Great March for Climate Action, 3,000 miles from LA-DC, changes American hearts/minds & our elected leaders calling for climate action now.
On March 1, 2014, thousands of climate patriots set out from Los Angeles, CA, walking more than 3,000 miles across America to Washington, DC, inspiring action to resolve the climate crisis in one of the largest coast-to-coast marches in American history.
Marchers adhere to a strict code of non-violence according to the principles employed by Martin Luther King, Jr. and Mahatma Gandhi. Also, we provided mandatory non-violence training at the start of the March.
We've been endorsed by these individuals:
Lee Camp: “You know what’s so magical about this march? Whether it changes everything or only has a small impact, if you’re a part of it, you will be talking about it the rest of your life. There aren’t many activities you can say that for. Even if we lose this battle, I want to say I went down swinging hard… er, I mean, marching hard.”
Iowa Representative Chuck Isenhart (D-Dubuque): “The Climate March will bring together people with wide-ranging experiences and expertise to help us get started on this mission all across the country, where real change happens.”
Iowa Senator Rob Hogg (D-Cedar Rapids): “The Great March for Climate Action will help all of us tell Washington that now is the time for climate action.” (Rob Hogg is also the author of America’s Climate Century.)
Dr. Anthony Ingraffea
James Balog: “Every human being has an inalienable right to a stable climate. The time to act is now, not tomorrow, when the storm crisis will have broken upon us and whatever action we take will be too little, too late. We are all complicit in the problem and we can all be participants in the solution. The Great Climate March will give many a chance to raise awareness at a time when it is most needed.” (James Balog is the founder and director of Extreme Ice Survey, which is featured in the award-winning documentary, “Chasing Ice”)
Category of the action
Changing public perceptions on climate change
What actions do you propose?
Our March amplifies solutions to local community climate change challenges. From California, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado so far we've encountered great challenges with drought, wild fires, lack of water, and coal fired power plants blowing up. We bring solutions from our own experience in our communities and studies to bear on these communities to local climate activists. These include so far facilitated common ground interactive conversations, flashmobs, rallies, evangelical healing circles, community living revelations, talks during public events, antiphany's, radio shows, writing blogs, print articles in local papers, and presenting at local Rotary Clubs and Chambers.
Current endorsements include:
The Climate Reality Project. Mario E. Molina, Director, Climate Reality Leadership Corps writes: “Climate Reality is proud to support the Great March for Climate Action. Across the United States people are already paying the cost of carbon pollution in their communities. We encourage Climate Reality Leaders and concerned citizens across the country to step forward and support the Great March for Climate Action and add their voice to demand urgent action on climate change.”
Mairead Maguire, 1976 Nobel Peace Prize Winner: “I offer support and endorsement for the Great March for Climate Action, to encourage both citizens and government officials to take action to protect the environment. When governments fail to do what is possible to protect the very livability of a territory, its ability to produce food and provide shelter, climate change becomes a human rights issue as well.”
Ed Begley, Jr.: “The most courageous and important journeys begin with taking that first step, together, in the right direction. The Great March for Climate Action is imperative for the future of this planet and all living beings on it, to not only stand up for the climate crisis we are in, but to step forward and march on. There are two possible responses to environmental issues: forget them, and hope that government and corporations will figure things out, or take action yourself. Take action, march.”
Bill McKibben: “350.org was born in a march of a thousand people across Vermont; it always does our hearts good to see others on the move!”
James Hansen: “We must draw the public’s attention to both the dangers of climate disruption and the joy and satisfaction of preserving the remarkable life on our planet.”
U.S. Senator Tom Harkin (D-Iowa): “We are already seeing increasing intensity and frequency of storms, droughts, and heat events caused by climate change, and that trend is just beginning. The Great March for Climate Action may be just what’s needed at this time to wake-up America to the urgency of climate change, and I commend Ed Fallon for getting the ball rolling. I wish the Climate March every success and hope it helps spur the Congress into action to address this critical challenge to the planet.”
U.S. Congressman Bruce Braley (D-Iowa): “It’s been said that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. I hope the Great March for Climate Action will represent a new beginning of efforts to address this critical problem, and I’m proud to support it. We have a long road ahead to solve the challenge before us, but if we take it on one step at a time, we can accomplish anything.”
Jim Hightower: “Like Coxey’s Army, the Suffragists’ parades, the Poor Peoples March, and Granny D’s solo walk across country – sometimes it takes foot power to get the attention of the aloof political powers in Washington. So get your feet moving an March 1st as part of the grassroots, coast-to-coast Great March for Climate Action.”
Los Angeles City Councilmember Paul Koretz: “As the people of the Philippines dig out and bury their dead from yet another catastrophic storm event, we have to do something big and we have to do it now. In 2013 alone, extreme storm events, accompanied by deadly flash floods, have struck each of the six rainable continents: from Boulder to Pakistan to Argentina to the Sudan. Under that onslaught, climate change deniers can barely hold up their umbrellas. I want to see a million people walking together into Washington DC, demanding climate action, as the Great March for Climate Action reaches its destination.”
Physicians for Social Responsibility. Executive Director Catherine Thomasson, MD writes: “Climate change is a health issue, and good health means having adequate food, shelter, clean air and water. These are threatened by climate change and the continued burning of fossil fuels. We know this march will raise awareness about those issues in communities across the country!”
Natural Resources Defense Council. President Frances Beinecke writes: “We have an obligation to protect future generations from the dangers of the climate crisis. I’m excited to endorse the mission of the Great March for Climate Action, to raise awareness around climate change and to galvanize citizens and our elected leaders to act. To stop climate change we need to end our dependence on all fossil fuels and replace them with 100 percent clean energy as soon as possible. We are encouraged by the dedication of people willing to march three thousand miles to advance this goal.”
National Nurses United. Co-President Jean Ross writes: “Nurses see the immense health care consequences of the climate crisis, from the growing number of children and other patients sickened by air, water, and soil pollution to the escalating climate disasters that put people’s lives and health at risk. We are proud to support the Great March for Climate Action.
Citizens Climate Lobby – Santa Fe. “CCL Santa Fe applauds and supports this action by the Climate Marchers. We recognize there is no alternative planet and hope that your steps across the country lead to steps by Congress to reduce carbon in our atmosphere.”
Climate Crisis Solutions. President Tom Weis writes, “The Great March for Climate Action could not be coming at a more critical time in human history. I encourage everyone who is pro Earth to support these heroic change agents. We need all green patriots to rise up and peacefully demand real responses to the global climate crisis.”
The Committee of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism, Los Angeles Chapter
League of Women Voters Florida.“The League of Women Voters of Florida is proud to endorse the GREAT CLIMATE MARCH as it helps educate Americans on the importance of understanding and addressing the severe climate and weather changes that will mark the century to come.”
iMatter Youth Movement. Victoria Loorz, Executive Director Kids vs Global Warming, the iMatter Campaign writes: “We have envisioned a Great Climate March across the country since we organized our first iMatter Marches in 2011. The Climate March folks are undertaking a courageous and bold move to raise awareness and recruit the awakened to the most urgent crisis of history. Some of our young leaders will be joining the march and we wholeheartedly support the message, movement, and efforts of this campaign. This is our revolution, indeed.”
Climate Parents: “Climate Parents, a national organization mobilizing parents to advocate for clean energy and climate solutions, applauds and heartily endorses the Great Climate March. Climate change has arrived in full force, harming our kids and communities–and the impacts are being felt in many areas the marchers will visit. Each step taken by each marcher will send a clear message that we need strong national leadership coupled with strong grassroots action to move toward 100% clean, ‘kid-safe and climate-safe’ energy.”
ClimateMama. Executive Director Harriet Shugarman writes: “As Rachel Carson so eloquently told us in Silent Spring: ‘The road we have long been travelling is deceptively easy…but at it’s end lies disaster. The other fork of the road – the one less traveled by – offers our last, our only chance to reach a destination that assures the preservation of the earth.’ ClimateMama is thrilled to endorse The Great Climate March which promises to bring attention to the climate crisis by taking the road less travelled and along the way, building hope for a livable future for us and our children.
United Teachers of Los Angeles
Pacific Green Party of Oregon. “Achieving a sustainable and economically just society have long been key goals of our state Green Party, our national Green Party, and Green Parties all around the world. At this stage in our evolution, it is vital that we take immediate action to have any chance of a Green future.”
The Compassionate Earth Walk.“”We already have the technology to feed, shelter, and clothe ourselves without fossil fuels or toxic chemicals. The balance – between well-being and destruction – will be decided by our level of consciousness.”
Citizens Climate Lobby – Boulder. “Raising awareness with The Great March for Climate Action is a crucial step in that direction and CCL-Boulder is in full support. We hope to see awareness of the Climate Crisis snowball as The March moves east and enter the forefront of every American’s mind and life.”
Physicians for Social Responsibility – Sacramento, Chicago, Philadelphia, AR, IA, FL, MI
Green Foundation Ireland. Nuala Ahern, Chair of Green Foundation Ireland writes:“At the Climate Gathering in the Burren, Co. Clare in February 2013, Green Foundation Ireland brought together people, including eminent scientists and experts, from the USA and across Europe to consider action on Climate Change. Those present agreed that the USA must give leadership on Climate Change and that American engagement was vital if we are to avoid a catastrophic rise in temperature. Green Foundation Ireland therefore wishes the luck of the Irish to the Great March for Climate Action.”
Citizens Climate Lobby – Phoenix. “CCL recognizes the need to increase public awareness about climate change issues. We believe the Great March for Climate Action is an outstanding example of the ways to bring attention to this critical topic and that it will cause many others to get involved.”
Citizens Climate Lobby – Rhode Island. “We aren’t on the way from LA to DC, but we are climate champion Senate Whitehouse’s constituents, and hopefully he will have introduced his carbon pollution legislation by the time you start on March 1. Thank you for your courage and commitment!”
Citizens Climate Lobby – Cincinnati, Santa Fe, Lawrence, Eugene, "joining our effort of lobbying for a carbon tax.”
350 Seattle. “Fighting climate change can’t wait. We need everyone to be part of the solution, and the Climate March can inspire people with every step it takes across this beautiful country.”
Iowa United Nations Association. Executive Director Yashar Vasef writes: "All 193 member states of the United Nations serve to benefit from a cleaner, more sustainable planet.”
The Enviro Show. “Two decades ago The World Scientists Warning to Humanity informed us that, ‘No more than one or a few decades remain before the chance to avert the threats we now confront will be lost and the prospects for humanity immeasurably diminished.’ Those two decades have passed. We absolutely must act NOW in whatever way we can. This is why The Enviro Show fully supports the Climate March.”
Center for the Working Poor. Co-founder Paul Engler writes: “We feel called to support the Great March for Climate Action because confronting climate change is not simply about preserving our environment. It is about facing life and death issues that affect the poor more than anyone.”
Center for Biological Diversity. Jerry Karnas, Field Director and Population Campaign Director, writes: “Big events like the Great March for Climate Action are crucial, especially because Americans understand that human activity is driving species toward extinction and making climate change worse.”
Who will take these actions?
Dozens of mothers and grandfathers and teens and college grads and science professors and non profit gurus and TEDx organizers and military types and peace activists and politicians and business leaders and social entrepreneurs and students.
We participate in whatever energy, sustainability, eco business events are happening in the communities through which we march. Politicians along the March are invited to speak, make their stand known in the community and to sign on to our March's intention of urgent climate action from Congress. Business leaders sign up to hear from Marchers who have backgrounds in business and sustainability to move their businesses into a 21st Century transition to cleaner, leaner, and greener operations. Spiritual leaders embrace our message and gather their congregations around us to hear what can be done to be in right relationship with our planetary home.
Several Citizen Climate Lobbyist Marchers gather signatures for Fee & Dividend.
Our goal is to change the hearts and minds of the American people, our elected leaders and people across the world to act now to address the climate crisis. We are committed to putting our bodies, familiar comforts, stability and lives on the line to inspire others to act, and to motivate popular support for immediate and focused action to avert and mitigate the worst impacts of the climate crisis.
Where will these actions be taken?
Our route snakes us through poor Latino Wilmington at the Long Beach Harbor where we witnessed oil wells right along the streets to the steps of our nation's Capitol in Washington DC on Saturday, November 1, 2014. We've been embraced already through the 4 states we've crossed (California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Colorado) by nearly every religion and spiritual group. 1st Sunday each month minimarch.
1. Common Purpose. We are deeply concerned global citizens of a planet on the brink of an unprecedented, human-induced climate crisis.
2. Nonviolence. We embrace marching as a form of direct, nonviolent action and maintain nonviolent discipline within the March community and with everyone we meet along the way.
3. Strategic Unity. We act within a shared vision to empower individuals, affiliated organizations, business partners, and communities through which we travel to take focused action to address the climate crisis.
4. Inclusion & Anti-Oppression. We welcome the participation of all who embrace these principles and work to create an empathetic community in which everyone is affirmed and may develop as a leader.
5. Pluralism. There are many different roles, organizations, and institutions that are important to our struggle.
6. Leadership as Service: We are responsible for and empower our “leader-ful” movement of informal groups, leaders naturally arise.
7. Volunteerism. Each marcher helps with fund-raising (with a goal of $25 per day per marcher) and with daily activities such as cooking, cleaning, maintaining vehicles and equipment, sanitation, moving equipment.
8. Open Source. Any individual or organization may affiliate with the Great March for Climate Action consistent with our principles.
9. Sacrifice. We are aware of the sacrifices each of us must make to accomplish not only the March, but to move society at large beyond the paralysis of inaction with regards the climate crisis.
10. Decentralized Structure. We collaborate using a participatory-democratic process.
How much will emissions be reduced or sequestered vs. business as usual levels?
We can measure anecdotally as we march through cities within days. We are getting feedback from communities that they are having success passing laws to ban fracking and neighborhood drilling. We hear that communities are having success guiding their power monopolies to renewable energy after we have meetings with their decision makers. We hear that long disputed solar array power lines which could not be sighted through wilderness are now being rerouted through other places, enabling that power profit center to now become a source of industry and revenue for the otherwise poor mining region. We notice that many replay movies that we have introduced to certain community groups. They then show these films to other organizations and decision makers. We receive social media posts daily of the difference our march is making for others to also then take climate action in their cities.
What are other key benefits?
In each of the major cities we travel through there are current legislative and electric power monopolies that are considering climate change rule changes and the Great March for Climate Action brings, solutions, urgency, energy, and fresh resources to these local challenges. LA, Phoenix, Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Colorado Springs, Denver so far have all turned out for major rallies, interactive conversations, and legislative coaching. We continue to Lincoln, Omaha, Dubuque, Des Moines, Chicago, South Bend, Toledo, Cleveland, Pittsburg, Washington DC. We consider this March the principle civil rights issue of our day. We will not stop until our leaders across the nation know that we want to be free from carbonizing our climate. We want alternatives and incentives to move quickly to renew a 21st Century Vision for America's economy and ecology.
What are the proposal’s costs?
It costs approximately $30,000 per state to run the March. States remaining include: Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. We have a vehicle that carries our own kitchen where we cook all of our own food. We have a gear truck that carries our camping gear so that we do not have those heavy loads while we march 15-20 miles a day. We have a truck to pull our EcoCommodes that we do all of our eliminating personal waste in. We recycle "humaneure" along our route. Additionally, our logistics Director scouts out our route daily in her Jeep. We have local drivers offer to support the Marchers with sag vehicles for those who need to be picked up when they can not finish for the day.
Staff includes: logistics director, communications director, program director, admin in Iowa. Many have forgone their personal salaries to make the March possible financially - dedication and commitment!
Marchers have raised $25/day to cover expenses of gas, food, insurance, and materials.
There are approximately 30-40 Marchers at any time. We expect there to be 200-300 Marchers in total by November 1.
We have assembled a coalition building fund to make it possible for a person of a climate affected community to join us on the March. We are interested in building diversity among our group, and realize that for Latino/Native American/African American communities that costs and work might prohibit them from participating. We started this fund to encourage a more diverse group of climate marchers.
We do receive donations of things from our VIrtual Marchers group on Facebook.
We happily invite locals to add to our artistic, signage, and journalistic efforts as we march through their region.
We are calling for actions on many dimensions as we march in various timelines for citizens to take, engage, and be the change they wish to see in their communities.
Organizations to join immediately: Citizens Climate Lobby, Climate Reality Leaders, iMatter, 350.org, local environmental groups.
Education to gain in the near term: MOOCs (Massive Online Open Courses) on Climate change, community college sustainability programs, we read/share the great books for climate change and social justice.
Run for local offices: city/state/school boards/church leadership/electrical coops/Rotary leaders/Chambers/Green Centers.
Transition over longer periods of time: coal-fired power plants (like Drake#5 in Colorado Springs to solar arrays and wind farms), stop Keystone XL on the farm where it would cross in Nebraska will happen on July 19.
Stand up/speak up: TEDx talks, radio interviews seeking common ground, conversations with local business groups, Rotary Club presentations.
Written communications: blogs, newsletter, Climate Change Manifesto, city papers, flyers, letters to Congress/the editor/the President/power companies/water works.
Art: hand-made signs, paintings, truck art, EcoCommode collages.
Performances: antiphany, flashmobs, singing-Climate Justice Gypsy Band sings many songs of the 60's to engage elders in singing for climate change, recording original tunes for GMCA.
Petitions to sign: CCL, voting for local candidates who support climate action, fracking, Keystone XL, voter registrations, candidate recruitment, water, fire, rivers.
Interactive facilitated conversations with action steps cover these topics: food, law, divestment, money, environmental actions, political will, water, transportation, energy, building conservation, waste, voluntary simplicity, infrastructure, resilience.
Talks: we speak ourselves at Rallies, we create a stage for local leaders and organizations to address the community for problems and solutions, we energize climate activists urgently.
We hear from teachers who have had our "Climate Change is Elementary" programs with Marcher Dave Finnegan that students love learning about what they can do with their families.
Public Energy Signs for all Public Buildings We can introduce this and many other green building projects. Public environmental quality: Make green buildings more relevant to the public
Nothing is Garbage We marched through regions that have as their principle industry prisons. This combination of sorting would give prisoners a purpose that could help reduce our country's carbon footprint.
Offshore wind farms project shared between govt and large power producers and Gamification for Energy Efficiency of communities and Buildings are both energy reduction projects the March could easily support.
The Little Engine That Could: Carbon Fee and Dividend We call upon our communities to sign a petition asking their lawmakers to put in place a fee and dividend. Several of our Marchers are Citizen Climate Lobbyists.
Here you'll find more than 70 newspaper and magazine articles, radio & TV interviews, blogs, and video clips - and we are only half way to DC!