Unicycle Ride for Climate Action pauses for 24 hr. Fast
April 29, 2014
5,000km Unicycle Ride for Climate Action Pauses for 24hr Fast
Joseph Boutilier joins hundreds worldwide in 24hr fast for climate action on May 1, 2014
Victoria BC-resident Joseph Boutilier is unicycling 5,000km from his hometown to the nations capital to call for action on climate change, but the trip will be suspended on Thursday, May 1 for a different kind of action. Boutilier will be joining hundreds worldwide in a 24-hour fast for climate action. My one-wheeled advocacy may be unique, says Boutilier, but equally important to me is standing in solidarity with other activists worldwide to demonstrate a different kind of unity for climate action.
Fasting for climate justice and action isnt a new idea, but the movement has grown rapidly over the last year. In 2009, Anna Keenan lead others in a 44-day fast at the UN Climate Change Convention in Copenhagen to call on all nations to agree to a 350ppm cap on world carbon pollution. Philippines lead climate negotiator Nadarev Yeb Sano, famously fasted for the duration of the 12-day 2014 UNFCCC, spurring a series of solidarity actions, including a global 10-day fast that started on Earth Day (April 22, 2014). Yeb Sano has also been leading a series of 24-hour fasts on the first day of each month since the 2013 convention - a campaign embraced by hundreds on social media and supported by the Canadian organization ClimateFast. In 2012 and in 2013 ClimateFast "hungry for climate leadership" conducted 12-day fasts on Parliament Hill. ,Since January, 2014 ClimateFast has put Climate First on the first of the month, in solidarity with the international Fast for the Climate. This fall, ClimateFast will again return to Parliament Hill and fast for climate justice and climate leadership, from Sept - Oct. 2. Boutilier also plans to join this years ClimateFast event when he arrives in Ottawa in September.
Boutilier will be in Nelson BC on the 25th day of his cross-country ride during the May 1 hunger strike. Its his fourth time fasting on the 1st of each month. Fasting has been a powerful tool for activists in all the greatest struggles for justice and peace in history, Boutilier notes. Theres no better way to demonstrate a hunger for change, a commitment for action, a sacrifice for the greater good. Boutilier notes his contribution is relatively minimal, and says its really about solidarity with other advocates, to demonstrate unity and cohesiveness between a range of global campaigns working to address this crisis of inaction.
Like the organizers of ClimateFast, Boutilier is specifically calling on the Canadian government to take a stronger stance on the climate change issue. He notes an ongoing $1.4 billion of annual subsidies to fossil fuel corporations and the governments failure to stay on track for its current C02 emission reduction targets as top concerns. He also notes that Canada badly needs a price-on-carbon policy, something like a fee and dividend program. Boutilier hopes that the upcoming 2015 election will be a chance for Canadians to reaffirm their support for progressive climate policies, making it a top priority for incumbent and prospective MPs alike.
Boutilier says current fasting campaigns are just one part of an invigorating explosion in global, grassroots climate movements. He points to the ongoing anti-Keystone Reject and Protect rallies and the Global Climate Convergence campaign in the US, and the upcoming Defend Our Climate rallies in Canada as other examples of blossoming, peaceful protests.
ABOUT UNITY FOR THE CLIMATE
Joseph Boutilier has already travel led over 500-kilometres from Victoria BC to Nelson as part of a 5-month, 5,000km unicycle ride. Hes calling for climate action, respect for First Nations treaties and inherent land rights and an end to the muzzling of federal government scientists. He plans to arrive in Ottawa by September 15, 2014.
ClimateFast is hungry for climate leadership, and calls upon the Canadian government to address climate change. Upon release of the latest IPCC report, Rajendra Pachauri warns that climate change is happening now, on every continent and in every ocean; no human will be spared its consequences. Canada must pull its weight by drastically reducing our greenhouse gas emissions, cutting emissions well below the inadequate targets it has so recklessly set and are already failing to meet. ClimateFast calls upon every politician to pledge to work to put an end to fossil fuel subsidies; put a price on carbon; and to develop a renewable energy plan for Canada. We have fasted on Parliament Hill for 12 days annually since 2012, and now take part in the international Fast for the Climate; we will return to Parliament Hill again this fall, September 29-October 2nd, hungry for climate justice. Stand with us.
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