Friday 16 October 2015 at 11:56The Latest From The Road
by Alan Burns (@alanTGG),
Into the third week of the pilgrimage, and we have reached Modena.
Until arriving in Bologna on October 12, the group of ten walkers had traversed two-lane roads, off-road paths including traditional pilgrimage routes, and numerous hill climbs which gave evidence to our singularity of purpose. Despite some adverse weather conditions with some unexpected unseasonal temperatures, we have come together as a group mutually supporting each other along the journey.
Route and presentations organized by FOCSIV, with wonderful team support from volunteers — notably Nadia, Daniela and Sixte — the walkers have showed resolve for the ambition of the pilgrimage; informing people en route and at programmed gatherings of the immediacy of the climate crisis and our reason for walking 60 days to Paris by November 28 ahead of the COP-21talks.
At a midday stop in Bologna, I spoke to a small gathering about a piece of news I learned on my single foray onto the Internet the day before.
I learned that relentless rains in my neighboring state in the USA – South Carolina – has caused floods at a level never before experienced with a loss of life count at 21 in both North and South Carolina. Before this journey, climate change had had little impact on these East Coast states.
Suddenly it was real. As with other massive floods earlier in the year in the USA, mainly in Colorado, nowhere was now safe from the whims of climate activity being unleashed around the planet.
Another snap headline I saw was in the Washington Post. The portrayal of a freezing Earth in the movie “The Day After Tomorrow," which received scientific dismissal of being plausible, was now seen as being closer than ever to reality. Having long believed that events would unravel even more quickly than some scientists feared, I am now convinced that we have but a few short years, maybe not more than 4 or 5, for people to take serious action.
Talks and pledges to reduce greenhouse gases by 2030 or 2050 are unrealistic: they suggest we have still lots of time. But with worsening conditions annually, and with the planet heating faster than ever, we are all now called to act.
Those who watch will imperil not just future generations, but the ones currently sharing our only home.
It is no longer about borders and countries making individual promises. With the refugee crises upon us, which will only exacerbate in coming years, we are all called to urgent action.
The pilgrimage from Rome to Paris brings together walkers from four countries. Walkers aged from 18 to 69. We have formed a common bond, and this is our example to others. For those who continue to watch the climate crisis unfold year by year, they put at risk all the children and young people living today. Our world leaders need to hear our voices because for over 20 years they have failed to take responsibility.
We are quickly running out of time.
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Header Photo via FOCSIV