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.
Our march will be uplifting, visual and resolute. It will involve:
✓ Eleven eleven-year old children leading the march, representing the 11 year window to act on the climate emergency ✓ An oversized pushchair carrying the globe to represent the theme of protecting our planet and children’s future ✓ A mum’s choir, drummers, and families on stilts ✓ Inspirational female speakers, including grassroots activists
Quotes From Our Mums…Why Are We Rising Up
My knees buckled from under me when I read the IPCC report. From that grief I have found a relentless drive to protect my child, our children, with every ounce of energy I have left. Chryso, mum to Tej (9), Teaching Assistant and Artist, East Sussex
As a doctor for children what I do day-to-day at work is largely futile if these children have no safe future on this planet. Taking action on climate change will benefit millions of people globally and is therefore more worthy than my work as a doctor. Jenny, mum to Jonas (9), Rowan (6) and a newborn, Pediatrician, Gloucestershire
Climate change is terrifying, it is scary… I am not scared to fight though. I don’t want to wait to see what happens when my son, when our children grow up. I want to do something about it now. Elif, Mum to Mert (11), Head of Operations, London
I read the IPCC report last year and felt like my world had fallen apart. I wept for my son’s future and the only thing that helped me cope with the despair was to get out there and to do something/anything to make a difference. Emma, mum to Elliot (11), Voice Actor, London
I’m a life-long campaigner and, until recently, I was focused on what felt like the most urgent: conflict, refugees, racism, the NHS. But any progress we’ve made to create a better society will be ended and destroyed by climate breakdown…Social justice and climate justice are two sides of the same coin. Maya, mum to Talya (7), Jacob (5) and baby Emi, Charity Worker, London
Meeting other mums who understood the crisis humans are in was a relief. My motivation is not only my children, but also the people of the global South who are disproportionately harmed by climate chaos, the people who have made the least contribution to it and yet already suffer the most. Sarah, mum to Isla (10) and Dylan (6), Doctor, Brighton
I’m not a mother in the traditional way, but I am a carer and nurturer of many young people in my life, and I am part of this movement because I care for us all, because it’s urgent, and because we need radical care if we are to continue together on this planet. Tessa, Professor, Norwich
The thought of my kids getting to my age and having to live through this avoidable catastrophe as parents is so upsetting that I can’t even bring myself to fully think about it. We can’t do this on our own: it’s time for collective action. It’s time for radical policy change. It’s time to listen. I’m hoping this march will be at the start of something broad ranging and radical. Something we can all get on board with, whatever our starting points, or political affiliations. That’s why I’m marching. Catherine, mum to Max (10) and Evie (8), Science Communication, London
As a mother I know that no amount that I do in my individual life can stop climate change. We need our governments to act. The solutions exist – they are just not implementing them. They are putting short term gain ahead of our children’s future and ultimately our planet. I’m marching to tell them I want action now. All MPs bear a moral responsibility to take the urgent action that’s required. It’s not an option. It’s mandatory. And by marching we are giving them the mandate to act. Jennifer, mum to Jack (25), Theo (24) and Arlo (9), writer and journalist, London
Join Mothers Rise UP in a solidarity moment, march or shout out on Mother’s Day May 12th, wherever you are. Share this post, follow and share Mothers Rise UP social media from their Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.
Happy Earth Day and thank you for what YOU do each and every day. Take some time today to celebrate Earth Day with the children in your life, ask your children, and share with them, some of the awe inspiring moments, creatures and creations that inspire you both. Is it the rise of the sun and the warmth of its light as it comes through your bedroom window each morning? Is it the ant that seems to carry things hundreds of times its weight, with ease? Is it the robin, finding the worm in the crack of a busy city sidewalk, or the flower the blooms from that same crack too? Be in awe of nature, our planet is complex, inexplicable and awe inspiring. Take time today and each and every day, to cherish it and to be inspired.
As Climate Mamas and Papas we know that quickly and systematically – knowingly and unknowingly – we are taking our planet apart, piece by piece. She is angry and showing us in so many ways that we must not ignore her, we must pay attentions. She will survive. Will we? With mums like those from Mothers Rise Up, with youth from Zero Hour, Climate Strikes, the Sunrise Movement and Extinction Rebellion we are waking up and waking others up too. And, with Climate Mamas and Papas like each of you, who keep going every day, who keep remind us through our daily actions, and calls to action – we have hope which is built on action and resolve.
With enduring gratitude,
Your Climate Mama