Roxy Todd Published

85-Year-Old Says He is Still in Good Health and Spirits and Will Continue to Fast


85-year-old Roland Micklem is still fasting at the West Virginia Capitol Building. He began his fast ten days ago to draw attention to the effects of climate change, and he says he will continue to go without food. Since July 7th, Micklem has eaten no food and has consumed only water, juice and coffee.

“My health is excellent. I am very much encouraged and motivated by the reception I’ve been receiving by the people we’ve run across. Everyone has been supportive and cooperative,” says Micklem.

“Our support person Cat is providing us with a variety of juices. Grape, apple, and some vegetable juices. And that is the closest thing to food that we are taking.”

A retired science teacher and environmental activist, Micklem is fasting to express what he calls his grief for the loss of creation as a result of mountaintop removal mining.

“It’s not a protest, it’s not a hunger strike. It’s a witness, a witness that I’m making by being there every day and not eating. The campaign needs love and respect for one’s advisories, as well as one’s friends.”

In the past, Micklem has fasted for as long as thirteen days, but he says he plans to go on longer than that this time. Micklem says two trained medics, named Natalie and Noah, have been checking on his health. Aside from a little dehydration, he says they have found no indications that he is experiencing and serious side effects due to the fast.