Why I Missed the Climate March

I pulled into camp after 70 miles of riding my bike today, and the first thing I did was to call people who I knew were at the big march in New York City. It was so great to hear how big, how really big, a success this was.

It felt a little strange to be peddling my bike literally away from New York City this morning, going west into Pennsylvania from New Jersey. but that is the route of this year’s Climate Ride from New York to DC, and I am on it for the third year in a row.

I decided to honor my commitment to do this ride and to raise the money to do it even after I heard of the conflict between the people’s climate march and this climate ride, and I don’t regret it. There are over 100 serious people doing this bike ride or helping to make it happen, and there is no question some of these people are in and others will be in the leadership of the climate movement for many years to come. It is good to be here making connections with them and telling them about the work of CCAN.

The climate ride also has a message to those marching today, a message just in the nature of what the ride is, 5 days riding 300 miles to support groups acting on climate and as a show of commitment to this critical civilizational struggle.

185 miles to go over the next three days, arriving in a city essentially in denial about the seriousness of this crisis and the need for consistent across the board action to get off fossil fuels as quickly as possible. It’s time for the people to make this happen using whatever means that we have in our nonviolent arsenal.

Si, se puede

September 24, 2014

I figured it out today–
why I’m doing the Climate Ride
for the third year in a row.

It came to me
as I traveled through
the exquisite countryside
on the amazing day
today was,
as were all the others.

Marveling, just marveling,
at the beauty all around me,
the beauty, the power,
the inspiration of Creation.

The camp director this morning
talked about God’s Creation,
the camp as a resource
for inner-city children
to connect with Creation.

And so it came to me
several hours later
as I climbed, and coasted,
and climbed and climbed, and coasted,
and climbed and climbed and climbed:

I do the Climate Ride
because it is a
deep and empowering
spiritual experience
that helps me keep going
all year round.

It connects me with the natural world.

It keeps me thankful.

Thankful for Caeli and Geraldine,
Blake and Andrew and everyone else
who started and keep
Climate Ride going.

Thankful for the bonds
of community forged easily
for these five days
among all of us,
making this experience
the gift that it is.

Thankful for the commitment
we all share
to act on behalf of
our threatened climate
and for a hopeful future.


What was the high point
of my day?

It was after I made it
up that last, long,
steep and winding hill,
and while resting
up at the top
next to a beautiful meadow
of wildflowers,
I was visited for several minutes
by a monarch butterfly.

A threatened monarch butterfly,
which flew to where
I was standing
and landed on a purple clover flower
a few feet in front of me.

Only the second monarch
I have seen this year
after seeing none last year.

As if to say to us all:
good job, Climate Riders.
It is good to be with you
as we all fight for our survival
and for an environment
and future
where our descendants can thrive.

Si, se puede,
as we connect with each other
and the natural world.