Climate Change Summit Part 1: News from Chicago

It is Friday morning in Albany, New York.

In a couple hours I will meet up with the other Climate Ambassadors and we will drive to Lake Placid to Paul Smith’s College to take part in A panel discussion titled, “Climate Change as a Moral Issue,” will be held at 7:30 p.m.

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The train trip across the country was great. I really enjoy glimpsing  a larger view of the country. The last time I traveled across country to the East Coast was 7 years ago. A number of things have changed. First of all the train was on schedule the whole way. In fact, the schedule  was so tight that I could look at the time and then check the itinerary to see where we were. In the last 7 years the freight train tracks have been expanded taking pressure off of passenger trains on the Empire line that crosses through Washington  -Idaho  -Montana to Chicago, Illinois. An on time schedule meant no worries about missing the connection to Albany in Chicago.

In Chicago there was time to explore a bit. On the train one fellow passenger advised getting food to eat at the train station in Chicago  since the neighborhood was not good around the train station. But another young Chicago resident said there were great restaurants  in the area and we chose to take her advice. We found a Native Food Restaurant that served delicious 100% plant-based foods within a 15 minute walk of the station. The biggest difficulty was the cold. Chicago is the windy city and it was living up to it’s name with a 22 degree temperature. A Walgreens store was a handy stop for the neck scarves that were needed!

Speaking of food, that was another notable change on the train. Seven years ago my husband and I were treated pretty poorly when we asked waiters to “hold the meat” and just give us the veggies. Now Amtrak has a menu that designates certified vegan food! That was quite wonderful. I also looked up the restaurant where we ate in Chicago and was surprised to discover they have two franchises in the Portland area.

Last night we went to dinner with some of the other summit attendees at a lively Greek Restaurant where it was hard to hear until the band took a break but it was relaxing and good to catch up with climate conversation from around the country especially differences from Diocese to Diocese. We are lucky that Portland is progressive in regards to environmental concerns.

Read more about my role as a Catholic Climate Ambassador here:

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Peace,

Valerie

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