Susan, Deborah and Harriet, demanding that Pepsico TELL THE TRUTH and ACT ON  IT!

Susan, Deborah and Harriet, demanding that Pepsico TELL THE TRUTH and ACT ON IT!

As our Climate Mamas and Papas know, ClimateMama has been a strong supporter and advocate of the Rainforest Action Network (RAN) programs to educate the public and demand accountability and leadership from companies that have Conflict Palm Oil as part of their supply chains. We first came on board with the Snack Food 20 campaign, targeting 20 of the largest snack food companies in the world. The ask, led by RAN, was for these companies to adopt responsible palm oil policies and commit to using only traceable palm oil that is free of deforestation and human rights violations. Many companies did agree, but PepsiCo, which is an industry leader in so many ways, sadly continues to fail to address Conflict Palm Oil in its supply chain. In 2014, we were proud to deliver over 100,000 signatures to PepsiCo headquarters asking them to join us and be part of the solution – ending Conflict Palm Oil. While we were promised actions, instead it seems we have been given lip service and two years later there has been very little change.

So, we are thrilled to be joining with RAN and many other organizations again this spring, to escalate pressure on PepsiCo and we are asking for your help. Grab the kids in your life and show them that when we come together with thousands of people around the world we can and will make a difference. Each of our voices count, and together we are deafening! join us as we stand in solidarity with workers on palm oil plantations – including men, women, and children – who are being exploited to make Conflict Palm Oil for cheap snack food. It’s important to connect the dots. Conflict Palm Oil production contributes in a huge way to climate change, destroys forests and habitat for many species and results in worker exploitation. These circles are all connect.

Harriet & Thilmeeza, demanding PepsiCo take action now.

Harriet & Thilmeeza, demanding PepsiCo take action now.

This is a big task, but at this point what we are asking from you is pretty simple: get educated on these facts, educate your friends and family, and join us by taking a picture of you and your family, you and a friend, or just you, and share that photo of on social media with the hash tag, #SolidarityWithPalmOilWorkers.

For the picture, be sure to include a sign addressed to PepsiCo. You can download a premade sign from the RAN website here – as we did in the picture on the left. You can also make your own sign, and get your kids involved in the design. Let’s remind PepsiCo in no uncertain terms that stopping worker exploitation is really important to us. As consumers of PepsiCo products, we are a powerful group. If you aren’t on social media, you can also e-mail the photo to RAN and they will post it for you. You can email it to palmoilaction@ran.org or send it to us and we will forward it for you!

Together we will collectively generate thousands of photos as a beautiful show of people power that culminates on International Workers’ Day/May Day, on May 1, 2016. RAN will deliver the photo petitions to PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi at the company’s shareholder meeting in early May to demand an end to labor abuse for cheap snacks made by PepsiCo.

It’s do something Wednesday, so join us today and do something!

Yours,

Climate Mama

P.S. How does Conflict Palm Oil contribute to climate change you may ask?

In a nutshell, by draining the tropical peatland forests, which, like our oceans, serve as important carbon sinks, we are creating conditions for more CO2 to go into our atmosphere and trap more heat. Fire is used to clear vegetation for oil palm plantations, which also puts a lot of C02 into the air, fires also break out on the drained peatland forests, causing catastrophic problems and adding more CO2 into the atmosphere. Current palm oil agricultural processes and the deforestation that is happening because of these methods are harmful for our world, and for our future.

Posted in Animals & Insects, Climate Mama News, Disasters, Do Something Wednesdays, Food, In The News, Take a Stand: Action & Advocacy | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Used with permission: Darren and his kids

Used with permission: Darren and his kids

We recently had the good fortune of meeting Darren Hill – an Oregon based Climate Papa extraordinaire! Darren wears many hats, including Polar Research Team volunteer member and most importantly, father of five. Darren heads out to Greenland with an international Polar Research team the second half of April 2016. We are pleased to announce that we will be helping Darren share some of his stories, adventures, thoughts and take aways from his experience on the ice. This will be the second year that Darren has accompanied this scientific polar research team to Greenland.

Over the past few years, there have been an increasing number of scientific reports and studies on climate change and ice melt in Greenland and the Antarctic and what that could mean in terms of sea level rise for coastal communities around the world. Darren’s reports will help us understand and make sense of one of these scientific studies currently underway. We know that for policy makers and elected officials (often one and the same) it should and must be critical to have the best science at their finger tips. As Climate Mamas and Papas, part of our job as parents is to make sure policy makers understand the importance of these studies too.

According to CIRES (Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences) PhD researcher Mike MacFerrin: “The main goal of the FirnCover project – which is the project Darren is a part of – is to measure the compaction of snow and “firn” as it slowly compresses into glacial ice. That may sound boring, but it’s critical if you want to measure this stuff from space, which is why NASA cares. Melt water flows through the firn, changing its physical structure and chemistry in complex ways.

This information is important as it helps scientists figure out how quickly giant ice sheets like those found on Greenland are melting. This knowledge can in turn help policy makers and us prepare and adapt to sea level rise that accompanies this type of ice melt.

We hope you will help us share Darren’s adventure and information with your friends, colleagues and the kids in your life. Check in with us regularly as we follow along as the expedition begins. For reports on last year’s expedition, you can find posts by Darren here.

Yours,

Climate Mama

A discussion with Climate Papa Darren Hill

Used with permission:  Darren and  scientists  in Greenland

Used with permission: Darren and scientists in Greenland

1. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself, the steps you took, life events, decisions you made, that helped you arrive at where you are at today?

I have always craved two things: knowledge and experience. From the beginning, I have taken life risks that would play into those two things. Early on in life my family moved from Southern California to the “wild woods” of the Northwest. Faced with more adventures than I ever imagined, I quickly developed a love for exploring the forests. This love developed into almost thirty years of experience, becoming an outdoorsman with expertise in off-trail backpacking and winter mountaineering. Aside from this, I work and thrive in the entrepreneurial world. Several businesses were created and flourish to this day. My every day life, along with adventure and business, includes being married for 17 years to the woman of my dreams and having five fantastic children. Volunteering in my local community is an important and fulfilling part of my life. I work closely with our local homeless shelters and many other essential non-profit organizations. I am currently a volunteer working on the Greenlandic ice sheet as part of an international Polar Research team. I see this as an opportunity to give back to my global community.

2. What inspires you to keep going, to keep fighting this challenging battle against climate change?


I want a planet that my children and their children can enjoy. Educating children on climate change is easy because they are more willing to see that we as humans can and do make mistakes. Knowing the science can bring both the problems and solutions to light.

3. What are the three greatest challenges and/or opportunities you feel the world faces with climate change?

The world is nearing a point where the prediction for climate change is violent (storms, extreme temperature changes, and affecting ocean life) and our ability to adapt to these rapid changes will be difficult. Our current treatment of the environment will affect us for many years to come. The time to take a stand and care is now. Opportunities exist for us to embrace cost effective and clean energy solutions, which will have a much less negative impact on our planet. 


Darren Hill in Greenland-14. Scientific predictions seem to be pointing to more frequent extreme weather scenarios, a shorter time frame for a warmer planet and all of the negative ramifications that this will bring. Yet here in the US, we still seem to be debating the “reality of climate change.” What will it take for us to “wake up” and do our part to avert these consequences? What can you share about your direct experiences with climate scientists?

The biggest concern I have is, because people don’t see tangible evidence (extreme temperature rise across the planet), they will continue to doubt the legitimacy of climate change. Overwhelming confusion caused by misinformation groups and exaggeration of media, can play into people being ignorant or not caring. There are a lot of things wrong with the world: it can be overwhelming to pay attention to them all. A person thinks, “What difference could just one person make to fix our entire planet?” and yet…that is truly the answer.

After doing a scientific expedition, I experienced people with an amazing passion who are willing to put their lives on the line to collect extremely accurate data on surface melt. I could not put into words how incredible it is to watch people in extreme conditions as they take hours to ensure that every crack in an ice core lines up exactly right or that each and every millimeter of an 18 meter ice core is meticulously accounted for, while a raging 70 mph wind blows in extreme temperatures.

5. Do you see any hopeful signs that people are waking up to the dangers of climate change?

I am sharing the “Life on the Ice” experience with my community. In sharing the scope of the ice sheet, the amount of surface melt, and humanizing scientists, I have seen a growing acceptance of our current reality.

6. Other thoughts or ideas that you would like to pass on to our community?

The reality becomes much more concrete when you see the amount of ice that we are talking about with your own eyes. The ice sheet of Greenland is three times the size of Texas and the amount of surface melt from something that large is overwhelming. Seeing large ice lenses accumulate in a localized zone where there should be nothing but accumulation, is a sobering reminder of the dramatic climate shift we are in. Even if we were to do our part to stop the damage immediately, the positive effects won’t be seen for many years to come.

7. What advice would you give to other Climate Mama’s and Papa’s, steps they can take both as individuals and collectively to help change the course we currently find ourselves on with climate change.

We all live on the planet and we are all responsible. No one solution has been found yet, but keeping an open mind to care for the world we live in is most important. As more data is found, and more discoveries are made, we must be open to the reality of what we face. Being familiar with and humanizing science is the best way, in my opinion, to make a bigger difference against the challenges we face.

P.S. A few definitions:

Firn: Ice that is at an intermediate stage between snow and glacial ice.
Ice Lenses are formed when moisture, diffused within soil or rock, accumulate in a localized zone. Darren and the scientists have found ice lenses in the layers of firn that block moisture from being able to penetrate to the firn below, which otherwise would act like a sponge during the summer months.

Posted in Climate Mamas & Papas, In The News, Nature, Oceans & Water, Science | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

cowphotoGrass fed cows….it’s trickier and not quite as simple as it seems…

Clearly and intuitively, it seems like it would be better for us and for dairy and beef cattle to live their lives on open pastures, grazing on grass. This assumption would seem to apply, both from the perspective of how the cows live their lives, and also from a health and climate perspective regarding both beef consumption and the consumption of dairy products from grass fed cows. We are going to try to unwind some of the tricky parts for you and also help you ask the right questions so you can find the right places to look for answers.

As our Climate Mamas and Papas know, we talk a lot about the need to move quickly ways from our addiction to fossil fuels, which is the primary driver of human induced climate change. We speak less often about an equally important driver, the agricultural industry where large scale factory agriculture is producing huge amounts of methane gas (from animals and waste products) as well as from the unhealthy treatment of soil. This disrupts an important role that soil can play in slowing down climate change through a process called carbon sequestering. As well, we know that pesticides and fertilizers cannot only have harmful impacts on our health and the foods we eat, but also contribute to climate change; so many stories to tell and a lot of dots to connect. We are going to only focus on a few of these dots in this post.

We work from time to time with Stonyfield, a company we are happy to be affiliated with as we feel they really do “walk the walk” on sustainability. Occasionally we are asked to review a new product or take a second look at an existing one. Recently we were given the opportunity to sample Stonyfield’s 100% grass fed yogurt. We listened to two experts Stonyfield introduced us to: Dr. Drew Ramsey who spoke about the health benefits of yogurt from grass fed cows; and Tim Joseph, chief farmer, owner and operator of Maple Hill Creamery, whose cows supply all the milk used to make the Stonyfield 100% grass fed yogurt. We learned a lot. We want to share some of Tim and Drew’s wisdom with you, as well as some initial thoughts about the climate impacts of grass fed cattle yogurts. Continue reading

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seenoevilkidsAt ClimateMama our Mantra begins with “tell the truth..and continues with actions speak louder then words and don’t be afraid”…Climate Mama Susan Rubin, embodies this mantra and always tells the truth, never sugar coating it even when it may be very difficult for people to hear. Susan is a strong and outspoken climate champion, who we have had the privilege and honor of working with on numerous occasions. In this guest post, she educates us about the facts on “natural gas”…more specifically that there is nothing natural about it and it cannot and must not be accepted as a “bridge to a renewable future.” As Susan clearly shows us, this is a FALSE NARRATIVE; instead of a bridge, it is a one-way plank leading to a cliff, with no options for turning back….

At Climate Mama we have been sharing the facts around natural gas for years. And while many countries – including the United States – are moving forward with keeping coal in the ground, there is a misplaced “wish” that we can somehow transition through another fossil fuel as we move forward towards “cleaner and greener” energy sources. Susan, in her straightforward and direct way, shows us the fallacy of this misplaced belief. Coal, oil and GAS must stay in the ground.

Susan’s post should also serve as a reminder for us that we must use our voices, our actions and our votes to let candidates at every level of government, and companies who want us to buy and use their products and services know, that addressing climate change must be their number one priority too. Our children our watching, their future and now is in our hands.

Coal Vs Gas, Wrong Narrative
By Susan Rubin

First published at DrSusanRubin.com on March 14, 2016

Photo courtesy: Protecting Our Children Coaltion

Photo courtesy: Protecting Our Children Coaltion

If you ask the wrong question, you’re guaranteed to get the wrong answer!

Back in my school food reform days, many folks would ask me this question: “Which is worse? Coke or diet Coke?” I would answer WATER. Drink water! Both soda and diet soda are devastating for your health. Its really not about the calories, although the soda industry would like you to think it is. Water is the best beverage for your health.

These days, I listen to the news media ask the question “Which is worse? Coal or gas?” We can’t fall into that trap! It creates a false narrative not unlike the soda/ diet soda question.

The better question to ask is “Which is better?: fossil fuels or renewables?”

Renewable energy is cleaner, safer, better for the climate, better for our democracy and creates way more jobs than fossil fuels do. Now there’s a conversation worth having! Continue reading

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

Screen Shot 2016-03-19 at 8.28.33 AMWe’ve been talking “anniversaries” at ClimateMama lately, and Earth Hour is celebrating it’s 10th year in 2016, an important milestone and a worthy anniversary to acknowledge and celebrate. Earth Hour has been raising attention to the unfolding climate crisis for ten years; helping millions on their journey to understand the reality and urgency of the climate crisis we face. At the same time, Earth Hour has helped empower people to take action and empower others to take action too. Our featured Earth Hour guest post, Solar Energy and Earth Hour 2016, by Emma, shows us how renewable energy is growing as an energy source and how it is building climate hope and creating a sustainable and livable future and now. Last year for Earth Hour we teamed up with NRG Home Solar and the Big Green Purse to share ideas on how to go “solar” (something that happened at our house!) Let us know what you plan to do to celebrate Earth Hour this year.

Yours,

Climate Mama

Solar Energy and Earth Hour 2016
by Emma Elaine

EH2016 Digital Banner- 120x600On March 19, 2016, major international landmarks will go dark for one hour while people all over the world switch off their lights. It’s the tenth annual Earth Hour, an event orchestrated by the World Wildlife Fund and individuals, communities and groups across the globe, to raise awareness about climate change and encourage action on every level for sustainable living and renewable energy.

Each country celebrates Earth Hour in its own way. This year, Australia is calling for efforts to protect its vulnerable natural landmarks and habitats. In the United Kingdom, Earth Hour’s message focuses on sustainable and healthy eating, while in Cyprus they are urging the adoption of a ban on plastics. In 2016 Russia aims to show people how individual actions can create a sustainable future.

In these and other places, people are being asked to do more than just douse the lights, though. Earth Hour organizers are calling for social media users to donate their feeds and customize profiles to raise awareness. But for a growing number of people in the US and around the globe, this Earth Hour will mark their commitment to take an even bigger step – pledging to switch to renewable energy.

Solar power tops the list of sustainable and renewable energy sources. Sunlight is free and readily available in most areas of the world – and solar power installations leave a minuscule carbon footprint in comparison to the enormous impact of fossil fuel sources. And now that the costs of home solar installations have shrunk by nearly 50 percent since 2010, interest in solar power is within the reach of millions – so much so, in fact, that in 2015, new solar installations in the US surpassed those of natural gas for the first time.

Interest in solar power is at an all-time high. According to data from the Just Energy website, in 2015, solar beat out natural gas capacity additions by 29.5 percent. By the end of 2015, US solar energy capacity was expected to total around 28,000 megawatts. That’s enough energy to power 4.6 million typical American homes.

Homeowners are taking notice, too. Home solar installations are now within reach of many cost-conscious homeowners who want renewable energy and more control over their resources. Once seen only as a luxury add-on for environmentally conscious folks with higher incomes, a basic solar array can now be installed on just about any dwelling, with costs defrayed by a variety of incentives, payment plans and credits.

In earlier years, solar power was largely an option for major businesses. Now, thanks to lower costs and incentives, businesses of all sizes are also embracing solar, led by giants such as Walmart, Ikea and Macys. For these and other companies, embracing solar energy not only saves money, but also helps the environment – and their reputations.

Though interest in solar is surging, not everyone is on board. Easier and cheaper access to solar installations have been met with resistance in some states such as Nevada and Florida, where heavy lobbying by traditional utility providers and gas and oil interests are slowing efforts to boost the use of solar power. On the national level, in late December 2015, Congress renewed the Solar Investment Tax Credit through 2018, a multi year extension and a boom for the solar industry.

IMG_4962Earth Hour aims to raise awareness not just of climate change and the planet’s vulnerability but also of the actions everyone can take to create a sustainable future. Along with dimming lights and sharing social media, choosing to go solar may be a practical way to put Earth Hour’s ideals into action.

Emma Elaine is a blogger from the Windy City of Chicago, IL. Currently working towards a graduate degree at DePaul, University, she primarily covers environmental topics with a focus on clean energy. When she’s not writing, you can find her trying to teach her pet rabbit new tricks.

Posted in Climate Mama News, Holidays, In The News, Take a Stand: Action & Advocacy | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

California Snow Pack Comparison- photo credit wikimedia commons

California Snow Pack Comparison- photo credit wikimedia commons

Anniversaries are meant to be celebrated. They are milestone events that mark a passage of time, a special event, hard work, successes and perseverance. For all these reasons and more, we are thrilled to honor the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) 10 year anniversary of the WaterSense Program. We remind our children to “turn off the tap while they brush their teeth and to take “short showers,” but do we also remind them to “connect the dots” between climate change and water usage? We know that even Climate Mamas and Papas can forget to make these connections often enough and clearly enough. Prolonged droughts in Syria and California are just two examples of how the climate crisis can exacerbate and accelerate serious and complicated problems that can lead to water rationing, food shortages and war.

We must use every opportunity to remind ourselves, our families and our friends how precious clean water resources are and at the same time to champion the clear steps we can take to cherish and preserve these resources. Beth Livingston, the EPA WaterSense Brand Manager, shares with us some easy ways to address water waste around our homes. Grab the kids in your life, and get them to help you with these spring “clean up” and “fix up” opportunities, and remind them why it is critically important that we value and take care of our finite clean water resources.

Yours,

ClimateMama

What Can You Do to Save Blue? Fix a Leak!
By Beth Livingston, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s WaterSense Brand Manager

Think the climate change discussion is all about energy efficiency? Think again!

WSpromolabel_blue_look_cleanWater is a critical resource affected by our changing climate. Just look at the Western states’ severe water shortages in recent years, and you can see the devastating effects of climate-related droughts. And when reservoir water levels get lower and ground water tables drop, that contributes to higher concentrations of natural and human pollutants in our water.

Saving water also saves the energy used to treat, deliver, and heat that water, which helps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and mitigate climate change. Since EPA’s WaterSense program was created 10 years ago as a way to identify water-efficient products, homes, and programs, WaterSense labeled products have helped consumers save more than 1.1 trillion gallons of water and 146 billion kilowatt hours of electricity, not to mention reducing $21.7 billion in water and energy bills and more than 54 million metric tons of carbon dioxide. That’s the equivalent of planting nearly 1.4 billion trees.

So what can you do to celebrate the 10th anniversary of WaterSense? Save a little blue—and green—by addressing one of our country’s biggest residential water wasters…easy-to-fix household leaks.

The average American family wastes more than 10,000 gallons of water every year through leaky pipes and fixtures, which is enough water to wash 10 months’ worth of their laundry and could be adding 10 percent to their water bill. If you have 10 minutes to spare, become a leak detective and track down those troublesome leaks, many of which you can fix yourself.

NAPS_ad_jwMarch 14 through 20 is EPA’s eighth annual Fix a Leak Week, the perfect time to try out your detective skills and stop leaks that waste water. Here are a few clues for tracking down leaks at home:

Check your water bill for one month this winter. If a family of four is using more than 12,000 gallons of water per month, that could indicate a leak is wasting water—and money.

Find your water meter (often in the basement or underground near the curb), and check it during a time when no water is being used at home; if the number changes in two or three hours, you may have a leak.

Remove the top of your toilet tank and drip a few drops of food coloring in it; wait 10 minutes, and if color shows up in the bowl, you have a silent leak. Remember to flush to avoid staining!

While you’re waiting for the toilet test, make a quick check of faucets, showerheads, hoses, and the pipes underneath your sinks. Tighten any loose connections or use pipe tape to stop drips.

A leaky toilet is often the result of a worn out rubber flapper, which you can replace yourself for a few dollars. If you need to replace the whole toilet, you may want to call a licensed plumber to do the job. Make sure you look for WaterSense labeled toilet that has been independently certified to use 20 percent less water and perform as well or better than a standard toilet. For more information on finding and fixing leaks, visit the WaterSense website, or find a WaterSense labeled model using our Product Search Tool.

Beth Livingston is the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s WaterSense Brand Manager

California drought photo: Wikimedia Commons

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Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

As Climate Mamas and Papas, we try to follow as closely as we can what policies and programs are established to move us quickly away from fossil fuels and towards a renewable energy future and now.

We wanted to bring to your attention a few victories that have transpired across the US in March 2016 that together give us hope and momentum that the “tides have shifted” and our nation as a whole is recognizing that a future that has fossil fuels in it, is no future at all.

Share these special landmark moments with the kids in your life. They too will want to know that the hard work happening in communities all across our country to end the era of fossil fuels and move us to an era of renewables, is paying off! Hopefully these developments will put “wind in the sails” of communities fighting to stop fossil fuel development – including drilling and the build out of fossil fuel infrastructure and – and shore up those communities fighting for renewable energy now.

okc1We’ve list our current “Top 7”, only a handful of the many, many exciting developments that are taking place. We will leave it to you to follow the links provided for more information. Are there recent victories in your community you’d like us to share? Let us know!

1. Pennsylvania: Two Dimock families awarded $4.25 million in case against Cabot Oil and Gas. Jury found that drilling by Cabot had contaminated Dimock families water. In a statement immediately after the jury decision, the plantiff’s lawyer Elisabeth Radow said: “This is a good day, this is a really good day. The jury listened to these people and they listened to what they said. They believed they were honest and they were credible and that’s where the vote went.”
2. Oregon: In Eugene, 21 kids, age 8-19, were heard in Federal Court. The complaint by the children alleges violation of the kids’ Fifth Amendment rights to due process and equal protection. By failing to act on climate change, it argues, the government discriminates against youth as a class. Without access to a healthy climate, they’re deprived of their fundamental rights to life, liberty and property. http://billmoyers.com/story/should-kids-be-able-to-sue-for-a-safe-climate-this-federal-court-is-about-to-decide/
3. Oregon: Jordan Cove. The Federal Regulatory Energy Commission (FERC) Rejected a multibillion-dollar proposal to build a LNG terminal that would export as many as two tankers of natural gas a week. They also denied its plan to build a pipeline with Williams Partners LP to supply gas to the terminal. This is the first and only pipeline ever rejected by FERC in it’s history.
4. Oregon: Phasing out Fossil Fuels. Oregon became the first state in the union to phase out coal-fired power plants while replacing them with low-cost utility-scale renewables. The new law will progressively wipe out coal-generated energy through 2030 and requires utilities to provide half of customers’ power with renewables by 2040, doubling the Oregon’s previous standard. The renewables portion places Oregon near the top of a handful of other states that have renewable mandates of 50 percent or more.
5. JP Morgan Chase: Announces it will no longer fund coal projects worldwide.
6. Atlantic Coast: The Obama administration bans drilling of the eastern seaboard. (However it continues to allows the sale of oil and gas leases in the Arctic and the South)
7. US Canada Agreement to work together on climate change. Mr. Obama and Mr. Trudeau promised that their two countries would “play a leadership role internationally in the low-carbon global economy over the coming decades.” As part of the announcement, United States officials said they would immediately begin a new push to regulate methane emissions from existing oil and gas facilities.

Building Climate Hope!

Yours,

Climate Mama

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mr.eco1Today we are sending a big shout out to our friend and fellow Eco Warrior, Mr. Eco.

Brett Edwards, aka “Mr. Eco” performs environmental rap sounds around the world and believes strongly that monumental changes begin with the youngest members of society. Brett is in the midst of a kickstarter fundraising campaign to finish of his latest album which is a collaboration with children from 7 countries around the world. All of the money collected will be used to:

1) cover production costs of the 13 song album, and
2) allow Mr. Eco to create music videos for songs that will inspire EcoHeroes around the world!

At ClimateMama we are support Mr. Eco and his work 100! With a little guidance and help, we can empower our children to create amazing and powerful positive change in the world, even from a very young age. Perhaps, in this time of great transition, our children will in fact help us see through to the truth and lead the way.

Mr. Eco has combined his passions for sustainability, wildlife conservation and hip-hop to create an environmental rap superhero that uses music to empower children to become activists and EcoHeroes. Mr. Eco uses his blend of “edutainment” to teach our youth that their local actions impact ecosystems and wildlife globally.

We can all learn a few things from Mr. Eco….

The power and empowerment of children is wonderfully exemplified in a March 2016, hearing on a complaint, filed by the non-profit Our Children’s Trust in Oregon Federal Court, on behalf of 21 kids from around the USA, aged 8–19. As outlined in an insightful post on DeSmog Blog by Clayton Aldern, “Our Children’s Trust asserts that their clients, and the younger generation as a whole, have been deprived of key rights by their own government. By failing to act on climate change they argue, the United States government has valued its own generation more than future generations, who will bear a greater burden with respect to the climate crisis.” An interesting and important case to keep your eyes on and to talk about with the kids in your life.

Join us today and support Mr. Eco so we can continue to empower our children…

Remember our ClimateMama mantra: “Tell the truth, actions speak louder then words, and don’t be afraid.” Mr. Eco helps empower our children by giving them the tools, the knowledge and the actions to change their world and ours, in a positive, productive way.

Yours,

Climate Mama

Posted in Climate Mama News, Climate Mama Video Peek of the Week, Lifestyle & Fun, Renewable Energy, Schools and Colleges | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Used with Permission

Used with Permission

It’s Do Something Wednesday at ClimateMama, and we can think of no better way to spend it then with our friends at Communitopia and our favorite Climate Mama superstar, Joylette Portlock.

Don’t Just Sit There – Do Something! Episode 27: Staying Warm This Winter, sets the stage for many important family climate change discussions, by giving us a run down of events and climate change facts that occurred this past year – the good, the bad and the ugly. 2015 was the hottest year ever in the recorded data, and 15 of the hottest 16 years occurred in the 21st Century. On the flip side, the world came together in Paris in December 2015 and 195 countries agreed that climate change is THE critical issue facing humankind. One of the many solutions will be making better energy choices, including leaving fossil fuels – coal, oil and gas – in the ground. Joylette reminds us that the Paris Agreement doesn’t mean climate change is “solved” rather, that the hard work now begins in each country – with policy decisions at every level of government and also by decisions each of us take and make in our own homes.

As always, the well-researched information from Joylette comes with easy actions for us to take, and with her own particular trademark sense of humor.The Don’t Just Sit There, Do Something video series makes climate news and science digestible and entertaining and something we can and must share with our kids.

So, grab the kids in your life and take 5 minutes to watch this latest video from Communitopia and Climate Mama super star, Joylette Portlock.

Join us and share this video with the friends in your life. Spoiler alert, Joylette shows us that it’s easy to get “vampires” out of our lives, and that NASA’s most studied planet “—–” needs help from all of us. Watch the video and learn more!

Yours,

Climate Mama

Posted in Climate Mama Video Peek of the Week, Climate Mamas & Papas, Do Something Wednesdays, Lifestyle & Fun | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Photo credit: Shutterstock

Photo credit: Shutterstock

“When we try to pick out anything by itself we find that it is bound fast – by a thousand invisible cords that cannot be broken – to everything in the universe.” John Muir, 1869

What is happening right now in the Ecuadorian Amazon has a vice grip and is pulling on one of those invisible cords, and without our immediate action and support, this vital cord will be forever and catastrophically broken… We are asking for your help in support of the brave women of the Amazon, who have come together in solidarity – standing up against all odds – to demand that the Ecuadorian Government save and protect the Amazon Rainforest. Please join us, sign and share this important petition by our friends at the Women’s Earth And Climate Action Network (WECAN).

As Climate Mamas and Papas, we know the importance and complex connections that our world’s forests create and provide, not only for the people and species living in and around them, but for our planet and our species as a whole. The world’s great old growth forests serve as critical and irreplaceable components of our natural world that keep our planet in balance. The Amazon has been called the lungs of the Earth – breathing in carbon dioxide and breathing out oxygen, helping our planet regulate and control our atmosphere; sustaining all life on earth. According to a study published in 2013 in Science Magazine, there are over 380 BILLION trees in the Amazonian forests which together cover 9 countries in South America representing half of all the remaining rainforests in the world. A researcher at the Field Museum in Chicago put it this way for us: “there are about as many trees in the Amazon Rainforest…as there are stars… in… the Milky Way….”

All around the world planting events are underway to reforest and replant trees to help us mitigate climate change. Old growth forests – like those of the boreal forests in northern Canada and the Amazon in South America are critical to our success or failure in fighting climate change. Ecuador’s rate of forest loss in the Amazon has been increasing steadily since 2001 and one of the top concern for environmentalists is the government’s decision to open up areas of the Amazon for oil drilling. Historically, deforestation in the Amazon was primarily the product of subsistence farmers who cut down trees to produce crops for their families and for local consumption. But in the later part of the 20th century this began to change, with an increasing proportion of deforestation driven by industrial activities and large-scale agriculture. By the 2000s more than three-quarters of forest clearing in the Amazon was for cattle-ranching and now oil extraction and exploration has become a prominent driver of deforestation. What a contradiction this presents. The very thing that could protect us and make climate change manageable, is the exact thing that is being destroyed in order to mine that which will certainly destroy us.

Photo Credit: Emily Arasim

Photo Credit: Emily Arasim

According to WECAN, “in late January 2016, the government of Ecuador signed a contract with Chinese oil corporation Andes Petroleum, handing over rights for oil exploration and extraction in two controversial blocks which overlap the traditional territory of the Sápara and Kichwa Indigenous peoples of the Ecuadorian Amazon. The government of Ecuador signed this most recent oil contract just a month after pledging at the UN COP21 climate negotiations in Paris to take action along with 195 countries to keep global warming below a 1.5 degree Celsius rise. Scientists have stated that we must keep 80% of global fossil fuel reserves in the ground to avoid climate catastrophe and greater warming. “ This decision, to continue to explore for and mine fossil fuels, a decision made daily in many other countries as well – including here in the US – is in direct contradiction to what science and our planet is telling us we must do, and to what our world governments committed us all to do at the Paris Climate Conference in December 2015.

These unique and special forests are places that as citizens of the world we must all rally to protect. A creative solution needs to be found to help Amazonian countries protect the Amazon and at the same time managing and servicing their debts. But while solutions are sought, we must do everything we can to support these brave women who are putting their bodies on the line to stop the forests from being cut down. We need a moratorium on deforestation in the Amazon while we work out solutions that will benefit all.

Indigenous women from all across the Amazon are coming together on International Women’s Day, March 8th, to demand that these critical forests be protected in perpetutity. They will be joined by a delegation from The Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network, which has a long ongoing collaboration with the women of the Ecuadorian Amazon

Grab the kids in your life, together READ, SIGN and SHARE this urgent petition: ‘No Extraction In The Amazon!

loraxOn March 2nd, in many schools across the United States, our children celebrated Dr. Suess’ birthday. Remind them of one of his famous quotes: “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing’s going to get better, it’s not.”

Follow WECAN on Facebook and Twitter to stay updated on the latest developments.

If someone asks you why it matter to us what happens it the Amazon, remind them: “Because we are all connected, bound by invisible cords, that must stay tied tightly together.”

Yours,

Climate Mama

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