Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Walking towards Paris

To get ready for Paris, we report the story of some of the people that have been getting ready for it for a while...a lot of time to think while walking! 

Pilgrimage for climate change in Austria 

by Rembert J. Schleicher

To walk means to be ready for change. Four People (Anja Appel, Ferdinand Kaineder, Rembert Schleicher and Silvia Wieser) walked the whole way from Vienna to Salzburg in 21 days.
Article by Rembert J. Schleicher (PILGRIM)
About 330 people joined us for some hours, a day or even several days to walk together for climate justice. We saw marvellous landscapes but also places where people destroyed the nature and where we could see the consequences of soil sealing for example. We took part at encouraging meetings, discussions about climate change and the consequences for our planet. Sometimes we felt fear and anger about the situation of our planet but at the same time also hope and power.

To walk for the planet means to change the world. We can do this. It is late but yet not too late. We have to teach and to learn and to exercise sustainability. This we experienced in meetings with pupils in Melk, Yspertal and Vöcklabruck. Youngsters in Yspertal (a school within the Austrian PILGRIM network for sustainability) turned out as experts for climate questions. We need more of them!
We packed al lot of ideas and propositions to our Rucksack of Alternatives which we will bring to Paris at the end of November:
1) The concept of Cradle to Cradle of the Gugler Printery in Melk
2) The discovery of Traditional European Medicine in Bad Kreuzen
3) The community building cultivation of a common orchard meadow in Ottensheim with traditional local fruit trees

Reading and discussing Pope Francis’ encyclical “Laudato si’” and walking for Climate Justice we could see, that justice is always an ecological and a social matter. We cannot separate this two aspects. A topic where this can be seen very clearly is the situation of refugees coming from Syria as well as from other countries to Europe. It was an important concern to us, to declare our solidarity with the refugees. One of the reasons for that is, that we understand climate change as one of the reasons why refugees have to leave their homes. We met all the pilgrimage way along (in Sindelburg, Bad Kreuzen, St. Georgen / Gusen, Ottensheim, Wels, Berndorf, Salzburg etc.) refugees and their helpers, some of them even went with us for a while. This was a real School of Life.
To arrive means to be ready to continue and to go on. The 8th of November we started in Salzburg our way to Paris.

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