24 August 2007

On tour in the belly of the beast - Rising Tide North America

So its been a while......Again.

Plunged headlong into the paradox of so much going on and so little time to process any of it... let alone blog any of it.

A massive 7,129 miles or 11,473 kilometres.

So the Rising Tide tour... well it was intense. However three and a half months, 40 stops, traveling on a bus, with a small group of people, talking about climate change all the time always was going to be intense. We all went a little mad, and sank to far into our vices - mine being kombucha & myspace .

A couple of months in we banned 'end of the world' conversations, took up bad harmony singing, and were a lot better off for it - and I now have the ' floodculture ' blog to vent my climate despair..
(OK my tourmates are gonna KILL me for putting that song online.. *hides*)

As always.. a knudge to check out my pics on flickr .

The tour was quite an undertaking.. and we never 'finished' the planning.. as every stop we'd debrief and tailor and adapt for the next stop.. this was a full time 24/7 job! But it got better and better as we gained confidence and learned off all the great folks we met. There is a film of one of out later tour stops below.

OK.. the tour.. well here's my blurb on it (its in italics if you wanna skip it and to get back to my more random ramblings):

climate change, community response & popular education

Climate change is happening already and affecting life all over the planet. We need to do as much as we can to stop it getting any worse, but we also need to be prepared as communities to deal with the effects of what’s coming as the changes get more severe; we wont be able to rely on governments when resources become scarce.

Communities are preparing to respond to climate events and to be able provide for their own needs.. This translates to the many projects already in action and the many more in creation.

Emergency disaster relief teams, health collectives, community gardens, permaculture projects, bike collectives, wind & solar projects, social events, cross community solidarity projects, skill shares and practical training.

Popular education is an integral part of this work as these projects rarely emerge from people being told that things need to happen. They emerge instead from people acting on the needs in their area and from cross-pollination of ideas from other places and cultures.

One of the most rewarding things as a popular educator is to bring together groups of people and find common interests and spark conversations and projects.

At our New York tour stop we were doing a mind mapping exercise on disaster relief. The different needs were mapped out by the group and then it was found that different folks that had never met before had skills in many of the identifi ed areas. An email list sheet was passed around and taken away by one of the participants to organise their next meeting. A new project started!

Film of tour stop in Guelph, Ontario.
And on Google video

Radio Interview of the tour crew in Guelph, Ontario.

And... I've just finished a 'tour documentation project' which has become a 'resource pack for trainers & facilitators' with descriptions of the games & exercises.. and all the tools you need to create your own climate road-show! Its really quite good - I've had lots of ace feedback already so take a look: risingtide.org.uk/pdfs/RTNAtour.pdf 2.4 MB pdf

So.. the most memorable points on the tour?

Florida rocked. (and your all totally hot, it cant just be the endless sunshine?) We swam in warm seas, met up with locals resisting LNG & Coal plants, community gardens, rockin' parties, torrential tropical storms... and.. and we went row boating in the everglades in alligator infested waters! Tour Blog post on Florida.

Hmm what else? Bloomington (my bloomies.. I love & miss y'all), clowning with circa in chicago, gourmet dumpster chefs in Shepherdstown, sleeping out in the west Virginia Appalachian mountains, crazy gorges & high-school stops in Ithaca NY, Kick-starting Rising Tide Canada in Ottawa, (40 folks to their 1st meeting) and Montreal - Ces't Fantastique...

The Little Village Environments Justice Organisation
are the most inspiring & cool folks ever! In the largest mexican community in US they are making all the link with community organsing, fighting 2 coal power plant and community gardening turning lawns into food.. and much much more..

The 'seed sow road show' was a total high.. we met up with a cycle tour.. which, after spending a day cycling around the projects of The youth run Worcester Roots project who have test lead levels in soil then plant bio-remediation plants in problem soil.. all in a big ghost-busters 'toxic soil busters' bus.

Visiting and bringing supplies to the indigenous Six Nations Blockade in Canada was amazing.. to see them taking down condos.. check out these links to find about more about their inspiring & bold actions..

There were also some intense & hard places. Like visiting Larry Gibson, who's home is surround by coal mines.. . in Appalachia they literally blow off the tops of the mountains to get at the coal.. he used to live on the smallest mountain in the area.. now his land tower about the rubble and devastated land around. There is a short film about Larry here.

There is so much more to tell! maybe some stories will eek out at a later date.. we met so many fantastic folks at every stop we were hosted by the most rad amazing people.. so a huge thanks to y'all - love ya!

Some pics from the road below.. and there are many more on flickr . And more on the blog real soon!

Carbro web of fun..

The 'L' in Chicago

Vote Nobody.. in Guelph, canada

Shark Jars.. real or not? (Florida)

To the point

Creepy how the graves & sky-scraper look the same..

Somewhere in the north-east it all started getting a little strange.. (HP Lovecraft country)

Cowboys for Christ.. (Gas station in Georgia)

'Community'. (Arlington, DC)

All these cakes are Vegan.. Cookie loves Vegan cake... (a NYC bakery)

Florida.. (at river threatened by power plant)


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