Interfaith Walk for Climate Rescue Kicks Off in Northampton, MA
We've taken note of numerous efforts by faith communities to address the moral dimensions of environmental challenges. On Friday, March 16th, a group of 131 people representing a diverse array of religious belief -- Muslims, Jews, Buddhists, Catholics and Protestants -- joined in an interfaith service in Northampton, Massachusetts to kick off the Interfaith Walk for Climate Rescue. Sponsored by Religious Witness for the Earth, the walk is a week-long event that will move across the state, and end in Boston with the celebration of Climate Rescue Day on March 24th. Organizers expect that the Copley Square rally will draw over a thousand people to support the main goal of the Step It Up 2007 event: a commitment by the federal government to an 80% reduction of global warming pollution by 2050.
The walkers that started the march on Friday had their conviction tested as the year's biggest winter storm was moving into the Northeastern United States. Undeterred, the group completed the first leg of the journey, an eight-mile hike from Northampton to Amherst's Grace Church, where parishioners waited with hot soup and cornbread. Over the seven-day period, the march will average thirteen miles a day, and although many participants will join in for only a portion of the walk, twenty-four people have committed to make the entire journey from one side of the state to the other. By the time you read this, the group will have started on one of the walk's longest legs, the sixteen miles between Ware and Spencer (a map of the entire route, along with the Daily Schedule, is available here).If you're in any of these areas and would like to join the walk, you can register at the locations listed on the Daily Schedule. Those who are farther away, or who just can't bear the cold (this isn't for everyone!) can follow the walkers' progress on the event's blog. Event organizer's describe their efforts as "complementary and synergistic" to Step It Up 2007, and that event's lead organizer, Bill McKibben, has written a letter of support for this week's march.
Religious Witness for the Earth claims that the purpose of the event is "...to call attention to the urgent and ethical need for swift, bold, and comprehensive action to address global warming." Some naysayers (cough, cough, the Drudge Report) will undoubtedly claim that walking in the snow to raise awareness of global warming is ironic. We admire the tenacity of these activists, and wish them well on their walk for the climate! ::Interfaith Walk for Climate Rescue via It's Getting Hot in Here and the Boston Globe