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.
2017 Harriet’s Monthly Highlights:
January: Women’s Marches around the country and the world. I marched in Washington DC, with 3 generations of my family, my children’s elementary school principal and with colleagues and dear friends from WECAN and with the Women’s March Climate Justice Contingent.
February: I delivered a statement to the Delaware River Basin Commission calling for a ban on fracking in the basin.
March: Climate Reality Project Colorado Training. I was a mentor at the training and was also honored to “welcome” our trainees on the first morning of our program, following Al Gore and Former Governor Bill Ritter.
April: Science Marches and Climate Marches. I Marched in the New York City Science March and in Washington at the Climate March.
May: I was pleased to be invited to tour the Woods Hole Research Ship, the Neal Armstrong, on it’s inaugural NYC fleet week visit.
June: Speaking to NJ legislators at the NJ State House on climate solutions.
July: Honored to be profiled in the Mr. Gore’s book, An Inconvenient Sequel Truth to Power; released in July.
August: Traveled to Botswana with my family and went on Safari. A life-long dream come true.
September: UN Climate Week including UN visit to Digital Meeting Zone and Global “Goals” event in Brooklyn, meeting Game of Thornes Star, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau.
October: Surprised and so incredibly honored to be presented with the Climate Reality Green Ring Award by Al Gore at our Climate Reality Project Training in Pittsburgh PA.
November: Hosted and organized day long women’s retreat, with Green Diva Meg, on how to deal with the emotional impacts of climate change.
December: Out of the blue, informed that I was one of 13 women selected by Next Tribe, as their Women of the Year. I am humbled to be included in this powerful group of women.
With many personal honors and personal firsts this past year, at times I experienced what I am told is called, “imposter syndrome”. Have you ever had that feeling? I imagine we all feel this way at times; questioning ourselves, our abilities, and our actions. Why me, when there are so many amazing people out there, doing WAY more incredible things then me? While, I have come to the conclusion, why NOT me! We each do what we can and then some. So, when positive acknowledgements of our actions are offered, we should accept these acknowledgements with thanks and not question why or doubt ourselves…I hope you will follow my lead on this one in 2018.
As we live climate change, we all need to do everything we can. We need to do everything, at the same time. In 2017, Paul Hawken’s book Drawdown was released, with the 100 top solutions to climate change. Hawken’s advice, as I interpreted it was: focus on what you are passionate about. There are so many options out there and so many areas requiring our attention – all of which are intertwined and inter-connected. If we each take on those challenges we feel called to, then – I firmly believe – we will be successful in slowing down climate change, and hopefully turning it into a chronic condition rather than a fatal one.
I believe that we all can and must be activists in our own communities; “owning” the word activist which will mean different things to each of us. We need to do what we can to ensure that thoughtful candidates, with clearly defined climate action plans, run for office at every level of government. And, we can and must work on getting people of all ages out to the polls to vote in November 2018 – with climate action, a key demand of all elected officials.
Finally, while we are on the topic of great ideas, here are 3 New Year resolutions that YOU can put into practice immediately (I have!). These ideas come to us from one of my favorite Climate Mamas, Katharine Hayhoe.
In a New Years post, Katharine suggests each of us:
- Talk about Climate Change – hardly anyone does!
- Step on the carbon scales and reduce all you can. I like http://coolclimate.berkeley.edu/calculator
- 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. Send us your 2017 highlights, and your hopes and ideas for 2018~