Iowa activists bring climate change message to the White House

The Great March for Climate Action came to Iowa City on August 20, 2014  -- photo by Drew Bulman
The Great March for Climate Action came to Iowa City on August 20, 2014 — photo by Drew Bulman

Today, members of the Great March for Climate Change met with White House officials to discuss the impact of climate change and what can be done on a national level to counteract its effects.

Organized by Iowa Democratic politician, activist and radio show host Ed Fallon, the Great March for Climate Change was an eight-month march across the U.S. that started in Los Angeles in April 2014 and ended in Washington, D.C. this past November. Along the way, 200 climate activists stopped in communities to raise awareness about and ignite conversation around our changing environment.

“We encountered first-hand some of the unprecedented weather climate that scientists have predicted, and we met people impacted by climate change and grappling with an expanding fossil fuel infrastructure that is damaging or destroying their land, water and very way of life,” he said.

At the White House today, 12 members of the Great March shared their experiences with Dan Utech, Special Assistant to the President for Energy and Climate Change, and Rohan Patel, Special Assistant to the President and Deputy Director of Intergovernmental Affairs.

One of the attendees at today’s meeting was North Liberty’s Miriam Kashia, who walked about 7 million steps on the trip and served as the mayor of the Great March. She kept a blog that chronicled her movement with over 200 posts about the 3,000 mile walk across the country.

During her two days in D.C., Kashia will visit the White House, the offices of all Iowa members of Congress and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to speak about reversing climate change — what she calls “the greatest threat humanity has ever faced.”

Kashia, a member of 100 Grannies for a Livable Future, said she has a “deep concern for our cataclysmic environmental trajectory” and a passion for adventure (she was a Peace Corps volunteer in Africa in 2005).

As part of the 100 Grannies lecture series in February, Kashia will share what she learned during the cross-country March. She will present a 10-minute slideshow about the March and a list of actions that anyone could take to counteract the threat of climate change.

Kashia will be back in Iowa to speak at the Senior Center on Feb. 23 at 6 p.m. Her presentation is titled, “My March for Climate Action.”

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