River Rats Adapt

Dear Friends,

As I sit here admiring the Mississippi River, I reflect on how fortunate we are in Iowa to have such an abundant supply of water. In so many places I’ve walked through over the past six months, water is an increasingly scarce commodity. Sure, Iowa often has too much water. But better too much than too little.

Ending carbon pollution is critical. So is figuring out how to adapt in the New Climate Era. The folks I’m staying with tonight, Kriss and Martha Easter-Wells, have learned how to adapt to the mighty Mississippi’s now regular flood events. Martha and Kriss have lived here for eight years. Already, the river has hit the 100-year flood stage three times. They have found a way to deal with flooding without incurring any cost or loss. Martha joins us on today’s program for a look at how one family is adjusting to the reality of weather beyond our previous experience.

Also this week, Climate Marcher Faith Meckley of the Finger Lakes region of New York talks about fracking. Faith visits northeast Iowa today, where she meets with residents fighting the destruction of their land by companies seeking to profit from frac-sand mining.

Tune-in to the Fallon Forum, live Monday-Thursday from 6:00-6:30 pm. I’ll give daily updates about the March and talk with some of the fascinating people I meet along the way. Listen and watch online at www.fallonforum.com. Call-in at (855) 244-0077 to add your voice to the dialogue. Podcasts available after the program. And catch the Fallon Forum Wednesdays on KHOI 89.1 (Ames) from 4:00-5:00 pm and KPVL 89.1 (Postville) from 7:00-8:00 pm.

Thanks! – Ed

For Fallon Fans

Dear Friends,

The rolling hills of Iowa are moving along quickly. Tomorrow’s 22.5 mile march lands us on the doorstep of Iowa City. It’s been good to be home, and I will be sad to leave. Many times each day, I run into people I know, often friends and acquaintances I haven’t seen in awhile.

Yesterday, one of my long-time supporters, Sean (sorry, Sean, I’m blanking on your last name), greeted us on the side of Highway 6 with cold water, an umbrella and a sign reading “For Fallon Fans.” Besides water and shade, Sean let marchers use his bathroom, gave one marcher a pair of shoes, and donated $20 to our cause.

Less than a mile later, a car slows down, the window opens and it’s my friend and fellow legislative colleague, Republican State Senator Andy McKean. During our years of service together, Andy and I agreed on a lot of issues, including criminal justice reform and land use. We chatted for a few minutes, and it turns out we agree on climate change as well.

Reconnecting with Iowans across the state has been refreshing. And I am invigorated by the fact that people of varying political perspectives are coming together on climate change. Beyond the sore legs and weight loss, this March is giving me renewed hope that America is poised to soon rise and tackle the challenge of the climate crisis.

Tune-in to the Fallon Forum, live Monday-Thursday from 6:00-6:30 pm. I’ll give daily updates about the March and talk with some of the fascinating people I meet along the way. Listen and watch online at www.fallonforum.com. Call-in at (855) 244-0077 to add your voice to the dialogue. Podcasts available after the program. And catch the Fallon Forum Wednesdays on KHOI 89.1 (Ames) from 4:00-5:00 pm and KPVL 89.1 (Postville) from 7:00-8:00 pm.

For Fallon Fans

Dear Friends,

The rolling hills of Iowa are moving along quickly. Tomorrow’s 22.5 mile march lands us on the doorstep of Iowa City. It’s been good to be home, and I will be sad to leave. Many times each day, I run into people I know, often friends and acquaintances I haven’t seen in awhile.

Yesterday, one of my long-time supporters, Sean (sorry, Sean, I’m blanking on your last name), greeted us on the side of Highway 6 with cold water, an umbrella and a sign reading “For Fallon Fans.” Besides water and shade, Sean let marchers use his bathroom, gave one marcher a pair of shoes, and donated $20 to our cause.

Less than a mile later, a car slows down, the window opens and it’s my friend and fellow legislative colleague, Republican State Senator Andy McKean. During our years of service together, Andy and I agreed on a lot of issues, including criminal justice reform and land use. We chatted for a few minutes, and it turns out we agree on climate change as well.

Reconnecting with Iowans across the state has been refreshing. And I am invigorated by the fact that people of varying political perspectives are coming together on climate change. Beyond the sore legs and weight loss, this March is giving me renewed hope that America is poised to soon rise and tackle the challenge of the climate crisis.

Tune-in to the Fallon Forum, live Monday-Thursday from 6:00-6:30 pm. I’ll give daily updates about the March and talk with some of the fascinating people I meet along the way. Listen and watch online at www.fallonforum.com. Call-in at (855) 244-0077 to add your voice to the dialogue. Podcasts available after the program. And catch the Fallon Forum Wednesdays on KHOI 89.1 (Ames) from 4:00-5:00 pm and KPVL 89.1 (Postville) from 7:00-8:00 pm.

Almost home!

Dear Friends,

It’s hard to believe, but after walking nearly 2,000 miles, I arrive in Des Moines on Monday! This March is proving to be the most difficult experience of my life. It would mean so much to me to have you, my friends, join me Monday evening at Ritual Cafe at 5:30 for the 1.6 mile march to the State Capitol. Or simply come to the State Capitol at 6:30 for our rally.

My time home is regrettably brief, as I must be back on the road Wednesday to continue the trek eastward. Honestly, I just want to stop, linger, sleep, pet my cat, tend my chickens, play my piano, and enjoy the remaining weeks of a beautiful Iowa summer.

But the severity of the threat of climate change drives me forward on a mission that has already accomplished much, and may yet accomplish great things for a planet in peril.

Tune-in to the Fallon Forum, live Monday-Thursday from 6:00-6:30 pm. I’ll give daily updates about the March and talk with some of the fascinating people I meet along the way. Listen and watch online at www.fallonforum.com. Call-in at (855) 244-0077 to add your voice to the dialogue. Podcasts available after the program. And catch the Fallon Forum Wednesdays on KHOI 89.1 (Ames) from 4:00-5:00 pm and KPVL 89.1 (Postville) from 7:00-8:00 pm.

Thanks! – Ed

Keylime, Not Keystone

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Dear Friends,

Three weeks ago, marchers reached the physical midpoint of the Great March for Climate Action. Saturday, we reached the political midpoint, crossing the proposed path of the Keystone Pipeline. (Check out this link from our incredible partner, Bold Nebraska, for details and photos.) The Keystone Pipeline has become the symbol of resistance to climate disruption and our dependence on fossil fuels. Keystone is where activists across the country have drawn a line in the sand.

Midwest hospitality being what it is, the Pipeline has also provided a focal point for Nebraskans to roll out the red carpet for us. We have been treated to all sorts of wonderful food, including meat pies, quiche pies, veggie pies and fruit pies. On two occasions, I was the delighted recipient of Keylime Pie, giving birth to my personal slogan in this cause: Keylime, Not Keystone. (Note: Both times, the Keylime kindness was dished-up by self-described conservatives who disagreed with me on many issues but concurred on Keystone and climate.)

As I sit here in front of my tent in 100 degree heat, I am deeply grateful for the kindness that I and other marchers have received from so many Nebraskans – kindness that includes not just food and shelter but showers, laundry and good conversation about the crisis of this century. And while not everyone agrees on what to do about climate change, the vast majority of those we meet concur that we have a huge problem, that human activity is causing it, and that something must be done.

My sense from the front lines in the race to save the planet is that people “get it,” even though they have yet to mobilize in a big way to fight. I have a strong, encouraging feeling that this lack of mobilization is about to change – is already changing, in fact. This sense keeps me going despite the fatigue, the heat, the bug bites, and the ongoing struggle to find enough calories, protein and sleep.

Tune-in to the Fallon Forum, live Monday-Thursday from 6:00-6:30 pm. I’ll give daily updates about the March and talk with some of the fascinating people I meet along the way. We’ll also dig into Iowa politics, as the mid-term election heats up and draws national interest. Listen and watch online at www.fallonforum.com. Call-in at (855) 244-0077 to add your voice to the dialogue. Podcasts available after the program. And catch the Fallon Forum Wednesdays on KHOI 89.1 (Ames) from 4:00-5:00 pm and KPVL 89.1 (Postville) from 7:00-8:00 pm.

Thanks! – Ed

FORMER IOWA LAWMAKER PREDICTS BIPARTISAN ALLIES IN PIPELINE BATTLE

Former State Representative Ed Fallon, who is walking across the country with the Great March for Climate Action, today had harsh words for proponents of a pipeline across Iowa.

“This proposal is wrong on so many levels it’s hard to know where to start,” said Fallon. “With the impacts of climate change becoming more and more evident, the last thing we need is another pipeline. Also, with the pipeline proposed to go through 17 Iowa counties, the loss of farmland and condemnation of land is going to hurt Iowa from literally one corner of the state to the other.”

As a lawmaker, one of Fallon’s specialty areas was toughening eminent domain law to better protect property owners from condemnation of land. “A coalition of Democrats and Republicans was successful ten years ago in extending greater protection to landowners facing condemnation of their property for development. If a Texas oil corporation thinks they can come to Iowa and take people’s land for a bad idea like a pipeline, they’ll find they have quite a bipartisan fight on their hands,” predicted Fallon.

Fallon is also troubled by the apparent secrecy of the proposed pipeline. “I have my suspicions about who knew what and when, and why this hasn’t been discussed in the full light of public oversight, but I will reserve those comments until we learn more,” concluded Fallon.

Fallon is the Founder and Director of the Great March for Climate Action and operates a daily talk show called The Fallon Forum, which can be heard online and on two Iowa radio stations. He has walked every step of the way with the Climate March, to date about 1,600 miles.

Beaten down, but determined

Dear Friends,

The Climate March is wearing on me. Walking 15 miles a day is grinding me down. I’ve lost weight. My lips are a war zone, victims of the hot sun and dry air. My nails are chipped so bad I can’t pick guitar. The novelty of sleeping in a tent wore off in the Mojave, as did the novelty of bathing with a quart of cold water.

And the weather! Sure, we’ve had some beautiful days. But there is simply no joy in having my tent – and my nose, ears and eyes – invaded by sand hurled by 30-40 mile per hour winds. Sometimes it’s too cold to sleep, and in the morning it’s too cold to work one’s fingers. If I’m late for dinner there may be little or nothing left. I’ve devoured over 100 peanut butter sandwiches since the start of the March.

Sometimes, I don’t know how I’ve done it, yet I’ve walked every step of the way – nearly 1,000 miles. I am determined, God willing, to walk every step of the next 2,000 miles.

When I reflect on why I’m marching, quitting is simply not an option. As I walk through deserts and over mountains and talk with people along the way, I think of the thousands across the globe who have already suffered and died because of climate disruption. I think of the lives – both human and other – that will be lost if we fail to tackle the climate crisis.

Although I am tired and sore, although this March often feels like a sacramental act of penance and self deprivation, I know that the only option of conscience is to continue, to persevere, to finish. I believe strongly that the message we marchers carry on the road to Washington, DC is the most important message America needs to hear today.

I am digging deep in this often grueling coast-to-coast odyssey. I ask you to dig deep as well, one more time, to make sure we have the funds to get to Nebraska and beyond. Since my first appeal three weeks ago, you and other supporters have donated $24,000. That is nearly halfway to our goal of raising $50,000 by the end of May! For that, I and the other marchers thank you from the bottom of our hearts. Please click here to donate, and as you do consider the following:

- It costs $200 per day to feed 40 marchers;
- It costs $1,000 to sponsor an environmentally-friendly EcoCommode;
- It costs $2,500 per month to rent, power and maintain our vehicles;
- It costs $10,000 per state to organize route, campsites, permits, rallies and events.

Please take a moment to do what you can.  Share this letter with others, and with organizations or a church you are involved with. Ask them to pitch in as well, by throwing a house party or passing the hat at a church service or event.  Consider taking your summer vacation with the March (in addition to the hard times I’ve discussed above, there truly are many wonderful moments). And know that your thoughts, prayers and words of encouragement mean so much to me, and to all the marchers.

And please tune-in to the Fallon Forum, live Monday-Thursday from 6:00-6:30 pm. I’ll give daily updates about the March and talk with some of the fascinating people I meet along the way. We’ll also discuss Iowa-specific issues, including: Bernie Sanders for President? Tom Vilsack for Vice President? Listen and watch online at www.fallonforum.com. Call-in at (855) 244-0077 to add your voice to the dialogue. Podcasts available after the program. And catch the Fallon Forum Wednesdays on KHOI 89.1 (Ames) from 4:00-5:00 pm and KPVL 89.1 (Postville) from 7:00-8:00 pm.

Thanks! – Ed

Business Sponsors
Anemometry Specialists
Corazon Coffee Roasters
State Rep Dan Kelley
Dianna’s Wedding Cakes
Gateway Market
HoQ Restaurant
Ritual Cafe
Sargent’s Garage
Tally’s Restaurant Bar & Catering

Thanks to Our Sponsors!

Organizational Sponsors
Great March for Climate Action
Physicians for Social Responsibility, Iowa Chapter
Sierra Club Iowa Chapter

Business Sponsors
Anemometry Specialists
Corazon Coffee Roasters
State Rep Dan Kelley
Dianna’s Wedding Cakes
Gateway Market
HoQ Restaurant
Ritual Cafe
Sargent’s Garage
Tally’s Restaurant Bar & Catering
The Book Store

Native Hospitality

Dear Friends,

Well, marching across New Mexico has been an eye-opening experience. The Native peoples we meet – Zuni, Acoma, Laguna – have provided hospitality richer even than the openness Iowans are known for. I’ll share some stories with you this week on the Fallon Forum.

Also, what are your thoughts on West Des Moines’ Microsoft “deal” . . . as in . . . “Is this a great deal for Microsoft at the expense of the taxpayers or what?” Or perhaps you think a bundle of tax money for a handful of jobs make sense. Either way, I’m happy to hear from you.

Also, will US Senate Democrats join Senate Republicans and cave to pressure from the fossil fuel industry and Canada (the country formerly referred to as our friend to the North) and jam the Keystone Pipeline through without Presidential approval?

I’m open to your thoughts on other timely topics to dig into on this week’s Fallon Forum. Fire away with suggestions. Join the conversation live Monday-Thursday from 6:00-6:30 pm. Listen and watch online at www.fallonforum.com. Call-in at (855) 244-0077 to add your voice to the dialogue. Podcasts available after the program. And catch the Fallon Forum Wednesdays on KHOI 89.1 (Ames) from 4:00-5:00 pm and KPVL 89.1 (Postville) from 7:00-8:00 pm.

Thanks! – Ed

GOP Shake-up No Big Deal

Dear Friends,

My take on the Iowa Republican Party shake-up? Purely cosmetic. Expect business as usual. Iowans will see the same anti-choice, anti-gay, anti-environment and anti-labor rhetoric and policy proposals that are standard practice for both Governor Branstad and the GOP-controlled Iowa House.

Sure, so-called “liberty movement” Republicans are out. Theocrats and big business Republicans are in. But there is no substantive difference, and real world problems will be met by the same lack of vision and lack of empathy for the common person that have become standard for modern-day Republicans.

I do need to give the ousted Ron Paul supporters credit for one thing. They weren’t afraid to challenge the power brokers within the Party. Of course, that’s a big part of why they were ousted.

One impact could be positive for Iowa – one based on image, not substance. National poobahs, both Republican and Democrat, will prognosticate that the Iowa Republican Party has transformed itself, has become more representative of the electorate. They’ll reason that Iowa has redeemed itself after the caucus fiasco of 2012. Thus, it’ll be harder for Iowa’s detractors to argue we are unfit to host the first-in-the-nation presidential contest.

For that reason, Iowa Democrats ought to send Terry Branstad a thank you note on a slip of paper. But make sure that slip of paper is pink, so it can double as notice that Branstad’s reign of error is finished.

Join the conversation live Monday-Thursday from 6:00-6:30 pm. Listen and watch online at www.fallonforum.com. Call-in at (855) 244-0077 to add your voice to the dialogue. Podcasts available after the program. And catch the Fallon Forum Wednesdays on KHOI 89.1 (Ames) from 4:00-5:00 pm and KPVL 89.1 (Postville) from 7:00-8:00 pm.

Thanks! – Ed