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Duluthians show support for climate summit

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Judy and Jim Bailey walk with marchers along London Road on their way to the Lakewalk. Andre Enberg, right, holds a Citizens Climate Lobby poster.2 / 9
Rosie Loeffler-Kemp, Emma Fie, a Danish East High School exchange student, and Mariah Loeffler-Kemp pose with sugar cookies shaped like the Eiffel Tower in honor of the climate summit taking place in Paris this month.3 / 9
The group posed for a photo which will be used on social media as a show of support for the Paris summit.4 / 9
Hannah Smith, greeted the crowd in her native tongue, Ojibwe, and spoke about the importance of seven generations when making decisions. She is studying environmental science at UMD.5 / 9
Organizers said the local climate hike was to support the talks taking place in Paris this month.6 / 9
Rep. Mary Murphy related stories of owls and frogs appearing near her land when they never had before. She told the crowd that she listens to citizens who present her with evidence of a changing climate.7 / 9
Korey Northrup and Nicolette Slagle of Honor the Earth, a Native American environmental advocacy group, hold up an invoice of what they say are the true cost of a pipeline through Native lands. Northrup is a member of the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa.8 / 9
Lisa Fitzpatrick urges others to support solar power with her sign.9 / 9

More than 150 people gathered in the basement of First Lutheran Church for fellowship, cookies and a "climate hike" on Sunday, Nov. 29.

"Today's climate hike coincides with organized marches for climate justice across the country that are happening and also around the world," said Rev. David Carlson, pastor of Gloria Dei, another Lutheran church a few blocks away.

Carlson quoted Rabbi Abraham Heschel, who wrote, "I felt like my feet were praying" after participating in marches with Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. during the civil rights movement.

"We also may feel like our feet are praying," Carlson told the crowd.

Frosted sugar cookies, shaped like the Eiffel Tower, decorated with the letters "COP21" and baked by Melanie Grune, awaited the crowd.

Sunday was the eve of the United Nations Climate Change Summit in Paris, also referred to as COP21, standing for Conference of Parties, an annual meeting of all nations that make up the United Nations Framework on Climate Change. The talks are expected to last until Dec. 11 with leaders and bureaucrats from 195 nations in attendance. This is the 21st year. The first one took place in Berlin in 1995.

Others to speak included:

• Jodi Slick, the founder and CEO of local nonprofit Ecolibrium3, which has a goal of creating a sustainable future. Slick said Duluth could benefit from one major change: an upgrade to the "hugely inefficient" Duluth Energy Systems facility, formerly known as the Duluth Steam Plant. "Local energy matters," she said. (See her column.)

• Hannah Smith, a Native American studying environmental science and sustainability at the University of Minnesota Duluth.

• Rep. Mary Murphy of Hermantown

• Rep. Jennifer Schultz of Duluth

• Korey Northrup, a member of the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, represented a Native American environmental advocacy group, "Honor the Earth," and displayed an oversized invoice of the "true" costs of pipelines. The invoice included bills for how much of the boreal forest will be lost that helps the carbon come out of the atmosphere and wetlands that help filter the earth.

• Francois Medion, an urban farmer for Duluth Grill, spoke about the importance of locally sourced food.

The marchers encourage local actions to reduce carbon footprints. The meeting was organized by Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, Northeast Minnesota Synod Creation Care Team and Minnesota Interfaith Power and Light.

Other videos from the event:

Urban farmer says food systems are inefficient

 Jodi Slick on local energy

Photos by Naomi Yaeger

Naomi Yaeger

Naomi Yaeger is a freelance writer and the former editor of the Budgeteer. See her blog at