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The Great March for Climate Action

December 23, 2013 – Have you heard about The Great March for Climate Action?  I just learned about it today.  Organizers have determined it will take them 246 days to march from Los Angeles to Washington, D.C.  They are looking for 1,000 people – 20 from each state – to participate.  The march is stopping in many, many locations along the way so that locals can participate for as little as a day, or as long as they like.

The march is Ed Fallon’s brainchild.  Ed, along with most of his staff members, is from Iowa, where he served as a state legislator for fourteen years.  He currently hosts a radio program called Fallon Forum.  Fallon began his career as a social activist coordinating the Iowa section of the Great Peace March in 1986.  Ed bases his approach on Great Marches of the past.  Women suffragists marched on Washington on March 3, 1913; Gandhi led the Salt March in India on March 12, 1930; Dr. King led the voting rights march from Selma to Montgomery on March 25, 1965; and a Great Peace March took place on March 1, 1986.  The writer took part in the Million Mom March, which, as near as I can recall, did not take place in March!

The March’s mission, as stated on the website, is “to change the heart[s] and mind[s] of the American people, our elected leaders and people across the world to act now to address the climate crisis.”  How do they plan to do that?  The website is woefully short on specifics.  Of course, the more they give people to disagree with, the more disagreeable people will be.  However, with only 20 people from each state needed to make the march a success, my own thinking would be they can dare to be a bit bolder.  Perhaps participants will help formulate specific goals.  Even better, wouldn’t it be great if state and national legislators took part?  What about honoring global warming pioneers of the past?

The march begins March (how appropriate!) 1, 2014 in Los Angeles.   Places along the way include Santa Monica, San Bernardino, Phoenix, Albuquerque, Santa Cruz, Colorado Springs, Omaha … the list is extensive.  There are a number of cities and towns in northern Ohio – I live in southern Ohio - along the planned route, including Toledo and Cleveland.  That part of the march will take place in September.  It concludes November 1, 2014 in Washington.  Visit to learn much more, and to register as a marcher.

Participating the full length of the march is not something to be undertaken lightly.  For one thing, the total cost of food is $5,000, something you must underwrite yourself.  You’re going to need to put your life on hold, although departing from the march and resuming it later appears to be a possibility.  As is often the case, young adults and retirees may find it easiest to fit such a lengthy time commitment into their lives.  Surely it cannot fail to be a never-to-be forgotten experience.  Awhile back now, Pres. Obama challenged us to make him do the things that will set us on the right path.  Now is the time to challenge him back.

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