washington DC PopeFrancis collageWashington DC, September 23, 2015 I didn’t think I would be so moved….While I have been helping prepare for the Moral Action on Climate for months now, so far what I have been feeling is excitement and anticipation. Hope as well, which was buoyed by the Pope’s first address in Washington when he said to President Obama that it was: “encouraging that you are proposing an initiative for reducing air pollution. Accepting the urgency, it seems clear to me also that climate change is a problem that can no longer be left to a future generation….When it comes to the care of our ‘common home’ we are living at a critical moment of history.” I can only imagine what he will say to the joint session of Congress on September 24th…But more on that tomorrow.

thumb_IMG_5318_1024I want to share a “taste of Washington” with you via some photos from my day so far. And also to share a few reflections from my first Yom Kippur services outdoors. This was not just any “outdoors” mind you, but at the foot of the Lincoln Memorial looking at the Reflecting Pond and the Washington Monument. I am away from my family and didn’t think it would be an emotional experience; again, what I felt as I walked toward the crowd, which was dressed mostly in versions of white, was excitement. But as I watched the ducks play beside the front of the service, and white birds flying overhead in the most beautiful blue sky; I started to feel something special and magical. As we went through the service, which was unique in it’s own right with reflections on the homeless and affordable housing, the war in Syria, climate disruption, income inequality and endangered species, I knew this would be a moment I would always remember.

While not surround by old friends and family, I felt surprisingly comfortable. I was with a new family of sorts. One that thought like me; deeply concerned about the plight of our planet, and the future of our human species. When one of the Rabbi’s invited those who felt so moved, to come up for an Aliya (the honor of being called to the reading table in a synagogue or in this case, to the front of the crowd), she seemed to be looking directly at me.

When she said it was for those that were hurting, those who had a loved one who were sick; I joined about 40 others who made their way forward. I lost my father to his battle with cancer less then two weeks ago. While I am glad for him that he is finally no longer suffering, my family will forever hurt in his absence. As we stood by the Rabbi, we could hear the mass from The Pope’s midday prayers With US Bishops at St. Matthew’s Cathedral, blasted on loud speakers along the mall. These prayers in latin blended so beautifully with the hebrew prayers enveloping me.

popefrancis 2I will share more in our post tomorrow, and leave you now with a few more pictures and only a few parting words. I also got to sit with two wonderful people, Steve and Kendall from North Carolina. They are leaders of the Beyond Extreme Energy movement which is shining a light on the the Federal Regulatory Energy Commission, and it’s role in accelerating the climate crisis. Steve is on his 16th day of a water only fast, Kendall, just 3 days she told me….”just 3 day,” this was amazing to me and so moving. They were both articulate, thoughtful and so very kind. Often with just the fasting of one day for Yom Kippur, I am not sure I am as articulate, thoughtful or so kind…

Yours in thought and prayer, for all of us and for our Mother Earth…


Climate Mama

P.S. In case you can’t decide if you should join us or not tomorrow, take a look at this “hot of the presses” line up for the Moral Action on Climate, beginning at 7:30am ET on the National Mall, between 3rd and 7th Streets.

Moby, Songwriter and Musician
Eric Paslay, Country Music Singer and Songwriter
Sean Paul, Singer and Songwriter
Natasha Bedingfield, Singer and Songwriter
Christina Grimmie, Singer and Songwriter
Victoria Justice, Actress and Singer
Toby Gad, Producer and Songwriter
Q’orianka Kilcher, Actress, Singer
Religious Convocation (Rev. Richard Cizik, New Evangelical Partnership for the Common Good // Rev. Jim Ball, Creation Care // Rabbi Mordechai Liebling, Social Justice Organizing Program at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College // Rev. Mitch Hescox, The Evangelical Environmental Network // Dimitrios Antokas, Greek Orthodox Church of St.George // Rev. Gerald Durley, Providence Missionary Baptist Church)
The Most Reverend Pedro Jimeno Barreto, Archbishop of Huancayo and delegate of CELAM (Episcopal Conference of LA) for the Pan-Amazon Ecclesial Network REPAM
Rev. Mitch Hescox, The Evangelical Environmental Network
Patrick Carrolan, Franciscan Action Network
Rev. Sally Bingham, President of Interfaith Power and Light
Elizabeth Yeampierre, Executive Director of UPROSE
Aliya Haq, Special Projects Director Climate and Clean Air Program, NRDC
Jay Winter Nightwolf, registered member in good standing of the Echota Cherokee Nation of Alabama
Donnel “Trip” Van Noppen, President of Earthjustice
Marie Dennis, Co-President of Pax Christi International
Alden Meyer, Director of strategy and policy for the Union of Concerned Scientists
Kenneth Berlin, President and CEO of the Climate Reality Project
Dolores Huerta, President of the Dolores Huerta Foundation for Grassroots Organizing, Co-founder United Farm Workers
Kaya Banton, Chester Environmental Justice
Destiny Watford, Free Your Voice
Michael Brune, Executive Director of the Sierra Club
Lydia Camarillo, Vice President of Southwest Voter Registration Education Project
Greg Moore, Executive Director of NAACP National Voter Fund
Gene Karpinski, President of the League of Conservation Voters
The Rev. Dr. Robert M. Hardies, leader in the Washington Interfaith Network
Thomas Lovejoy, Senior Fellow at the UN Foundation
Rev. Lennox Yearwood Jr., President and CEO of the Hip Hop Caucus
John R. Seydell III, Trustee Elect, Turner Foundation
Lucia Grenna, Managing Director, Connect4Climate, World Bank
Blanca Juti, Chief Brand Officer, Rovio
Kumi Naidoo, International Executive Director, Greenpeace
Dominique Hazzard and Brenda Sanders, Black Lives Matter
Kathleen Rogers, President, Earth Day Network
Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II, Pastor of Greenleaf Christian Church and Architect of Moral Monday
Dennis Hayes, Board Chair, Earth Day Network
Erich Pica, President, Friends of the Earth
Rachel Lamb, Young Evangelicals Climate Action
Sister Simone Campbell, ‘Nuns on the Bus’
Bob Inglis, Former Congressman
Jose Aguto, Friends Committee on National Legislation
Rio Tazewell, Campaign Coordinator, PFAW
Aijen Po, Philadelphia women walking
Larry Kopald, Founder and President of The Carbon Underground
Fred Tutman, Patuxent River Keeper
Ruth Tyson, Chesapeake Climate
Gustavo Torres, Executive Director CASA
Paul Berry (MC)
Chevy Chase (MC)

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shutterstock_13105825Just before or just after Labor Day, the rituals of daily life begin again for parents around the country. For parents with school-aged children the month of September is traditionally ushered in at “warp speed,” as we move forward full steam ahead and the lazy days of summer quickly become fuzzy and distant memories. With the ringing of the first school bell, a hectic existence begins in many family’s lives: we get up early, get breakfast on the table, get our children to school, begin our work inside and outside of our homes, pick up our children, take them to their extra curricular activities – soccer, dance, after school clubs – with hopes for a dinner together, even just a few times a week. Even for many of our Climate Mamas and Papas, who already understand, care and act on climate change regularly, life seems to get in the way and our actions in the face of the urgencies of the crisis can gets lost in the day to day actions of just living life.

Every day though, little things do jolt us out of the rituals of daily life and remind us of the unfolding crisis and the need to sustain actions – Syrian refugees, escaping a war put in motion by years of drought and agricultural collapse; extreme droughts on both coasts of the USA with water rationing, no snowpack build up, and fears of no water to drink come the winter; forest fires in Washington State and California – ignited and exploding in forests that no longer see rain.

Photo credit: Qualmless, for Beyond Extreme Energy

Photo credit: Qualmless, for Beyond Extreme Energy

We know we all must do what we can, and then do more. And we do the best that we can. Or do we? As Margaret Meade reminds us: “Never doubt that a small group of people can change the world, in fact it is the only thing that ever has.” We want to introduce you to a small but powerful group of people camping out in Washington DC, who after Labor Day did not go back to work, to school, or to their hectic lives, but instead took on a dangerous and compelling role, “Fasting for No New Permits.” These special folks, deliberately and with thought and purpose, slowed down their daily lives to embarked on an 18 day fast, taking in only water and thereby focusing attention on the role of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in perpetuating and accelerating our present day climate crisis. These brave people, and those supporting them around the country, should be recognized, honored and acknowledged loudly and soundly. Unfortunately mainstream media isn’t doing this, but we hope that with your help and with other alternative media sources, we will bring their story the attention it deserves.

The cohort of fasters consists of people from their 20’s to their 70’s, hailing from all across the United States, and from all walks and talks of life: all identify as part of a group called Beyond Extreme Energy (BXE). Over the past year, BXE has effectively put FERC in it’s crosshairs, waking up many in the United States to the damning role that this quiet, independent, quasi government organization plays in perpetuating our reliance on fossil fuels. ClimateMama is proud to be a supporter and endorser of BXE. We have met many from the BXE crew at FERC events and protests in Washington DC this past year, and we have participated in, and written about BXE actions and about the role of FERC and climate change. On September 25th, we will join the fasters, and honor them as they break there fast at noon, ET. We hope that many of you will also join us, bring a loaf of bread to share and help these brave souls break their fast too.

Below are a few quotes and statements from members of BXE, from the fasters themselves, and from writers and supporters who give us a “taste” of what has been unfolding. Continue reading

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Speakers: The Most Reverend Pedro Jimeno Barreto Archbishop of Huancayo, Dolores Huerta, Reverand Barber;
Featuring Performances by: Moby, Sean Paul, Natasha Bedingfield, Christina Grimmie, Eric Paslay, Victoria Justice, Q’orianka Kilcher and Toby Gad.

A Special Live Performance of “Love Song To The Earth”
FollowFrancis.org | #FollowFrancis

WASHINGTON, D.C. — On September 24, as Pope Francis addresses Congress, tens of thousands of citizens representing an unprecedented coalition of activitsts of all creeds, colors and faiths, will join together to rally on the National Mall. DC’s only free, un-ticketed public event for the Pope will demand that our leaders #FollowFrancis and take bold action for climate justice.

An all-star lineup ofmusicians, religious leaders and climate justice activists including Moby, Rev. William Barber, Victoria Justice and others will be at the rally. Natasha Bedingfield, Sean Paul, Victoria Justice and others will participate in a special performance of “Love Song to the Earth,” a new anthem which captures the spirit of climate action. The recently released song united Friends of the Earth U.S., the UN Foundation, Natasha Bedingfield, Paul McCartney and a host of artists and performers to raise awareness about the threats of climate change, and to inspire action by world leaders before the international climate talks in Paris. The artists, producers and directors of the Love Song project  —as well as Apple —  are donating their respective proceeds to Friends of the Earth U.S. and the United Nations Foundation.

About the Event Continue reading

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2X3 wk of banner w website, FBWhat’s happening in DC (and around the country) when the Pope comes to town? Turns out there is a lot! Keep up with the latest by checking in often with Moral Action on Climate (for which we at ClimateMama are thrilled to endorse!).

Take a moment and share this Huffington post article by Kathleen Rogers, President of Earth Day Network with the kids in your life. Kathleen shows a path whereby we can talk to our children, family and friends about the similarities between “Horton Hears a Who” and how we are all shouting together in “Whoville” and waking up the world to the possibilities yet to be. Dr. Seuss seemed to have a handle on a lot of this :)

IMG_1658Below is a growing list of events in DC, as it stands today.
Save the dates, find an event, join us in Washington!


Sep 14th – 23rd, 2015
Fast for Climate, organized by Franciscan Action Network (FAN) with multi-faith prayer service every night at 6:30: McPherson Square near the White House at K & 15th St. Continue reading

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crtweetchatonepersonIn climate circles, where folks regularly work, talk and take action on climate change, “The Road to Paris and Beyond” is becoming a mantra of sorts, and it is something that all of us, outside those climate circles, need to clue into as well.

From November 30th until December 11th, government representatives from more than 190 countries will come together in Paris to discuss a new global agreement on climate change. Dubbed COP21, or the 21st Conference of the Parties, the goal of this gathering will be to collectively and individually (by country) reduce global greenhouse gas emissions, and hopefully stave off the worst impacts of climate change. Each country has developed it’s own Intended Nationally Determined Contribution, INDC (a very long winded way to say their own plan to cut greenhouse gases). Some countries have reached far on these, but too many have not.

We know that we are running out of time to curb emissions and that scientists are telling us the world is poised to pass through thresholds for which there will be no turning back. We know the planet will be here, but there is broad consensus amongst scientists studying climate change that the existence of many of earths living creatures, we humans included, is at stake. It is that dire and that critical. But, even knowing this, politics get’s in the way and a clear commitment by our governmental leaders isn’t clearly going to happen.

climate-mama-adThat’s where we come. Yes, each of us can and must be part of the solution, and each of us can and will make a differnce. Here at ClimateMama we believe this deeply, and it truly gives us climate hope. We see groups coming together that have never before worked together; climate justice, labour unions, The Green Tea Party, Black Lives Matter, faith and religious organizations of all stripes; the people of the world really seem to be waking up, even if our elected officials aren’t. We need to remind them that if they hope to stay elected that “we are watching” and that we want real action, not just more talk on climate change that goes no where.

So, on this Road to Paris, here is a partial list of some of the many events planned over the coming months. Continue reading

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katrina 10 years save the childrenExtreme weather events are becoming so common place in our country and around the world, that we don’t often stop to reflect on what they mean, or how we have or will deal with them – both personally, as a local community, and as a nation. What are we doing to build resiliency in the wake of past and upcoming disasters? August 29th is the 10 year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, a seminal event in US history. This is an opportune time for us all to take stock, reflect, talk to our children, and also ensure that we are prepared if and when disaster strikes; as it will and it can – none of us are immune.

Katrina, Rita, Sandy, are names forever linked to national disasters here in the US, as is Haiyan in the Philippines. These are just a few of the many examples of extreme storms that have wrecked havoc in communities and where people are still reeling from the after effects, years later. Particularly here in the US, we tend to be very good at “hiding the impacts.” Our quick media cycles help us too easily forget and ignore the aftermaths. Continue reading

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Screen Shot 2015-08-18 at 5.43.04 PMFive years ago our friends at TckTckTck put together an amazing video in the lead up to the United Nations Copenhagen Climate Conference. There was incredible hope, hype and expectation built up around this meeting; unfortunately the results could not meet the hype. The meeting and it’s results were a disappointment to all.

Take a few minutes, grab the kids in your life and watch this video. When you hear Copenhagen, substitute Paris. It is a wonderful video and all the more relevant in 2015.

Fast forward five years, PARIS – December 2015; failure is not an option. The difference today, in 2015, is that we have a massive, building wave of public pressure demanding and creating action on climate change. While we did have public pressure in Copenhagen the lead up to Paris is infinitely more powerful; and a wave that can’t be stopped.

The “Road to Paris” is being paved with hard work and action, and the road beyond Paris with bonds that will be unbreakable.

We will be bringing you regular updates and ways to engage in the coming months. Today, join us, raise your voice, and sign petitions to world governments from two of our allies, demanding climate justice and climate action, now! The results of these petitions will be delivered to governments in Paris this coming December.

Climate Reality Project/Live Earth: “Uniting a Billion Voices to ask for one thing, Climate Action Now!”

Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network: “Women’s Call for Urgent Action on Climate Change & Sustainability Solutions”


Climate Mama

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shutterstock_10164301All we can..that’s what we are going to give them.

We are going to help slow down this climate crisis we unknowingly put in motion, and now knowingly have the capacity to change…
In 40 or 50 years…The world WILL BE a much better place, because we made it so.

“I want our kids to be proud, elated that we DID do something about climate change.”

Josh Lawler, Climate Scientist, University of Washington.

It’s do something Wednesday at ClimateMama. Join us as we salute our friends at More than Scientists, and their great work in bringing to us the words, feelings, concerns and hopes of today’s climate scientists.



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ShiftCon-Header-2015Calling all Climate Mamas and Papas who are bloggers and social media professionals or those who are thinking about working in this area. Some of our favorite Climate Mamas and Papas will be getting together in Manhattan Beach, California in late September for the second annual ShiftCon Social Media conference, it is an event not to be missed, and registration is filling up fast!

ShiftCon is the only social media conference focusing on wellness, health, and the environment. Climate change is an overarching umbrella – a nexus for all of these areas – and understanding these connections, and how our changing climate will impact our ability to maintain health and wellness as well as safeguard our environment, is critical for bloggers and social media folks to understand and incorporate into our views, posts, ideas and connections.

This conference blends workshops, networking, parties, and intense collaboration of changemakers from all over the United States and Canada – in one place. Bloggers and other social media professionals participate and collaborate with each other to inspire and empower each other to create effective communication and take their profession to the next level. Attendees participate in workshops, learn from professionals, discuss their niche and value systems, and decide on themes to collaborate on in the following year. This is a powerful event meant to organize the eco-wellness niche as a powerful community online. Continue reading

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Photo courtesy: Phurpa Lama

Nepal earthquake victims receive solar lighting

We all watched in horror as Nepal was shaken, and then shaken again. The devastation to this peaceful and serene country from the April 2015 earthquake and it’s aftershocks, was horrible to watch and even harder to fathom. Yet out of the ashes, literally, comes light. Join us, as we work together to bring light to Nepal through the Light Up a life for a Better Nepal campaign.

Phurpa Lama, a Nepalese Climate Reality Project friend and colleague is working hard to make a difference and bring light to villages through Nepal. Below is a short excerpt from Phurpa’s Indiegogo’s fundraising campaign. Please go to the main fundraising site to learn more and to donate. A little con go such a long way to bringing health, healing and a future to so many.

Phurpa Lama with local woman, sharing solar light and hope!

Phurpa Lama with local woman, sharing solar light and hope!

Part of the story, by Phurpa Lama.. Continue reading

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