Great March for Climate Action

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Great March for Climate Action
Great March for Climate Action Logo November 2013.png
MottoStepping forward for our Planet, our Future
Legal status501(c)(3)
PurposeInspire the general public and elected officials to take climate action
HeadquartersDes Moines, Iowa, United States
Ed Fallon
over 200

The Great March for Climate Action (also known as the Climate March) was launched on March 1, 2013 by former Iowa lawmaker Ed Fallon, inspired after meeting with Bill McKibben.[1] “Since probably 2007, I’ve identified the climate crisis as the most serious challenge facing our planet, and I’ve been pondering ways in which I could most effectively help address it.”[2]

The non-profit organization planned to mobilize one thousand people to march across the continental United States in order to raise awareness and action on anthropogenic climate change. The march began March 1, 2014 in Wilmington neighborhood in South Los Angeles, California, and ended on November 1, 2014 when marchers arrived in Washington, D.C.[3] Along the route, participants engaged with the general public and elected officials in order to inspire society to address climate change.[4] In the end, a core group of 34 people traveled the entire route from Los Angeles, California, to Washington D.C.,[5] and five people walked every step from LA to DC.[6]

In a Des Moines Register interview Fallon said, “We think it’s very important. We think this is a tool that will help mobilize people to understand the problem and to do more about it…this needs to become the defining issue of this century.” Fallon was inspired in part by another cross-country march, the 1986 Great Peace March for Global Nuclear Disarmament, for which he coordinated the Iowa logistics. Although this was a national campaign, it was intended to have an international audience and was desired to include participants from multiple nations, as climate change is a global phenomenon.[7]

The headquarters of the non-profit are located in Des Moines, Iowa. As of October 2013 they had six staff, had raised $120,000, and earned endorsements from, James Hansen, and U.S. Senator Tom Harkin and Congressman Bruce Braley among others.[2][8]

March route[edit]

The marchers departed from Santa Monica, California on March 1, 2014, traveling through Nebraska (focus on the Keystone Pipeline) and ended in Washington, D.C. in November, 2014. The route passed through California,[9][10][11][12] Arizona,[13][14][15] New Mexico,[16][17][18][19][20] Colorado,[21][22][23] Nebraska,[24][25][26] Iowa,[27][28][29][30][31] Illinois,[32][33][34][35][36][37][38] Indiana,[39][40][41][42] Ohio,[43][44][45][46] Pennsylvania,[47][48] Maryland, Washington, D.C.[49][50] and the following cities (unverified):[8]

  • Los Angeles, CA
  • San Bernardino, CA
  • Parker, AZ
  • Wickenburg, AZ
  • Phoenix, AZ
  • Payson, AZ
  • Albuquerque, NM
  • Santa Fe, NM
  • Taos, NM
  • Colorado Springs, CO
  • Denver, CO
  • Kearney, NE
  • Lincoln, NE
  • Omaha, NE
  • Des Moines, IA
  • Grinnell, IA
  • Iowa City, IA
  • Davenport, IA
  • Chicago, IL
  • Toledo, OH
  • Cleveland, OH
  • Youngstown, OH
  • Pittsburgh, PA
  • Hagerstown, MD
  • Washington, D.C.

Reasons for marching[edit]

Reverend Bob Cook planned to take part in the march. "The Des Moines pastor’s life work has been for the poor, but he doesn’t view the Great March for Climate Action as a departure. The poor are affected most by climate change, as they are from most troubling world events, Cook said."[51]

Ben Bushwick, a student at Ohio University, marched most of the way. “I’m marching because quite frankly I don’t see any other choice,” Bushwick said. “Atmospheric disruption is a real threat that people do not take seriously and will make mitigation and adaptation efforts a lot more difficult.”[43]

Faith Meckley, a student at Ithaca College, says, “I was interested, but only for a three-week walk from Pittsburgh to Washington. ... After thinking about it and talking to my academic advisor at Ithaca, I decided to take the spring semester off and do the walk from Taos, N.M., to Washington. I am committed to this issue. I want to do more than my environmental blog and sign petitions. I have a respect for the planet.” In line with her commitment, she left the march early to protest storage of liquefied petroleum gas and natural gas in her hometown region of Seneca Lake, New York.[52]


An average day’s walk was expected to be 14–15 miles. Campsites for tents were prearranged. Organizers had hoped to haul all of the gear and supplies via bicycles to minimize energy consumption and maximize sustainability, but after some intensive research this proved infeasible, so trucks running on biodiesel or vegetable oil fuel were used. Research into solar cookers, composting toilets, determined how far the marchers were able to use sustainable methods to handle food and energy needs, and human waste. Participants and volunteers shared daily chores including but not limited to setting up camp, food preparation and clean-up. Interactive workshops focused on climate change, the anthropogenic effect on the environment, and active solutions.[53]

Other activist marches in political and social change[edit]

Throughout history, marches have been associated with political and social change. Examples include but are not limited to: the Woman Suffrage Parade of 1913, Gandhi's Salt March to defy Britain's imperial power, Martin Luther King Jr's Selma to Montgomery marches for voting rights and the Great Peace March for Global Nuclear Disarmament.[54] Peace walks have been particularly popular in the peace movement.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Will A 3,000-Mile 'Great March For Climate Action' Change Minds On Climate Change?". The Weather Channel. 23 December 2013. Retrieved 2014-01-25.
  2. ^ a b "Former Iowa politician plans cross-country trek to raise climate awareness". ClimateWire. 7 June 2013. Retrieved 2013-07-02.
  3. ^ "Young Activist Explains Her Deep Commitment to Reverse Climate Change". Between The Lines / Squeaky Wheel Productions. Retrieved 2014-12-08.
  4. ^ "Join the Great March for Climate Action". Blog for Iowa. Retrieved 2013-07-02.
  5. ^ "Completing 3000 Mile Trek, Activists Descend on White House Demanding 'Climate Action Now!'". Common Dreams. Retrieved 2017-07-11.
  6. ^ "Climate-change marchers finish cross-country walk". Des Moines Register. Retrieved 2015-01-03.
  7. ^ "Ed Fallon on the Great March for Climate Action". Des Moines Register. Retrieved 1 July 2013.
  8. ^ a b "The Great March for Climate Action website". Retrieved 2013-07-03.
  9. ^ "Climate change marchers carry message through desert". Hi-Desert Star. Retrieved 2017-07-21.
  10. ^ "LA marches for climate action". Retrieved 2017-07-21.
  11. ^ "Claremont-Courier". Retrieved 2017-07-21.
  12. ^ "Hundreds Launch National Climate March from the Port of LA |". 2014-03-01. Retrieved 2017-07-21.
  13. ^ Nelson, Michele. "Climate change marchers seek to raise awareness". Retrieved 2017-07-21.
  14. ^ "Cross-country climate change march stops in Phoenix". azcentral. Retrieved 2017-07-21.
  15. ^ rsingram (2014-04-18). "The Great March for Climate Action Passes Through Payson Arizona!". Transition Town Payson. Retrieved 2017-07-21.
  16. ^ patty. "Breaking Climate Silence: One Step at a Time". Truthout. Retrieved 2017-07-21.
  17. ^ "My Turn: How many steps will it take". The Taos News. Retrieved 2017-07-21.
  18. ^ "Marching Against Climate Change: Activists take cross-country walk to confront human causes of climate change". Retrieved 2017-07-21.
  19. ^ Mexican, By Staci MatlockThe New. "Cross-country trek for climate awareness to reach Santa Fe on Friday". The Santa Fe New Mexican. Retrieved 2017-07-21.
  20. ^ "Passing Through". Cibola Beacon. Retrieved 2017-07-21.
  21. ^ "Walkers march across U.S. for climate". Retrieved 2017-07-21.
  22. ^ "PHOTOS: Great March for Climate Action holds Denver rally". Denver Post Photos and Videos. 2014-06-16. Retrieved 2017-07-21.
  23. ^ "Marchers stop in Colorado Springs to tout climate change message". Colorado Springs Gazette. Retrieved 2017-07-21.
  24. ^ White, Steve. "Climate March Urges Action Against Keystone XL". KHGI. Retrieved 2017-07-21.
  25. ^ Group, Sinclair Broadcast. "Activist Group on a Mission, Travels on Foot Through Nebraska". KHGI. Retrieved 2017-07-21.
  26. ^ "Climate marchers hold vigil at depot". McCook Gazette. 2014-07-07. Retrieved 2017-07-21.
  27. ^ Cook, Linda. "Walkers, climate-change supporters gather in Davenport". The Quad-City Times. Retrieved 2017-07-21.
  28. ^ "Great March for Climate Action arrives in Iowa City". Iowa City Press-Citizen. Retrieved 2017-07-21.
  29. ^ "Cross-country march arrives today in the Iowa City area after nearly six months on the road | Little Village". Little Village. 2014-08-19. Retrieved 2017-07-21.
  30. ^ "Coast-to-coast climate march arrives in Eastern Iowa | The Gazette". The Gazette. Retrieved 2017-07-21.
  31. ^ "Oil pipeline protesters meet with local farmers". Newton Daily News. Retrieved 2017-07-21.
  32. ^ "Climate action group hiking cross-country meets with Glen Ellyn environmental advocates". Retrieved 2017-07-21.
  33. ^ Kopycinski, Gary (2014-09-08). "Cross-Country March for Climate Action Arrives in Southeast Chicago on September 8". eNews Park Forest. Retrieved 2017-07-21.
  34. ^ Cilella, Jessica. "Climate change activists walk through suburbs". Daily Herald. Retrieved 2017-07-21.
  35. ^ Activists march across the country for climate change action, retrieved 2017-07-21
  36. ^ Nevarez, Jackie. "Climate action supporters march from LA to NIU". Northern Star Online. Retrieved 2017-07-21.
  37. ^ "'Great March' makes a stop on Beith Road". Retrieved 2017-07-21.
  38. ^ 5525, Ext. "Walkers for Climate Action make way through Sauk Valley". Retrieved 2017-07-21.
  39. ^, Sharon Hernandez. "Goshen College students welcome participants of Great March for Climate Action". The Elkhart Truth. Retrieved 2017-07-21.
  40. ^, JULIE CROTHERS. "Climate action group marches through Goshen". Goshen News. Retrieved 2017-07-21.
  41. ^ "GreeND hosts marchers for climate action // The Observer". The Observer. 2014-09-14. Retrieved 2017-07-21.
  42. ^, Dan Spalding. "Great March for Climate Action to arrive in Elkhart County". The Elkhart Truth. Retrieved 2017-07-21.
  43. ^ a b "Three Thousand Miles for Climate Action". college green. Retrieved 2017-07-11.
  44. ^ "National Climate Marchers Spend the Night in Oberlin". Fearless and Loathing. Retrieved 2017-07-21.
  45. ^ "Climate march stops in Youngstown". Retrieved 2017-07-21.
  46. ^ "Marchers seek climate discussion". The Blade. 2014-09-27. Retrieved 2017-07-21.
  47. ^ Pilot, PAT FRIDGEN, Echo. "Climate walkers find respite from trek in Greencastle". Echo Pilot. Retrieved 2017-07-21.
  48. ^ "Climate change marchers pass through Pittsburgh". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved 2017-07-21.
  49. ^ "Completing 3000 Mile Trek, Activists Descend on White House Demanding 'Climate Action Now!'". Common Dreams. Retrieved 2017-07-21.
  50. ^ "Climate-change marchers finish cross-country walk". Des Moines Register. Retrieved 2017-07-21.
  51. ^ "Stung by spirit, pastor hoped to walk across the country". Des Moines Register. 29 June 2013. Retrieved 2013-07-02.
  52. ^, DAVID L. SHAW. "TAKING ACTION: Genevan, 19, leaves national climate march to protest locally". Finger Lakes Times. Retrieved 2017-07-11.
  53. ^ "The Great March for Climate Action". ThinkProgress. 18 Jun 2013. Retrieved 2013-07-03.
  54. ^ "The Power of Multi-Day Walks and Rides". Grist. 3 Oct 2013. Retrieved 2013-10-10.

External links[edit]