BAR HARBOR — “It is luck, isn’t it, where we land on this earth?”
That’s a question Bo Greene of Bar Harbor, a member of Indivisible MDI and organizer of the Downeast Climate March planned for Saturday, April 27, says she has had on her mind.
“Some of us are born in areas rich with natural resources and beauty, some of us are born in areas of extreme sparseness, some of us live on the edge of a rising sea. None of us deserve or have earned the right to live in a more or less ‘desirable’ place. The fact is that those of us living in the richest places on earth contribute the most to the degradation of the most vulnerable places.”
Organizers called the gathering “a chance for Mainers to gather and show their concern for our planet and put demands on our elected officials to treat climate change as the crisis it is.”
The event begins at 1 p.m. on the Village Green. Participants will march up Mount Desert Street, turn on High Street, walk on Cottage Street to Main Street, and to the town pier, where the group will pause before returning to the Village Green to listen to speakers.
Anyone not planning to join the march is welcome to meet marchers on the green when they return. The event will end at about 3 p.m.
“We all must simply fight harder,” Greene said, “both to mitigate our own impacts on the environment and to force our leaders to understand the urgency of writing and passing policies that will slow and stop the devastating impacts of climate change.”
“Maine’s ocean waters are rising faster than almost any others on the planet, yet our entire economy depends on a healthy environment that provides a livelihood for thousands of Mainers and brings people to Maine to partake in its natural beauty and unique resources,” a statement from the group said.
One speaker, climate activist and College of the Atlantic student Iris Gillingham, can speak of her own experience feeling the effects of climate change at age six, when a 500-year flood — a flood which has a 0.2 percent chance of occurring in any given year — destroyed her family’s farm in upstate New York.
“It washed away our greenhouses, all of our topsoil, and my family was forced to stop farming for a living,” she said.
Before the flood, the Gillinghams had been growing produce for themselves and their town for 10 years. This, and two other floods that hit the family’s home within five years, made continuing to farm for themselves and their town impossible.
The first Downeast Climate March, in 2017, prominently featured sunflowers. Indivisible MDI member Heather Peterson said that these plants represent the goodness of the earth and they can be used to help detoxify contaminated soils. “Look for the large sunflowers again this year. We’ll have many to share, or bring your own!”
Contact Indivisible MDI at [email protected] or visit indivisiblemdi.me.