We are thrilled to be part of the MomsRising Clean Air, Environmental Justice and Climate Change Blog Carnival. The Carnival brings together many different voices and amplifies our individual and collective fights for policies that will allow us to adapt to and lessen the worst impacts from climate change. The timing for this carnival is also serendipitous, as the world is gathering November 26-December 7th in Doha, Qatar to discuss and try to come up with some real and viable policy options for controlling runaway climate change. We need to show the world that as parents, we want a place at the table and we want our voices heard, for our children, their future and future generations as well.
Moms Rising to Fight Climate Change
As parents, each and every day we fight for and strive to protect the health and welfare of our children. It doesn’t matter if we live in the Bronx, Newark, Virginia Beach, Seattle, or Salt Lake City – our city of residence or size of home doesn’t define or quantify our love for our children.
There are many things, regardless of where we live that are within our direct control – for example – what we teach our children about right and wrong and standing up for what we believe in. We also do the best we can to control things like the foods that they eat, the clothes that they wear, access to medical care and what programs they watch on television and on line. Many things however that we would like to be able to control, like access to clean air, clean water and healthy foods are often things we feel that we don’t have a direct say in. Thse feelings of helplessness is something we need to step away from as we begin to connect the dots between clean air, water, food, clothing, a healthy environment and climate change, and our ability to flex our collective muscles and amplifying our collective and individual voices on climate change action.Climate change knows no boundaries, as those of us on the East Coast of the USA witnessed first hand recently. Superstorm Sandy damaged and in some cases destroyed our homes, pulled a “knock out punch” on much of our infrastructure – stopping trains, subways, destroying tunnels, bridges and roads – and took away our innocence, in a similar way that the 9/11 attacks did. We are forced to see the reality that no one can easily protect us and keep us safe from harm’s way in the face of climate change, and that here in the US, no one is really trying. Some of the hardest hit families from Superstorm Sandy were those living in the poorest neighborhoods – highlighting that environmental and climate justice are important issues that need to be acknowledged and discussed. Many of those with the smallest carbon footprint, be it in Queens, New York or Bamako, Mali, are often the most impacted and least able to protect and defend themselves and their families in the face of our changing climate.
We need to all begin to take control and show our children that there are concrete ways we can each be part of the fight for their health and welfare, even in the face of the scariest “boogie man of them all,” human-caused climate change. Here is our advice and three ways you can start talking to and showing your kids that climate change, clean air and a renewable future are priorities you are willing to fight for:1. Tell the truth – Speak out in the face of climate denialism. Climate change is real, it is happening and it is now. Ninety-eight percent of all climate scientists tell us humans are causing our climate to change and the main cause of this is human created greenhouse gases – carbon dioxide being the most potent of these greenhouse gases. Scientists tell us that by burning fossil fuels, coal, oil and gas, we are putting carbon dioxide into the air and causing our climate to change. We need to acknowledge this, tell the truth, and push our governments, local, state and national to move beyond carbon to a renewable energy future. Burning fossil fuels also put other particles into the air, creating pollution that makes the air our children breath dirty, causing innumerable health issues like asthma, as well.
2. Actions speak louder then words – SHOW your kids, your friends, your family and your neighbors that you care about a healthy future for your kids. Do this by making personal choices through the foods and products you buy, by the policies and politicians you vote for and by becoming an activist in your own community for causes you believe in.
3. Don’t be afraid – Fighting climate change is SCARY. But putting our heads in the sand, ignoring reality won’t make it go away. By individual actions and raising our collective voices we can make a difference, one policy, program, town, pipeline and law at a time. We DO need big, collective actions, but each victory helps us feel more empowered and emboldened and able to believe that a clean, healthy future is a real and viable option for all of us.
Thanks MomsRising, for helping bring our voices together in the epic battle we are in for clean air and a healthy and renewable future for us all. We need to be fighting from many different vantage points and on many different issues but we also need to recognize our collective power and “connect the dots” as we are “all in this” together.