This morning, one of my best friends, Scott Sokol, drove down from Baltimore to help me document the conclusion of the ride. For the final three miles from the hotel to the Jefferson Memorial, he “blocked” for me with his car. It was a cold afternoon, made even colder by the gusty winds, so we had the place pretty much to ourselves, save a few intrepid tourists. A news stringer met us there to film some footage, for three local DC networks, on what ended up being one of the most crowded news days of the year.
It seems fitting that the ride would end on the 69th anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor, the singular event that catapulted America into World War II, unified a nation, and produced the “Greatest Generation.” With the threat to humanity even greater today, it is time for our generation to answer the call of history, only this time we need to come together to end our war with the planet. For those wondering how we pay for this green energy “moon shot,” consider the fact that we’re still spending $5 billion a month in Iraq and $6 billion a month on the Afghan war. It’s a matter of national priorities.
In response to the press release I sent out this morning (see below), got a call from Sirius XM Radio, which plans to run the interview tomorrow.
NBC Universal called to schedule a photo shoot for Thursday. Other coverage in the DC and national media markets included:
‘Rocket Trike’ Finishes 2,500-Mile Journey to DC
Bipartisan Support Found for ‘100% by 2020’ Green Energy Goal
WASHINGTON, Dec. 7, 2010 /PRNewswire/ — Today, renewable energy advocate Tom Weis completed his 10-week “Ride for Renewables” at the Jefferson Memorial after traversing 11 states in his futuristic-looking “rocket trike.” He is promoting 100% renewable electricity for the U.S. in ten years, a goal first proposed by former Vice President Al Gore.
“Almost everyone I met during this ride wants to see a modern day, green energy moon shot for America,” said Tom Weis, President of Climate Crisis Solutions. Citing massive unemployment, energy dependence, economic turbulence and climate instability as top concerns driving this public desire, he said, “The solution is an American-led green industrial revolution.”
Ride backer Bill McKibben, founder of 350.org and author of Eaarth, said, “Politicians won’t lead until we build a citizens movement powerful enough to challenge the might of the fossil fuel industry. That’s what this ride is building towards.”
Phil Radford, Executive Director of sponsor Greenpeace, said, “What stands in the way of clean energy for all is the dirty money in politics from the oil and coal industries.”
Ride sponsor Lester Brown, President of Earth Policy Institute and author of World on the Edge, warned that emergency action at war-time speed is needed to save civilization from a deepening climate crisis: “During World War II, America completely restructured its industrial economy not in decades, but in months, and we can do it again.”
David Blittersdorf, CEO of ride sponsor AllEarth Renewables, Inc., called for greater leadership by the renewable energy industries. “It’s time for America’s renewable energy trade associations to step up and lead by embracing this bold vision of 100% renewables by 2020,” he said.
World Future Council sponsor Randy Hayes, pushing for U.S. renewable energy laws that would allow Americans to profit from selling green energy to the grid, said, “Let’s shift from a nation of energy guzzlers to a nation of clean energy producers.”
Weis hopes to meet with the President and First Lady, and key leaders of Congress, to share what he has learned on Main Street America. A video blog documenting his journey can be seen at: www.rideforrenewables.com.
Principal sponsor: AllEarth Renewables, Inc.
Then Scott, despite the effects of a lung and heart transplant he endured five years ago, toughed out the cold to videotape my arrival. Talk about a great friend. Here’s the approach to the Jefferson Memorial, followed by the final ride video:
As the sun began to drop, Scott again “blocked” for me with his car to the home of Alice and Lincoln Day, who had ever so generously offered up their beautiful guest apartment for me to use while I wrapped things up in DC. The Days are co-producers of the film, “Scarred Lands and Wounded Lives” (http://www.linktv.org/video/2990). Thanks for making me feel so at home, Alice & Link! Scott then took me out to dinner to celebrate (thanks, buddy).
So the ride has ended, but something tells me the journey has only just begun. I write this from Washington, DC with my funds nearly depleted, no apartment waiting for me back in Colorado, no consulting contracts waiting in the wings and no idea what comes next. During these past few months, I’ve been living in a state best described to me by Sister Mary Luke Murphy of the Sisters of Divine Providence as “Abandonment to Providence.” This entails living in the world like a pilgrim, with no fixed abode, in total trusting dependence on divine help for all that we need; to go where we are sent; to adapt to circumstances in the grace of the present moment without worry or overeagerness; and in the face of difficulty to do calmly what depends on us and leave the rest to the Universe. In other words, let the Great Mystery unfold.
Will be interesting to see what tomorrow brings…