By Rhoda Baer (Photographer) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

By Rhoda Baer (Photographer) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

As a parent, life is hectic. Running to and from work, both in and outside of our homes; keeping up with our kid’s schedules; getting food on the table; and also hoping to sit down once in a while, together as a family to decompress and catch up. I know we can all relate. When I was single, younger and before I had kids, I didn’t take time to think through about who was watching out for us and ensuring that things like safe water, clean air and a secure and safe future were being thought about carefully and acted on. I assumed that foresight and planning was there, and someone was making sure that those things I couldn’t directly take care of, were being looked after.

Both as I have gotten older and as I live parenthood, life seems to be traveling at warp speed. Most of my friends, those that are parents, those that are not, those who are younger, older, and also my age, all seem to share this sentiment..life on overdrive. Regardless, I know for myself and for some of my friends there is and has been an awakening of sorts. We have become more and more aware that no one is in fact “minding the store” and we have an important role to play in ensuring our safe future. Sadly, I still see many of my friends too caught up in the craziness of their lives. I see that they haven’t realized or have chosen to close their eyes to the fact that no one is really looking out for the best interests of us all.

Once you slow down long enough to see the truth in front of us, it’s obvious that too many things are unraveling, and there is not a clear and well thought out plan. This is particularly and acutely clear with climate disruption and the lack of real solutions and policies, and therefore all the chaos that can and is already unfolding. Continue reading

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In the United States of America, the second Sunday in May is officially “Mothers Day.” This celebration has its origins in early efforts to honor mothers who came together to promote peace, and whose sons fought on opposite sides of the American Civil War. In 1914 the United States Congress and President Wilson formally established the first National Mothers day, recognizing mothers who had lost sons in war.

Petty Officer 3rd class Campbell, U.S. Navy [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Petty Officer 3rd class Campbell, U.S. Navy [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Mothers fighting for peace and their children’s right to survive and a mother’s unconditional love for her children often demands that she put herself on the line, risking her life for her child’s. We see this happening all over the world today for a myriad of reasons, and more and more often in relation to a mothers fight against our changing climate and for a sustainable and livable future.

Mothers seem to see clearly through the fog of denial; that through our thoughtless use and abuse of our planet Earth, we are now marching forward on a clear path that threatens ours and our children’s very existence. We must and we are taking action now.

At ClimateMama on Mother’s Day (and every day) we are proud to honor mothers across the world who are taking action for their children’s future and now, as we live climate change. Today we list but a few of these incredible mama’s who are putting their lives on the line as they fight against unsustainable and dangerous practices – in particular those of the oil and gas industry and their extreme extractive processes and byproducts – and for a livable future for all our children. We will regularly share more details of these mama’s stories and stories from mamas the world over. Continue reading

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Joylette Portlock, creative genius and ClimateMama extraordinaire knocks it out of the park with this wonderful music video and parody.

Grab the kids in your life and sing along to this Taylor Swift riff: “The Future can be great, great, great, great, great. If we break it of, break it of, break it off (our addiction to fossil fuels).” There is another way!

Pictures and music speak volumes, so we will say no more, except to share this video widely with your friends and family.

It’s “Do something Wednesdays” here at ClimateMama, a day to role up our sleeves and act on climate. A day inspired by Joylette and her “Don’t Just Sit There, Do Something” video series. We all CAN make a difference and change the crash course we are on..Together we are powerful.

Joylette Portlock wears many hats. She is the Board President of Communitopia in Pittsburg, PA. Joylette studied biology at M.I.T, has a PHD in genetics from Stanford University and is a Climate Reality leader. She is also an amazing mom, a dear friend and an inspiration to all of us at ClimateMama.

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Climate Papa Josh Lawler, Associate Professor at the School of Forest Resources at
The University of Washington, studies how human activities affect ecological systems at large spatial scales. More specifically, he is looking at how human created climate change is impacting species and landscapes around us. In addition to being a scientist, Josh is also a dad. Like many of our Climate Papas, Josh has his eyes “wide open” to the fact that our actions today will create and directly impact our children’s tomorrow: good or bad, safe or dangerous. Josh understands clearly how big the problems are that we face from climate change and at the same time he also knows that we have the tools to fix what we have broken. Grab the kids in your life, and listen and watch Josh explain this to us, in his own words.
Continue reading

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10440652_847828491950463_2622606125860461855_nOn Earth day (or any day) share these facts with the kids in your life:

• Between early 2012 and late 2013, the cost of solar power in the United States fell by 60 percent.

• Between 2010 and 2014, U.S. solar installed capacity grew by over 400 percent.

• Globally, solar photovoltaic module prices fall by 80 percent between 2008 and 2013.

• In 2002, the projection was that the solar electricity market would grow by one Gigawatt per year by 2010. That goal was exceed 17 times. In 2013 it was exceeded 39 times. In 2014, it was exceeded 54 times.

In a 2015 report, Deutsche Bank predicts “Grid parity” (the cost of rooftop solar versus the cost of electricity sourced from the grid) in 80% of the world by 2017 and that rooftop solar PV will reach grid parity in all 50 US states by 2016…even with the collapse of oil prices. Continue reading

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Climate heartachHeartache…that is what many of our Climate Mamas and Papas tell us is a constant in their lives. There is also incredible joy and hope too, but as we work on climate change education and advocacy, the heartache and grief is something we all must find a way to come to terms with.

Our friend, colleague, and fellow Climate Reality leader, Rolly Montpellier has captured many of the emotions and feelings that people working on climate change education and advocacy feel and experience, every day. In Rolly’s own words: “I could not escape my responsibility…as I headed straight towards my deepest fears and concerns..I do this for my (grand) children.” This is a statement that many of us at ClimateMama can intimately relate to.

Please set a side a few minutes and read Rolly’s story – carefully and slowly. There is no going back, but we do know that going forward, we are all in this together. We can and must rely on one another for emotional, spiritual and practical support. With heartfelt thanks Rolly, we have your back….

Yours,

Climate Mama

P.S. Consider joining Climate Reality at one of our next North American Climate Reality Leader trainings, become part of our Climate Reality Family.

Climate Activism has Emotional Consequences
By Rolly Montpellier (first published on BoomerWarrior, April 1, 2015)

So if life is already difficult, why then become a climate activist? Why not just leave it alone? Why not avoid all those negative emotions – fear, pain, strife, despair – that come with being an activist? Surely someone else would deal with climate change. So why me?

Simply put, the stakes are just too high and the consequences of failure too unimaginable to not get involved. I could not escape my responsibility. Once I knew that, there was no looking back. I jumped in knowing that I was headed straight towards my deepest fears and concerns. I must do this for my grandchildren I told myself. Continue reading

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Used with Permission: Brian Ettling

Used with Permission: Brian Ettling

We are pleased to share with you a very personal post by our friend and fellow Climate Reality Leader Brian Ettling. In this post, Brian shares with us how his relationship with his dad changed and deepened over Brian’s commitment to “change climate change.” Brian’s enthusiasm, perseverance and energy inspire us and give us hope that together we all can and will create a livable future for ourselves and our children.

P.S. If you are looking for a way to turn your passion on climate change advocacy into action, like Brian has done so successfully, consider joining an upcoming Climate Reality leader training. Find more information here.

My Climate Skeptic Dad, and How he became a Climate Change Leader too!
By Brian Ettling

I love Climate Mama’s mission for Mamas and Papas of all ages to work together to create a healthy and sustainable planet for our children. In the process of following this mission, we can reach our own skeptical parents.

Photo: Creative Commons attribution Wikimedia Commons

Photo: Creative Commons attribution Wikimedia Commons

15 years ago, Bill Moyers interviewed George Lucas about how Lucas came up with the Star Wars mythology. In this interview, George Lucas explains how it was his father’s dream for his son to work in and eventually inherit the family office equipment store in Modesto, California.

However, George had no interest in taking over his father’s business. He decided in college that he wanted to be a filmmaker. When George decided to go to the University of Southern California film school and pursue his dream, his dad felt crushed that George was not going to take over the family business.

George Sr. felt young George was making a huge mistake because he had built up this successful business for his son to eventually take over. It was a big source of friction between them until George Sr. saw son George’s huge success with the Star Wars films. Continue reading

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photo-originalWhat do we do today to prepare our children for tomorrow on our climate-changed, resource-constrained, and very crowded planet?

Many of our Climate Mamas and Papas regularly share with us that in their “heart of hearts” they often have a difficult time “sharing the whole truth” about our climate crisis with the children in their lives. How do we actually prepare our children today, for the tomorrow that we know is coming? What can we do now that will not only help them build resiliency, but also help our children create a better tomorrow? A good friend of ours and Climate Reality pal, Jessica, is teaming up some wonderful friends, Beth and Jon, who together are helping us address this tricky, emotional and psychological dilemma – how do we prepare our children now, for what we know tomorrow will bring… Continue reading

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Screen Shot 2015-03-29 at 11.04.57 AMAs parents, our ClimateMama community is well in tune with our collective and individual responsibilities as parents; to create as safe and secure a future and now that we can for our children and ourselves. We have done the research and we are attune to the changes around us. Our climate and our planet are both changing and in many, many ways not for the better. We know intellectually and intuitively that we humans have a direct role in creating these changes, and we also know we can have a direct role in slowing these changes down.

There are parents among us – scientists and researchers – whose work and studies show them without a doubt, that our actions are causing our planet to change. These parents are raising their voices with us – using their authority as scientists and their studies and research as the basis of their call to action – for their children and ours.

We are therefore thrilled and honored to be part of the launch and promotion of a new website, More than Scientists which shares the stories of accomplished scientists, who beyond their lab coats, are community members, parents, and concerned citizens, just like all of us. It’s personal for these scientists; they are speaking out even as they face personal threats and attacks for sharing the truth. For many of them, their children give them their courage and inspire their hope. They, as we do, hope desperately that we will all come to our senses before we force our planet and ourselves to a point of no return. Please join me in supporting these brave men and women; let’s applaud them and encourage them to keep their voices strong and loud – we need them to speak out so that we all can act.

Take a moment today, and watch one or all of the many very special videos from More Than Scientists. Share these videos with the kids in your life and check back often to catch new videos as they are released. Today we chose to share this video “A Penguin for Avani” with you.

A Penguin for Avani from Marcus Eriksen on Vimeo.

Dr. Marcus Eriksen, Director of Research from the 5 Gyres Institute made this for his 2 1/2 year old daughter. Like all the dedicated scientists that More thanks Scientists showcase, Dr. Eriksen often finds that his work takes him away from his family, as he and his colleagues work diligently on studies and research that provides us with the knowledge and data we need to spur change and create climate hope. Climate change is the greatest threat any of us will ever face. It also presents many incredible opportunities too, as personally and collectively we can change the future for the better, if we begin now. Continue reading

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EH-logoThis year in honor of Earth Hour – March 28th, 8:30pm your time wherever in the world you are – we are teaming up with NRG Home Solar, NBA superstar Bill Walton, and our good friends at the Big Green Purse to make it easy for you to raise awareness about climate change, take action and create climate hope. Let us show you how to channel #yourpower and not only make a difference, but show others how to as well!

We know that for many of our Climate Mamas and Papas celebrating Earth Hour has become part of their family lore and traditions. Earth Hour ushers in Earth Month (April) and Earth Day (April 22nd), and gives us the opportunity to reflect on why we should work so hard to nurture our planet. We share and plan together what each of us individually and as a family can do to keep our planet healthy and sustainable as we use our power to raise attention to the climate crisis and work to build climate hope. Since it’s creation by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) in 2007 when Sydney Australia, famously “turned off it’s lights,” Earth Hour has grown to become a global movement with more than 7000 cities and towns in over 160 countries together turning off their lights to remind us that climate change is a global problem.

happy kidsEarth Hour also reminds us that that the challenges of climate change present many incredible opportunities. So, grab your kids and come up with a plan that involves TURNING OFF THE LIGHTS at 8:30pm on Saturday, March 28th. Have a “picnic” by flashlight with the kids in your life, tell stories in the “dark,” watch the stars, walk on the beach, play a board game by the light of the moon…and discuss your “next steps” after the Hour. Let Earth Hour be the beginning of your family’s “spring into action” plan, to make our planet a safer and more sustainable place. Be inspired! Check back here later this week, and we will also be sharing a special video by NBA Bill Walton, on Earth Hour and #yourpower. Continue reading

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