March 8th is International Women’s Day and is observed as a national holiday in many countries around the world. I want to share some of my thoughts with you on this special day.  I feel strongly that women are central to creating a culture that will make, create and facilitate policies and actions that successfully build a livable and hopeful world for us and our children;  as we live climate change together.

First though, a little background that you can share with the kids in your life on the history of International Women’s Day. The day was first “established” in the early 1900’s as an opportunity to unite women in the campaign for women’s rights to work, vote, and be trained to hold public office and to end discrimination. For so many reasons, particularly in this day and age of #metoo, we clearly must continue to mark the importance of this day for the same reasons – we are obviously not there yet. Also, this day is a marker to acknowledge and celebrate women who have taken a stand and are doing so now, for women’s rights and voices to be heard and upheld. In many countries, and in our own country, women still are not paid equally to that of their male counterparts, women still are not present in equal numbers in business or politics, and globally and in the USA, women’s education and health often are not supported adequately or equally. Violence against women in a myriad of forms continues to be perpetrated too often and regularly without penalty.

Today, I see and feel a part of a real movement building among women across many networks and from a wide range of backgrounds and beliefs. This is a movement built on the difficult and mounting challenges that climate change, corporate power, ineffective government and greed are placing on us and our planet. While this movement is not yet clearly defined, it is taking shape and has many tentacles. This is a movement that is built upon the belief in a bright future for our children based on clean energy, access to abundant food, clean air, potable water and social justice for ourselves, our families and for the world community. Every day I feel excited, exhilarated and passionate – and I have to admit, I am scared as well. I am part of this movement and I strongly believe that women will be the change agents we need to move us forward successfully. The 2018 mid-term elections in the US will be a telling point as we see the power of women surge at the ballot boxes and as we too run in large numbers as candidates for elected office.

Continue reading

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As Climate Mamas and Papas we look for small and large ways to show we are taking climate action. We find opportunities to demonstrate our resolve to “walk the walk” on sustainability and to build climate hope and a livable future and now. We regularly take stands on issues; we make our voices  heard by elected officials, and we support companies and organizations that are leading the way forward.

As parents, life is hectic – juggling home, work, and multiple schedules –  as we try to find time to just “be in the moment” with our families. We wanted to introduce you to our “go to” card and invitation company, Paperless Post which helps us find time and also accomplish tasks that otherwise could be time and energy consuming. Our Climate Mama, Harriet, began using Paperless Post soon after it was founded in 2008, when a young brother and sister team James and Alex Hirschfield, then in their early twenties,  established this innovative company. Paperless Post is 10 years old this year and has survived the test of time and of competitors –  and continues to thrive, innovate and be a leader in the on-line invitation field.

Over the years Harriet has used Paperless Post for both of her children’s Bar and Bat Mitzvah invitations, for birthday parties, for Climate Mama invitational events and for a wide range of birthday, wedding and anniversary greetings, thank you’s and sympathy cards; as well as just to say hello! Unlike some other one-line card and invitation companies, there are no ads, you pay directly on the site, and you can use free or fee based invitation and card designs.


The cards and invitations are easy to modify and make personal, and the invitation RSVP’s are easy to track and follow up. Harriet has recommended Paperless Post to a wide range of friends and family and continues to be impressed with regular updates, new designs and technology innovations.

Paperless Post feels personal. When you receive a Paperless Post invitation it opens like a card you would receive in the mail. It has a stamp (which you can personalize) and the cards and invitations are beautiful, fun, simple, elegant and sophisticated – whatever you want them to be. We love Paperless Post and highly recommend it!

Give Paperless Post a try, and let us know what you think. As we live climate change, the examples we set for our children, neighbors and friends are so important. The more we can show that we are giving thought to how each action and activity we take impacts our footprints on our planet, the more hopeful our future and now becomes.



Climate Mama

Note: We have received Paperless Post coins to tryout the service and share our experience. As with any product or service we discuss on our site, our opinions are our own, and are not influenced by any outside sources. We would never recommend a product or service we would not use ourselves, nor would we share information about a product or service we do not feel is taking a stand on climate and sustainability.

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Could a ban on fracking drilling be enough to protect the land, flora fauna, people and WATER of the Delaware River Basin? Would water withdrawals from the Delaware to enable fracking in other regions, including as well the storage, processing and discharge of frack waste in the region – put the land, flora, fauna, people and WATER at risk, even if a drilling  ban is in place? This possibility seems incongruous at the very least and in reality –  completely incompatible!

According to the Delaware River Basin Commission website: “A breakthrough in water resources management occurred in 1961 when President Kennedy and the governors of Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and New York for the first time signed concurrent compact legislation into law creating a regional body with the force of law to oversee a unified approach to managing a river system without regard to political boundaries.” 

What an amazing concept! Although as with any governing body, it does have flaws – non the less the Commission has been effectively working to protect the basin for more then 50 years;  the concept is being emulated and replicated around the world.  Currently, the Commission has an opportunity to show the world what “Water Protectors” really look like.  From where we sit, being a water protector must mean supporting a complete fracking BAN in the Basin. This trumps the half measures that are being proposed  by some.

One Thursday, February 22nd, our Climate Mama Harriet, attended  Public Hearing No. 5. on the Delaware River Basin Commission’s Draft Hydraulic Fracturing Regulations. 

It is worthwhile and important to note, that while the Commission is represented by 4 state Governors and the federal government –  hearings on the Draft Fracking regulations were ONLY held in Pennsylvania. New York, New Jersey and Delaware residents had to travel to PA to be heard.  The Basin watershed provides water to more than 15 million people in all 4 states. We too, should and must have a voice as these critical regulations are finalized.

Harriet’s full statement is included below. Click on the public hearing photo to listen to some of the testimony from the February 22nd hearing.

The Commission is taking comments through March 30th. The Delaware River Keeper Network has made it very easy for you to comment on the record and learn more about what is at stake.

Sign up for Watershed Wednesday’s weekly actions. Join us as well and Sign on to a petition to protect the Delaware and call for a permanent fracking BAN.  

Send in your comments directly:

Written comments will be accepted by the Commission through 5 p.m. on March 30, 2018 Written comments should be submitted – along with any attachments – through the Commission’s online comments webpage at

Hearing #6: March 6, 2018: 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.; This will be a moderated public hearing by telephone. Members of the public are encouraged to listen by calling 1-866-831-8713 and asking the operator to connect them to the DRBC call. Those wishing to address the commission at this hearing can register for an opportunity to speak at



Climate Mama


February 22nd, 2018

 Draft Hydraulic Fracturing Regulations Public Hearing No. 5

Written Statement as prepared for delivery to the Delaware River Basin Commission

Harriet Shugarman[1]

Greetings, I have travelled here today from northern New Jersey and welcome the opportunity to address each of you.

I am speak as a representative of ClimateMama, a national organization with members from all of the Basin States and in my capacity as the New York City Chair of the Climate Reality Project. I am also an adjunct professor at Ramapo College of New Jersey where I teach a senior level course on Global Climate Change Policy.

I know you have heard many thoughtful arguments already I would like to focus my remarks on climate impacts that threaten the Basin. The realities that climate change already brings to bear on the region must be considered, as must the future climate change impacts – these, as best we can.

I am not sure how closely you been following the arrival of “Day Zero” in Capetown South Africa.[2] Cape Town is a sophisticated city with sustainability programs that serve as models around the world. Yet, as early as July 9th of this year, the taps for nearly 1 million people will be turned off. The drought that has created this near “Mad Max” scenario came seemingly out of no where, in the last 3 years.

Arriving at a water budget is not an easy task; particularly as we live climate change, yet it is one I know that you as guardians of our Basin, are working to arrive at. With the impacts of climate change ever present, anything that threatens the flora and fauna that rely on the Delaware to survive and the access of more than 15 million people to the clean and reliable waters of the Delaware, must be stopped.

Earlier this week, astonishing scientists, the Arctic recorded temperatures above zero, 45 degrees more than normal, this with no sunlight. This is not an anomaly, it is something that has happened numerous times over the past few years[3]. This occurred as we in the northeast are also baking in an unseasonably warm February for the second year in a row, New York City, DC, Boston and Portland Maine all set new high temperatures this week, while Pittsburgh broke a 127 year heat record – hitting 78 degrees yesterday. These types of extremes are happening with more regularity and frequency all around the world.

This past summer, New York magazine published an article called, The Uninhabitable Earth.[4] It looked at the “worst case scenarios” of unchecked climate change. As policy makers, we often use the middle of the standard deviation when assessing possible scenarios; there are no clear studies that tell us how soon or when climate impacts will be catastrophic. This article called on us to look at the worst case scenario, one and two standard deviations away from the norm. There was push back from all sides, including the climate science community. Yet, should we not use the precautionary principal when considering something as critical as our access to fresh water?

I am sure that some of you, like me are parents, or grandparents, uncles or aunts. Climate change is happening on our watch. It is our job to do what we can so that our children have a chance at a safe, healthy and livable future. The United Nations speaks about common but differentiated responsibilities; or as my kids like to say, those that can go big, must. Please visualize your children and mine as you make this critical and very big decision.

As we have seen, time and again, “unexpected” and “unimaginable” scenarios do occur, we can only control that which we can control. You control what happens next. Anything short of a complete ban on drilling and fracking related activities, including, water related withdrawals and storage of waste water would be a dereliction of your stated vision and of your leadership.

Thank you.

[1] Contact:




Posted in Climate Mama News, Disasters, Earth Day is Every Day, Food, fracking and pipelines, Oceans & Water | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Jamie Anderson may be the best female snowboarder in the world. With a gold medal in slopestyle
at the South Korea Olympics; Jamie successful defended her gold medal title from the  Sochi Olympic games in 2014.  In case you missed our interview with Jamie back in December 2013, we wanted to repost it here for you to read and share with the kids in your life. Not only is Jamie an amazing snowboarder, she also has a deep understanding about why and how we should all take care of our planet. Jamie is an outspoken champion with Protect our Winters, which is working hard to mobilize positive action on climate change. When we talked with Jamie just before her Sochi gold medal win, she shared with us her work on sustainability programs in her hometown of South Lake Tahoe and her support for and promotion of sustainable living.


Very often, my work on climate change education and advocacy opens a “door” to something or someone surprising. Recently, I had the opportunity to speak with Olympic hopeful Jamie Anderson, a six time X Games medalist, and one of, if not THE, top-ranked female snowboard slope style riders in the world. Not only did my kids think I was pretty cool to have this opportunity, but after speaking to Jamie, I was also incredibly awed, impressed and thought I was pretty cool too! Born and raised in South Lake Tahoe, Jamie first learned to snowboard at the age of nine. One of eight siblings, she is health conscious and environmentally aware, and as I learned first hand, takes the drivers seat when it comes to supporting and promoting sustainable living.

Just 23, yet so very poised and seemingly an old soul, our conversation ran the gamut, from talking about Jamie’s new Nintendo Wii U game, Mario & Sonic at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games, to her down to earth, and very literal connection with nature. We discussed how and why we need to slow down and be “mindful” of our actions if we hope to create a sustainable future for ourselves, and our families. Continue reading

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When we become a father, mother, aunt, uncle, and grandparent for the very first time, our world changes forever; it really does. Holding our newborn for the first time envelopes us with feelings of incredible joy, but also with feelings of overwhelming responsibility. I certainly felt this way when both my children were born, and I hear directly from so many of our Climate Mamas and Papas that they feel this way too.

United Kingdom based climate scientist Adam Levy became an uncle for the first time in late December 2017. Adam has worked on climate change for a long time and even has a climate communication channel on YouTube, Climate Adam.  We wanted to share with you one of Adam’s wonderful videos, one that he created a few hours after his niece was born. We think it captures so many of the emotions we Climate Mamas and Papas feel when we welcome a newborn into this world; those of sheer awe at the miracle of birth and yet at the same time the overwhelming sense of concern because of the realities of our climate crisis.

Adam makes a pledge –  to himself, to us and to his niece –  to work hard to help the world be a kinder and safer place. We at ClimateMama agree wholeheartedly and pledge to do the same.

Thank you Adam.



Climate Mama

P.S. If you haven’t already, check out some of the videos on More Than Scientists. You will find climate scientists speaking out in their voices as parents, uncles, aunts and teachers; all sharing and expressing their hopes, their concerns and their dreams.


Baby Photo by Chiến Phạm on Unsplash

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The Bedford 2020 Climate Action Summit, will take place in Bedford Hills, New York, on February 3, 2018. Climate Mamas and Papas from New York State as well from neighboring states of New Jersey, Connecticut and beyond,  will come together at the Summit to learn and share ideas  that look seriously and deeply at ways to address the urgent need for immediate, local and regional action that creates and implements solutions to the climate crisis we all face. Our children are watching, and we are showing them there are a multitude of positive ways forward. It’s not too late to Register!

Learn more about the Summit, it’s history and it’s importance in this excellent post by environmental journalist and author, Jan Barry.

Community Green Organizing

by Jan Barry

One town’s action plan addressing climate change and other environmental issues began nearly a decade ago in a community event at the high school on a wintry Saturday morning. The “Bedford Environmental Summit” was called by the town’s garden club and its energy advisory panel. One thousand people showed up.

The latest step in moving the town environmental action plan along is the Bedford 2020 Climate Action Summit scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 3, 2018 at Fox Lane High School in Bedford, NY. Even for people who can’t attend this event, the innovative eco-group has provided lots of useful information on its Facebook page and website.

The civic group’s mission “is to lead, organize and promote a community wide effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 20% by 2020 and to create a sustainable community that conserves its natural resources,” the local environmental organization states on its website, which features a cornucopia of community activities information and organizing tips.

The Bedford 2020 Coalition has plugged into and in some cases energized a network of likeminded organizations in Westchester County and elsewhere in the Hudson Valley region. Notable residents of the New York City exurban commuter town have included Donald Trump and a movie marque-ful of famous actors and actresses. Organizers of the environmental action group, however, are “over 90 community volunteers, many of whom are professionals and experts with deep experience and credentials in our action areas.”

One of the most useful items on the Bedford 2020 website is a “Summit in a Box,” which provides an online manual for creating a community environmental action plan.

“Global warming and environmental issues are the central challenge of our times. The goal of the Bedford Environmental Summit (BES) was to find a way to educate our community about the most pressing environmental issues of the day, to create a ‘community of advocates’ who would take actions to solve these problems on a local level,” the executive summary for the manual states. “We believe that the BES is a worthy model for any community or organization whose goal is to encourage grass roots, local actions to mitigate the challenges presented by greenhouse gas emissions and diminishing natural resources.”

The first step in Bedford was holding the community event at the high school in January 2009, which drew 1000 people in a town of 17,000 residents. More than 240 volunteers, including 88 students, organized the event, which offered 85 speakers presenting key information on 28 topics. In the hallways, 78 Expo tables with information on environmental issues and organizations were set up and a locavore breakfast and lunch were provided, the organizing manual noted.

The community summit led to creation of the nonprofit Bedford 2020 Coalition, “whose mandate is to implement over 70 projects recommended in BEAP’s Climate Action Plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 20% by 2020; the creation of a ‘sustainable school district’ and many individual and collaborative projects emanating from the networking that occurred at the Summit,” the manual summary continued.

“The key elements to the success of the BES were an effective public/private partnership in co-sponsoring the event; a comprehensive and appealing program of lectures, workshops and Expo exhibits that provided multiple points of entry for individuals in the community to get engaged; extensive community involvement in the form of local organizations who were enlisted as ‘partners’ to assist in the planning and implementation of the Summit; and the focus by Summit organizers on ‘what happens next’ to motivate participants to think beyond the day of the Summit.”

What happened next were volunteer-organized programs to involve residents in energy conservation and installing solar panels on homes and businesses, composting food waste, reducing use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides on lawns, boosting recycling of plastic, metal, glass and paper products, switching to a hybrid or electric car, and participating in Meatless Mondays to help reduce the amount of fossil fuel that goes into feeding and transporting beef cattle for hamburgers, chili con carne and steaks. Restaurants throughout town signed on as partners.

Local actions over the next several years helped create a county-wide network that by 2017 enlisted Westchester County and 20 town governments in Sustainable Westchester, “a consortium of local governments that facilitates green initiatives like Solarize Westchester, Community Choice Aggregation and the Municipal Solar Buyers Group.” A New York state program enables municipalities to choose getting 100 per cent of their electricity from solar, wind and hydro and “save money by negotiating bulk pricing for their supply.” The Town of Bedford is one of the municipalities participating in the state program.

“Bedford 2020 harnesses the power of community and drives action. This year, we have inspired thousands of people to reduce waste, increase efficiency, take on big green solutions and address climate change,” the group’s leaders stated in an October 2017 progress report. “Together we are reducing greenhouse gas emissions and protecting natural resources in Bedford and beyond.”

UN Climate Conference Heads of State Paris, 2015 Attribution: UNClimateChange Creative Commons

In an addendum to the progress report, the elected town supervisor, Chris Burdick, states: “We are proud that our Town has pledged a commitment to the Paris Climate Accord goals, with Bedford 2020 leading the way.”

For more information check out the Bedford2020 website 

This article is posted with permission, in it’s entirety. It was originally published on Mr. Barry’s Earth Mission Log, on January 26, 2018; Earth Mission Log  is a look at creative actions by people around the globe to address the precarious state of life on Earth; Check it out today! 

 Jan Barry is an environmental journalist and author of A Citizen’s Guide to Grassroots Campaigns, Earth Songs: New & Selected Poems, and other works. He was lead reporter on the “Toxic Legacy” investigative report by The Record (Bergen County, NJ) and featured in the HBO documentary Mann v. Ford. He’s done investigative reports on numerous environmental issues including Vietnam veterans’ health concerns regarding Agent Orange, carried by The Associated Press, New York Times and other publications. He teaches Environmental Writing at Ramapo College of New Jersey.

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According to a  2015 story in EcoWatch, Eileen Fisher, clothing designer and business leader, said that, “The clothing industry is the second largest polluter in the world … second only to oil…..It’s a really nasty business … it’s a mess.”

While the data that proves this and the definition of “polluting” may vary, Ms. Fisher’s words ring true, the clothing industry –  all along it’s supply change – from raw materials to production and distribution uses incredible amounts of energy and natural resources often without a thought or a care as to the impact on our planet, our health and our future. Certainly, this disregard for inputs is not good business practice, least of all because as supply chains become threatened due to climate change, a company’s future is and will be insecure; understanding this is critical to a company’s future and success.

As shared by EcoWatch: “Fashion is a complicated business involving long and varied supply chains of production, raw material, textile manufacture, clothing construction, shipping, retail, use and ultimately disposal of garments. While Fisher’s assessment that fashion is the second largest polluter is likely impossible to know, what is certain is that the fashion carbon footprint is tremendous. Determining that footprint is an overwhelming challenge due to the immense variety from one garment to the next.”

According to GrowNYC,  a non-profit organization that hosts zero waste programs funded by the NYC Department of Sanitation,  just in New York City alone, the average person throws out 46 pounds of clothing and textiles every year, which works out to be 193,000 tons for the entire city.” Since it’s inception in 2007 GrowNYC has collected over 4.5 million pounds of textiles.  According to the Council for Textile Recycling, in the rest of country, “Americans generate approximately 25 billion pounds of textile waste every year, or about 82 pounds per person.

While we know that  our Climate Mamas and Papas, recycle, donate, reuse and share their clothing, The Council for Textile Recycling tells as that “only about 15 percent, or approximately 4 billion pounds, of clothing gets donated or recycled nationally” …with the rest ending up in our already overcrowded landfills.

There are many, many clothing companies that do care about their impact on our planet, and we know that they are taking steps to be mindful everyday: using recycled materials, monitoring their water use, taking back clothing for repurposing, and on and on. We encourage you to do YOUR homework, and find brands and products that you enjoy wearing and ones which are taking a stand to be sustainable. Go to the company’s website, check out their sustainability practices online, and read their year-end company report. What they are doing to lessen their footprint on our planet should be easy to find and something they want to share widely; if it’s not, it’s likely they aren’t actually doing all that much.

WE do have many choices when it comes to what we buy and our purchasing power is one of them. Support companies that are trying to make a difference, and ones that are really walking the walk.

On that note, we wanted to share the story of Kuleana with you. Kuleana, in Hawaiian means, “To Take Responsibility.” Kuleana is also a new swimwear company started recently by New Jersey based Sun and Sea Trading Company under the direction of Climate Papa, Doug Pecore.

We had the opportunity recently to sit down with Doug and hear more about the story behind Kuleana.

Doug told us that he got the idea for Kuleana  in March 2017, when he and some colleagues were visiting a clothing factory in China.  On a tour of the factory, they discovered over 150 rolls of beautiful swimwear fabric tossed aside near a discard bin.  When they asked the factory owner why he would throw away such beautiful material, he replied that there was not enough fabric of any one print option to create a meaningful quantity on the construction line. Doug told us that their team went home that evening sad and frustrated  but awoke in the morning determined to do something positive. They discussed the concept, which is now Kuleana,  a “patchwork” way of combining fabrics into a single product option.

According to Doug, the factory where their products are produced also produces some 20 million units per year of just swimwear. At 0.75 yards a unit that’s 15 million yards of fabric; at 1.5% in overage that’s 225,000 yards of waste – which we all can agree is seriously wasteful and most probably an environmental nightmare.  Again, this is for a single factory in a small segment of the apparel industry.

Doug asked us to imagine the magnitude of this issue in just the underwear, tee shirt, and denim categories. It is truly hard to comprehend.  We do feel though that it is important for us to think about the enormity of this one issue. Too often, most of us never  never ask or even think about how our where our food, clothing, or other products we buy and use get to us, where they come from, or what it takes to make them and get them to market.

Doug is hopeful that, as people learn and support what they are doing at Kuleana, that perhaps it will make sense and be possible for Doug and his team to expand their business model from swimwear only, to “patchwork apparel” more broadly;  growing Kuleana into other categories and turning existing problems into positive and successful stories.

As Margaret Mead said: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful people can change the world, indeed it is the only thing that ever has.”

We wish Doug and his colleagues much success, check them out and let’s help move these beautiful fabrics out of the waste bin.

If you hear of other interesting and innovative ideas please share them with us.

We wanted to share another way for you to reach a wide audience with your ideas. Our friends at the  NYC Tishman Design Center are planning a Conference for May 2018: Design, Justice & Zero Waste Conference and Research Collaborative Currently, they have a call out, through February 16th, for submissions to present at the conference. Consider sharing your ideas. Here is a link to apply.








Trash Photo by Hermes Rivera on Unsplash

Clothing Photo by Artificial Photography on Unsplash

Posted in Art, Fashion, Entertainment, Climate Mama News, Do Something Wednesdays, In The News, Recycling | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

With a US Administration that seems hostile if not down right destructive when it comes to acting on climate change, we have found the book “DRAWDOWN, the most comprehensive plan ever proposed to reverse global warming” to be a breath of fresh air and a replenisher of our climate hope.

Edited by Paul Hawken and compiled with  input and consultation from a coalition that includes more than 200 researchers, business leaders, scholars, and change makers from across the globe… including geologists, engineers, agronomists, researchers, fellows, writers, climatologists, biologists, botanists, economists, financial analysts, architects, companies, agencies, NGOs, activists, and other experts”… the information presented in the book has been widely fact checked, reviewed, and validated.

Drawdown lists and ranks the 100 solutions to climate disruption, with educating girls number 6 on the list. While we instinctively know that education begets knowledge, and that with knowledge comes power to change, to invent, and to heal; how does educating girls actually help solve the climate crisis?

According to Drawdown:

“Education lays a foundation for vibrant lives for girls and women, their families, and their communities. It also is one of the most powerful levers available for avoiding emissions by curbing population growth. Women with more years of education have fewer and healthier children, and actively manage their reproductive health.

Educated girls realize higher wages and greater upward mobility, contributing to economic growth. Their rates of maternal mortality drop, as do mortality rates of their babies. They are less likely to marry as children or against their will. They have lower incidence of HIV/AIDS and malaria. Their agricultural plots are more productive and their families better nourished.

Education also shores up resilience and equips girls and women to face the impacts of climate change. They can be more effective stewards of food, soil, trees, and water, even as nature’s cycles change. They have greater capacity to cope with shocks from natural disasters and extreme weather events.”

We would like to draw your attention and your active help to a campaign to advance the education of girls in  Pakistan.  Join us in lighting up schools in Pakistan, a country on the front lines of climate change.

Our friend and colleague Asif Iqbal is the campaign lead. Asif is a climate leader and volunteer Manager for the Climate Reality Project in Pakistan. Asif is raising funding through Generosity to install solar panels in small schools in Pakistan. In Pakistan, 48% of schools are without electricity. In many areas in Pakistan temperatures during the summer can be more than  40°C.  School conditions often are unbearable, as children  spend 4 to 5 hours of their class hours in extremely hot weather, without running fans. Among the more than 25 million children in Pakistan out of school – most of these children are girls and most of these girls are in poor families.

Donate to light up the schools now – $1000 is enough to power up each school through the purchase  of 4 solar panels, a battery, connection wire and installation. These systems will help run 3 fans and 6 energy saver lights in each school. Volunteer to be part of the team, share this campaign with others; together we can make a difference as we work together to create a livable world for our children and for us.



Climate Mama

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On Tuesday, January 9th, along with many other Climate Mamas and Papas, I testified in New York City in support of the Clean Power Plan; the Obama administration’s plan for the US to meet it’s stated obligations under the Paris Agreement. The Clean Power Plan is the first ever federal plan to limit carbon pollution from power plants. The plan allows for states to organize under various options to meet these carbon reduction requirements.  As we see it, the plan certainly doesn’t go far enough, and, it has flaws –  a big one of which is the inclusion of gas as an option. However, rather than repeal the plan, as Scott Pruitt’s EPA is proposing, we need to strengthen it and fix it.

Incredibly, the EPA did not hold one hearing in the region I live in, which includes New York, New Jersey, Puerto Rico, The US Virgin Islands, and 8 tribal nations. Clearly, we are on the front lines of climate change, yet Mr. Pruitt doesn’t seem to think our input is worthwhile.

Below are my written comments submitted to the EPA. Also, here is a link to a video of the afternoon hearing which I attended. ( my testimony starts around the 2:10 minute mark)

My take away from the event. We need to speak up, we need to continuing doing so, even if we are seen but not heard. The audience at the hearing was, to a person, in support of keeping the Clean Power Plan. And, it was clear to me that everyone who testified was part of the climate movement in some way, shape or form.

So, are we just talking to one another and in our own silo or bubble? Perhaps in this case we are. But, on this subject, we are clearly are not being given our public right to be heard by our government. And this practice, of shutting out the public, is not only troubling but it is dangerous. We cannot allow this to be the case, so if need be, we need to host our own Public Hearings – which we did! We are inviting everyone to speak out Join us. We will be heard…..


Climate Mama

P.S. YOU can still send comments to the EPA on their proposed repeal of the Clean Power Plan until January 16th. You can upload your comments here.

New York City People’s Hearing on the Repeal of the Clean Power Plan Afternoon Session, January 9th, 2018

Submission by: Harriet Shugarman, Executive Director, ClimateMama And Chair of the Climate Reality Project, New York City Metro Chapter

Thank you to the offices of Attorney General Schniederman and New York Mayor De Blasio, as well as to the many other partners, who organized to hold these important hearings.

I am the Executive Director of ClimateMama, an organization that reaches families in all 50 states and over 100 countries. I am also the Chair of the Climate Reality Project New York City Metro Chapter and an adjunct professor of climate change policy. In addition and perhaps most importantly, I am the mother of 2 teenagers who I raised here in EPA Region 2. On October 23rd, 2013, at a Listening Session hosted in NYC by the EPA region 2 Offices, I spoke in support of Carbon Pollution Standards for Existing Power Plants. It seemed, at those hearings and in that year, that the EPA was really listening and beginning to take it’s role as a regulator of carbon pollution seriously. Now a few short years later, that job seems to have been abdicated, and we as citizens of the United States are not even being given an opportunity to speak, let alone being heard. I will be speaking today as a mother, a resident of EPA region 2, and on behalf of Climatemama.

The fact that the EPA chose to initially hold only one hearing this past fall in West Virginia on its decision to repeal the Clean Power Plan is shameful. Adding a few more under pressure was too little too late. This seems to be a continued pattern under Administrator Pruitt’s leadership of the EPA, to ignore, shut out and deny access by citizens of the United States to the EPA, while at the same time, opening the door wide for corporations to have the full attention of the Administrator and his senor staff. Thank you for giving us, the people of EPA Region 2 this opportunity to have our voices, our concerns, and our hopes heard. EPA Region 2 was set up to serve the citizens of New Jersey, New York, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and eight tribal nations. The impacts of climate change, which are caused in large part by fossil fuel power plant emissions, have been and continues to be deeply felt by citizens of our region. The fact that not one hearing has been held in our region is – appalling.

Our Motto at Climate Mama: “Tell the truth, actions speak louder than words, and don’t be afraid,” sentiments, as parents we all teach our children. We also teach our children early on that if you make a mess, you need to clean it up. Our Mother Earth has been showing us, in innumerable ways, that the mess we are creating on our planet, because of greenhouse emissions, is not only making her sick, but also creating situations where life for many species, including our own, is now threatened.

“Global vertebrate populations — from elephants to amphibians — declined by 58 percent from 1970 to 2012, a 2016 World Wide Fund for Nature report noted, with losses likely to reach 67 percent by 2020. That’s two-thirds of all vertebrate animals on Earth vanished in the lifetime of a person not yet 50.”

The EPA, in an October 10, 2017 press release on it’s likely decision to repeal of the clean power plan, states” “The proposed repeal both examines the Obama administration’s cost-benefit analysis, as well as provides insights to support an updated analysis of the environmental, health, and economic effects of the proposed repeal. The Trump administration estimates the proposed repeal could provide up to $33 billion in avoided compliance costs in 2030.” And yet, air pollution in the US causes as many as 50,000 deaths per year and costs as much as $40 billion a year NOW in health care and lost productivity.

Also, according to a report released January 8th by NOAA, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the US has sustained 219 weather and climate disasters since 1980 where overall damages/costs reached or exceeded $1 billion, with the total cost exceeding $1.5 trillion (an average of 5.8 events per year, or in the last 5 years, an average of 11.6 per year.) In 2017 there were 16 events with loses exceeding $1 billion each across the US resulting in 362 deaths and at an economic cost of over $306 billion. This doesn’t even include the indirect costs of these disasters. As we live climate change we need to redefine the words “natural” disasters.

The EPA’s stated mission is to “protect human health and the environment,” not to help companies avoid costs and compliance with regulations that would in fact, if implemented “protect human health and the environment.” The costs of NOT addressing carbon pollution are huge and significant. The costs must be factored in to EPA decisions about regulating carbon from power plants and implementing the Clean Power Plan.

You have the science, and the facts before you, which are very clear on why we must regulate greenhouse gases, and in particular carbon pollution from power plants. These facts only become more clear with each passing year and are why, governments and international organizations the world over, are pulling away from investments in fossil fuels. This past fall, the World Bank stated it will no longer invest nor support fossil fuel projects, and many banks, investment companies and governments are divesting from fossil fuel projects, after risk assessments show these investments to be destabilizing and potential catastrophic. Yet, this administration is “doubling down” on fossil fuels and the EPA, an agency set up to protect our health and environment seems to be giving “cover” to these bad investments.

Below are some personal reflections, echoed in many similar ways by our ClimateMama members about how the lack of regulation for greenhouse gas pollutants is threatening our children’s health, welfare, future and their lives.

As a mother, I am desperately concerned for my children’s future and their NOW which is threatened by climate change. The EPA, if funded appropriately and tasked with it’s role, has a unique opportunity to have a huge, direct positive impact on my children’s future, by enforcing the Clean Power Plan, and instead of dismantling it, making it stronger and more impactful.

This past fall was the 5th Anniversary of Superstorm Sandy; last week we saw what a “bomb cyclone” did to Boston, with a storm surge previously unseen previously, yet a harbinger of things to come for cities like Boston and New York. Climate is creating the conditions, rising sea levels and warmer oceans that turned storms like Sandy, and the hurricanes that Houston, Puerto Rico and the Florida Keys faced this fall into “super storms.” These climate impacts, will only get worse over time, as will the costs to us all for recovering from them.

Health impacts from climate change are directly hurting my family. My son has developed seasonal asthma. Both my husband and son have severe poison ivy allergies. My daughter has breathing problems, exacerbated by heat extremes. A dear friend on Long Island was stricken with West Nile virus, and her daughter, sickened by Lyme disease The World Health Organization has told us that air pollution is a carcinogen and perhaps the greatest threat to human health. We know that power plants are one of THE major contributors to air pollution today. My husband is an oncologist, he is already much too busy.

How many more scientific studies and major reports do we need to see, which continue to confirm with 95% or greater certainty that we humans are causing our climate to change, before we take action? We know that burning fossil fuels is a key reason our changing climate, and cutting carbon pollution is critical to allow our planet to begin to heal. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has given us a carbon budget, which, if we continue on our current path, we cannot meet. While our government budget “wars” are just “heating up” our carbon budget remains a battle that our government doesn’t seem to want to recognize or confront. Yet, for my children and their future, this is a budget that is infinitely more important, hugely more costly, and intimately tied to our country financial health and to the financial health of the global economy.

We need to recognize and acknowledge the true cost of carbon pollution, which is a huge economic burden on our country. The Clean Power Plan needs to be updated and strengthened, not dismantled. In hindsight, we now know that including gas, a fossil fuel, as an option within the Clean Power Plan was and remains, a serious mistake. Science is clearly showing us that gas is a plank leading to a steep cliff and a bridge to nowhere. Fix the Clean Power Plan, don’t repeal it. Carry out the EPA’s stated mission, to protect human health and the environment. Enact strong carbon pollution standards. Global warming pollution and its impacts are creating social, economic, and moral costs that we are passing on to our children. Their future and ours, depends on what we do now.

Thank you,

Harriet Shugarman, Executive Director, ClimateMama



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2018 is marching in full force and demanding not to be ignored! Record cold weather across the country, a San Francisco earthquake and a “bomb cyclone” impacting over 120 million US residents – and we are only 4 days into the new year.

Mother Nature certainly seems to be reminding us, in no uncertain terms, that she is wide awake, on the job and demanding that we stay  on our toes. As Climate Mamas and Papas, we know that 2018 will be a year for action, for adventure and for sharing and living by, our ClimateMama motto: “Tell the truth, actions speak louder than words, and don’t be afraid.”

Join us, as our Executive Director and Climate Mama extraordinaire, Harriet, shares a few of her reflections and personal highlights from 2017 and offers some words of wisdom as we begin our annual 365 day “revolution.” With all kidding aside, a revolution  may be exactly what we need!

2017 A Good Year?

Can I actually say that, 2017 was “A Good Year?” As we all take stock of 2017, numerous superlatives come to mind; is “good” one of them? “Great,” “Big” and “Huge” were certainly words we heard a lot. In many of the circles I traveled through, I also heard people speaking of bad dreams, nightmares, depression and deep and dark concerns for our democracy, our humanity and our very survival. Continue reading

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