Press release from Tucsonans John Jorgensen and Mary DeCamp:
Two local environmental activists just completed an eight month walk across America to raise awareness and to encourage action on our changing climate. The trek of over 3,000 miles brought together young and old walkers, with ages ranging from 3 to 83 years old. Tucsonans John Jorgensen, a retired science teacher, and Mary DeCamp, Tucson’s 2011 Green Party Mayoral candidate, walked with the group.
The Great March for Climate Action set out amid torrential downpours in Los Angeles, CA on March 1, 2014 on their path to Washington, DC, walking and camping along the route. The group typically numbered around 40, though 350 different individuals registered to walk at various times along the way and thousands followed the progress online as virtual Marchers.
The traveling band averaged about 15 miles a day, following a path that took them through the drought-stricken southwest, along the route of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, and through the heart of fracking operations in Ohio and Pennsylvania. They met with citizens in the communities they crossed where the locals hosted rallies, pot-lucks, discussion groups, presentations, and parties.
Many nights were spent camping in tents, especially in the west where national parks are common. In more populous areas, churches, schools, and community centers opened their doors to house the sleepy Marchers. Waterless, chemical-free eco-commodes were towed along to service Marchers needing restroom breaks. A large truck carried the tents, camping gear, and clothing for the walkers, and another smaller truck was outfitted with a refrigerator, water tanks, camp stoves, food, and cooking utensils to serve as a kitchen. A solar generator provided the electricity needed to power the refrigerator, phones, computers, and other electronics used on the Climate March.
The group arrived in Washington, DC on November 1st and John Jorgenson joined Beyond Extreme Energy (BXE) for a week of non-violent action.
One such action blockaded the entrances to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), an independent agency that regulates the interstate transmission of electricity, natural gas, and oil. FERC also reviews proposals to build liquefied natural gas terminals and interstate natural gas pipelines as well as licensing hydropower projects; Climate Marchers believe FERC has rubber-stamped the projects proposed by oil, gas, and coal companies seeking to maximize profits at the expense of small private land-owners, environmentalists, and future generations.
The 3,000 mile journey is over, but work on response strategies to climate change is still in its infancy. Both Ms. DeCamp and Mr. Jorgensen plan to continue efforts to raise awareness about coming weather challenges and to work cooperatively to advance response strategies within the Tucson community.
More information can be found at www.ClimateMarch.org.
Contacts: Mary DeCamp, firstname.lastname@example.org &/or John Jorgensen, email@example.com