“If sea level rises just three feet — that’s less than a meter — the Blue Hill peninsula loses over 2,420 acres of land,” said independent researcher and freelance journalist Judith Lawson, of Brooksville. Last April, she said, she helped students at Blue Hill’s Liberty School with the calculations. “They found the formula for calculating land loss from sea level rise caused by global warming” she said, and worked out the math. “The truth is,” she went on, “this could happen at any time. The ability of the oceans in the Southern Hemisphere to take up excess carbon dioxide is severely diminished. The best science tells us that we have eight years to stop and turn around our carbon emissions.”

Concerned for years about climate change due to global warming, Lawson joined with others in the area to organize what she called, “Taking a stand in the sand for climatic action” on Nov. 3, with people from Blue Hill walking from Town Hall seven miles to Deer Isle and islanders walking from the Island Community Center to meet the other group at the Deer Isle Causeway where they planned a rally.

Climate change researcher and author Bill McKibben, scholar in residence at Middlebury College and some former students founded Step It Up! early in 2007 saying, “It’s the oldest and most clich├ęd of metaphors, but when it comes to global warming, it’s the only one that really works: we’re in a desperate race. Politics is chasing reality, and the gap between them isn’t closing nearly fast enough.”

Mother Nature stepped in on Saturday, sending heavy rain and high wind: the tail end of a tropical storm, leading organizers to cancel the walk section of the demonstration. But the group was able to hold a “teach-in” the following afternoon at Deer Isle’s Reach Center for Performing Arts. Betty Stookey, a minister, gave the benediction and her folk singer husband, Noel Stookey, sang a few songs. The Step It Up! Climate Action Teach-in was one of many such public awareness events held all over the country that weekend. For more information contact Lawson at 207-326-8485.

— Sandra Dinsmore