shutterstock_11256511Along our travels across the country and around the world, we have the pleasure and honor of meeting many incredible Climate Mamas and Papas who inspire us and give us hope as they stand up, speak out and lead the way – carving out a future that overflows with hope for our children. These parents recognize the overwhelming needs, the urgency of the crisis, and the fact that our children’s future, without our help – and we know even with it – remains precarious and threatened because of our changing climate. They also recognize that we do have the power to slow down what is happening, to give ourselves and our children a fighting chance, but that we must move urgently; a fact recognized by 195 countries this past December in Paris at the UN Climate Conference.

We want to introduce you to one of these special parents, Arizona Climate Mama, Kathy Mohr-Almeida. Instead of being the outspoken one (although she herself does so much) – Kathy is supporting and helping her daughter take center stage. Early on, Kathy recognized that her young daughter Anna Rose had some very special gifts, including: empathy, an intuitive caring and love for the planet, and a strong desire to lead through activism. Kathy has helped to foster Anna’s activism, ensuring that her daughter’s voice, her spirit and her dedication is seen, heard and valued. We are thrilled to share with you Kathy’s advice, thoughtfulness and guidance. What does it takes to raise a climate activist child?

Stay tuned for more articles by Kathy on ClimateMama in the coming months.

Kathy and Anna Rose, Used with Permission

Kathy and Anna Rose, Used with Permission

Advice on Raising a young Climate Activist
By Kathy Mohr-Almeida, PhD

I openly admit that I am a nerdy Brainiac. I possess a female mind, which physiologically makes me a thinking ninja. My corpus callosum allows me to both think and feel simultaneously, an absolute advantage my male colleagues do not possess. I am very well educated, both formally and informally, meaning I know how to think. It is natural outcome of my liberal arts education that I would choose social service as a professional path, first as a K – 6 English as Second Language Teacher, and later as psychotherapist, professor, and traditional healer.

All of these roles are very nice and interesting. However, my most important role in life is being Anna’s Mom. Like most mothers, I am driven to protect my child at all costs. This protective drive has come to include safeguarding Anna’s future, which encompasses her having a viable environment in which to live.
This is why I find myself parenting a youth climate crisis leader. We are at a moment in human history when there is no other choice but to fight for our children’s futures. This is a cold, hard fact, something I wish I could remain blissfully ignorant about. Hiding from the facts is tantamount to betraying my child, and I find myself in the uncharted parenting territory of youth climate crisis activism. Fortunately, I can think my way through these sometimes murky waters, find the hope, and take action. Continue reading

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240px-Super_Bowl_50_logoContinuing our Super Bowl updates for all our Climate Mamas and Papas, we wanted to bring you a timely and interesting interview by GreenSportsblog founder Lew Blaustein, with Neill Duffy – the Sustainability Director of the Super Bowl 50 Host Committee. We are reprinting the interview with permission which first appeared on GreenSportsblog in January, 2016.

Sporting events captivate billions of people around the world. Activating even 1% of all sports fan to act on climate change, could have profound and lasting ramifications. As we work to reach outside our regular audience, we look to you – our Climate Mamas and Papas – to share this post with your friends, family and colleagues who might not otherwise tune in on climate and sustainability issues.

The GreenSportsBlog (GSB) Interview: Neill Duffy, the Host Committee’s Sustainability Director, reports that the committee has made good on the promises embedded in its “4 pillars”:
1. Reducing impact on climate change by delivering a low emissions event;
2. Responsibly using materials and resources;
3. Inspiring fans to embrace sustainability personally; and
4. Leaving a lasting legacy. For GreenSportsBlog, getting fans, both attendees and TV/online viewers, engaged with greening efforts is the Holy Grail of Green-Sports. So we talked recently with Duffy to get a sense of how the fans will actually get involved with the greenest Super Bowl ever. Continue reading

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WeilQuote_820x820What do PepsiCo, the Super Bowl, palm oil and Doritos all have in common? Sounds complicated? It’s very simple actually, they all have our kids, our kids health and our kids future in common.

Over the last several years Climate Mama has been thrilled to team up with the Rainforest Action Network and the Sum of Us to help educate and activate parents on the links between palm oil production, climate change and the foods we eat and buy. We know that together we are strong, and in the fall of 2014 we helped deliver over 100,000 signatures to PepsiCo headquarters and Indra Nooyi, the CEO of PepsiCo to let her know that we are looking to PepsiCo to be world leaders on corporate palm oil policy. The production of palm oil, a key ingredient in many of the snack foods we eat (including Doritos), is a huge driver of climate change and something that is within our power to control.

As we have shared with you, Super Bowl 2016, the 50th Anniversary of the Super Bowl is an excellent opportunity to highlight the power of regular people to make positive change. With millions of eyes and ears from around the country and around the world focusing on the February 7th Super Bowl game and the super hype surrounding it, highlighting climate change, climate impacts and sustainability can also be super hyped too. So, we are excited to share with you various ways you can help generate some of this hype and subsequent action too.

PepsiCo, through it subsidiary Frito Lay is running a contest called “Crash the Super Bowl” to help fans pick an ad to air during the Super Bowl. Two Dorito’s ads are featured. Our friends at the Sum of US are sharing their Dorito’s ad and want our help to share it too. Millions of people have watched this funny ad, with your help we can make it millions more. Share it with the kids in your life, with your friends and family and join us in sending a message to PepsiCo. Let’s remind them that with great power comes great responsibility. Also do sign on to the petition calling for PepsiCo to strengthen it’s palm oil policies. PepsiCo are part of the way there, but we want them to take it “into the end zone” to borrow from our football theme!

In case you missed our letter to Indra Nooyi, take a moment to read it too and to learn more about how our purchasing decisions can influence multinational companies and why we must make our voices heard. Remember our mantra: “Tell the truth, actions speak louder then words and don’t be afraid.” We all can play a role in slowing climate change and working together to ensure a livable future for our children.

It’s do something Wednesday here at Climate Mama.. Help us take a stand against conflict palm oil and for our children’s future and now.

Yours,

Climate Mama

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240px-Super_Bowl_50_logoLiving in the shadow of the world’s media capital, New York City, with the shared home of two professional rival football teams not far from my backyard, football is often and always in the news and in and out of my home – for better and for worse! There are pick up games in my backyard and passionate and heated discussions regularly around my dinner table – my daughter, son and husband are loyal and longtime New York Football Giants fans. Lately, our discussions have been centered on: San Francisco and Super Bowl 50; the early retirement of the New York Giant’s coach Bill Coughlin; Will Smith’s oscar snub and; both the Frontline and Hollywood versions of the NFL concussion stories.

Even with a Climate Mama and Papa at the table, what hasn’t been at the forefront of our dinner discussions is the broad greening of the NFL, and more specifically the sustainability programs and efforts that have been put in place around Super Bowl 50. This is about to change around our table, and I hope around yours too. Our friends at GreenSportsBlog clued us in to the “Green Super Bowl happenings;” part of their continued efforts to help us connect the dots between all things “Sports and Green.” Continue reading

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IMG_5807Happy 2016 to all our Climate Mamas and Papas! We hope you had time to relax this holiday season, to be surrounded by loved ones and to surround yourself and be in nature. The beginning of the year is always a time for reflection and taking stock, for new hopes and promises – to ourselves and to and for others as well. This year instead of starting out with a play list of what we have done, what was accomplished and where we must go, we are sticking to the “keep it simple” philosophy and promising ourselves and you that 2016 will be our year to Keep it Real.

What do we mean? Aren’t we always “keeping it real” with you and with ourselves? Of course we are, but in line with our ClimateMama Mantra: “Tell the truth, actions speak louder then words, and don’t be afraid” we want to start of 2016 by reminding you that you can always count on us to keep it real, even if sometimes we would rather shut our eyes to the realities we face because of climate change.

As we work to empower ourselves and others to lead by example on climate action, we also feel that we are at a critical juncture where we can’t and where we mustn’t allow others to sugar coat the truth – something that is done too often in our climate community. Climate change is the greatest challenge of our time and will remain a huge challenge for lifetimes to come. But if we don’t put the brakes on now, the costs and consequences will be catastrophic; not just for our natural world but for us and our families as well. This is the reality we face. And without minimizing the challenges, we promise to be real about highlighting the opportunities too, because part of being real is also having hope. Continue reading

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08 moms birthday show 026We all know that we take too much for granted, especially those of us who live in places like the United States, Canada and the Europe. Lately, we have begun to wake up to the facts that our natural world isn’t an endless supply of “goods and services” but rather a gift to be cherished and preserved. Join us over this holiday season, as Andrew Delvics, an author and creator at Divein, reminds us of all the gifts our world oceans gives and why we must never forget to cherish them. As you surround yourself with loved ones this holiday season, it is important to stop and remind ourselves of what we are thankful for and what we also may too often take for granted. A healthy ocean is not something that magically happens. As with all living and breathing things, it needs to be nurtured and cared for. Andrew’s post reminds us of some of the special gifts the our Oceans gives.

The Oceans: Our Gift for the Holidays and Everyday
By Andrew Delvics

The world’s global ocean is so vast that it covers nearly 71% of the planet’s surface and is the largest ecosystem on earth. The global ocean is the earth’s largest support system. In order for life to survive on earth, we need healthy and prosperous oceans. The oceans provide over half of theoxygen we breathe as well as contains 97% of the world’s water supply and without water all life on earth would not survive. Not only is the ocean essential for us to live and breathe, it supplies a sixth of the animal protein that humans eat. The oceans are also home to the most promising and newly discovered medicines that can combat cancer, pain and even have potent anti-bacterial properties. Continue reading

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ParisendoffossilfuelsThe United Nations Climate Conference in Paris concluded on December 12, 2015. The most significant take away from the Conference is that 195 countries have agreed and come to terms with what scientists around the world have been telling us with alarming clarity for many years: OUR future, and that of OUR children, is clearly at risk, and OUR future, and that of OUR children, is truly in our hands. The Conference generated a lot of discussion and renewed debate on how we will and must collectively respond to the threat of global warming, with a clear message delivered – we must stop using and burning fossil fuels in as soon as 35 years. This is not a distant time frame, but a reality that we will see successfully achieved, or not, in OUR lifetime.

Everyone seems to be weighing in on the Paris Climate Agreement – from late night television hosts, presidential hopefuls and senators, to our local mayors, book club friends, water cooler buddies and most importantly, our children. You would think that our local meteorologists – who we give a lot of trust and authority to – who we rely on and who we listen to and watch on a daily basis, would also have a lot to say on this subject. Yet as a group, these folks have been particularly silent and rarely if every help us “connect the dots” on weather trends and climate change.

Climate Papa extraordinaire Mark Mesle has tuned into this fact, and has created 50yearforcast.org to help us remind our local meteorologists that they can and must have a say. Mark clearly reminds us that: “We are in a race to convince people to care about climate change before the weather makes it impossible for them not to care.”

It’s “Do Something Wednesday” at ClimateMama, so grab the kids in your life and share Mark’s post with them. Show your kids how we all can “DO SOMETHING” every day to address our growing climate crisis. We can and we must take action. Mark gives us one strong and simple way that empowers us to take action today and everyday!

Why TV Meteorologists are Uniquely Positioned to Change the Way America Thinks about Climate Change
By Mark Mesle
Continue reading

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parisAfter all the back slapping, high fiv’ing, check kisses and congratulatory popping of champagne corks, as 195 countries signed off on the Paris Climate Agreement on December 12, 2015, we must now face our sober reality in the light of day. The Paris climate conference, or COP21, didn’t “solve” global warming – we didn’t even come close – we didn’t come up with a concrete plan and our children’s world and future remains severely threatened. What world leaders did acknowledge, and what is a critically important starting point is: “The sh$%*t has hit the fan.”

What we did in Paris was pull the curtain aside just a little bit more. We all looked out of the same window and we collectively acknowledged seeing the same mega storm brewing. We know it’s at least a category 5 hurricane – and in our heart of hearts we know it is in fact much worse.

What we did in the lead up to Paris and at the conference itself, and what we must do in the conference’s aftermath, is clearly and forcefully continue to stand by the “gauntlet” we have laid at the feet of our world leaders, and we must stand fast – demanding sustained and real action. Paris was about coming face to face with the realities of climate change, acknowledging it is here, now and threatening our survival. The final agreement has been carefully worded and crafted, it lays out hopes for what we should do, it apologizes for what we haven’t done, but what it doesn’t do, is lay out a clear path on how we will get to where we need to go. Will we be able to protect ourselves and weather the storm? Not with this Paris agreement – but it is at least a floor to stand on, which is more than we had before.

Paris was a clear acknowledgment that there is a mega storm off our shores. But instead of racing forward immediately with short term plans to weather this impending mega storm, and with long term programs, policies and plans to deal with the recovery needed, the Paris agreement – after facing reality – gives us too much time to “catch our breath” as we “wait just a little longer” watching the winds howl and blow.

okc2“Tell the truth, actions speak louder than words, and we aren’t afraid.” Our job, post Paris is to live by this mantra and to keep sustained pressure on all our leaders – politicians, business, religious and community leaders – who have taken the first steps by “telling the truth.” Actions must now be put into place – urgently and firmly. We know they are afraid; but we must demand they be fearless. Our children’s eyes – looking into ours, trusting us to protect them – won’t allow for inaction or fear.

Top 5 agreed to outcomes from Paris, what was decided: Continue reading

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IMG_4021After spending 13 years working at the United Nations where I followed global discussions on a range of issues, including climate change…I am a realist. The United Nations can only accomplish so much. The rest as they say…“Is up to us.” We will share our ClimateMama “post COP21 wrap up” early next week, but we wanted to leave you on this last official day of the negotiations with an inspiring reminder of why we cannot and must not give up. Last year at the United Nations Summit on Climate Change, I had the honor of interviewing Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner, the young mother from the Marshall Islands who delivered the opening address at the Summit.

Kathy passionately and decisively spoke to our world leaders, sharing a promise she delivered to her 7 month old daughter, Matafele Peinem, who was with her in the General Assembly Hall. Kathy was calm but incredibly forceful when she said that: “we all deserve to do more than just survive, we deserve to thrive.” Kathy made it all seem simple; at the end of the day, would we not all – world leaders included – do whatever it takes to ensure that our children will not only survive, but thrive? Sadly and as we know, it is more complicated than it should be, and we still have a long way to go…even knowing what we know..


Each of us CAN and MUST make a difference. So as we all take stock of what did, and did not get accomplished in Paris take some time this weekend to enjoy your family and to be in nature; cherishing what we have and also recognizing what is at risk. As well, invite your children to join you and listen to Kathy’s message to her daughter and our world leaders..You will be inspired and fortified….

With hope, gratitude and in solidarity,

Climate Mama

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ourkidsclimatephotosDear Tomorrow: “We tried…but no one paid attention.”

Is that what we will tell our children and grandchildren? We tried, but the world was paralyzed. No, we must and we will tell them we stayed the course, and the world changed. In December 2015, world governments, mayors, parlimentarians, environmental and justice organizations, indigenous people from all over the world, moms, dads, and caring and concerned individuals came to Paris for the United Nations Climate Conference. Outside of the main conference rooms where government representatives worked through the night hammering out language for the final conference agreement, all others came to Paris to bear witness – to show our commitment and sustained demands for climate solutions. Those in Paris are supported by millions of us around the world who understand and who are deeply alarmed, concerned and saddened about our future, our today and what is happening to the world.

At the same time as the Paris Climate Conference is taking place, temperatures hover in the mid-50’s and could reach the mid 60’s in the New York metropolitan area – no snow has fallen yet this holiday season and temperatures have been 10-15 degrees above normal. Many people are thrilled with the warmer than usual weather. The morning news programs talk about the “perfect shopping weather” as people leave their homes in light jackets; their seasonal boots, mittens, winter coats and scarves still stored away in their unopened “winter storage boxes.” The weather isn’t normal, and we must help people connect the dots.

Used with permission; photos by: Joel Lukhovi | Survival Media Agency

Used with permission; photos by: Joel Lukhovi | Survival Media Agency

It isn’t easy though to keep people’s sustained attention on our changing climate and on the critical need for solutions and actions. The big “asks” in Paris and the main hoped for outcomes include: keeping temperature rise to 2.0 or more hopefully 1.5 degrees C above preindustrial levels; and for governments to set a concrete goal, that will allow the world to transition to 100% renewable energy by mid-century. These are critical and extremely important goals for governments to agree on. Once decided, we then can keep constant pressure on at home; holding our governments accountable to these commitments. But for many people, grasping the difference between 1.5 and 2 degrees seems insignificant, and transitioning off of fossil fuels anytime soon seems like someone else’s job and a job for the distant future. Continue reading

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