Mother’s Day 2022: I have been a mother for over 24 years; first to my son and then to my daughter. I have been a full time climate educator, policy analyst and activist for 15 of those 24 years. Understanding the connections between our climate crisis, climate and environmental justice, equality and equity, public education, universal health care, access to healthy food & clean water, voting rights, marriage, racial and gender equality has been a learning process; it has taken time for me to absorb and connect the dots. I fully understand that awakening to these important rights and recognizing their interconnections isn’t always obvious; it requires contemplation, education, and discussion. Our motto at ClimateMama is: “tell the truth, actions speak louder than words, don’t be afraid.” I try each day to live by this motto. I believe my children understand and see this and that growing up and now, they know I am doing the best I can.
The truth is, in 2022 we in the USA and in many other places around the world, are facing a democracy crisis and a climate emergency; these two crises are tightly interconnected. There can be no climate justice without reproductive freedom. Clear and identifiable forces are at work trying to disrupt our freedoms, including our right to privacy and to decide what happens to our own bodies, as well as to keep us addicted to fossil fuels. In many cases, these forces are one and the same. As a mother, I see both my children’s future and now threatened by these entwined emergencies and by those who seek to push forward their own agendas and short term profits. Instead we should be coming together, recognizing the huge and ever-present threats we will face for the rest of our lives from our climate emergency. These require that we stand strong for those long term protections that will help insure our health and safety, that which we can have control over, as we prepare to face Mother Nature’s wrath head on. I see and feel the transition we are in – the turning point we are at; we are gaining ground on achieving these protections, and the forces that don’t want us to succeed know it and are pulling out all the stops to halt our progress.
For those of us in the United States, CONNECT THE DOTS. The attempt by the Supreme Court, to control our bodies and the bodies of our daughters, sisters, friends and aunts, is a threat to us all. We have had federal protection and recognition of this right for 50 years, ceding control to the states is a step backwards, inequitable, and unfair. Just as we need to have federal protection of the air we breath and the water we drink. These rights too remain unclear and need to be strengthened. In an upcoming decision these rights are in jeopardy and under threat, at the whim of a politicized and partisan Supreme Court. Follow the EPA vs West Virginia case, the decision of which is eminent as the court rules on the right to regulate greenhouse gases, states vs the federal government. The body of our Mother Earth is overtly being threatened, she needs our protection too.
How we vote matters, and we are seeing this now. What we do now matters. Showing our children, that standing up for justice, equity, choice, privacy and fairness is a worthy discussion. Today, on Mother’s Day and every day – as a Mother’s Day present to you, your mother, or other mothers in your life – have this discussion with the kids in your life, listen, hear and discuss their opinions. Discuss the interconnectedness, the inequity in these potential decisions being made at the federal level, and remind them of the importance of protecting all mothers, including our mother earth.
For those of you outside of the USA, looking in, understand that our country is at a turning point, and change comes with struggles. The USA has many problems and yet provides many opportunities, freedoms and choices. I firmly believe we will find our way through this current challenge, in a way that ultimately protects all of us; building active hope for a stronger, safer, and healthier future. But getting there will be messy, challenging and at times disappointing, frustrating, sad, and ugly. Democracy is worth fighting for, and we are in a great battle. Know that there are so many fighting every day. Battles are won and lost, but we are not backing down. Equality, justice and a safe and healthy climate are the ultimate prizes, and everyone deserves to have these.
With love and in reflection,
Your Climate Mama,
Supreme Court Photo by Gayatri Malhotra on Unsplash