There’s been a lot of news and growing excitement lately about the September 21st Peoples Climate March in New York City; as there well should be! This will be a “moment in history” and an important opportunity to show our world leaders that we are watching them closely. We are no longer going to remain complacent, nor are we prepared to sit idly by while our leaders continue to talk, as our planet get sicker and our future and the future of our children becomes more and more difficult. As Climate Mamas and Papas, we hope that our presence at the Peoples Climate March in New York City will be part of the needed “spark” to activate our world leaders as well as to grow the climate movement exponential across the world, in unimagined and hopeful ways.
While September 21st will be a day that lives forever in many of our life stories – we want to share with you some incredible and compelling stories, that are already being told. If you haven’t already heard, there is a great climate march already underway, Climate Patriots and Marchers are steadily and surly making their way 3000 miles across the United States. These individuals are part of the Great March for Climate Action, an epic journey ON FOOT, that showcases the marchers concerns, and those of all Climate Mamas and Papas, as these committed individuals raises attention to the climate crisis we face, and the need for climate action and solutions.
Since March 1, 2014, a core group of climate marchers, joined along the way by supporters, have quietly but surely been walking across our country…..
We are honored to share the story of Doug Grandt, a friend, Climate Reality Project colleague, father and mentor to all of us at ClimateMama, who joined the Marchers in July for 177 miles of their 3000 mile walk. Please make sure to take time and read other stories by inspiring marchers.These can be found on the Great March for Climate Action’s website.
Why on earth did I walk half-way across Nebraska during July? By Doug Grandt
This story is re-posted with permission and first appeared on the Great March for Climate Action website on August 5, 2014
I have asked myself that question several times. It was a bit of a struggle with some rain, wind, hot humid days, fatigue, tender feet … but there was also cloud cover, cool mornings, beautiful landscapes … it was an amazing experience. Yes, I would do it again.
For starters, it was less than half the length of Nebraska. The walking distance on the roads we took totaled 177 miles from my starting point at Holdrege to my jumping-off point at Lincoln, Nebraska. The route taken by the Great March for Climate Action was actually about 390 miles within the state lines of Nebraska. So, it was not quite half-way.
As a new recruit, I initially walked about 5 miles per day and ended up walking about 10 miles a few times. I drove support vehicles many days in order to give my 67-year-old body a rest and to give long-term marchers more time with their “boots-on-the ground” — it was a win-win situation for all.
I experienced no blisters, but plenty of days with tender, sore soles and tired muscles and a few afternoons when I wilted from the heat — nothing fatal by any means.
The routes taken and the variety of rewards at the end of the day made every day an adventure — it is the journey, not the destination, as they say.
I had some work assignments, too! Rolling up my sleeves to help fellow marches gave me plenty of opportunities to hear their stories and to commiserate about our strategies and tactics in our mutual cause to demand climate action.
My daily chores included: Preparing for breakfast, cooking scrambled eggs and bacon for 20+, washing, drying and packing breakfast dishes, cleaning up the cooking area, stowing equipment into the kitchen truck after breakfast (leaving no trace), loading the break truck with snacks and water, driving the break truck and arriving at appropriate times and distances with shade trees when possible, driving the emergency relief car for those who might suffer physical ailments.
In all of these endeavors, every day was an adventure. On one occasion, I assisted emptying the eco-commodes. What might seem like a disgusting task turned out to be rather benign because the “composting” process of layering saw dust after each use eliminated any traces of odor and unsightliness.
I heartily recommend reading Mary’s account of a Typical Day.
My main objective for joining the Great March for Climate Action was the unique opportunity to satisfy my daily objective of encouraging people in all walks of life and in all vocations to do something daily that will help move us toward the society in which greenhouse gas emissions cease. To quote Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution founder Dr. George Woodwell, “We must abandon our reliance on the burning of carbon-based fuels; we are poisoning the planet.” Furthermore, climatologist Dr. James Hansen and his team have called for a 6%/year reduction in emissions beginning immediately. IPCC Chairman Dr. Rajendra Pachauri told me back in 2008 that we needed to begin reducing emissions by 2012 if we expected to maintain global average temperature less than 2°C over pre-industrial. I tell interested people I meet as well as members of Congress and industrial leaders (for example, http://TellRex.com) that we need to begin dismantling the carbon-based infrastructure and start replacing refineries and power plants with renewable energy technologies.
For 16 days in July while marching with the Great March for Climate Action, I actually had very little opportunity for my daily communication, BUT, I was selected to be interviewed by two local television stations (Hastings and Lincoln) and my message did get out, albeit in two 10-second sound-bites.
The overall message carried from Wilmington, California, to Washington, DC, by the two dozen intrepid marchers will be noted, if not for their numbers, for their emphatic and persistent demeanor and dedication, not to mention their personal 7,000,000 steps over 246 days (8 months from March 1 to November 1).
Anybody who understands the physical demands and accomplishment will “get it” — we are serious and we mean business! The intrepid Climate Marchers arriving at the Capitol will be undeniable.
Doug Grandt is a climate activist, father to 3 adult sons, a former oil company executive, soccer dad, boy scout and all around inspiring individual. Find out more about Doug’s life work at Tell Rex.
Doug Grandt Photo: Credit ANNA REED/Lincoln Journal Star