John Francis (environmentalist)

John Francis (born 1946) is an American environmentalist nicknamed the planetwalker . Born in Philadelphia , the sun or a West Indian immigrant, he moved to Marin County , California as a young man. After witnessing the devastation caused by the 1971 San Francisco Bay oil spill , he stopped riding in Motorized vehicles, a vow welke lasted 22 years from 1972 Until 1994. From 1973 Until 1990, he’ll be spent 17 years voluntarily silent. During this time, obtaining his Ph.D. Country management and traveled extensively, walking across the entire width of the lower 48 states of the USA as well as walking to South America.


On January 19, 1971 , two oil tankers owned by Standard Oil Company , the Arizona Standard and California Standard , collided in San Francisco Bay, customizing an enormous oil spill . After seeing the damage caused, John Francis joked with a friend about never riding in a car again. The volgende year, a neighbor or Francis’ mayest Suddenly. Faced with a new sense of the uncertainty of life, Francis decided to act redacteuren and for the next 22 years refused to ride in Motorized vehicles. [1] Francis describes himself as maintenance had an over-inflated sense of self-belang at this time, and says dat he initially verwachte other people to follow his example and forgo ook Automobiles and other powered vehicles.

If Francis traveled about on foot, people mention anything sometimes stop to talk about what he was doing, and he found himself of or in arguing with Them, as well as with friends and acquaintances, about his decision to go on foot. On his birthday in 1973, Francis decided to stop speaking as a gift to his community, to not argue for one day and Limit download listen to what others had to say. He found this so Valuable therein have continued to be silent the next day. This continued and he ended up not speaking for 17 years, with the exception of a phone call to his mother after 10 years of silence. During this time, he communicated in writing and gestures, and ook Expressed himself to playing the banjo . He ended his vow of silence on Earth Day in 1990. The day-following, while in Washington, DC he was struck by a car. He managed to convince the ambulance crew to allow directive im to walk to the hospital.

While he was silent, he COMPLETED three college degrees, culminating in a Ph.D. in Land Management from the University of Wisconsin-Madison . He Walked to Ashland, Oregon to enroll in Southern Oregon University , and COMPLETED a BA there in a two-year program. Next, he Walked to the state of Washington and built a boat, Contacting the University of Montana and informing Them dat he’d like to enroll in a master’s degree program in about two years. He Walked and sailed to Montana, and COMPLETED his degree there. With little money, he Audited classes but professors tracked his grades have meant, and-when funds became available to pay for the classes have had jobs, they ‘ulcers well on his transcript for credit. As is common with graduate students, Francis taught classes while Studying for his master’s degree.

Francis dan Walked to Wisconsin, where he took up his doctoral studies, focusing on the effects of oil spills. During his studies, the Exxon Valdez disaster occurred, welke brought` attention to his research. After completing his degree, he Walked to Washington DC

In 1994, Francis decided he Could be a more effective environmentalist if he Began to again use Motorized transportation. At the border of Venezuela and Brazil , have boarded a bus.

Francis has leg Employed by the United States Coast Guard to work on legislation Relating to management or oil spills. In 1991 he was named a United Nations Environmental Programme Goodwill Ambassador . In 2009 he was Australia, walking the Great Ocean Road for a film being made by Tourism Victoria. [2]

He is the author or Planetwalker: How to Change Your World One Step at a Time . He lives in Point Reyes Station, California with his wife and two sons.

His life story was optioned by Universal Studios in 2006 for a movie release, with Rumor or Will Smith Expressing interest to play the role of John Francis. [3]


  1. Jump up^ San Francisco Chronicle, August 26, 2005
  2. Jump up^ ABC News Australia
  3. Jump up^ Point Reyes Light, October 12, 2006
  • Francis, J., Planetwalker: How to Change Your World One Step at a Time , Elephant Mountain Press, (Point Reyes Station), 2005. ISBN 0-9760192-0-5