Quantcast

Flexing Our Citizen Muscles

Energy

Annie Leonard

I'm at the White House in Washington, D.C. today, at a forum on social innovation, talking about the importance of flexing our citizen muscles.

As you know, I've been talking a lot about the power of citizens to make change in the run up to the release of our new movie—The Story of Change—on July 17.

But it's a particular honor to present these ideas—and a clip of our movie—at the White House this week, because tomorrow is July 4, the day we in the U.S. celebrate our independence.

Truth be told, I love July 4—yes, for the barbecues and fireworks, but mainly for the celebration of freedom and call to engaged citizenship that is integral to the day.

Today, in honor of that call, we're releasing a new podcast featuring interviews with a group of leading change-makers—from Van Jones to Charlotte Brody to Ralph Nader—talking about what it means to be a citizen.

As Eric Liu, who co-authored The Gardens of Democracy with Nick Hanauer, put it to me: "The purpose of citizenship is to force this country to live up, a little bit more than it did yesterday, to its stated creed of liberty and equality for all."

So if you're celebrating tomorrow, enjoy the picnics and fireworks.

But while we're gathered, let's also commit to strengthening our citizen muscles and working together to make some serious change in the year ahead.

You can watch the live stream of the White House forum I'm participating in starting at 1 p.m. Eastern today. My panel is scheduled to start at 2:45 p.m. Eastern time.

 

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Pexels

By Tim Lydon

Climate-related disasters are on the rise, and carbon emissions are soaring. Parents today face the unprecedented challenge of raising children somehow prepared for a planetary emergency that may last their lifetimes. Few guidebooks are on the shelves for this one, yet, but experts do have advice. And in a bit of happy news, it includes strategies already widely recognized as good for kids.

Read More
Pexels

Be it Nina Simone and James Brown for civil rights, Joni Mitchell and Marvin Gaye for the environment, or Jackson Browne and Buffalo Springfield for nuclear disarmament, musicians have long helped push social movements into the limelight.

Read More
Sponsored
Yulia Lisitsa / iStock / Getty Images Plus

By Brianna Elliott, RD

Collagen is the most abundant protein in your body.

It is the major component of connective tissues that make up several body parts, including tendons, ligaments, skin, and muscles.

Read More
Greenpeace activists unfurl banners after building a wood and card 'oil pipeline' outside the Canadian High Commission, Canada House, to protest against the Trudeau government's plans to build an oil pipeline in British Colombia on April 18, 2018 in London. Chris J Ratcliffe / Getty Images

By Jessica Corbett

In an open letter to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland, 42 Nobel laureates implored the federal government to "act with the moral clarity required" to tackle the global climate crisis and stop Teck Resources' proposed Frontier tar sands mine.

Read More
Mapping Urban Heat through Portland State University / video

Concrete and asphalt absorb the sun's energy. So when a heat wave strikes, city neighborhoods with few trees and lots of black pavement can get hotter than other areas — a lot hotter.

Read More