planet, we also understand the rules of this game. Like the fossil fuel mega-corporations which are the principal architects of our climatic ruin, we know we’ll be going all in. Win or lose, we’ll be laying down our cards very soon. So that’s why I’m walking. I’m building the hand that we’re going to play.
As climate activists, it’s easy to feel hopeless in the face of reality. The saving grace is that we don’t know what future developments will be and how they will affect the climate crisis. Our job is to push the public into activism, just like us. To do that we need to increase the strength of our work.
There is a place and plan where we can do this. You may have already heard of the Walk for Our Grandchildren that is planned for July 22nd-27th, going from Harpers Ferry to DC, 60 miles. (A small group will have already walked from Camp David to Harpers Ferry but that leg of the walk can’t easily accommodate a large number of hikers).
This event is being sponsored by CCAN and 350.org and is very well organized with lots of support built in. CAAV thought it would be helpful to have a local meeting of those who like the idea but who are wondering if the logistics are too complicated and so might decide not to attempt it.
By getting together we can all look at the plan and see how we may want to participate and possibly team up with others for a one or more day hike. Even one day will help swell the numbers.
Gandhi had his 240-mile salt march to the sea in 1930 for Indian independence from Britain. This event is for energy independence from the strangle hold the fossil fuel companies have on our grandchildren.
The Walk for our Grandchildren organizational meeting will be Tuesday, July 2nd at the Massanutten Regional Library, downtown Harrisonburg at 7:00 PM.
We hope you can come. Many of us marched in Harrisonburg when Sen. Warner was here. Now it’s time to take all the energy we have to march to Washington, many steps in an even longer journey.
Find more details about the walk including route and registration information here.
Following the meeting, please join us as we cross the street to watch a 16 minute segment of the movie A Fierce Green Fire: The Battle for a Living Planet at Clementine’s Ruby’s Lounge. We look forward to finding some inspiration in this short review of the climate change movement and how far it has come.
Legislative and Elections Committee