Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Merriam Webster Dictionary: schizophrenia

“contradictory or antagonistic qualities or attitudes.”

As our climate crisis grows, as we demand climate solutions and as we get closer and closer to the climate cliff… the direction and actions of our leaders – in government, industry, finance, and in our communities – often seem schizophrenic when and where it comes to our energy choices. The choices we make – clearly and directly – impact our ability to slow down the climate crisis. Yet tragically, our leaders regularly both confuse and confound us. One of the instruments of this confusion is FERC, The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

ClimateMama is pleased to join more than 180 organizations from around the country who are calling on the Chairs of the US House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee and the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources to SLOW DOWN and Reform the Natural Gas Act, and as part of this process, to hold oversight hearings on FERC.

Our main asks are the following:

fercdoesnt1. Hold congressional hearings to learn the many ways communities are being harmed by FERC’s implementation of the Natural Gas Act as currently written;

2. Take swift affirmative action to reform the Natural Gas Act so as to better protect communities including eliminating the threats associated with natural gas infrastructure; and

3. Oppose, or at a minimum hold in abeyance, any further advancement of the Energy Policy Modernization Act of 2016 which includes language intended to further “streamline” an already misused, and well streamlined, process for advancing the review and approval of natural gas infrastructure until you have learned, through the hearing requested above, how people’s rights, state’s rights, and the environment are already being abused under the implementation of the Natural Gas Act and how they will be further harmed by passage of provisions proposed in the new law. Continue reading

Posted in Climate Mama News, Disasters, Do Something Wednesdays, fracking and pipelines, In The News, Renewable Energy, Take a Stand: Action & Advocacy | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

110824_sabin_445Labor day has come and gone and our children are beginning a new school year. As parents, we have done everything we can to ensure that our children will have a safe, happy and successful start for this new school year. Or have we?

We helped our children pack their healthy lunches, we filled their reusable water bottles, we sent them with a special snack, and we ensured that their backpacks have all required books, binders and supplies. We walked our children to school – making sure we looked both ways as we crossed the street; we put them on the school bus – meeting the new bus driver; and we drove them to school, buckling them in carefully and following the new traffic pattern as we arrived at their school, ensuring that all children are safe in the school parking lot. And of course, we put their ICE card in a safe and easily findable spot in their backpack. ICE card? What’s that? Continue reading

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Photo credit: Shutterstock

Photo credit: Shutterstock

Back to school is around the corner for many of us and for some of our Climate Mama and Papa families, back to school has already begun. We want to share a few of our musings, products suggestions, and thoughts on staying calm and sane as that first day of school fast approaches.

First, on the product end of things, at ClimateMama we often talk about how important it is to reuse, repurpose and “re-find” some of those back to school items you tossed in your drawer and forgot about ie. items you bought and then didn’t have time to use but may be able to use again. Make sure to take an “inventory” of what you already have on hand before you head online or out to the store for school supplies.

Second, it is really, really important, with school supplies and in fact with any products you buy, to support those companies that are taking a stand for sustainability, that are concerned about a product’s lifecycle and that try to incorporate recycled, content, organic products, and innovative packaging (less is more) into their designs. Let your kids be an example of their, yours, and your family’s efforts at living sustainably and promoting a healthier planet, one recycled pencil, binder, reusable water bottle, and lunch container at a time! Two products that will be going to school with our families this year are Packit Freezable lunch containers and Justin nut butter snacks; both suggestions of one of our favorite partners, Stonyfield. Both Justins and Packet were started by individuals looking to make a difference by creating quality products and doing so in sustainable way.
stoneyfield

Finally, as we get close to the November and electing a new and different President, for the first time in 8 years, politics in the USA already seems at its worst rather then at its best. As parents we want to put our best foot forward for our children and set a great example, not a cynical one. Remind your children that voting is our right and our obligation. Do your research well. On climate change and many other issues there are clear and definitive choices.

Yours,

Climate Mama

P.S. One more critical and important item to add to your children’s backpack, an ICE (in case of emergency) card. We will be sharing more about the. #GetReadyGetSafe program of Save the Children and National Preparedness Month, so stay tuned!

P.S. The opinions and thoughts contained in this post are 100% ours at ClimateMama. We did received samples from Justin’s and Packit so that we could review and share our thoughts with you.

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Screen Shot 2016-08-24 at 9.45.13 AM“If a child is to keep alive his inborn sense of wonder, he needs the companionship of at least one adult who can share it, rediscovering with him the joy, excitement and mystery of the world we live in.”

Rachel Carson Silent Spring, 1962

August 25th is the 100th Anniversary of the National Park Service, created by an act signed by President Woodrow Wilson on August 25, 1916.

Do you know where you can find our nation’s first National Park, and which park that is? Fun Fact to share with the kids in your life: “The FIRST US National Park is Yellowstone, which was created in 1872 by President Ulysses S. Grant. Yellowstone is mostly in Wyoming, but parts of the park extend into Idaho and Montana. In it’s entirety, the US National Park system includes 412 areas covering more than 84 million acres in every state, the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. These areas include national parks, monuments, battlefields, military parks, historical parks, historic sites, lakeshore, seashores, recreation areas, scenic rivers and trails, and the White House. Chances are you live near one these, and entrance is free for you and your family from August 25-28th.

As Climate Mamas and Papas, we need to be the guides, the pied pipers and the role models extraordinaire when it comes to showing our kids why they should be outside exploring nature. While our children may know and learn much more than we do about the threats our planet faces, like climate change, their direct contact with nature is likely much less then ours was when we were kids. As more and more people live more “urban” lives, and as technology plays a bigger part in our more limited free time, our hands on relationship with nature and that of our children’s, has been reduced.

Used with permission: Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey

Used with permission: Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey

Richard Louv, in his book, The Last Child in The Woods, uses the example of visits to the national park system and how they have dropped significantly since the late 1980s’s as one example of our growing disconnect with nature. He ties this with a 2006 study by researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago who show that an overwhelming percentage of the drop in attendance at our national parks (more than 90%!) is due to the increased time Americans spend plugged into electronics. Other reasons included: “shorter vacation time, shortage of family time, the shrinking American “road trip,” a decline in park budgets and services, and increased entrance fees.”

So if you haven’t already done so this summer, UNPLUG AND UNPLUG your kids, and get outside! Visit one of our amazing, incredible and unique national parks, monuments, sites and recreation areas. The are OURS and OURs to explore, visit and get to know. Keep a family log of visits, see how many you can get to.

And if you can’t get to a National Park, get outside anyway!

Here are our TOP 5 warm weather favorite outdoor activities you can do with the children in your life: Continue reading

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Screen Shot 2016-08-19 at 5.32.01 AMAs Climate Mamas and Papas the examples we set for our children, our friends, and our families – in small and big ways – remains our legacy and our quest. As we all try to live life with a smaller “footprint” we must always remember to continue to celebrate and live our lives to the fullest. So, when we look for a gift to give – one that is special and unique, yet one that also shows we are giving with our planet in mind, one of the places we have reached out to in the past is UncommonGoods.

UncommonGoods is an online market place that brings us unique and carefully crafted designs, that are made with sustainability in mind. In addition to beautiful and special things, UncommonGoods has a special “sustainability” program called Better to Give. When we talk sustainability many people immediately focus on things like materials, packaging and energy efficiency. These are, of course, important and critical. Another important linkage however, and one that is less commonly part of the core values and practices of an organization or company is: giving back and paying it forward.

Screen Shot 2016-08-19 at 6.47.18 AMBetter to Give is a program that allows customers to choose a partner that UncommonGoods then donates $1 to from every order. Since the Better to Give program began at UncommonGoods, over $1,000,000 has been donated to organizations around the world. Currently, funds are being collected for:

RAINN (Rape,Abuse and Incest National Network) the nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization. RAINN carries out programs to prevent sexual violence, help survivors and ensure that rapists are brought to justice.

American Forests protects and restores forests worldwide, helping to preserve the health of our planet for the benefit of its inhabitants.

International Rescue Committee responds to the world’s worst humanitarian crises, helping to restore health, safety, education, economic wellbeing, and power to refugees and families devastated by conflict and disaster. Founded in 1933 at the call of Albert Einstein, the IRC is at work in over 40 countries and 26 U.S. cities helping people to survive, reclaim control of their future and strengthen their communities.

Reach Out and Read is a national organization that gives young children a foundation for success by incorporating books into pediatric care and encouraging families to read aloud together.

At ClimateMama we are happy to highlight UncommonGoods and it’s philosophy, mission and way of doing business as a model that, if other companies adopted, we feel would make the world a much better place. Thanks UncommonGoods!

Yours,

ClimateMama

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farmersmarketFor many of us the summer season is prime time to get reacquainted with fresh fruits and vegetables at the same time as we get reacquainted with our local farmers! Summer is often a great time to promote healthier living and eating healthier foods at home. Many of our Climate Mamas and Papas regularly visit farmers markets – to support local agriculture, to see old friends, to make new ones, and to help remind our children where our food really comes from.

Funny and fearless Climate Mama extraordinaire, Joylette Portlock, helps us “dig a little deeper” in her latest video,“The Dirt on Agriculture.” Joylette helps us connect the dots between our food, where it comes from and climate change. She also offers suggested action we can take immediately, including linking to a sustainable food directory and to the Union Of Concerned Scientists, who are running a “Plate of the Union” campaign to reform food policy.

Grab the kids in your life and watch this humorous and thoughtful video now.

Remember, “Don’t just sit there, do something!” All of us have a role to play in creating a livable and sustainable future and now.

Yours,

Climate Mama

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windfarmIn most states around the country WE have the option to choose OUR energy provider. Yet, most people don’t realize this nor do they realize how easy it is to change providers to support renewable energy options. We are excited to share with you a wonderful post by Diane McEachern of the Big Green Purse, that shows you how easy it is to get renewable energy at YOUR home – today; in the time it takes to read this post!

How You Can Get Free Clean Energy Without Building Your Own Windmill
By Diane McEachern, Founder Big Green Purse

You don’t have to put up your own windmill or plop solar panels on your roof to live the clean energy life you want. You can get free clean energy in just 3 minutes today by signing up with Arcadia Power.

Why Arcadia? Because they’ve come up with a unique way to connect you to renewable energy that doesn’t cost you a dime.

Watch this quick video.

Here’s How It Will Work for You
Screen Shot 2016-08-07 at 7.06.57 PM

Go to Arcadia’s website and plug in your zip code.

⇒ Then, create a FREE, secure account by providing the name of your local utility, your account number, and how you prefer to pay for your electricity: by credit card or debit from your checking account.

♥♥♥ Voilá! You have an account. Continue reading

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Philadelphia Clean Energy March, 7/24/16

Philadelphia Clean Energy March, 7/24/16

On Sunday, July 24th, we joined with Climate Mamas and Papas across the country at the March for A Clean Energy Revolution, in Philadelphia to dance, sing and demand action that will move us NOW to a renewable energy economy.

Scientists are telling us, Mother Nature is showing us, and world leaders have agreed that in order to create a livable planet for our children, we will need to leave 80% of all known fossil fuel reserves in the ground. We are living climate change and we must slow it down as we figure out how to manage its current and future impacts.

At the same time scientists are also telling us that our use of fossil fuels is creating a health emergency as both direct and indirect impacts effect or families, bodies of water, our air, crops and animals. Impacted communities are shouting loudly as families watch – often helplessly – as their children, their animals and themselves become sickened not only by accidents – large and small – but also by the impacts of living in proximity to oil and gas development and infrastructure.

We need your help to get the message out more widely that not only are we dealing with the immediate and long-term impacts of climate change, we have a growing health emergency taking place now that is being ignored. Both are integrally related, and both impact communities that too often lack a strong political voice and the power and influence to make change. This is changing, as communities across the country are joining together to amplify our voices and empower one another. One of the most powerful messages from the Philadelphia clean energy march is: “If it’s wrong somewhere, it’s wrong everywhere.”

We are pleased to support 2 wonderful campaigns to help get the message out about the health impacts of fossil fuel development, infrastructure and accidents. Please join us in supporting both of these important campaigns and share them with your friends and families.

Help get the film, The Rising, made:
The Rising is a feature documentary which uncovers the hidden story of the large-scale public health tragedy from oil industry toxins.

THE RISING campaign video INDIEGOGO from ConceptionMedia on Vimeo.

Help Families in Colorado have their voices heard on Fracking impacts
Join the “Yes” Campaign.

We know that most people want to do the right thing. People want to help their neighbors and we know that by helping our neighbors we also are helping ourselves. But we also know that getting the message out is both difficult, time consuming and expensive. Please help us share the truth and support these two important campaigns. Share these short trailers; go to their funding campaign pages, share these, be part of the change.

Our children our watching us, let’s how them that we are on the right side of history, we have our eyes wide open, and we have their backs as we stand strong for their future and their now.

With thanks,

Climate Mama

“Do Something Wednesday”

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Used with permission: Climate Change for Families

Used with permission: Climate Change for Families

Across the country and around the world, Climate Mamas and Papas are standing beside, in front and behind their children, wherever and however needed, to raise our voices and to take action as we work to create a livable future for our children. We wanted to bring to your attention several events, around the country that urgently need your support, your help, your voice and your involvement.

We have been following closely actions by children around the country, who, with the help of their parents and other adults, are using our legal system to demand action on climate change. In the spring of 2016, representing several youths who filed a petition in collaboration with Our Children’s Trust, the Western Environmental Law Center won a precedent-setting climate change victory against the Washington Department of Ecology. The court ordered Ecology to implement a carbon emissions rule using the best available science by the end of 2016 and make recommendations to the state legislature on science-based greenhouse gas reductions in the 2017 legislative session. The court also ordered Ecology to consult with the youth petitioners in advance of that recommendation. To date, this request to consult, has been repeatedly ignored.

On June 1st, Washington State released its revised Clean Air Rule that defies the May court order and fails the children of Washington. According to the Western Environmental Law Center, the proposed Clean Air Rule, is based on outdated emissions data and only requires emissions reductions of a mere 1.7% annually, completely disregarding current science that would put Washington on a path toward climate stability.

Watch this short video and here what the kids think about the propose rule.

On June 16th, Gov. Jay Inslee’s administration appealed the Washington Superior Court decision ordering his administration to issue a rule limiting greenhouse gas emissions by the end of the year; this by one of the “greenest” Governor’s in our nation. The Governor’s appeal of the youth win in court comes just six weeks after his office and his campaign praised the decision, and two weeks after the June 1, 2016 rollout of his proposed Clean Air Rule. You can find more background here, at Our Children’s Trust.

What Can you Do?
If you live in Washington State:
1. Join the kids and their families at one of two public hearings on July 12 and 14th.
2. Submit a public comment on the proposed rule to let Governor Inslee’s administration know that the proposed 1.7% emission reductions aren’t based on science or reason.

If you don’t live in Washington State you can still get involved:
1. Support parents parents and religious leaders who will be fasting for 3 days for kids’ climate justice at the Washington State capital building, July 12 – 14 while EcologyWA hosts 2 public hearings on the draft Clean Air Rule. You can do this by fasting from your own home. Let Michael Foster, at Climate Change for Families know about your fast. You can reach Michael at: michael.foster2@comcast.net

2. Sign the MoveOn Petition
http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/demand-the-best-climate/

3. Keep updated and Share posts from the Climate Change for Families blog.

Screen Shot 2016-07-06 at 11.44.40 AMOther Actions around the Country and more ways to get involved:

STOP OIL TRAINS WEEK OF ACTION: July 6th-July 12th, all over the United States. Click here for more information or to find an event near you!

PLAY IN FOR CLIMATE ACTION: Washington, DC. Wednesday, July 13th, 2016. Register here.

Posted in Climate Mama News, Climate Mama Video Peek of the Week, Climate Mamas & Papas, Do Something Wednesdays, In The News, Take a Stand: Action & Advocacy | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

shutterstock_34069102If you’ve been following the news, you’ve probably heard that many places around the United States are already seeing record breaking temperatures. In Phoenix, Arizona, temperatures soared near 120 degrees, a point at which planes are grounded. On June 20th, 2016 a flight from Houston to Phoenix was turned around in mid air – because of high temperatures. Climate change is here.

Clearly, we need strong policies that will begin to address climate change in a real and significant way. As such, we need to elect leaders that recognize that climate change is the greatest problem we will face in our lifetime. This is our clear choice and something we have control off. In the short term, as we approach what could be the hottest summer on record for many places in the US, on an individual level, many of us that don’t have air conditioners, will want to consider getting air conditioning.

Our friends at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have provided us with some practical steps for buying an air conditioner. Not only will we want to be conscious of the extra costs we will incur, but we must also ensure that we be the most efficient we can with the energy used by an air conditioner.

Tips from the EPA:

Fortunately, using a room or window air conditioner can be a lot less expensive (and guilt inducing) than you think. In fact, a new ENERGY STAR certified room air conditioner will generally cost you less than $70 a year in energy bills.

To keep your home cool as inexpensively and efficiently as possible, follow these steps:
Continue reading

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