Anita Payne was trained as a Climate Leader when she attended the Climate Reality Leadership Corps conference in Chicago in July 2013. I had the pleasure of attending the same training and joining Anita as a Climate Leader colleague and friend. She is now a member of the Great March for Climate Action. (Editor ~ Rolly Montpellier)
Great March for Climate Action – GMCA
Anita Payne is a marcher in the Great March for Climate Action. Following is her update on her participation in the walk to date – April 28.
At this moment dozens of determined people are marching in New Mexico after having crossed California and Arizona. They are ordinary people from all ages and walks of life, but they are extraordinary because they are devoting 8 months of their life to their mission, the Great March for Climate Action. We are marching across the USA in the hopes of drawing attention to the climate crisis and instigating action by all other ordinary people and our governments.
After a huge send off rally in Wilmington, the site of a large oil refinery in the port of Los Angeles, the Climate Marchers experienced torrential downpours on March 1 but persevered. Crossing the Mojave and Sonora Deserts was challenging, with cold nights and hot days and little or no shade. Carrying signs elicited supportive honks from many passing motorists but also the occasional “peddle to the metal” from a pickup truck driver.
In Phoenix, the most unsustainable American city, a good sized crowd of climate and environmental activists came out to support the Climate Marchers. Some also took a marcher or two home for the night so they could have a shower and sleep in a real bed.
Campsites have mostly been on public land but also on reserves and church or university properties. The marchers received blessings several times from First Nations elders who are very empathetic to the cause of climate action. Marchers are collecting messages from many they meet to pass on to the government in Washington, DC, where they expect to be by November 1. The GMCA route now swings north towards Albuquerque, NM and then to Denver, CO.
More marchers (and drivers) are welcome to join at any point, for any length of time. For more information see Great March for Climate Action. You can also be a virtual marcher by joining Marchers and Virtual Watchers on Facebook.
On a personal note, I have taken a planned break from the GMCA to participate in climate action at home. I participated in the Climate March from Los Angeles to Phoenix and plan to rejoin in late summer in Illinois or Indiana to march the rest of the way to Washington, DC. Once there we hope that thousands of people will join us in a rally and some of us will also lobby legislators.
It was an incredible experience marching and living with others who are also passionate about altering the current trajectory of skyrocketing greenhouse gas emissions and escalating effects of climate change. Young and old alike are marching, no longer just for the future but for the present as well. I look forward to returning to the march and hope that you will consider joining or supporting the march.
For you and your children,
Los Angeles kickoff rally and beginning of the march (Anita appears right at the end with my Canadian flag)
Published March 13, 2014
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Both Anita and I believe that our planet is facing an unprecedented climate change emergency. If we fail to fix this, we fail on everything else.