Used with permission © Erik McGregor - erikrivas@hotmail.com - 917-225-8963

Used with permission © Erik McGregor – erikrivas@hotmail.com – 917-225-8963

At ClimateMama, we work hard to shine a spotlight on Climate Mamas and Papas on the front lines of fossil fuel infrastructure expansion – those who are fighting to stop pipelines, wells, compressor stations and more, in order to protect our bodies, our water, air, land, future and now. The world needs not only to witness what is happening but to open all eyes, so that we can all plan and put actions in place, so that we, and our Mother Earth, can begin to heal. Now more then ever, we all must stand up, be on guard and be counted on, to protect our children, our future and our now. By highlighting those who are already doing this hard work, we hope to inspire others to join us.

Along these lines, we are therefore honored to share with you a special holiday program, A Front Line Holiday, shared with us by one of our favorite Climate Mamas, Cherri Foytlin.

Cherri is a true heroine, who inspires us everyday. She is unafraid to speak out, to put her body on the line and to stand firm for her children and ours. At this time of giving, of holiday cheer and of togetherness, Cherri reminds us and gives us all a way to ensure that we all celebrate and are celebrated. Taking time to breath, to be with loved ones, and to remind ourselves what we are fighting to protect, is critical to renewing our strength and our resolve. Please read and share Cherri’s note. Join us in helping to make the holidays shine a little brighter this year for everyone.

A Front Line Holiday Program
Shared by Cherri Foytlin

Screen Shot 2016-11-29 at 11.10.20 AMToday I am writing you about an opportunity that I have been proud to be a part of in recent years – A FRONT LINE HOLIDAY (AFLH). This is a grassroots initiative, now also supported by Bold Alliance. AFLH is meant to help provide holiday relief to families living in communities that continue to deal with the effects of extreme extraction and climate chaos.

Additionally, and aside from the focus, a major difference in this program and other holiday toy drives is that we hope to spotlight issues at every location and heroes at every level from within our grassroots movement. Continue reading

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ALOHAThis Thanksgiving, we at ClimateMama are seeking to channel the true meaning of Aloha, and we hope you will join us. Most of us understand Aloha to be a Hawaiian greeting, a simple expression of hello or goodbye. The deeper Hawaiian meaning is actually much more complex; it expresses the combined notions of compassion, love and peace.

At our Thanksgiving dinner tables this year, now more then ever, love, compassion and peace are feelings, hopes and ideals that we need to embrace so that we can all move forward in a positive and constructive direction. It seems that so many people remain stuck “post election.” While we all need to come to grips with our own emotions, to validate them and to take needed time to do so; we also must remain active, observant and involved. Deciding not to “talk about” the differing opinions and views we may have with family and friends is NOT the way to move ourselves, our families, or our nation forward. Not only do we need to talk about our hopes and our concerns, we need to try our best to let others share their hopes and concerns with us as well. Listening to family and friends and HEARING the views of those we may have alienated or who may have alienated us is critical to finding common ground and creating hope.

As such, we wanted to offer 3 broad tips and conversation ideas that have resonated deeply with us. We feel that the advice below is useful – not only for Thanksgiving discussions – but also for sharing, thinking and acting on well beyond Thanksgiving and the holiday season. We have abbreviated the quotes below and pulled them out of longer discussions and we are adding links to the posts in their entirety so you can dig deeper as well. Continue reading

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photo credit: A. Jennis

photo credit: A. Jennis

Looking back five years, 2011 seemed to be a time of new understanding as the role, place and impact of human beings on our planet earth was re-examined. In the United States a sense of optimism was ignited, building hope and growing the climate movement with the successful and impactful No Keystone XL protests. National Geographic ran a feature story entitled: “Anthropocene: Enter the Age of Man” and a few months later the world surpassed an incredible milestone, 7 billion people.

Five years ago ClimateMama published one of our most widely read posts: “Top 10 Climate Change Quotes from Inspiring Women.” As world leaders gather in Marrakech, Morocco with the intent of showing us how they will “walk the walk” on climate change policy and actions, we thought it would be illuminating to reach out to some of these same inspiring women, and see if and how their thoughts on the climate crisis have changed and evolved.

We are thrilled to share with you the optimism, hope and urgency of 8 incredible women, ClimateMama superstars, who are taking action and moving forward on climate solutions – leading, not following. Be sure to read our 2011 post so you can compare their thoughts and statements.

We begin with the same quote we started with 5 years ago, with a quote by one of our heroes and one of the founders of the modern day environmental movement, Rachel Carson. This Climate Mama’s words remain hauntingly relevant and urgently poignant, 54 years after they were first uttered:

“We stand now where two roads diverge. But unlike the roads in Robert Frost’s familiar poem, they are not equally fair. The road we have long been traveling is deceptively easy; a smooth superhighway on which we progress with great speed, but at its end lays disaster. The other fork of the road — the one less traveled by — offers our last, our only chance to reach a destination that assures the preservation of the earth.”

Rachel Carson, Writer, Scientist, Ecologist, Environmentalist, Marine biologist, “Silent Spring” 1962 Continue reading

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tomsWe love to share the successes of our partners and the commitments they make – as we do – to not only “talking the talk” but walking the walk too. Our partners at Stonyfield regularly introduce us to products and programs that place planet and people on the same footing as profit. Tom’s of Maine is one of those special companies that clearly and proudly let you know, from the information on their product packaging, to the details found easily on their website, that they care deeply about protecting our planet and us at the same time that they produce quality and affordable products.

As we work to expand understanding about the urgency of the climate crisis, we love sharing companies and their products that also care about our health and the health of our planet. We must work together on many fronts and all at the same time, including what we buy and how we actively care for our family and our planet. Many companies out there will tell you their products are “natural” “green” “safe” “good for the planet” all words that can mean anything and are not regulated. These words are often used purely for advertising, with no facts to back them up. Our Climate Mama community teaches our children to read labels, ask questions and dig deep. Continue reading

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aimcollageOn October 26th, 15 mothers, fathers, aunts, uncles, brothers and sisters were arrested in New York City on 49th street and 3rd avenue in a non-violent act of civil disobedience – blocking a doorway to a building where the office of New York Senator Chuck Schumer is located. Hundreds of others rallied on the street within yards of these brave souls cheering them on and thanking them, joining together in song and chants, calling out for help from any and all corners including New York Senator Gillibrand and Schumer, President Obama, and Governor Cuomo. We have been fighting for more then two years to stop this particular gas pipeline –the Spectra AIM pipeline – that is now under the Hudson river, within 105 feet of critical infrastructure of the Indian Point Nuclear power plant. Continue reading

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Just in time for Halloween our partners at Communitopia and Don’t Just Sit There, Do Something led by one of our favorite Climate Mamas, Joylette Portlock, have created an engaging, humorous and fun new video, “Energy Bill Movie.”

None of us want “Energy Bill” haunting our homes this year, so find out what you can do to lower energy costs this winter without huge costs to you. Grab the kids in your life and watch this short video with them, its fun and we promise you that everyone will learn something.

Yours,

Climate Mama

P.S. as with all Don’t Just Sit There Do Something video’s, there is an easy and immediate action you can take, today, to make a difference.

TAKE 10 SECONDS AND MAKE A DIFFERENCE! – DEADLINE NOV 1:
Step 1 – Copy the sample text below to support the proposed Clean Energy Incentive Program, or write your own
Step 2 – Submit comment at http://l.djst.tv/CEIPcomment (goes to regulations.gov) form

Sample text:
Low-income communities have historically had little access to clean energy and the jobs associated with it. I support the CEIP, which will help bring new opportunities to economically disadvantaged communities across the U.S., while helping our country reduce climate pollution. The CEIP will help ensure equity for all as we make the transition to a safer, cleaner sources of energy.

Background:
Earlier this year, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released proposed details of the Clean Energy Incentive Program (CEIP), a voluntary component of EPA’s historic Clean Power Plan. It will provide significant benefits by incentivizing investments in energy efficiency and renewable energy in low-income communities and encouraging states to take immediate action to reduce carbon pollution from the power sector.

You can learn more here (In addition to the above instructions, you can also email comments about the CEIP to a-and-r-Docket@epa.gov with “Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2016-0033” as the subject line)

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WomenActForClimateJusticeMeme1ClimateMama is honored to partner with the Women’s Earth And Climate Action Network (WECAN) in the lead up to the next round of global climate talks – COP22 – which will be held in Marrakech, Morocco beginning November 7, 2016. Join us for this exciting opportunity to show the world we are watching what our governments are doing and saying and we are not waiting – we are taking action now. There is room and space for everyone; you can join in as an individual, as part of a group, or as part of an organization or team – no action is too small, nor too large! Find out more below.

According to WECAN, ‘Women Act for Climate Justice — Ten Days of Global Mobilization’ is an opportunity for women and girls from around the world to organize together and show resistance to environmental and social degradation. Examples include: speaking about and taking action to highlight the climate impacts our communities are facing; showcasing resistance struggles which are ongoing or new; and demonstrating the many effective, just and safe climate solutions, strategies and political calls that are being implemented everyday by women and girls around the world.

no oil alanaYour action can be as simple as taking a photo of yourself and your family holding up a sign, messages could include: “Keep Fossil Fuels in the Ground”, ‘Keep the oil in the soil’, ‘No Gender Justice without Climate and Ecological Justice’,”No Climate Justice, Without Gender Justice”, “Water is Life”, ‘No Healthy Oceans, no Life”;“Climate Justice Now”, “Women for 100% Renewable Energy”,”#WomenClimateJustice and on, and on…

Another option could be organizing a town-hall meeting, holding vigils and demonstrations, rallies, sit-ins, marches, educational events, art projects, and other actions and statements to showcase local struggles and solutions being offered by women leaders and their communities. For more ideas and actions check out the WECAN website.
Continue reading

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Screen Shot 2016-10-11 at 8.30.57 AMHope and pride in both our political process and the people who stand for election has been eroded and tested – to an extreme. Is our system broken? Can it be fixed? We seem to have reached a low point in our nation’s history; a time where so many people are considering not going to the polls, not voting, and not exercising our democratic right. If we hope to fix and strengthen our democracy we must show ourselves, and the world that people still have power, and that our system can be fixed and used for good.

We want to introduce you to an incredible Climate Mama, Pramilla Malick, who is running for state office in New York State’s 42nd district. Pramilla believes we can fix our system and that she can and will be part of the change. Taking on an incumbent who was running unopposed, Pramilla gives us hope and inspiration that the best can rise to the surface and that we can not only overcome the morass we have become mired in, but that we can make our world – locally, nationally and globally a better and a more hopeful place – a place where change for the good does happen.

Parmilla is a busy mother of four, who works in the information technology sector and has always been active in her community. But in 2011, when a gas compressor station was being built in her New York town, she not only got curious she took action. Pramilla began speaking out, insisting on facts about what this would mean to the health and welfare of people living near the compressor station. Pramilla organized her community to demand answers too. She helped her neighbors have their voices heard in federal court in Washington DC and she has selflessly helped other towns and neighborhoods around the country learn more about the health and environmental impacts of gas infrastructure. Pramilla continues to show us how each of us can make a difference. She embodies our Climate Mama motto: “Tell the truth, actions speak louder then words, and don’t be afraid.”

IMG_7291Along her journey Pramilla has spoken at local and national forums, she has marched in rallies, she has worked with educators, scientists and politicians to bring the facts and the truth to the surface. Pramilla has also been a leader in non-violent direct action, raising attention to our climate crisis. Pramilla fasted for days in front of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in Washington, DC, bringing a face and a mother’s voice to the impacts of our energy choices, and the critical crossroads we face as a country. She has also put her body on the line and has been arrested standing up for her beliefs; defending our future and now. Pramilla has helped so many connect the dots between justice, income inequality, our health, the environment, our energy choices and climate change. Pramilla is everywhere demanding the truth and she never takes no for an answer. Parmilla is the example we can point to when we talk to our children about people running for elected office. We can tell them: “This is who you can look up to.”

We know that there are many amazing Climate Mamas and Papas around the country, who – like Pramilla – are actively running for office and haven’t given up. These people, your neighbors and friends, likely do not have the media spotlight shining on them. But they are there, asking for our vote – willing and able to make our system stronger and better; support them, help them get elected.

Wherever you live in our country, find out who is running for office in your district – not just at the national level, but also at the state and local levels too. Attend one of their debates, peruse their website, call their office and ask questions. While there is only one Pramilla, there are many people running for office that deserve our vote, our time and our energy. Be an example for your children, take them to your polling station and let them watch you vote. Show them there are good people in our country who will work to champion and create real policies that will put people to work, protect our children’s health, our water and our air, and work directly to address the climate crisis we face.

Are you registered to vote? Is your neighbor, your friend, your voting age child? If not make sure they register. We can’t be a part of the change unless we all participate.

Yours,

Climate Mama

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 Hurricane Matthew, 10/7/16. National Weather Service [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Hurricane Matthew, 10/7/16. National Weather Service [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

What can we do to slow down the impacts of climate change in our communities? We get asked this question all the time as families grapple with the realities of climate change and partisan politics get’s in the way of broad policies. Fortunately there is much we can do and much that can be done at the municipal and state levels to address the realities of our changing climate.

We are pleased to share the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) new online guide, which explains how communities can better protect and prepare themselves from the weather and climate impacts that Mother Nature is throwing at us. One of the greatest concerns for the US east coast from Hurricane Matthew was storm surge, how to slow down and manage the ocean as it travels inland in big storms. Iowa’s recent flooding and the current drought in Massachusetts and other eastern coast and west coast states, are conditions which, while becoming more common, are ones we can plan for and be better prepared for.

According to the Guide, “the goal of resilient landscape planning and design is to retrofit communities to recover more quickly from extreme events, now and in the future.” The guide includes hundreds of case studies and resources demonstrating multi-benefit systems as well as small-scale solutions. It also explains landscape architects’ role in the planning and design teams helping to make communities more resilient. Continue reading

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Screen Shot 2016-10-03 at 2.49.53 PMAt ClimateMama, one of the most hopeful and encouraging things we do, is meet – and then introduce our community to – special Climate Mamas and Papas. These are folks from around the country who are acting mindfully, with purpose and intent, to push against and slow down climate change. They are often as well, taking those “extra steps” to educate and encourage others to take actions too; building up and replenish our climate hope.

We want to introduce you to Brenda Cummings, a New Jersey Climate Mama. Brenda has written a new book, “I am a Hugger” which with our help, will be available to all of our children very soon. The book is a funny but factual take on trees and why they deserve our hugs! You can read more about I am a Hugger here. Join us now, and in her own words, learn more about Brenda, and why she inspires us all at Climate Mama!

The Story of Granny Green and her Green Machine
By Brenda Cummings

I am a mother, wife, actor, singer, writer and illustrator. We lived in NYC up until 15 years ago, when my husband inherited the tiny old house in suburban NJ where he grew up. We had lived on the lower east side of Manhattan for 17 years and agreed that this was our last chance to have a house with a garden, adopt a child and get a dog. So we nestled in, adopted our lovely, 10 month old daughter and I devoted myself to her care. I thought it would be easy to go back to theater work once she was in elementary school… Continue reading

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