VIDEO: Back from the Walk for our Grandchildren 2013
How far would you walk to save our climate? For the members of the 2013 Walk for our Grandchildren, the answer is at least 100 miles. That's how far they walked: starting from Camp David on July 19th, and arriving at the White House on July 27th. I figured the least I could do was provide them with an actual grandchild, bringing my daughter down for the day to walk the last two miles with hundreds of elders and youth for a safe climate. We didn't come alone, we brought the names of 11,000 Environmental Action members who signed on in support of the Walk and it's goal of blocking Keystone XL and fighting carbon pollution.
Unlike many of the children on the walk, this was not my daughter's first walk against Keystone XL. But it was the first one expressly dedicated to the children. I got offers to help carry her, but she needed no help. It's amazing what people can do, including the grandfather and granddaughter, ages 78 and 11 who walked the entire route as the oldest and youngest participants, together with their respective son and father.
Many other representatives of Imatter, a youth climate justice organization, were also present, including a young man born 75 miles from where I was born in Southwestern Alaska. He definitely came the farthest, but we have all come a long way. That same day in the New York Times, Barack Obama both dismissed the job creation claims of Keystone XL and reiterated it would not be built if it worsened climate pollution.
In the end, the guard at the White House would not accept the package of our signatures or any of the other presentation of the elders and youth. He suggested we use the US Mail. So I pledge to ship in your names to the White House, and keep going back again and again, but not forever. In the words of one of the youth speakers, "I don't want to be dealing with this issue when I am an elder."