I told the guy at the wilderness outfitter store that I needed footwear appropriate for standing motionless in frigid temperatures with occasional bouts of below-zero wind chill. For possibly long periods of time.
He asked if I was going ice fishing.
There are no guidebooks for how to carry out a sustained civil disobedience campaign during winter—let alone one that involves human blockades that intercept trucks attempting to enter a compressor station site on a steeply sloping lakeshore with 18 inches of snowpack.
In the 1970s, the environmental movement had no bigger political hero than California Gov. Jerry Brown. He cracked down on polluters, ended tax breaks for oil companies and promoted solar energy.
Forty years later, in his second go-around as governor, conservationists are among his harshest critics.
Climate change is one of Brown's key issues, and he said in his inaugural address last month that his goal is to have California get half its energy from renewable sources within 15 years.
But because he has refused to ban hydraulic fracturing for oil, protesters, or "fracktivists," have dogged Brown for more than a year, even interrupting his speech at the Democratic Party convention last spring.
"Climate leaders don't frack," said Kassie Siegal of the Center for Biological Diversity, a group that praises Brown's programs to boost renewable energy. "The oil and gas boom threatens to undercut all the other progress that our state may make on climate."