Communitopia, with the help of our ClimateMama extraordinaire, Joylette Portlock has once again “knocked it out of the park” with this great video, “More on Methane Part 1: Taking a Leak.” Grab the kids in your life, watch this video and LEARN something, in a fun and easy way. As with all of Joylette’s video’s you can also learn how to “not just sit there, but do something” to make a difference too.

This video helps us understand that methane, aka natural gas, is a greenhouse gas and is over 80 times more powerful at trapping heat in our atmosphere then carbon dioxide, in the near term (20 years). Joylette also explains that we currently have no national rules for stopping leaks of methane from the oil and gas industry, something our current administration is looking at rectifying and something we should support and encourage. The video also discusses large scale agriculture and how this industry contributes to climate change by producing huge amounts of methane…your pre-teen boys and girls may particularly love these facts!

At ClimateMama, we agree with Joylette – we should support the EPA Clean Power Plan and drastically reduce carbon pollution. As well, we also should support strong regulations on methane. However, our continued concern at ClimateMama, and why we strongly advocate for a fracking ban and a “Manhattan style” program for renewable energy, is that even if we establish the regulations to control leaks, not only don’t we have the independent inspectors to make sure the regulations are being complied with, natural gas is and will always be a fossil fuel. Fossil fuels when they are burned, drilled, fracked and mined, create greenhouse gases and contribute to climate change. They are only safe, when they stay stored within the ground, where nature put them.

We don’t buy into the mantra that “we need fossil fuels for a transition to a clean energy future.” We want to see a revolution and large scale move to renewables now…Fossil fuel production of any kind,and it’s associated infrastructure, slows this down and is NOT okay for our children, their future and their now.

Yours,

Climate Mama

Posted in Climate Mama News, Climate Mama Video Peek of the Week, Climate Mamas & Papas, Do Something Wednesdays, fracking and pipelines, Renewable Energy, Take a Stand: Action & Advocacy | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Wrath & Costs of Extreme Weather: Decades of Destruction

shutterstock_649593Our friends at the University of North Carolina (UNC) shared the illuminating infographic in this post with us, and asked us to share it with you. So grab the kids in your life, take a few minutes, and talk to your kids about climate change and the costs of storms. Use this great inforgraphic to help get the facts and figures straight.

A “calm” in the number of catastrophic hurricanes to hit the United States in recent seasons has given many a false sense of security when it comes to storms. As Adam Levenson, Community Manager for the Masters of Public Management at UNC shared with us: “While the 2014 hurricane season has been strangely quiet, this info graphic serves as a reminder of the extreme consequences of climate change.”

Take some time and have a close look at this infographic. It looks at the past decade. While we haven’t (fortunately) had a hurricane ranked over a category 3 since 2005, the destruction over the past 10 years HAS been catastrophic and has cost over $310 billion. A variety of reasons comes into play, not least of which is storm surge, ocean temperatures and sea level rise, three factors attributed to climate change impacts, which turned Superstorm Sandy into the deadly, costly and destructive storm that those of us on the East coast suffered from and continue to suffer from.

October 29th is the 2 year anniversary of Superstorm Sandy. Look closely at the infographic and at the 10 cities that are most vulnerable and “overdue” for a hurricane. Consider that the federal government spends only $1 on reducing disaster damages for ever $6 it spends on disaster recovery and that local ordinances and the return on investment for reducing and preparing for disasters is very significant. Continue reading

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People power..it works!

Screen Shot 2014-07-09 at 6.38.51 AMCongratulations to Greenpeace for leading the charge, and to all our Climate Mamas and Papas around the world who signed petitions, reached out to Lego and helped spread the news. It worked..On October 8th, Jørgen Vig Knudstorp, President and Chief Executive Officer of the LEGO Group announced: “as things currently stand we will not renew the co-promotion contract with Shell when the present contract ends.”

Yours,

Climate Mama

P.S. For more background on the GreenPeace campaign, see our July 9th, July 30th and August 7th posts on this issue. And for more details on the breaking news, check out the October 9th, Guardian article on the issue.

And if you missed the Greenpeace “viral video” that helped make it happen..You can still watch it here.

Posted in Animals & Insects, fracking and pipelines, In The News, Plastics & Plastic Free, Take a Stand: Action & Advocacy | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Wow, 100,000 is a lot of signatures, so too is 99,567 which is the number of people so far who have signed on to the letter that I and two extraordinary Climate Mamas, Debra and Susan, wrote to Indra Nooyi, CEO of PepsiCo and which our friends at The Rainforest Action Network and The Sum of Us have helped us share.

The Open Letter challenged PepsiCo to improve its inadequate palm oil policy before the historic People’s Climate March which was held on September 21, 2014. Unfortunately PEPSICO didn’t respond before the March, nor have they since. As we all now know, more then 700,000 people from around 15125036547_9d5481884a_zthe world – 400,000 of them in New York City – (including Debra, Susan and I) marched to demand climate solutions, and called on powerful leaders, including business leaders, to address climate change, and work toward solutions. While Ms. Nooyi, and PepsiCo haven’t yet answer our call on their palm oil program which lacks time bound commitments and a traceable supply chain, we aren’t giving up and we still hope that they will step up and lead on this critical issue.

As our Climate Mamas and Papas know, palm oil production is a HUGE cause of greenhouse gas pollution which is the number one driver of climate change. In fact, Palm oil production in countries like Indonesia, where PepsiCo gets much of it’s palm oil, has driven up greenhouse gas emissions exponentially. Because of palm oil production, Indonesia is the world’s third largest emitter of greenhouse gases, right behind China and the USA.

We want to keep the pressure on and convince PepsiCo to do the right thing, so we are asking you to help us put the number of signatures on our open letter over the top (the top of 100,000 that is!!)

So please sign it now and share it with your friends!

Yours,

Climate Mama

Posted in Do Something Wednesdays, Earth Day is Every Day, In The News, Take a Stand: Action & Advocacy | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

summit collageI was invited by the UN Foundation to report on the September 23rd, UN Secretary General’s Climate Summit, from inside the United Nations…I was honored, excited, but also more then a little apprehensive…

Coming off a “high” from marching 2 days before through the streets of New York, defiantly and with purpose surrounded by my children, husband, old friends and many new friends – over 400000 give or take a few – I was filled with a sense of hope and renewed possibilities. We were demanded climate action now. We demonstrated that we are more then ready, and expected our leaders in industry, business, and all levels of elected office, to begin decisively using their powers to take action as well. Filling and overflowing the wide avenues of New York City, it felt like we could no longer be ignored. However, because of my past experience as a delegate at the United Nations, I knew that I shouldn’t “get my hopes up too high.” This Summit, with more then 100 heads of state and government, was certainly the most prominent UN meeting I had attended in many, many years, and the first gathering of world leaders to discuss climate change in 5 years. The timing and the urgency of the crisis we faced seemed to present crystal clear opportunities for real change to be announced and put in motion. Continue reading

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Photo Credit: Peoples Climate March

Photo Credit: Peoples Climate March

For many of us who took part in the Peoples Climate March, either in person or by cheering on friends and family who could be in New York on our behalf, the euphoria may have passed, but the urgency to do “something more” remains.

And this is a good thing.

We know that not every day can be so “huge, emotional and powerful.” But at the same time we know that everyday must include something; visible, concrete steps, and actions that move us forward in this fight to protect our future and now. We need some really heavy lifting from our world leaders and local leaders. We need to remind our elected officials if they want us to vote for them, they must have climate solutions as part of their plans.

logoSo while we push and demand these big steps and heavy lifting, we can also take smaller steps in our own homes that added with other small steps can add up to big, big moves. While changing a light bulb won’t change the world, if every household replaced just one light bulb with one that has earned the ENERGY STAR certification, we would save enough energy to light three million homes for a whole year, and prevent greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to that of 800,000 vehicles.

In order for energy efficient technologies to truly take hold, people will need to trust products that are reliable and high quality, which is why distinguishing ENERGY STAR certified LEDs from the rest of the market is so important.

Screen Shot 2014-09-22 at 3.25.18 PMOur friends at Energy Star have launched some funny videos, that remind us to stay away from “dim bulbs” and offer some great suggestions on why we should be switching to LED bulbs. Share these videos with the kids in your life; they will smile, and learn a think or tow at the same time!

Many thanks to our good friend Diane, at Big Green Purse, for always reminding us about great, practical ways we can all make a difference…

Yours,

Climate Mama

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pcmcollage2So many emotions, depth of feeling, resolve and hope: The Peoples Climate March, 9/21 was a day of celebration that echoed around the world. Regular people from all walks and corners of life, coming together to say, “enough.” Enough talk, we want and must have climate action as our future and now depends on it.

Pictures speak a thousand words, so here are a few of our favorites, you can find thousands of pictures, videos and stories from friends new and old, major media networks, blogs and social media sources of all sizes and shapes from across the country and the planet.

crcmNow, after the euphoria and the celebrations, the work continues. The struggles to make sure that “the truth is told, that actions do speak louder then words, and that we remain unafraid in light of the daunting crisis that we face” continue today, tomorrow and the day after that…

Our opportunity is here, and if feels and seems strongly like we will and are seizing it.

With much gratitude, hope and resolve,

Yours,

Climate Mama

Posted in Climate Mama News, In The News, Take a Stand: Action & Advocacy | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

10712976_1480597352191243_8802143898163990624_nThe path ahead is “messy,” with no single solution or one clear answer to the climate crisis that is confronting us. The path is also big and beautiful, with so many opportunities, twists and turns, that we each can find our own ways forward. Our paths do and will converge at various points along this journey, so that we can travel on the same path, at some points along the way, together.

One of these points where we will all be traveling together, is the Peoples Climate March. This is a day and a call for action on climate solutions, that is unfolding on Sunday, September 21st 2014 in cities and towns around the world. People will march, sing and celebrate the endless possibilities, as well as demand that our leaders, LEAD on climate solutions. Not everyone will march, but everyone can help amplify the voices and footsteps of our marchers around the world. Check in here, for march information happening around the world.

PrintIf are in New York City on September 21st, we would love for you to join our Climate Mama and Papa families. We well be “lining up” between 9-11:30am ET – try to arrive as early as you can – on 66th and Central Park West, closest to the “park” side of the street. The march doesn’t begin until 11:30am so bring some food, water, wear comfortable shoes…bring things to make signs, chalk to draw on the streets, your voices to learn new songs, or just come and hang out with us and meet some new friends. We are marching in the “WE CAN BUILD THE FUTURE” bloc, with other kids – young and old – and families of all shapes and sizes!

pcm-route-mapHere’s a map of the March route.

A few other key points:

Moment of Silence to Moment of Alarm @12:58pm

The march is being led by frontline communities and indigenous groups from around the continent and the world, who are many of the first victims of climate change, and at 12:58, we’re having a moment of silence to honor those on the front lines. When you see people start linking hands above their heads, that’s the sign the moment of silence is beginning.

Also, please text ALARM to the number 97779. By doing this, you will receive a reminder about the moment of silence.

At 1:00pm we are going to end that moment of silence with a great, big noise—sounding the climate alarm that has gone ignored for too long. You’ll know it’s time to ring that alarm and make as much noise as you can when you hear 32 marching bands blowing their horns and church bells ring from around the city (so bring your own noisemakers).

End of March: Peoples Block Party

Screen Shot 2014-08-28 at 5.02.50 PMThe end of the march will be a Peoples Climate block party! This is a chance for everyone to walk, visit with and cross paths with folks you might not normally meet, or with long, lost friends. You are welcome to join the block party even if you can’t make it to the march itself!

Please share your photos with us @climatemama or on our Facebook Page, so we can share them too..

Look forward to “seeing” you at the March, wherever you will be marching..

Yours,

Climate Mama

Posted in Climate Mama News, Earth Day is Every Day, In The News, Lifestyle & Fun, Take a Stand: Action & Advocacy | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Screen Shot 2014-08-28 at 5.02.50 PM“Respect your Elders,” a life lesson we all teach our children. Yet, do WE actually live by this lesson? Many of our elders, with vast experience and knowledge on climate change facts, science and solutions are speaking out and telling us to wake up and take action. Yet, we seem to be stuck in a “dream state” paralyzed and unable to take and demand the actions needed to slow down and change direction from the crash course we are currently on.

We are honored and thrill to share A Grandfather’s Lament, a guest post by Larry Schweiger, Climate Papa extraordinaire, immediate past president of the National Wildlife Federation, Climate Reality Leader and Mentor, father to 3 grown daughters and grandfather to 5 wonderful grandchildren. Larry offers clear guidance, rational and reasoning as to why we must move forward on climate solutions, now. Our mantra at ClimateMama, “Tell the truth, Actions Speak Louder then Words, Don’t be Afraid.” Larry’s call to action this “Grandfather’s Lament” is framed around similar guidelines: “Seek the truth, have the courage to act upon truth, leave a legacy, ethics in action and a recommitment.” Larry will be marching at the Peoples Climate March in New York City on September 21st, 2014. Join him..or join a soldiery action wherever you are….

A Grandfather’s Lament
Larry J. Schweiger
This post was first published on September 7, 2014 on EcoNotes.

The Tragedy of the Commons revisited

A man holds a glass filled with water from Lake Erie on August 3, 2014. Toledo’s water supply intake sits in the background. Photo copyright Dave Zapotosky.

A man holds a glass filled with water from Lake Erie on August 3, 2014. Toledo’s water supply intake sits in the background. Photo copyright Dave Zapotosky.

Standing on a heavily polluted Lake Erie Beach watching what was to be the end of the famed blue pike, I made a childhood promise to God that if given the opportunities, I would spend my life fighting pollution and the destruction of creation. This vow has led me to a series of life choices with progressive responsibility in the environmental field. My early decision also opened opportunities to work with, and be mentored by some of America’s greatest contemporary conservation leaders. Together we fought hard and long to make a difference. Continue reading

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nurturingfamilyA while back we did a book review of “Nurturing the Soul of Your Family” by Renée Trudeau. Over the past few years, many of us at ClimateMama have been reading non-stop, climate related books, and to take the “time” to read something about “nurturing our souls,” seemed way off track, and not a priority. Boy was I wrong. I loved Renée’s book and it touched me deeply, in a myriad of important ways.

In particular, for me, as the urgency of the climate crisis becomes crystal clear, and as we work to help others grasp what we are up against, “chaos” in every way, shape and form seems often to take hold. Renée has helped us step back, and realize we can’t do it all, and that we must take time to find time for joy in the moment; through our friends, our family and through nature. To do this, we must take the time, to nurture ourselves.

We are pleased to share this guest post by Renée with you. If you, like us are sending your children back to school this month, Renée thoughtful strategies will come in handy.

Six Back-to-School Strategies to Help You Stress Less & Simplify Your Life

by, Renée Peterson Trudeau

In the Native American tradition, September signifies the start of a new year. It certainly feels this way to me. Whether your kids are toddlers or teens, the start of the school year signifies opportunity, a time for a fresh start and a chance to do things differently. If you’re feeling some anxiety around the all the transitions, scheduling and driving that usually accompany a new school year, take a deep breath, pause, and consider the following ideas for a simpler, less stressful school year. Adopting even one of these ideas could make a huge difference in how you experience this potentially hectic time. Begin with compassion and baby steps as you consider the following: Continue reading

Posted in Climate Mama News, Health & Fitness, Lifestyle & Fun, Nature, Schools and Colleges | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments