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Activist highlights climate change

| Monday, February 2, 2015

Former Iowa Lawmaker and climate activist Ed Fallon visited Saint Mary’s on Friday to discuss his journey from Los Angeles to Washington D.C. and how it impacted him and Americans he met along the way.

Fallon spent March 1 to Nov. 1, 2014, on a 3,000 mile walk from California to Washington, leading 35 climate activists. In his presentation, Fallon introduced the audience to a fellow marcher, described the climate crisis and offered suggestions for more sustainable lifestyles in the “New Climate Era.”

During the march, the group not only walked and talked about climate change, but they also personally experienced changes throughout their trip, Fallon said.

Fallon said on the very first night of the trip, the group was unable to camp in a church’s parking lot because there had been a large amount of rain. The church then allowed the travelers to stay inside.

Fallon said the unexpected kindness shown by the church and the amount of rain California had produced that day were two inspiring reasons that led the group to keep walking.

“What we’re dealing with is unprecedented,” Fallon said.

Fallon also described the devastation and impact of wild fires and how they harm the environment, telling the audience to “take action now” and begin to “change our lives.”

Sometimes, the group thought of themselves as the “Paul Reveres of Climate Crisis” after making this journey and sharing their knowledge, Fallon said.

The walkers journeyed through California, Colorado, Nebraska and eventually, they made it to the White House, he said. While some of the marchers only joined for bits and pieces of the trek, Fallon walked the entire route with the help of a walking stick made at a monastery.

“It was an amazing experience, and I don’t know how we did it,” Fallon said.

Fallon said he was able to break through the political orientation of those he met throughout the country, as most could see the importance of climate change and our need to take action now.

When asked by a student how she could get involved on campus to take climate action, Fallon said leadership opportunities can help, but it is best to start with everyday things.

This event was part of the Saint Mary’s Justice Fridays series, sponsored by Justice Education, the department of political science, environmental studies and the Office of Civic and Social Engagement (OCSE).

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