Prof. Lakey nears Pittsburgh in walk across Pennsylvania for jobs, justice, and a sustainable environment

For those of you who are not aware, Professor George Lakey is walking 200 miles across Pennsylvania as part of Earth Quaker Action Team to promote sustainable environmental strategy and challenge PNC bank to stop funding mountaintop removal.

Today is Day 13 (nearly two weeks!) and the team expects to arrive in Pittsburgh on Wednesday. George has been blogging each evening along the way, and you can follow his posts via the greenpnc.org website.

Here is his first post and video:

Why I’m walking to Pittsburgh

George Lakey walking across PA

Blog post 4.18.2012

I come from Bangor, a Pennsylvania slate mining town, and identify with the hard work, strong community, and bonding with nature in my heritage.  When I visit Appalachian people I see those same qualities, but I also see the horror of beloved mountains blown up, cancer rates rising, and jobs lost.

I’m sad to imagine what it’s like to have your water and air contaminated by poisons, your town on the skids, the jobs disappearing, and 500 mountains destroyed while more mountains are on the kill list.

I was proud to join others in starting the Earth Quaker Action Team (EQAT) in 2010 with its first campaign targeting PNC Bank: Bank Like Appalachia Matters! PNC is one of the major funders of mountain top removal coal mining.

I also figured that I was doing something for the future of my four great-grandkids, who will join the miners in the catastrophes of climate change if PNC and our country don’t convert to renewable energy.

In the beginning of this year I was led to step up my own commitment.  I felt called to walk to Pittsburgh to challenge directly the corporate CEO of PNC Bank: “Why would you rather fundfewer jobs – while blowing up mountains and spreading cancer – than fund more jobs for clean wind power from those same mountains?”

EQAT supported my calling, and is initiating the

Green Walk for Jobs and Justice

Start: April 30 in Philadelphia, walking 200 miles of the route

Arrive: May 16, at PNC Bank’s headquarters in Pittsburgh

Stops at PNC branches along the way.

Please sponsor me on this walk, and join me for part of the Walk or events along the route if you can.  Financial sponsors are needed to make the Walk possible.

I also want to know from bank officials: “If PNC calls the destruction of Appalachia ‘responsible banking,’ why should any of us do business with you?” I pledge to close my account in PNC on June 1 if it does not promise to stop funding mountain top removal coal mining.

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