Climate Riders Head to NYC for People's Climate March
[Editor's note: Can't make it to NYC for the People's Climate March? Watch it on EcoWatch here, tomorrow, Sunday, Sept. 21 starting at 10:30 a.m.]
Two vans and a big bus filled with truly great people—the new Climate Riders—on their way to New York City for the People's Climate March pulled up to the First Watch for breakfast this morning in Columbus, Ohio.
Twenty-four hours on the road each way to march for a few hours against the corporations that are killing our planet.
Kansas/Missouri Climate Riders stop for breakfast in central Ohio on their way to NYC. Local author Harvey Wasserman is kneeling in front in his "Solartopia! Our Green-Powered Earth" t-shirt. Photo credit: Samantha Allen
“I hate the Koch Brothers,” one of them tells me over pancakes. “They are wrecking the Earth for all of us.”
Another, Chris, borrows my bike to ride down the street to a bakery, then does it a second time to feed the drivers.
I’ve come just five miles from my house on the east side of Columbus biking about a half-hour on my two-wheeler through the flatlands of Ohio's state capital, where a corrupt, climate-killing legislature has been working to outlaw renewables, ban the sale of Tesla cars, kill passenger rail service, subsidize dying nukes and embrace fracking with all its corporate might.
These good folks have come from Kansas and Missouri. Overnight to Columbus, then all day to Allentown, Pennsylvania, where they’ll stay the night. Then two more hours into the city tomorrow morning. March through the day. Get back on the bus and into the vans around 9 p.m. Then ride a full day back to the far midwest.
Many have taken unpaid days off from work to do this. Some would like to stay a while in New York City but can’t afford it.
But they’ve all come to send a message to the corporate climate-killing billionaires.
“We need to make an impact,” one tells me. “Things gotta change.”
Tonight still more buses will leave for Columbus for the shorter but still grueling overnight haul to Manhattan. Then, after the march, they’ll turn around and come back so folks can get back to work by Monday morning. The folks from Kansas, who left yesterday, won’t get back to work until Tuesday.
At least one trainload with more than 100 people, has been rolling from the San Francisco Bay for days now. They will march in New York City, then turn around and cross the whole country again.
This is a staggering show of concern and commitment. These folks are on the move to fight King CONG (Coal, Oil, Nukes and Gas). They are clearly willing to pay a serious price to win.
Everybody knows we can now power our planet entirely with renewables.
These folks from Kansas see firsthand the promise of windpower being filled on the prairies where they live.
One works as a solar installer. He put in 500 rooftop systems last year alone. He’s brought his teenaged son, who beams proudly as his dad explains the business.
Another tells me about her job teaching people to do urban gardening. “It takes about three years,” she says. “Then they’re on their own. It really works.”
The chief organizer works in sign language. She tells me about the exciting advances in telecommunicating that now allow the deaf to do conference calling. I’ll send her this article and she’ll forward it on to the rest of the group.
Another bends my ear about bio-char agriculture, and how midwestern farmers have been quietly revolutionizing crop fertilization in ways perfected centuries ago by the native Americans through the use of controlled burn.
Two of the younger riders are handing out fliers about the murder in Ferguson. They are pierced, tattooed and dressed in black. They are also articulate, committed and extremely well-informed.
The Sierra Clubber here is a Marine Corps vet, just out of Ohio State University. Down the table is another Kansan, a factory worker, twice her age, ready for a new career in social change.
And so it goes. Every one of these people with a great story to tell, and an astonishing commitment to saving this planet.
The corporate media likes to make these issues complex and confusing. But nobody on this bus has any doubts. We need to save the planet. We need to convert to renewables. The corporations are in the way.
The corporate media sees us all in terms of numbers.
But these buses are filled with people. Tough, committed, knowledgeable people. Savvy about Fukushima. Inspired by the German transition to green power. Fully informed as to where the green jobs will be and how energy prices will drop once we get them.
The corporations may have their money invested in coal, oil, nukes and gas.
But the truly smart investors are all riding with us.
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By Gwen Ranniger
Fertility issues are on the rise, and new literature points to ways that your environment may be part of the problem. We've rounded up some changes you can make in your life to promote a healthy reproductive system.
Infertility and Environmental Health: The Facts<ul> <li>Sperm count is declining steeply, significantly, and continuously in Western countries, with no signs of tapering off. Erectile dysfunction is on the rise, and women are facing increasing rates of miscarriage and difficulty conceiving.</li><li>Why? A huge factor is our environmental health. Hormones (particularly testosterone and estrogen) are what make reproductive function possible, and our hormones are increasingly being negatively affected by harmful, endocrine-disrupting chemicals commonplace in the modern world—in our homes, foods, and lifestyles.</li></ul>
What You Can Do About It<p>It should be noted that infertility can be caused by any number of factors, including medical conditions that cannot be solved with a simple change at home.</p><p><em>If you or a loved one are struggling with infertility, our hearts and sympathies are with you. Your pain is validated and we hope you receive answers to your struggles.</em></p><p>Read on to discover our tips to restore or improve reproductive health by removing harmful habits and chemicals from your environment.</p>
Edit Your Health<ul><li>If you smoke, quit! Smoking is toxic, period. If someone in your household smokes, urge them to quit or institute a no-smoking ban in the house. It is just as important to avoid secondhand smoke.</li><li>Maintain a healthy weight. Make sure your caloric intake is right for your body and strive for moderate exercise.</li><li>Eat cleanly! Focus on whole foods and less processed meals and snacks. Studies have found that eating a Mediterranean-style diet is linked to increased fertility.</li><li>Minimize negative/constant stress—or find ways to manage it. Hobbies such as meditation or yoga that encourage practiced breathing are great options to reduce the physical toll of stress.</li></ul>
Edit Your Home<p>We spend a lot of time in our homes—and care that what we bring into them will not harm us. You may not be aware that many commonly found household items are sources of harmful, endocrine-disrupting compounds. Read on to find steps you can take—and replacements you should make—in your home.</p><p><strong>In the Kitchen</strong></p><ul> <li>Buy organic, fresh, unprocessed foods whenever possible. <a href="https://www.ehn.org/clean-grocery-shopping-guide-2648563801.html" target="_blank">Read our grocery shopping guide for more tips about food.</a></li><li>Switch to glass, ceramics, or stainless steel for food storage: plastics often contain endocrine-disrupting chemicals that affect fertility. <a href="https://www.ehn.org/bpa-pollution-2645493129.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Learn more about the dangers of plastic here.</a></li><li>Ban plastic from the microwave. If you have a plastic splatter cover, use paper towel, parchment paper, or an upside-down plate instead.</li><li>Upgrade your cookware: non-stick may make life easier, but it is made with unsafe chemical compounds that seep into your food. Cast-iron and stainless steel are great alternatives.</li><li>Filter tap water. Glass filter pitchers are an inexpensive solution; if you want to invest you may opt for an under-the-sink filter.</li><li>Check your cleaning products—many mainstream products are full of unsafe chemicals. <a href="https://www.ehn.org/how-to-shop-for-cleaning-products-while-avoiding-toxics-2648130273.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Check out our guide to safe cleaning products for more info</a>.</li></ul><p><strong>In the Bathroom </strong></p><ul> <li>Check the labels on your bathroom products: <em>fragrance-free, paraben-free, phthalate-free</em> and organic labels are all great signs. You can also scan the ingredients lists for red-flag chemicals such as: triclosan, parabens, and dibutyl phthalate. Use the <a href="https://www.ewg.org/skindeep/" target="_blank">EWG Skin Deep database</a> to vet your personal products.</li><li>Ditch the vinyl shower curtain—that new shower curtain smell is chemical-off gassing. Choose a cotton or linen based curtain instead.</li><li>Banish air fresheners—use natural fresheners (an open window, baking soda, essential oils) instead.</li></ul><p><strong>Everywhere Else</strong></p><ul><li>Remove wall-to-wall carpet. If you've been considering wood or tile, here's your sign: many synthetic carpets can emit harmful chemicals for years. If you want a rug, choose wool or plant materials such as jute or sisal.</li><li>Prevent dust build-up. Dust can absorb chemicals in the air and keep them lingering in your home. Vacuum rugs and wipe furniture, trim, windowsills, fans, TVs, etc. Make sure to have a window open while you're cleaning!</li><li>Leave shoes at the door! When you wear your shoes throughout the house, you're tracking in all kinds of chemicals. If you like wearing shoes inside, consider a dedicated pair of "indoor shoes" or slippers.</li><li>Clean out your closet—use cedar chips or lavender sachets instead of mothballs, and use "green" dry-cleaning services over traditional methods. If that isn't possible, let the clothes air out outside or in your garage for a day before putting them back in your closet.</li><li>Say no to plastic bags!</li><li>We asked 22 endocrinologists what products they use - and steer clear of—in their homes. <a href="https://www.ehn.org/nontoxic-products-2648564261.html" target="_blank">Check out their responses here</a>.</li></ul>
Learn More<ul><li>For more information and action steps, be sure to check out <em>Count Down: How Our Modern World Is Threatening Sperm Counts, Altering Male and Female Reproductive Development, and Imperiling the Future of the Human Race</em> by EHS adjunct scientist Shanna Swan, PhD: <a href="https://www.shannaswan.com/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">available for purchase here.</a></li><li><a href="https://www.ehn.org/st/Subscribe_to_Above_The_Fold" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Sign up for our Above the Fold Newsletter </a>to stay up to date about impacts on the environment and your health.</li></ul>
The irony hit Katherine Kehrli, the associate dean of Seattle Culinary Academy, when one of the COVID-19 pandemic's successive waves of closures flattened restaurants: Many of her culinary students were themselves food insecure. She saw cooks, bakers, and chefs-in-training lose the often-multiple jobs that they needed simply to eat.