Climate Change Quotes: Women Leaders

Used with Permission: The Mothers Project Logo

Used with Permission: The Mothers Project Logo

As we live with climate change and as it relentlessly and incessantly rears it’s ugly head around the world, most people seem to be frozen in time and space, watching in paralyzed horror or ignoring what’s happening all together. Confidently and fiercely, a powerful few are not only rising to the challenges we face but are racing forward, leaping over the roadblocks and reaching backwards to pull us along with them.

We are so pleased to bring you the ideas, hopes and voices of 6 of these powerful Climate Mamas. In recognition of Mothers Day, 2016, these six special Climate Mamas from all over the United States have shared with us their thoughts for finding, walking and leading on “the road less travelled.” We are thrilled to share their wisdom with you.

Parisforkinroad“We stand now where two roads diverge. But unlike the roads in Robert Frost’s familiar poem, they are not equally fair. The road we have long been traveling is deceptively easy, a smooth superhighway on which we progress with great speed, but at its end lies disaster. The other fork of the road — the one less traveled by — offers our last, our only chance to reach a destination that assures the preservation of the earth.”

Rachel Carson, Marine Biologist, Conservationist, Writer


“Our points of view shift continuously throughout this journey we call life. Once we were new and saw the world in wonder. Slowly we may chain ourselves, or be chained, to one way – the easy way, the “usual” way. But then, when we become mothers we have the opportunity to again view the world as miraculous, but this time through our child’s eyes. What depth to joy and hope they give us! They remind us that the limits to our capacity are not determined by a single path, that we can always turn around, and that sometimes we must lose the path altogether and get lost in a new way of being. Our children are our teachers, they do not know or care of limits or of our past mistakes and in many ways we must learn this way again. Whatever path we choose moving forward, as individuals or as a collective species, we must leave our fears and insecurities at the crossroad, and become in this way like children again. Only then, will we be able to see the road clearly. The path I choose for myself and with my beautiful babies, is the one of no fear. It is how we will survive.”

Cherri Foytlin, Freelance Journalist, Author, Advocate, Speaker, South Louisiana
“Ten years ago, when my rascals were in diapers and I was in the midst of a
divorce, I realized that climate change posed a threat to my children’s health.
Listening to Fresh Air as Paul Epstein, MD of the Harvard School of Public Health
described the health effects of global warming pollution, I realized it wasn’t just
the polar bears, it was my kids in harm’s way. Dr. Epstein said he was heartened because he was part of an international community working to address this challenge. That day, I decided I had to join that community.

I did, and my fierce love has been propelling me forward ever since—even
though I’m a busy, self-employed single parent— as an ambassador for green.
My 11-year-old dude says things like “Mom, can you imagine a world where the
only energy is from wind and solar?” When my older son was in pre-school, he
drew a picture of a war over water and gasoline. I wrote a letter to then-Senator Obama about climate change. I got a phone call from his office.

All those moments make me smile. Do I have time? No. But I’m called to act on behalf of the children I love.”

“Dr. Sarah” Founder, Our Spheres Of Influence, Illinois

“The road less travelled invites a pioneering spirit and the technological innovations capable of uniting cultures around a common cause—resilience. On this road, everything is possible. Once forgotten landscapes come alive with windmills spinning breezes into clean electricity. Solar panels power remote villages, launching micro businesses and sustainable, just economies. Rolling waves desalinate seawater for coastal towns and cities. Frontline communities, so hard-hit by a century of epic fossil fuel extraction, rebound with blooming mountaintops and sweet, fragrant air. Tropical forests, wetlands, deserts, oceans and the animals that connect them thrive as the worldwide embrace of clean energy defines a “new normal” so beautiful and abundant that we not only never even consider looking back, but wonder why we didn’t take the turn earlier.”

Stacy Clark, Environmental Geologist, Teacher and Clean Energy Writer, Texas

“Where, after all, do universal rights begin?
In small places, close to home (…)
Unless these rights have meaning there,
they have little meaning anywhere.”
Eleanor Roosevelt

“Eleanor Roosevelt, the most significant First Lady, First Woman, First Mother of our time, certainly knew how to take the “road less traveled”. At a time when women were not in public or professional life in any significant way, she paved the way toward an idealistic future for America and the world, by breaking free from the role defined by her position as “wife” of the President. In 1948 her work, as chair of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, led to the creation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, later to be fully adopted by the UN General Assembly. This document spoke to every aspect of a free and wholesome society in which human life could thrive and it included the preservation of the earth and our human right to clean water and clean air.”

Angela Monti Fox, Founder, The Mothers Project, New York

“What a blessing to find this quote from Native American writer Linda Hogan: “You are the result of the love of thousands.” If we do nothing else this Mother’s Day, we should realize the potential that lies in our trembling hands for the thousands of generations yet to come. Or, not to come, if we destroy or render ineffective the dynamic natural ecosystems of air, water and soil on which our entire existence depends.

Australian naturalist John Seed describes us as being “tiny ephemeral blossoms on the Tree of Life.”

Instead of a floral bouquet for Mothers Day, please consider planting a flowering fruit tree in her honor/memory. These blossoms will both feed our vital pollinators and nourish our souls with beauty.”

Ina Warren, Freelance Naturalist, Lecturer and Educator, North Carolina

“The first obligation of every mother is to protect her children. We know when they are in harms way and that maternal mandate compels us to immediately sound the alarm. Around the world we see women sounding the alarm and leading the fight to save our environment. We know intuitively how interconnected we are to all life around us, to each other. Our addiction to fossil fuels and extreme energy extraction has become an existential threat to the health, well-being, and future of all children. If the patriarchal institutions of power finally begin to hear our alarms and ‘listen to Mom’, we might have a chance of saving human kind.”

Pramilla Malick, Journalist, Blogger, Community Organizer, New York

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