Pre-Birke letter 2012

Dear Friends and Birke Supporters,

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Thank you for taking the time to read this message and considering a contribution to Cool Planet to keep building a global/ local CLIMATE SOLUTIONS MOVEMENT.

In one week I will have completed (body and trail conditions willing) my 32nd American Birkebeiner Ski Marathon, 54 km across one of the most gorgeous cross country ski trails on the planet. It will take me 5.5 to 6.5 hours and my goal is to finish strong with the trace of a smile on my face and a heart full of appreciation for continuing my legacy of pushing myself beyond the boundaries where I would normally stop.

I am also skiing to awaken the ski community and our country to the message that taking action for climate cooling and building sustainable solutions for a healthy future for this and future generations can WAIT NO LONGER! If we are to heed what scientists are now telling us in ever strengthening voices.

Check this link from the National Academy of Scientists. This organization was founded in 1864 by President Abraham Lincoln to inform Congress about scientific matters.

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30 some years later, still at it!

Good things are happening all over the planet as people are awakening to a new way of thinking and communicating what is truly at the heart of the matter. Unfortunately it’s the negative press and the injection of doubt about the science of climate change that has been slowing the momentum of the movement. This along with the strangle hold that the fossil fuel industry has on Congress and the hundreds of highly paid lobbyists in our nation’s capital must be exposed to shift our country towards a clean, renewable energy future.

Your contributions will join hundreds of others who are supporting Cool Planet’s vision for sustainable homes, communities and planet by doing the following in 2012:

  1.  SPEAK UP!!- a climate solutions leadership training program to give ordinary citizens the tools to be effective communicators about climate solutions in their lives and with their groups.
  2. Edina Goes Green- Working with the City of Edina and their Energy and  Environment Commission, the Edina Public Schools Go Green Committee, the faith community, Chamber of Commerce, Edina Bike Task Force and the public utilities, Edina is leading the way as a MN Green Step City, and Cool Planet is a major partner in all of it.
  3. MN350 Leadership Team- Building on the work of 350.org and founder Bill McKibben, MN350 is leading the charge to awaken Minnesotans to take inspired action to address the urgency and possibility of the climate crisis. BIG NEWS!! Bill McKibben will be coming to ski the Birke with me next year in 2013 and plans are in action already!
  4.  Citizens Climate Lobby (CCL)- Creating the political will for a livable plane. Cool Planet will continue to start and support the growth of CCL groups in all 8 Congressional Districts of MN (we now have 4 districts started, West Metro, South Metro, Alexandria, Bemidji, and Winona.
  5.  Tar Sands Action- Fighting the proposed Keystone Pipeline from Alberta Canada to the Gulf coast. Cool Planet is planning a sustainable travel trip (no flying) in june 2012 with policy makers from the state to get a first hand account on the impact of the Tar Sands Oil Project on Minnesotans, one of the largest, dirtiest and most destructive excavations on Planet Earth. We can do better!
  6.  Awakening the Heart- By encouraging people of all ages to bike and promote Living Streets, play Frisbee, garden and do yoga, Cool Planet is a small part of a global arising of passionate people that are asking the question……WHAT KIND OF A WORLD DO WE WANT?
Your tax deductible contribution to Cool Planet through the Edina Community Foundation makes this work grow.  Please consider  $32  (# of years), $54 (# of km skied), $100 to join the Climate Trail Blazers or $350 to “keep our eyes on the prize” of a healthy 350 ppm (or lower) of CO2 in our atmosphere. All amounts are appreciated through the donate button on the Cool Planet website or you can mail a check to “Cool Planet- ECF”  to Cool Planet/ 4244 Crocker Ave/ Edina MN 55416.
In 1979 when I skied my first Birke  our planet was at about 320 ppm of CO2. It’s going to take some kind of effort  to get back to that level, and to re-imagine that ppm could mean a “people powered movement.”
One of my mentors Dr. John Abraham, associate professor of mechanical engineering at St. Thomas University in St. Paul says in our Speak Up!! trainings….we know how to solve this problem with today’s technology, we need to treat the remaining easy to get fossil fuels with great respect, and leave the ‘hard to get’ oil and coal in the ground, and the big one, THERE IS A COST TO DELAY.
Our leaders are waiting to hear from us, let’s give them something good to work with.
At about km 46 in the Birke you come to this gigantic hill affectionately called “Bitch Hill.” By that time my body is pretty wiped out but the photos on my skis and the contributions of my supporters always get me through. And like the unforeseen circumstances in life that show up just when needed most, this lovely nun was waiting for me at the top of the hill with a smile…I’m counting on that unforeseen partnership to be a part of the solution to our climate problem and return us to the life that we were placed here to live.
Paul Thompson

All manners of support accepted

Birchlegger #256