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

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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

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

shutterstock_11256511At Climate Mama, we are constantly looking for new ways to connect with our children on climate change. We want to not only help them understand the realities, but also to reinforce for them that we are “on the job” and working to figure it out; both personally and through our support of businesses and of community and government leaders who daily work on solutions, polices and answers that will help us as we all live with and through climate change.

WE know climate change is scary, it’s scares us. But we can’t shy away from the truth. We also know that we are living at a unique turning point for human history, and we can and must choose paths that lead us to a livable future.

Below are some of our favorite new books on climate change from a few of our dear friends and favorite Climate Mamas. One book is for you, and the other two for your kids. Each opens up the opportunity to discuss climate change in a safe, concrete and positive way. Continue reading

Posted in Do Something Wednesdays, In The News, Lifestyle & Fun, Oceans & Water, Product Reviews, Schools and Colleges, Take a Stand: Action & Advocacy | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

In an energy-producing state, it’s a concern to me that we are teaching our kids, potentially, that we are doing immoral things here in order to make a living in our state,” said Del. Jim Butler, R-Mason, W. Virginia. February, 2016

We found this quote in a February 26th, ABC News article on the West Virginia legislature’s move to block the teaching of new science standards, particularly as they relate to climate change education. From our vantage point this move by state legislators, which effectively tries to deny the reality of climate change and our children’s ability to learn the facts, shows clearly why and how climate science is being politicized.

The economics of a fossil fuel producing state – it’s tax base – which may be reliant on many corporations affiliated with fossil fuel mining and production, seems to be the rational which allows the science as well as the moral basis for addressing climate change aggressively, to be challenged. As Climate Mamas and Papas we know, see and understand that we are causing our climate to change. The overwhelming majority of scientists (97% ) tell us this is a fact and we are fully aware that our children’s future is in our hands.

For a moment, imagine a different time, back in the mid 1800’s when West Virginia and many other southern slave owning states had similar discussions and debates. The quote by representative Butler could just as easily have said:

“In a slave-owning state” it’s a concern to me that we are teaching our kids, potentially, that we are doing immoral things here in order to make a living in our state.”

End of story….’nuf said.

Something to think about and discuss with your kids today.

Yours,

Climate Mama

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GreenheartFrom our family to yours; we hope you will remind yourself to slow down and take time to be with those you love. Take time to be in nature too and celebrate the special places you love and cherish.

This “family selfie” was taken from the summit of the Mauna Kea volcano on the Big Island of Hawaii – a truly magical and special place. The Mauna Kea Summit is one of the best places in the world to see the stars, as evidenced by the multitude of national and international telescopes. I was reminded just how big our universe is, and how much there is to explore. On our visit to Mauna Kea, I also felt how fragile, how small, and how special our planet Earth is. And just for a moment, as I gazed out over the ocean and back up to the stars, the gravity and the weight of our climate crisis, felt lighter, our future more hopeful. I let myself be completely caught up in the beauty and the magic surrounding me…

This Valentines, we want to share a special video message with you, from our friends at The Climate Coalition. It too, reminds us in a special way how our future rests in our hands, and how special a place our planet Earth is. We hope you enjoy this short video as much as we do, and if you do, please share it with your friends, your family and your kids too..

Remind yourself and your family what you love and why..

Take time to make a “green heart”. Show the love and rejoice in it.

These Green Hearts should be for Valentines Day and everyday. Join us in making them part of our daily reminders of how much we love ourselves and our planet too..

Tag us on Facebook or Twitter or send us your “Green Heart” so we can share it for you too..

Showing and Sharing the Love,

Yours,

Climate Mama

Posted in Art, Fashion, Entertainment, Earth Day is Every Day, Holidays, Lifestyle & Fun | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

ParisendoffossilfuelsBreaking news in New Milford, Pennsylvania. Families, neighbors and new friends have united to protect the Holleran/Zeffer properties and in the process have halted the construction of an interstate gas pipeline. Below is an on the ground account by Author and activist Ted Glick on this ongoing action, unfolding in a small community in rural Pennsylvania.

Similar battles however, are taking place all across the country as both gas and oil infrastructure are snaking their way across private and public lands. Climate change and energy policy are growing in importance on the 2016 election stage and battles like this one in Pennsylvania help elevate these critical issues for all Americans. These local actions not only serve to protect local communities – health and property – they also keep these issues in the news, in our thoughts and in the policy discussions of local, state and federal authorities.

We are at a crossroads on energy policy in our country. Countries around the world reaffirmed at the December 2015 Paris Climate Meeting, that climate change is a crisis in our world and we must keep fossil fuels in the ground. Given this fact, an “all of the above” energy policy that includes coal, gas and oil is no longer a viable or feasible option. Who we elect, at every level of government, will be critical to creating the policies that move us quickly to a 100% renewable energy future and now. Battles like that of the Holleran/Zeffer families are critical, as they remind us why we all must be part of the solution and the change. Ted Glick – author, activist, progressive leader and climate champion – gives us a first hand account of the resistance and climate movement building taking place in Pennsylvania.

12 Days and Counting in New Milford, Pa.
By Ted Glick

(This post is reprinted, with permission, in its entirety. First printed on TedGlick.com, February 10, 2016)

Day 11: Another day of no trees cut on the Holleran/Zeffer property! And another day of good people gathering for a good cause! It started snowing on us today and hasn’t stopped yet, but the tree crews continued to work in other areas. We had the pleasure today of meeting some other landowners in the pipeline route who are not happy with the destruction which the tree clearing and construction will bring to their property, and who we hope to be able to support and defend in the future. Thanks to everyone who braved the weather and safe travels to anyone brave enough to join us tomorrow!” Megan Holleran

Photo Credit: EnergyJustice Summer.org

Photo Credit: EnergyJustice Summer.org

A song has emerged out of the battle against the Constitution fracked gas pipeline and the plans to destroy sugar maple trees on the land of the Holleran/Zeffer family in New Milford, Pa. The words, so far (it’s a song meant to keep being built) are:

One more day,
one more day,
let’s stop the chain saws
one more day. . .

Let’s stop the pipeline…

Let’s build the movement
One—-more—-day.

Continue reading

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

googleimagesvotingFor those of us who have not yet lost complete faith in our political system, we finally have entered the very “beginning” of the home stretch in electing a new president. As Climate Mamas and Papas, we know that climate change must be up front and center as part of our next President’s agenda, from day one. Yet, we also know that the machinery in place to support a president, needs to be behind this plan of action too – or it will stall, fail or just not move fast enough. We cannot say it strongly enough: There is NO ROOM in politics for denying, doubting or downplaying the facts on climate change.

Without taking any position on any specific candidates, as we see it at ClimateMama a lot of the excitement building around the Bernie Sanders campaign seems to revolve around how he is addressing systemic problems like money in politics, climate change and energy policy. He is facing these problems directly and head on in an inclusive way. He is providing hard answers to tough questions that require everyone’s involvement. Other candidates aren’t being as candid, nor as direct, nor seemingly as inclusive. This has ignited young people around our country in a way we haven’t seen since President Obama’s run for office back in 2008. If we are to successfully address and fight climate change in a way that gives us hope for tomorrow, we have to engage everyone, and involve everyone – young and old. We need to build up an intergenerational movement, getting outside of the “box” and the partisan constraints we are currently stuck in, and we must move swiftly and directly.

Below is the second installment by Climate Mama extraordinaire, Kathy Mohr-Almeida, on supporting climate activism in children, which Kathy wrote for ClimateMama. We want to make clear from the outset, that Kathy did not write this for us with the presidential election as the primary backdrop. We are linking the two, because we feel strongly that her wise words and thoughtful examination about political behavior in the climate and environmental movements, applies equally to those people and organizations seeking our support and votes in 2016. We look forward to your feedback and ideas too.

Yours,

Climate Mama

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.
Kathy Mohr-Almeida, Ph.D.

A Climate Mama’s Thoughts on Political Behavior
By Kathy Mohr-Almeida

Used with permission

Used with permission

Along the way, I have noticed a few things about political behavior, which I share in hopes that you can avoid pitfalls by learning from my mistakes. The way I see it, everything goes back to Maslow and motivation. In the 1960s, Maslow created his renowned “Hierarchy of Needs.” People who are activists are typically in the upper echelons of the hierarchy because they have the mental reserves to be able to focus attention on something other than their immediate needs. If you want to create social justice, help people get their basic needs met so they can join you in the demonstration line. Continue reading

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