EUGENE, Ore. — Planning and preparations are over for 235 walkers. Their journey begins this weekend.
It’s the great March for Climate Action 2014, and four local walkers are putting their best feet forward.
John Abbe, a web consultant who’s studying psychology, says he’s always been aware of the environment, but never called himself an environmental activist until now.
“I’ve changed my carbon footprint, but I haven’t acted in a more outward way,” said Abbe. “The fact is that I want communicated that this is a crisis. I’m not that young, but we are already seeing the impact of climate change.”
Joining Abbe are Pablo Howard, Mary Addams, and Kelsey Juliana, along with 235 others who are taking part in the Great March for Climate Action 2014, walking from Los Angeles to Washington, DC.
Mary Addams will start the march, and she’s going as far as Arizona.
“I have grandchildren who are young and children of course, and I am doing it for them,” said Addams.
Kelsey Juliana is just 17 years old — a senior at South Eugene High School.
Her mom walked from L.A. to New York City in 1990. Then it was called Global Walk for a Livable World.
Kelsey will be joining the march this summer and delaying college just to take part.
“This is the crisis of my generation, the issue that everyone, every social and environmental justice issue is facing,” said Juliana.
Juliana is an activist, and one of two plaintiffs in a lawsuit against the Oregon state government, asking for a carbon reduction plan.
Walkers represent 26 states and six countries, and many will be joining along the way.
The March is expected to last eight months and cover eight states, with an estimated arrival of November 1, 2014.
They’ve each raised funding to cover expenses, and they’re so concerned about climate change, they’re giving up employment and even housing to make the 2,600 mile trek across the country, hoping to inspire action.