On the streets of London 5/12/19 @mothersriseup

Happy Mothers day to all our Climate Mamas, across the US, Canada, the UK and the world. Every day, you show your children and all of us, how much you love them by demanding climate action, by talking about our climate crisis, by showing you are unafraid of the scariest, most dangerous and most powerful thing any of us will face in our lifetime, the climate emergency we are living now.

We wanted to share with you what some amazing UK climate mamas  are up to this Mothers Day – moms and dads with @MothersRiseUp are marching through the streets of London,  for their children and ours.  Why?

From the mums at Mothers Rise Up:

“This is for the mother who knows climate change is personal. For the mother who can’t hold her children tight enough when she thinks of their future. This is for the mother who has had enough of feeling helpless. For the mother who can bear the inaction of our government no longer. This is for the mother who may have never marched before, but whose feet are already moving. This is your march!

There is nothing more powerful than a mother’s instinct to protect her child!

But this is not just for Mums! We welcome anyone who is moved by love for a child and by love for our planet to protest: grandmothers, aunties, godparents, child-minders, friends; those yet to have children, those who can’t and those who have chosen not to. Equally, we welcome the support of fathers, grandfathers, uncles, brothers and friends. We all make a difference. We are all custodians of our threatened home.”

While many of us can’t be in the streets of London, we can lend our support, our thanks and our love. One way we can do this is to talk with our kids this mothers day (and everyday) about why we give so much of our time and energy to raising attention and acting on our climate crisis.  Another way is to take action, here are 3 ideas for crafts and project to do with the kids in your life.

From Australia via Dr. Heidi Edmonds

3 Art and Craft Projects to do with your children:

  1. Create a skit, a diorama, a display with your children incorporating their favorite toys, set this up with some handmade signs, take a picture and share it with your friends, your family and with us.
  2. While we teach our children to clean up their messes, sometimes its fun to make them together too! Get out some paint, and have your child make some handprints, including one on your hand, then take a picture of their hand in yours. Share this with us too.
  3. Make a poster in solidarity with a march, a rally an event that is happening in your

    photo used with permission, @ErikMcGreggor

    area. The students in Ridgefield NJ spent Saturday, May 12th making posters for a March on May 18th in their hometown. As elders and parents, join your children who are striking, marching and rallying for their future, their now, and ours.

 

Our Climate Mama Motto: Tell the truth, actions speak louder than words, don’t be afraid.

Happy Mothers Day,

 

From YOUR Climate Mama

 

P.S. Check out Our Kids Climate, a place where many parent groups from around the world are coalescing and sharing our hopes, our dreams and our actions for our children and yours.

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Inspired by this Christmas Eve 1968 photograph of our home taken from the Apollo 8 space mission, we celebrated the first Earth Day, two years later in 1970. Almost 50 years later, our planet is healthier in some respects than she was then, and yet infinitely worse. Of course, the Earth – our home – has been here for billions of years and will continue to be here well into the future.  The question, as we enter the epoch of the Anthropocene, is: “Will we?”

The good news from our ClimateMama vantage point  is that we see and feel that so many more people are engaged, aware and taking action to protect our species and all species,  to be kinder to our planet, and to recognize the emergency that we face. As we live our climate crisis, our actions – the burning and mining of fossil fuels, industrial agriculture, and deforestation, to name the “big three” – have put our species and many others in mortal danger. Scientists tell us we have entered the 6th mass extinction of our planet and have only 11 years to dramatically turn things around – yet so many are still asleep at the wheel. Be inspired, others are finally walking up and joining us!

We want to share with you a story of inspiring and uplifting Climate Mamas from the United Kingdom, Mothers Rise Up. These mums, like so many of our Climate Mamas and Papas rising up around the world, give us hope each and every day. We feel the transition and the coming transformation to a livable world that we are all helping to put in motion, it’s happening…  With the passion and actions of groups like Mothers Rise Up, we and our children will not only live climate change but we will find ways to thrive as well.

Who Are Mothers Rise Up? We are everyday mums. We are teachers, doctors, nurses, artists, charity workers. We are of diverse backgrounds, faiths and ethnicities. Some of us have been worrying about climate change for years; some of us are just now waking up to the crisis.

We try to reduce our family’s carbon footprint. But we know that a seismic shift is needed within the next decade to prevent catastrophic climate breakdown.

We are connected by love for our children and a resolution to act. As in nature, there is nothing more powerful than a mother’s instinct to protect her child.

We are inspired by the youth climate strikes, the wave of green activism and each other. Now, it’s time to send in the mommas! The future of our children and our home is at stake. And time is running out.

Our plan On 12 May, International Mother’s Day, we will come together and rise as a maternal force. With pushchairs and song, we will gather at Hyde Park Corner at 12 noon and march to Parliament Square and demand the government takes urgent, drastic action to address the climate crisis. Continue reading

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March 15 Student School Climate Strikes NYC City Hall

Our children are rising…are we? Around the world, led by an unlikely but heroic 16 year old from Sweden, each week on Friday – around the world – 10’s of thousands of students, many not old enough to vote, are taking to the streets. Our children are demanding Climate Action NOW. Inspired by the Florida Parkland students demanding action on sensible gun laws, our children are asking us to open our eyes and be sensible too – we need to treat our climate crisis with the urgency that an emergency call for; our house is on fire, we must act.

This video was created by Australian youth leaders, sharing their concerns, demands and calls for climate action. They sent their video to us, so we could share it with you. Please take a few minutes and watch it; share it with the children in your life! 

The good news is that we ARE listening, or at least many of us are, and we ARE finding many, many ways to take action now, and to help engage and empower other parents so they can respond to their children’s calls for help too. As Climate Mamas and Papas, we live by our motto: “Tell the truth, actions are louder than words, don’t be afraid.”

As part of our commitment to action, we are thrilled to share with you, the re-launch of an international coalition of parents, working to shine a light on our climate emergency and help others do so too. ClimateMama is a proud founding member of Our Kids Climate, which formally launched on April 11, 2019, at United Nations headquarters in NYC, through an event sponsored by The Permanent Mission of Austria to the United Nations and the Women’s International Forum. Organized by Dear Tomorrow   and Foraldravralet, in partnership with 18 parent organizations from around the world  – large and small –  the event highlighting the unique role of women and parents in developing innovative climate solutions.

The event featured a distinguished panel of speakers including: Gina McCarthy, former head of the EPA under Obama; H.E. Juliane Bogner Strauß – Minister of Women, Families and Youth of the Republic of Austria; Latica Tomašić-Kickert, President of the Women´s International Forum of the United Nations; Vanessa Hauc of Telemundo/NBC; Ngedikes Olai Uludong, Representative from Palau to the UN; Representative Donna Bullock of Pennsylvania, and Jill Kubit, co-founder and director of DearTomorrow.

In a packed room filled with a diverse crowd of climate advocates, parent leaders, international ambassadors, and teen activists, panelists made a bold call for climate action and emphasized the need to approach the issue from a deeply personal place of love for their children. You can watch a video of the event on UN TV here, and find out more about Our Kids Climate and our partner organizations here . Our position statement is below.

Our Kids Climate: Position Statement  (April, 2019)

WHO WE ARE

We are parents, grandparents, and families from around the world, and we are acting to protect the children we love – and children everywhere – from the threats posed by the current climate crisis and air pollution.

We are the uncompromising defenders of the most vulnerable children living where droughts, storms, sea level rise, flooding and heat waves are now getting even deadlier. And of children suffering from increasing health problems due to air and climate pollution, like asthma, allergies, and other respiratory illnesses.

We are supporting the children and youth all over the world who are demanding bold action to address the climate crisis through school strikes, lawsuits and other ways of making their voices heard.

We are using our parent power to ensure that all children have a right to a safe, healthy and fair future, today and tomorrow – a future full of hope and possibilities. And we will ensure that governments and companies are held to account.

WHAT’S THE PROBLEM?

Even though we know how to solve the climate crisis and we have the technological solutions, the transition of our societies is stalled. This is due to a lack of will from political leaders, companies clinging to old business models, and too little public pressure to change the status quo. This is what is destroying our climate system, on which life itself depends.

Today’s climate policies and commitments are set to take us to a world beyond 3℃ degrees of warming. This is undoubtedly putting all of humanity at risk. We simply cannot accept handing over such a world to our children.

The climate crisis is already harming our children today through deadlier droughts, storms, sea level rise, flooding and heat waves, and children are the most vulnerable to these disasters. They are also disproportionately impacted by the poverty, food insecurity, displacement, and psychological trauma that is caused by climate disasters. The effect of inaction is stark– more children will suffer harm and even death if we don’t act swiftly and decisively.

WHAT’S THE SOLUTION? 💚

We need to create a safe, healthy, and fair world for all children today and tomorrow. A world where our own children can grow up and dream of their future. A future filled with hope and possibilities.

To achieve this, we need transformative, science-based political, societal and business solutions that are strong enough to protect the children we love from an uncertain future of escalating climate change – a situation they neither have caused nor are responsible for.

We also need to systematically name and confront the powerful interests blocking climate action.  And we need more parents to rise up to protect the children we love – and children everywhere – from the climate crisis, and support the transition to a better tomorrow.

As parents, we will take actions in our own lives. We commit to shifting toward more sustainable ways of living, to actively engaging our communities, and to act politically.

We demand that leaders everywhere step up and make a #ClimatePromise for our kids.

  1. Commit to treating climate change as the global crisis that it is, to work to quickly stabilise global temperatures, and completely decarbonise our economies.

  2. Commit to working towards a rapid and just transition of our societies to clean, renewable energy and increase resilience to climate impacts, ensuring we support those countries, people and groups most vulnerable to the effects of climate change.

  3. Commit to challenging the governments and companies that are clinging to unsustainable business models, making sure they work to secure a thriving future for all humanity.

The transition of our societies will in the long-term mean a better future for all of us. It will mean cleaner air, thriving ecosystems and healthier people.

Handing over a liveable world where the next generation can thrive is our moral responsibility as caretakers of our children, and this is a matter of justice for children everywhere. We will use the power of the love for our children, our collective voices and our votes to drive transformational change.

The time to act is right now.

 

Warmly,

 

 

Your Climate Mama, Harriet

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Earth Hour has been raising attention to the unfolding climate crisis since 2007, helping millions on their journey to understand the reality and urgency of the climate crisis we face. In 2018, Earth Hour was celebrated in over 180 countries. Earth Hour has helped empower people to take action well beyond the “day” too; from pushing for environmentally-friendly laws and policies to crowdfunding for a better future,  each one of us helps push the boulder up the hill on climate solutions, and also helps slow it down when it begins to roll back. We know our Climate Mamas and Papas embrace “Earth Hour” each hour of every day. As with Earth Day, on April 22nd, Earth Hour provides a platform to remind so many others to join us in our life long journey as we all live climate change.

So, join us on Saturday, March 30th at 8.30PM your local time and invite your friends, your family and your community to switch off the lights and speak up on climate solutions, hopes and actions. Together when millions of people come together at the same moment, the universe feels it!

With the kids in your life, pledge to work on climate solutions at Voice for the Planet, and follow up in weekly family meeting to see how each family member is doing.  Learn more at the Earth Hour website and share the Earth Hour tools with your family, students, teachers, and broader community.

Yours,

Climate Mama

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Balzano, Northern Italy, February 2019

On March 15th, 2019 around the world, young students from grade school through college will  walk out of class to demand action on our climate crisis. There is a saying that begins, “out of the mouths of babes…” implying our children tell it like it is, with no pretext –  just the truth. At ClimateMama we have been working with children and their parents on actions to address the climate crisis for 10 years. Over this past year we feel there has been a transformative shift in public recognition of the urgency of our climate crisis, being led – in large part –  by our children.  One important “spark” has been the “Fridays for the Future” strikes started in August 2018 by Greta Thunberg, a young Swedish student. Greta has ignited a youth movement which has swept across Europe and is now spreading across the world. Children too young to vote are demanding real and sustained action on our climate crisis, NOW.

We are thrilled to share with you a post by a high school student from New Jersey, Alani Rose, who is organizing school strikes across New Jersey. Be prepared to be inspired! And also, consider attending one of the school strikes near you, in New Jersey or wherever you are across the country or the world.  As parents and elders deeply concerned about the climate crisis, it is our responsibility to support our children, however and wherever needed. We all will be living climate change for the rest of our lives and we all need to be doing what we can to create solutions. 

YOUTH DEMAND CLIMATE ACTION

by Alani Rose

We, the youth, have had enough. It is time for our world leaders to take action by preventing a serious environmental catastrophe that scientists have proven to arise within the next 11 years. That is why students around the globe will be striking school on Friday, March 15, to join forces and take action against climate change.

 The US Youth Climate Strike is a completely youth-led organization working to help organize school strikes across the nation.

 Our mission statement:

We, the youth of America, are striking because decades of inaction has left us with just 11 years to change the trajectory of the worst effects of climate change, according to the Oct 2018 UN IPCC Report.

We are striking because our world leaders have yet to acknowledge, prioritize, or properly address our climate crisis.

We are striking because marginalized communities across our nation —especially communities of color, disabled communities, and low- income communities— are already disproportionately impacted by climate change.

We are striking because if the social order is disrupted by our refusal to attend school, then the system is forced to face the climate crisis and enact change. With our futures at stake, we call for radical legislative action to combat climate change and its countless detrimental effects on the American people.

We are striking for the Green New Deal, for a fair and just transition to a 100% renewable economy, and for ending the creation of additional fossil fuel infrastructure.

Additionally, we believe the climate crisis should be declared a national emergency because we are running out of time.

I, being a senior in high school am striking because I believe the most important thing for our nation to prioritize is climate change. So many people I encounter in my daily life seem to not understand the drastic effects and consequences that global warming has and will cause.  By a majority of humans turning a blind eye to these serious changes, the future of our youth is in jeopardy.  It is time for us to stand up, just as Greta Thunberg (a 16-year-old Swedish activist who started striking school to stand outside the Swedish parliament to bring action to the massive climate issue) is; and put this environmental crisis before our systematic education. Tens of thousands of students now stand beside her from all across the globe. And you will see and hear us on March 15.

 Spread the word to YOUTH in your communities to join the movement, and attend one of the NJ Climate Strike rallies in Trenton, Morristown, Newark, Princeton, or Edison. We encourage our non-youth supporters to join us on March 15 as well! The rallies will take place in these towns for students and supporters to gather, take action in our local governments, hear speakers, and rally for change on how we are to address this crisis as a nation.

More information can be found at https://www.youthclimatestrikeus.org/strikes.

Instagram: @climatestrikenj

Twitter: @njclimatestrike.


As we are a youth-led organization, monetary support is highly appreciated. Click Here to donate.

We are currently in search of youth and professional speakers for all our NJ rallies. if interested, please fill out this form Here.

 Morristown Youth Climate Strike:  12pm on the Lawn of Morristown Town Hall. See the facebook event page Here.

 Any questions, advice, or for more information on the MORRISTOWN strike, you can contact me at alani.rose7 (at) gmail.com.

 I will be striking March 15, will you?

 Alani Rose is a NJ High School Senior

 

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Happy Valentines Day!

Yes, a holiday made more commercial by companies, but a day none the less to remind those we love, that we do indeed love them.

So, to all our Climate Mamas and Papas, we send you much love and thanks. Thank you for all you do everyday to help move us forward on climate action, one step at a time. We love our Climate Mama and Papa community!

As a Valentines gift, we want to share with you a short primer on the “Green New Deal” by our friends at the Years Project.  

There is a lot being said about the proposed Green New Deal, and already we are seeing and hearing a lot of “push back.” This isn’t something we should be afraid of, nor in our opinion do we feel that it is something we need to get “just right” before we jump in. For us, the main takeaway is that this proposed draft resolution by Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Senator Edward J. Markey  – which already has over 70 co-sponsors – serves as a first step “to define the problem and the scope of the solutions;” as Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez reminds us in this video.  The draft, non-binding resolution has already led to serious discussions on the climate crisis and has started more serious conversations about what we all must do to help find ways to build solutions that will include and impact us all. ClimateMama is proud to have been one of the first 600 organizations to sign on to a letter urging our elected officials to support visionary action on climate legislation leading to support for a Green New Deal.

This weekend, take some time with the kids in your life to write”love letters” to our elected officials. You can find the address of your member of Congress here.  

Send them a belated valentines card that asks them to:

  1. Sign on to the Green New Deal and be part of a hopeful future for us all.
  2. Demand that our elected officials put into law sensible gun regulations. Valentines Day 2019  is the first Anniversary of the Parkland shootings. Our hearts still break. We as a nation have already agreed that we need sensible gun laws. Why aren’t these laws in place?

With love,

 

YOUR Climate Mama

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As the California fires from late 2018 fade to distant memories for some, the realities of their destructive forces live on for so many in the impacted region. As with many impacts of our climate crisis, those of us in the USA and other developed countries seem adept at hiding the destruction in “plain sight,” or temporarily “fixing” the immediate problems and moving on. We know that 2018 was the 4thwarmest year since we have been keeping records and 18 of the 19 warmest years have been in this century. Puerto Rico, Houston, Key West, Malibu, Staten Island, just a few of the many places in the USA ravaged by extreme weather events made worse by climate change continue their recoveries out of the media spotlight. Some places like Paradise, CA will never be able to recover.

As Climate Mamas and Papas, we are keenly aware of these facts and our every growing climate crisis. We know it will take all of us – working collectively – to give our children a chance at a livable future where they can also thrive, not just survive. So how do we reach more and more people who can join our collective actions? One way is through music and art.

We were thrilled when singer and songwriter Eric John Kaiser contacted us. Eric is a professional and independent French singer songwriter, originally from Paris, France now based in Portland, Oregon.

In 2017,  the Eagle Creek Fire in the Columbia River Gorge area near Portland, OR devastated over 50,000 acres and lasted for 3 months. While the fire was started by a person, the impacts were made infinitely worse because of climate change. Smoke covered the city of Portland for weeks. Many people stayed inside because of the bad air quality. Eric had never experienced anything like this before. It was heartbreaking for him. So, in order to increase awareness and give the climate crisis greater exposure, Eric decided to create a music video that would also serve to raise funds for “The Friends of the Columbia Gorge.”

You can watch the video here:

Eric is an uncle, with several nieces and nephews. He is passionately concerned about their future and now. You can learn more about Eric at his website.

We need a multitude of ways to reach people across party lines, ethnic and cultural identities, regional and national locations. Music and the arts broadly are important avenues for crossing these divides.

Yours,

 

Climate Mama

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“I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. That is why right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil triumphant.”

Martin Luther King Jr, Nobel Peace Prize Acceptance Speech, Dec. 10, 1964

Today, January 21st, 2019 across the country and around the world, people are gathering to learn, to remember, and to respect the enduring legacy and wisdom of Martin Luther King.

Throughout the year, many of our Climate Mamas and Papas remind me that they are regularly inspired, motivated and emboldened by Dr. King’s words. Dr. King, to many of us, was a Climate Solutions visionary. The problems of our climate crisis where in their infancy, yet his wise words can help us move forward as we build out determination to solve the crisis before us, and give our children a chance at a livable and sustainable future. For me, always pushing me forward, the following words echo incessantly in my head:

“We are confronted with the fierce urgency of now….

Over the bleached bones and jumbled residues of numerous civilizations are written the pathetic words:

TOO LATE.”

This photo of my son and I was taken back in the fall of 2011, when as a family, we visited Washington DC  to take part in a non-violent, peaceful demonstration where together with thousands of other families, we  surround the White House which was then under the watchful eye of President Obama and gave it  a “hug” and let him know that we needed his support to stop the Keystone XL pipeline. He did subsequently stop it’s construction, shortly after that event, and it has since then and over the years been an “on again, off again” infrastructure project. It continues to be fought to this day, in the courts and on the ground, on the farms, and particularly by Climate Mamas and Papas standing strong on the land, in  the state of Nebraska.

In honor of Dr. King, We offer a few ideas that we each can take on, as we move forward to advance climate action and build up our collective climate hope. We think that Dr. King would have supported our calls and steps forward on climate action.

  1. On the battle over the Keystone XL, which we have been fighting through non-violent direct action for over 7 years, lets finally and permanently demand that our courts aided by the court of public opinion,  refuse permits for the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline.
  2. Publicly support and advocate for a carbon fee that will generate hundreds of billions of dollars, with provisions to ensure that working families and the poor are not harmed by higher carbon prices; for an end to subsidies to the coal, oil and gas industries; and for substantial subsidies for research, development, and use of renewable, sustainable and jobs-creating clean energy sources.
  3. In honor of Dr. King, call a family meeting tonight, tomorrow or next weekend, and talk to about the reasons your family is demanding action on climate change and what you are going to do directly, whatever your motivations. We all need to “be on board” and demand action now. Our planet isn’t waiting.
  4. With new candidates for President in 2020 stating their intentions to run, almost every day, stand up for your kids, and make sure anyone that wants to be President clearly knows that “tackling the Climate Crisis” as THE priority of so many Americans, and must be at the top of their campaign initiatives. Remind them of Dr. King’s wise words:  “Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.” Let them know it’s time to “get smart” about the climate crisis. 
  5. As part of your upcoming family meeting, or a subsequent one, have everyone make a Valentines Card, and send it to your newly elected Congressperson, Senator, State Representative or local leaders. Let them know you are interested and will be calling on them to share their climate plan for your town, region, state and for our country. Tell them that solutions to the climate crisis are your priority and you want to know that it is their too. (If it’s your card, as a parent or grandparent, consider including a cute photo of your child or grandchild, as a reminder about why we are asking them to be our Valentines and our Climate Heroes.)

Feel free to also send to us, at info.climatemama.com, your name, home town and zip code and we will add your name to a ClimateMama Valentines Card we are making for both Senator McConnell and Speaker Pelosi, two decision makers who must show leadership and  have climate solutions on their minds, even if it isn’t yet part of  their daily  actions. ‘

We want to end by sharing these wise words from 2014, that Climate Mama extraordinaire, Eli Sparks of Virginia shared with us; they are as relevant and more today!

“Saving the world from pollution isn’t all up to me. I was simply stunned (by the reality of the climate crisis). Stunned and deeply saddened. Personal change is important. I’ve got friends who farm sustainably. Others who ride their bikes everywhere they go. I shop at the farmers market and turn off my lights when I’m not in the room. However, none of these steps will make a difference unless the big players step up to the plate. All of the likely climate heroes have started working on the problem. We need the unlikely climate heroes to emerge and lead.

We need congressmen and women with strong ties to coal, oil, and natural gas. We need politicians connected to the building industry, transportation, manufacturing, and electricity. We need statesmen and women respected by peers in their party. We need them to lead on this most challenging of issues.”

 

Let’s follow Eli’s advice and help our leaders LEAD!

 

Yours,

 

Climate Mama

.

 

 

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At the beginning of every year I think about setting “New Year Resolutions.” Sometimes I write them down. More often than not, while the New Year and new beginnings do always inspire me to think about setting lofty goals; the realities and pressures of day to day life set in immediately, and then my resolutions often quickly become “out of sight, out of mind” the rest of the year.

At the beginning of week two of 2019, I already feel the “pressures of the day” pulling at me. What about you?

So, before things get too far out of control, I want to share my “top 5” thoughts and  plans, hopes and resolutions for 2019.   I will check back in with you later this year and see what has stuck. Hold me too it! I do think that all are things I can work to make happen.

 

My 2019 resolutions are:

  1. Keep my passions alive, stay focused on these and forge ahead.
  2. Pick something hard to do, and make it happen. This past year I have been working on a book project, “Advice from Your Climate Mama.” This year, I want to see it published.
  3. Continue to promote transparency, facts and the reality of our climate crisis, countering the current politics in Washington that are trying to get in the way of science and truth.
  4. Introduce and work to create two new community-wide initiatives that promote environmental sustainability, in my own community.
  5. Hold family and friends close, make time for those who are important, stay in the moment, and treasure this time together.

At the beginning of 2018, we shared 3 goals from one of our favorite Climate Mamas, Climate Scientist Katharine Hayhoe.

Her suggestions remain wonderful and relevant. We are happy to share them again:

  1. Talk about Climate Change – hardly anyone does!
  2. Step on the carbon scales and reduce all you can. I like: Cool Climate 
  3. After reducing, offset what’s left. I like @climatestewards

Happy New Year to all our Climate Mamas and Papas!

Thank you for what you do everyday to give us hope that we will solve the climate crisis and create a livable future for our children.

Have you set any resolutions you want to share? Please let us know!

 

Yours,

 

Climate Mama

 

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United Nations

The climate news from scientists around the world has been dire. As the realities and urgencies of our climate crisis are brought to the forefront in reports like the IPCC Special Report  on Global Warming of 1.5 degrees, and the United States Fourth National Climate Assessment, it seems we are stuck in slow motion, instead of racing forward in high gear.  At the recent United Nations meeting on climate change, the loudest voices and demands for action were from our children (watch this 3 minute speech from COP24 by Greta Thunberg, a 15 year old Swedish climate activist). It seems that world leaders are still moving incrementally, not with the “out of the box thinking” and urgency that science and our planet are demanding.

So, instead of spiraling into hopelessness, anger and despair, let’s remember that there are so many, many good ideas, options and pathways we can take to continue to move forward, one step OR one giant leap at a time. Recently, Climate Mama extraordinaire Hélène, reached out to us to share her idea on advancing climate action with the speed, urgency and excitement it demands. We are thrilled to share this straightforward yet powerful idea with you.

Put simply, Hélène’s idea  is to establish a Climate Nobel Prize; the details of which are spelled out in more detail below. Parents like Hélène give us hope and the unwavering belief that we can and we will create a livable planet for us and for our children, one where we will not only survive, but thrive.

A Climate Nobel Prize

by Hélène Costa

When I read the Intergovernmental panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report back in October, I was in shock. I thought myself educated on climate change issues (I started my career working on carbon markets and taking part in the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change negotiations process). The reality check was hard: we need to reduce our emissions by half by 2030 and the world need to be carbon neutral by 2050, to avoid dire consequences. However, we are completely off-track. For the second year in a row, global emissions are projected to raise by 2,7% in 2018 and our window is closing fast to keep temperatures below 1,5 degree celsius above pre-industrial level.

That was a wake up call for my husband and I. We thought we were doing a great job in how we were keeping our  family carbon footprint in check, but we were wrong. We realized we had to commit and do more. Because if we were to give up, what would be next?” What would be next for our two kids, for our nieces and nephews, for their friends? What would be next for those kids in less privileged countries who will suffer twice, three time more?

So we had been brainstorming for all our date night this evening in early October, discussing how to ramp up our efforts faster, how to make our Family Climate Roadmap more stringent and effective. At the end of our dinner, I was in great angst and needed a break. Fun distraction: the Nobel Prizes were announced! So we chit chatted about the latest laureates. That was serendipitous!

Alfred Nobel in his will created the Prizes to be awarded to “those who, during the preceding year, have conferred the greatest be nefit to humankind”. Five initial categories were single out by Alfred Nobel: Physics, Chemistry, Medicine and Physiology, Literature, and Peace. When Nobel died on December 10th, 1896, climate change was not yet known nor comprehended. But today? we found asking ourselves. If Alfred Nobel had died today, would he have envisioned the creation of a Climate Prize the same way he wanted to honor the champions of Peace?

We believe he would because there is no greater benefit to mankind than to act against humanity’s most imminent threat: climate change. That’s why my husband and I decided to launch a petition to ask the Nobel Foundation Board to consider the creation a new Nobel Prize for Actions Against Climate Change.

How would this Nobel be different from the Peace Prize shared by Al Gore and the IPCC?

First, this Nobel would focus on actions. The Climate Nobel would reward those who, through exemplary actions or groundbreaking discoveries, are doing the most or best to tackle climate change through mitigation of emissions, removal of historic emissions in the atmosphere or adaptation.

Second, there is a need to keep the issue top of the agenda every year. There is only so much focus the Nobel Committees can put on climate change within the current six disciplines (the Prize in Economic Sciences administered by the Nobel Foundation was added in 1968). We cannot wait 11 years between the Peace Prize to the IPCC and the Economic Prize given to William Nordhaus (for his inclusion of climate change in economic models) this year.

Third, we need to act fast. So this Climate Prize will go back to the roots of the Nobel celebrating recent achievements or discoveries made “during the preceding year” or years.

Willingly or not, we are all in to take the challenge of a changing climate. We believe that a Nobel Prize for Actions against Climate Change, to honor and support those who are leading the way and inspiring all of us, would be the highest distinction humankind could bestow.

If you agree, please consider signing and sharing the petition here 

Hélène is a proud mom of 2 children,  living with her family in Seattle, WA. She is a former carbon markets analyst and former startup co-founder. She currently works at getting 1M signatures for a #ClimateNobel and at scaling up her Family Climate Roadmap 

Posted in Climate Mama News, Earth Day is Every Day, Politics, Science, Take a Stand: Action & Advocacy | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments