The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
Rev. Yearwood: How We Reach Critical Mass to Stop Climate Chaos
This upcoming weekend at the University of the District of Columbia Law School, Bill McKibben, Dr. Michael Dorsey, Lester Brown, Professor Mark Jacobson, Mustafa Ali from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Professor Phillip Harvey, Barbara Arnwine, Rev. Rodney Sadler, Jay Nightwolf, Krystal Williams, Joe Uehlein, Ted Glick, Chuck Rocha, Professor Joel Rogers, Nikisha Glover, Mike Ewall, Jeffrey Wolfe, Joel Segal, State Sen. Ben Ptashnik, Jacquelyn Patterson, Terrence Muhammad, Mark Magana, Dr. Gabriela Lemus, Leslie Fields, Andrea Miller and many, many more, will address these two central questions in a convening sponsored by People Demanding Action:
- How do we reach the political "critical mass'" to stop climate chaos, and simultaneously tackle poverty and its accompanying social inequities?
- The social ills that create poverty and accompanying social inequalities are created by the same mechanisms which thwart the proper response to climate change. How can we change them all together?
The objective of this convening is to build a movement of solidarity which includes climate crisis action and reestablishment of justice.
Many in the climate movement will agree that these questions must be answered, but will also wonder silently, why stop and deal with this question of building an inclusive climate movement now, when we are starting to win on so many fronts?
Last year was the biggest year of climate activism ever. More leaders from various sectors—from environmentalists and scientists, to CEOs and business leaders, to faith and moral leaders—are now lending their considerable influence to call for climate action at all levels of government, as well as in civic institutions and corporations.
Yet, to some degree, we are singing to the choir. The next critical step for the climate movement is contending for indelible mainstream cultural relevance. Put plainly, if the climate movement does not become more inclusive, the goal of transitioning from fossil fuels to clean energy will not happen.
This is the key to winning public support and political will for climate action that will meet the demands of science.
The modern environmental movement, some 50 years old, has invested tremendous amounts of resources in predominantly white and predominantly elite communities to fight for clean air, clean water, open space and a sustainable planet for all of us. This movement model has achieved incredible victories for the public good. The reality, however, is that there is not enough power in the environmental community alone to lead a global transition from fossil fuels to clean energy. The movement needs to expand, and to do so we need to re-frame the issue of climate change to make it an everyday, every person issue.
This gathering at UDC School of Law will bring together some of the brightest minds in the progressive, climate, human and civil rights movement to discuss how the climate movement builds an inclusive climate movement to create community power.
This free conference encourages community participation (although space is limited). The conference will work to bring new voices of great value to the climate movement. Through both democratic and economic strategies we are working to empower diverse communities to mobilize for powerful climate solutions.
I'm proud that we can have this ongoing conversation in the climate movement of what following people of color-led work is and means. With each iteration of the conversation we get closer to making fundamental change within our movement, which is a process we must model, because we are fundamentally asking the entire world to make some big and important changes for an equitable, sustainable, 100 percent clean energy future. It's quite simple, we (the climate movement) must be the change we want to see in the world.
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Allegra Kirkland, Jeremy Deaton, Molly Taft, Mina Lee and Josh Landis
Climate change is already here. It's not something that can simply be ignored by cable news or dismissed by sitting U.S. senators in a Twitter joke. Nor is it a fantastical scenario like The Day After Tomorrow or 2012 that starts with a single crack in the Arctic ice shelf or earthquake tearing through Los Angeles, and results, a few weeks or years later, in the end of life on Earth as we know it.
Air pollution particles that a pregnant woman inhales have the potential to travel through the lungs and breach the fetal side of the placenta, indicating that unborn babies are exposed to black carbon from motor vehicles and fuel burning, according to a study published in the journal Nature Communications.
Teen activist Greta Thunberg delivered a talking-to to members of Congress Tuesday during a meeting of the Senate Climate Change Task Force after politicians praised her and other youth activists for their efforts and asked their advice on how to fight climate change.
The University of California system will dump all of its investments from fossil fuels, as the Associated Press reported. The university system controls over $84 billion between its pension fund and its endowment. However, the announcement about its investments is not aimed to please activists.
By Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala
World leaders have a formidable task: setting a course to save our future. The extreme weather made more frequent and severe by climate change is here. This spring, devastating cyclones impacted 3 million people in Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe. Record heatwaves are hitting Europe and other regions — this July was the hottest month in modern record globally. Much of India is again suffering severe drought.
By Mark Hertsgaard
The United Nations Secretary General says that he is counting on public pressure to compel governments to take much stronger action against what he calls the climate change "emergency."