I wrote this when I thought that I was finished. It was a great trip but it did need to be finished off.
Sadly I will not be going to COP21 Paris Climate Summit. Since the dreadful scenes of Friday 13th I have been waiting and hoping that we could show that we are unafraid. Alas, no chance. No marches in Paris.
My contribution was the kayak and its journey. That was the focus of the narrative and where I could make a small contribution. The kayak is not allowed into the COP21 Civil Society area which I knew weeks ago, but nor is it allowed on the roads now. It is very lucky that I paddled to the Eiffel Tower when I did, as it is unlikely that I would be allowed to do that today.
A huge and heartfelt thank you to everyone who has supported the trip, even if has just been as a follower. For those who have supported me directly I thank you from the bottom of my heart.
I do hope that I have convinced at least some of you that the situation is dire. It cannot be fixed with hope. It must be fixed with actions. Please act, I beg you, for the sake of everyone who is under forty. Join any organization that is fighting for climate justice. For instance 350.org groups and Climate Action Networks are springing up everywhere. I said under forty, because everything points to serious strife within forty years and that means while those people will be alive. It may well be sooner.
This trip was started with high hopes. Most were dashed, shattered, destroyed. I have been way, way down, but my will to get to Paris never wavered. I got there, and I have made a difference to some so that is all that counts. If we all make a small difference we will win. If we sit back and hope someone else does it we will lose.
I can paddle, organize logistics, speak and write. No more than that at present
Other, better prepared people can deal with Paris
It is true that home is where the heart is
I am going home.
Thank you list and humblest apologies if I have missed anyone
Klaas and Lynn who did the support for the whole of the USA
Julianne who paid her own way to come to America and who overstayed her time to keep going, and then came to England until she had to go home for urgent family reasons
Renate, who was my rock when things fell apart on the Mississippi and who paid her own way to come and get me into New York
Andrew and Veda who looked after me, and Andrew did the last of the English leg
Trevor and Marilyn, who have provided my base in England, and Trevor not only ensured that I got through France but in record time
Lyn who has not left Australia but has been great support and issuer of UK press releases by email from Oz
Connor who did early publicity and set up the Facebook page
Adam, the owner of Men at Work Comms
The Farm who did the early Facebook work
Geoff Ebbs who made the whole web site possible
Caroline who spread the word in France
David Hood, my noisy mate on Oz who promoted the trip especially with Engineers Australia
Adam Elliot, river angel extraordinaire
Eric and Jules from the Manhattan Kayak Company
Charlie and his mate John who filmed in New York
Harriet who organized the gathering in central park
Bob Brown who is an inspiration and made such an amazing speech at the Opera House wharf
Roman and his mate who filmed in Paris
All of those who contributed cash which totalled $5,000. I am very, very grateful. The trip cost was huge.
And last but not least, Heidi and Amanda, my beautiful daughters who support their dad no matter what.