Climate Change: The Pope’s Encyclical and a Paddle for Life

  • 2015-07-02

Dear Editor,

Some time ago you published an article by me about the Paddle for Life.  Things have now moved on and with the Pope’s recent encyclical on climate change I have today written you an open letter to President Grybauskaite.  The letter follows my letters to the Pope, the head of the Catholic Church in England and a one to Tony Blair.  Also find enclosed a photo of President Gybaiskaite after signing three Paddles for Life in Brussels.  

All it needs is a photograph like that but with President Obama holding the Paddle for Life already signed by President Grybauskaite and it will change the course of world history.  Indeed the Baltic Times could change the course of world history by taking the story to the Lithuanian people and then following it through.
President Grybuaskaite and Europe, America, and the Pope needs a little the help from the Baltic Times!

Good paddling,
David W Train

Open letter to:
President Dalia Grybauskaite,
The Presidential Palace,
Old Town,


23rd June 2015.

Climate Change: The Pope’s Encyclical and a Paddle for Life

Dear President Grybauskaite,

I was delighted to read Pope Francis’s Encyclical on Climate Change for I see it as a wonderful opportunity for you, the people of Lithuania, and many others.
I have written to the Pope in which I mention you and Lithuania, together with an earlier letter to the Pope,  a letter to the the head of the Catholic Church in England, and to Tony Blair, who was the first world leader to sign a Paddle for Life. The Paddle is now in Winona, Minnesota

In my letters to the Pope and Tony Blair I point out the huge opportunity Winona, Minnesota, now has in getting the Paddle for Life and its ideas into the hands of President Obama — if a few people work together.

I believe that the only other place with a greater opportunity is Lithuania. 77.2% of your people are Catholic and I am sure that they would be delighted to heed the Pope’s call. You have already signed a Paddle for Life, and President Obama is crying out for help in how to bring all America on board to tackle the problem. You could place the Paddle for Life and its ideas into the hands of President Obama within a couple of weeks. The Pope will be delighted, President Obama will be delighted and 77.2 % of the people of Lithuania will be too.

But there is more, for I believe that, because of your action in being the first president in the world to sign a Paddle for Life, because of your love of sport, because Lithuania is a land of lakes, and because of a story about the founder of the modern sport of canoeing, we can, by working together, in one simple symbolic event, here in the Heart of England, create a world story, which will help to unite the European Union, and help to make the world a more stable and secure place.  I can guarantee it, for I will write the story!

In my letter to the Pope I write that on each bell boat we carry two names, and with them two stories to inspire all on board to together to take part in tackling the climate change problem.  What I would suggest we do to get things started is that your Ambassador visits us at the earliest opportunity and launches a bell boat, with the names the “Spirit of Dalia Grybauskaite and Energy Climate Era” and the “Spirit of Rob Roy and Energy Climate Era”.

You already have the story of the Rob Roy, which John McGregor, the founder of modern canoe sport, used on his voyages around Europe and to the Baltic.  He came from the Protestant tradition of Scotland and was a little extreme, being a member of an anti Pope group, but on the issue of the environment I am sure that he would now, if alive, be backing the Pope.

So, through that story we can inspire all of a similar persuasion on board and of course those with no faith, and those who enjoy the environment, by “paddling their own canoe”.   Whenever a child asks me “Why is it called the “Spirit of Dalia Grybauskaite?”, I will be able to tell them the story about the part played by Lithuania in “Saving Our Home on the Blue Planet, by bringing people with very different beliefs together in one boat.

In the naming of that one boat, we can put together the Catholic and Protestant beliefs as well as those with environmental beliefs and those of no belief at all. Which of course means that you will bring happiness to perhaps 100% of the people of Lithuania, which will be remarkable for a democracy; it will be an inspiration for President Obama and the Pope will be very happy at Lithuania leading the way.

With that in place, all you have to do is to write to President Obama with the story of how an Hawaiian designed inspired boat is bringing Lithuania together on the climate change issue and I am sure that he will be delighted to sign the Vilnius Paddle for Life as the catalyst for doing the same in Lithuania, and then for Lithuania to “give” the ideas to all the countries of the EU, as a means of keeping it together. It will ensure that the flagship of Lithuania becomes the flagship of the EU, in recognition of you, the Lithuanian President,  being the first president in Europe to seize the opportunity and grasp the helm.

I have always believed, since I met you and your young team in Brussels, that of all the members of the EU, Lithuania has the greatest chance of setting the EU and the world on a new and more secure course, because of its youthful enthusiasm and its system of government.  I hope that you will now use those great strengths to inspire all of us in Europe to think of working together on the greatest problem facing civilisation.

I hope that in the true spirit of the Olympics that you will “take part” by inspiring your Ambassador to visit us in Fladbury and name a bell boat in your honour.  The rest will follow and we will all win.  As I said in my letter to the Pope, if we all work together, we can inspire all the world on board by Christmas.

My very best wishes,
Good paddling,
David W. Train
President Fladbury Paddle Club. Former Olympic coach.


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