It was at my first meeting with XR Zaragoza that someone mentioned walking to Glasgow from Spain.
‘Lunatics!’ I thought. ‘Have they any idea how bad the weather will be in Scotland in October?’
Well, that was 2020, just before the COP was cancelled.
And now here we are, counting down the days to COP26 2021, and I appear to be one of the walkers.
No rest days.
Three days were we reckon we can do 35km ( that’s 22 miles)
Like I said, lunatics!!
I could talk about the climate emergency, and how it’s happening NOW, and how the people who produced least carbon dioxide are suffering the most.
I could list the floods, wildfires and record breaking temperatures that have hit us across the world this year.
I could talk about species extinction, how insects we need to pollinate our food are dying; how so many species are moving through the stages of threatened, vulnerable, endangered, towards extinction.
I could talk about consumerism and capitalism: how rich countries are awash with plastic products that no one needs; how we can’t have infinite growth on a finite planet.
I could talk about social justice and racism, about how the rich are getting richer while use of food banks and homelessness are rising.
But all of those things still don’t answer the question of why I’m walking to Glasgow.
I’m walking to be visible, to make my voice heard. To shout about the climate emergency, to engage others to shout out too, to pressurise politicians to do more than make empty promises.
I’m thinking about the 3.5% rule of Erica Chenoweth, that if enough people show their love and rage and fear, then we can change.
I’m walking because I feel I have a duty to do something: that doing nothing is not an honourable option.
And because we’re walking, we’ve sparked actions and rallies throughout England and Scotland (and one in Spain too).
Because we’re walking, I’ve contacted so many people, from Extinction Rebellion, from Friends of the Earth, from Greenpeace, from the Green Party, from Climate Action Networks, from churches and Meeting Houses and many other individuals, all of whom are protesting, organising, connecting and supporting for a movement of people who care about climate justice and social justice.
I am proud to know them, and proud to be a part of this movement.
In Spain, there’s an idiom; we talk about ‘adding our grain of sand’: all I can do is add my grain of sand to the movement, and so I do it.