Pacing the Planet -- Week 4

One hundred and sixty miles walked so far! Pacing the Planet has brought the signal call to deal with the
climate crisis north and west to our first big city, Des Moines, IA. In the downtown, many people saw us as we marched back and forth through the streets of the financial district, handing out our "Climate Crisis Information Sheet," and multiple times across the Des Moines river to the trendy East Village neighborhood.

We paced up the big hill to the Iowa State Capitol Building, where we spoke with a former politician from the first Obama administration. We staged an electrifying descent upon the city from that high place, with megaphone in hand, calling to the people of Des Moines to observe that their world is changing, their city is under threat, and that every day each one of them goes to work or goes to school or goes shopping, the fossil fuel industry is also going to work, stealing their future right out from under them. People came out from shops and apartments and restaurants to hear our news as the wheels of the Pacing Wagon thundered along the street.

We were hosted in Des Moines at the Rachel Corrie House of the Des Moines Catholic Worker collective, and it was a humbling experience to be reminded of the powerful work of witnessing and resistance that young Rachel Corrie did, eventually losing her life to an Israeli bulldozer in 2003 while standing for the freedom of the Palestinian camps. The perversion of our climate needs resisters like Rachel Corrie today, to stand peacefully in the path of obdurate business-as-usual world destruction.

The Catholic Worker House collective in Des Moines is a set of four homes, landscaped with food gardens instead of lawns, where individuals dedicated to the radical teachings of Jesus serve the needs of the poor and engage in civil disobedience to non-violently resist unjust and immoral action upon the world stage. We enjoyed keeping company with the folks there, and we were able to prepare for the arrival of our other two children, now that school has let out for the summer.

That's right. Six of us -- two adults, four children -- are now Pacing the Planet. From Des Moines, we walked north to the town of Ankeny, where we have camped lakeside, and continue our trek on the High Trestle Trail, an old railroad converted to bike path that is carrying us toward Ames, IA.

Along the way, we continue to meet people who are eager to hear detailed news about the current climate situation (or debate it with us). In Ankeny, we encountered a high school biology teacher who was so moved by our project that she contacted two local television stations about us; but no TV crews have appeared yet to chronicle our journey. If the process of striking camp and recreating it ten or twenty miles down the road comes to consume less time in the future, we hope to make video contributions to this blog, knowing that Youtube is a more effective way of sharing information these days than the evening news.

Yet camp is not taking less is taking more and more time. We are often confronting an adversary, the very one we set out to warn our country about: inclement weather. This freakishly persistent rain which delays the soybean planting and is flooding the Midwest is not doing our camp any favors either. A full 2/3 of our time is now occupied with camping and moving camp, and we find that our remaining funds do not adequately meet the requirements of our project.

Therefore, we are requesting donations to help the project through this tight spot. We are determined to continue, but we need your help to make the seemingly impossible become possible. As we continue our northward progress, we are looking at ways of trimming the need to set up camp so many times, including by borrowing, renting, or purchasing a small, used camper trailer. We really need Pacing the Planet to be a people's project, because we have laid everything we've got on the line to share the truth of climate change.

Donations can be made at this website, on our page called Help Our Project. Please take a moment to consider what this project means to you and your family, and what kind of world you want to live in -- then give based on that. We sincerely thank you for your help. Onward!