portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article reporting united states

environment

Activists Standoff with Police at NOAA / NWS Headquarters

Two climate activists w/ banner calling for release of govt report on
global warming were removed and arrested 10/24 afternoon.
Activists Standoff with Police at NOAA / NWS Headquarters

Two climate activists w/ banner calling for release of govt report on
global warming were removed and arrested 10/24 afternoon.

The National Weather Service (NWS) staff (5,500) makes up almost half
of the total staff (11,500) of NOAA.


See:

 http://dc.indymedia.org/newswire/display/136358/index.php

 http://baltimore.indymedia.org/newswire/display/13918/index.php

 http://www.climateemergency.org/joomla/

homepage: homepage: http://pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph/patneuman2000/my_photos

The Ladders, Then and Now, and Abbie and Ellie 26.Oct.2006 17:00

A winner

The Ladders, Then and Now, and Abbie and Ellie

On Monday I was arrested after being perched with Paul Burman for four hours on a foot and a half wide ledge about 25 feet up over the
main entrance to NOAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, in Silver Spring, Md. We had unfurled a banner which said, "Bush: Let NOAA Tell the Truth." This was a reference to the actions since 2001 of Bush-appointed NOAA Administrator Conrad Lautenbacher and his political proteges. They have been consistently
towing the Bush/Cheney line of denying the seriousness of global heating and suppressing NOAA scientists whose research shows otherwise.

As I said in a statement distributed on Monday, "we must act to preserve our threatened environment, we must provide hope to our children and grandchildren and we must do our duty as American citizens. Those of us who understand the depth of the crisis we are
entering must face our fears and take action commensurate with that understanding."

(More information on this action and the issues can be found at
 http://www.climateemergency.org .)

It was hard,

the first time,

climbing 25 feet

up our

newly-bought

32-foot extension ladder,

practicing behind

the CCAN building

the Friday before

the Monday action.


Before this action

I had a fear of heights,

perhaps the result

of falling from a pear tree

as a kid,

hitting my head

on a ladder—

on a ladder—

knocked out unconscious,

coming to

on my couch at home

with my dear mother—


My late mother,

my mother who loved me,

who sacrificed for me,

who gave me an example

of what Micah meant

when he said,

"And what does God

require of you

but to do justice,

and to love kindness,

and to walk humbly with your God."


--With my dear mother

there to take me

to the hospital

for an overnight stay

for my one day's concussion.


I've been afraid

of high places

ever since.


So that first time,

practicing on the ladder,

I needed another emotion

to overcome,

or at least neutralize,

that fear.


And so,

as I climbed up

and climbed down

those 25 feet,

again and again and again,


I thought of Abbie,

my four year old niece,

and I thought of Ellie,

her 1 ˝ year old sister,

whom I spent a weekend with

two months ago,

a wonderful time watching,

playing and laughing with,

thanks to my father

who organized

a weekend lakeside reunion

for his three children

and their families.


But their world is threatened.

It is an open question,

at best,

if they will have a future

worth living for,

worth living in.


I believe this deeply.


And so I climbed,

rung by rung, over and over,

until my fear

was lessened

so that,

on Monday morning,

as the skies lightened,

and the hour arrived,

I was ready to ascend

to the NOAA ledge.


And for four hours

I felt not scared

but liberated—

almost at home,

where I should be,

with brother Paul Burman,

as underneath us,

and with news helicopters flying overhead,

the drama unfolded.


Where I should be,

where others should be,

figuratively,

if we are to prevent

looming climate catastrophe,


If we are to create

a new and hopeful world.


I believe such a world is possible.


And we cannot let our fears

keep us from doing

what is necessary—

whatever is necessary—

to get to it.


Abbie and Ellie,

Children everywhere,

Future generations

Need us now.

--------