We are delighted that you are visiting the ECA-Massachusetts’ webpage. Thank you for connecting! We are very pleased that so many people want to learn more about our efforts.
ECA’s Massachusetts chapter will keep you connected to pro-climate activities happening both face-to-face and virtually. Connect with us through an email to our chapter to let us know your particular interests. We will also start sending you our monthly chapter newsletter. Of course, you’ll be able to opt out of receiving material from us at any time.
You can also connect with us through Facebook: Elders Climate Action - Massachusetts Chapter https://www.facebook.com/ecamasschapter/
Our chapter meets monthly, usually around Boston, Brookline or Cambridge, and people drive to that destination from a number of locations in the Eastern part of the state, although we are moving strongly this year to start clusters of elder activists in communities all over Massachusetts. We are also working on our virtual meeting skills to allow interested parties from Massachusetts and elsewhere to participate. In the months ahead, chapters will be forming around the state. We will be compiling the contacts we collected from your community and sharing those with folks who want to get involved as a way to stimulate these new local groups - with YOUR help!
Let’s remember what’s at stake here:
There is no doubt about the science of climate change. The well-being of our environment is facing a grave threat on many fronts. But there is also a great deal to be hopeful about: technological advances and growing awareness of the need for sustainable lifestyle choices have created a momentous opportunity for change right now.
ECA can help you organize in support of:
- ending our dangerous dependence on carbon-based energy sources;
- investing in clean energy technologies like solar, wind, and hydroelectric power
- eliminating the needless waste of natural resources in the home, in industry and in our communities;
- passing pro-climate legislation and regulations at every level of government.
As an age group that has always cared about the wellbeing of future generations, our distinctive voices count! Elders Climate Action exists to support your climate engagement at every level, e.g.:
- staying informed of new developments in climate-friendly policies and technologies;
- speaking your mind through the press, social media, and community groups;
- lobbying political officials locally, regionally, and nationally;
- protesting threats to the climate and demonstrating for wise choices.
Climate change puts our future and the future of everything that we care about under grave threat. We can prevent the worst of the consequences of climate change if we act in unison now. So glad you are joining us!
Elders Climate Action - Massachusetts Chapter Leadership Team
The Early Story of the Mass. Chapter of ECA, By Grady McGonagill, May 2016
I’m a person who doesn’t usually make decisions quickly. But when I got a call from Paul Severance inviting me to join him and other members of something called “Elders Climate Action” for an event calling itself “Grandparents’ Climate Action Day” (GCAD) last September, I signed up on the spot. Something about using elderhood as an organizing frame for building a mass movement to generate the political will to address climate change struck a resonant chord with me. I was familiar with Congressional “lobby days” from having been twice to Washington, D.C. to advocate a “Carbon Fee and Dividend” on behalf of the Citizens’ Climate Lobby. But who knew there was such a thing as “Grandparents’ Day”? I decided to go, and recruited the head of the Boston CCL chapter, Rabbi Judy Weiss, to go with me. Together we were able to meet one of our Senators, Elizabeth Warren. Speaking of her grandchildren brought tears to the feisty Senator’s eyes.
What had brought tears to my eyes over 25 years ago was reading of the demise of the Texas horned toad. “Horny toads” had been a part of growing up in Texas. I couldn’t imagine a world without these creatures. Their survival skills were legendary, yet they were disappearing for unknown reasons—human activity being the prime suspect. In that moment I resolved to do what I could to protect the environment. As a consultant, I began seeking out opportunities to work with environmental nonprofit organizations. And I once created and co-facilitated a multi-stakeholder dialogue on the fate of the 26 million acres known as the “Northern Forest.” But none of this felt like doing enough. Reading the work of Bill McKibben in recent years, I became convinced that climate change was an existential threat to humans and other life on the planet, and that only a mass movement could create the political will to address it. In 2013 this led me to get on a bus to Washington, D.C. for the rally/march against the Keystone XL Pipeline. It led me to join CCL. And last year it led me to close down my consulting business and shift to full-time pro bono work to help build a climate change movement. Enter the call from Paul Severance and my decision to take part in GCAD.
I stayed on for a planning session following GCAD, where I learned that ECA not only embraces the CCL goal of putting a price on carbon nationally to address its mission, but also encourages actions at the state and local level. Inspired by the possibilities of shifting focus to activities closer to home, I invited the four other folks from Massachusetts who had attended GCAD to join me in forming the first local ECA chapter. Along with another 11 people from our personal and professional networks, we met for the first time in December and began figuring out what the goals and operating procedures of a local ECA chapter might look like. We had no examples, as we were out front.
Our first operational decision was to consider ourselves a “state-wide” chapter, open to membership from anyone in Massachusetts. However, we are somewhat Boston-centric, with a majority of our members in Brookline or Cambridge and none in the Western part of the state. As it expands, we imagine that what is now the “Mass. Chapter” may become a “Boston Chapter,” with some mechanism created to coordinate the various chapters within the state. Like most ECA members, we are all well-educated, middle/upper middle class, with professional backgrounds. Four of us have a history of being engaged in environmental issues; the rest are learning. Most of us are in our sixties or early seventies. But one is 29! A graduate student in the history of climate science, Phil sees himself as “calling all elders” to address climate change for the sake of his generation. He is pioneering an emerging chapter effort to make presentations to retirement communities, in an effort to raise awareness of the contribution that elders can make to the climate movement, and to recruit members.
At our first meeting, we invited all members to send a season’s greeting card to Republican Governor Charlie Baker, explaining why climate change matters to us and introducing him to ECA. Since then we have met 5 times and have settled into a monthly rhythm. Our initiatives are of two kinds: those that are chapter-wide, potentially engaging all members, and those involving subsets of members. Our first major decision was whether to follow the recommendation of an experienced climate change activist at 350.org to thoroughly research the existing activities of the many climate change groups in the Boston area before finding our advocacy niche. Or whether instead to heed the advice of another experienced organizer at The Better Future Project, to choose an area of focus right away and start doing something. “If you spend too much time talking before you start acting,” he advised, “you’ll attract people who like talking and lose those who are inclined to act.”
Persuaded by the wisdom of just jumping in, we decided to take advantage of the fact that the leadership of the House in the Massachusetts state legislature was known to have the intention of producing an energy “ombnibus” bill in the January-July 2016 session. This bill would guide climate change policies for the next decade. So we decided that a worthwhile chapter-wide goal for the first few months would be to aim to influence this bill, to make it as robust as possible regarding climate-change issues. To this end Chapter members have been:
- holding meetings with legislators of whom members are constituents;
- writing letters and making phone calls to legislators in our own districts and to others who are key players in the House or Senate;
- attending rallies and hearings related to the legislation.
At the same time we are pursuing the recommendation to learn what other climate change advocacy groups are doing, with a focus on learning their strategies for influencing the bill. This has also been a great way to build relationships and explore strategic partnerships. We joined Mass Power Forward, a coalition of 150 other groups, and began participating in weekly phone calls with the leadership team in which they shared “intel” about what was going on behind closed doors in the legislature. We also formed an alliance with another new group, the MA Interfaith Coalition for Climate Action which had emerged in the wake of the Pope’s encyclical, supporting their lobbying activities and inviting their members to support ours.
In our meetings with legislators we presented as our highest priority an issue that was among the top five of both of these sister groups, one to which we saw the opportunity to bring the unique voice of elders: preventing the legislation from containing a “tariff” (really a tax) that would require utility customers to finance a multi-$billion expansion of gas pipeline capacity. This infrastructure—which would take decades to pay for—is favored the Governor and the state’s utilities but seen by the climate change community—supported by a study funded by the Attorney General’s Office—as unnecessary to achieve the goals of the state’s 2008 “Global Warming Solutions Act.”
A second chapter-wide initiative emerged serendipitously from the efforts of our youngest member: fostering outreach and growth in our membership. With this in mind members have:
- developed a PPT presentation making the case for human-caused climate change, its current and likely future impacts, and outlining seven ways in which elders can take action;
- delivered presentations to a retirement community, a lifelong learning class at at UU church, and a local senior center;
- hosted several climate change conversations with friends, neighbors and other community members;
- conducted “tabling” at three conferences, where we signed up 25 people as members of ECA.
Other specific actions by individuals include:
- sponsoring an art exhibit to spark interest in climate change;
- joining a “Jobs, Justice, and Climate” march in Boston, culminating in a rally at the Mass. State House;
- writing thank you notes to our state Attorney General for joining the investigation of Exxon for covering up its knowledge of the contribution of carbon emissions to global warming.
After the omnibus energy bill is signed, we’ll choose another chapter-wide initiative. An obvious target would be the utilities—Eversource and National Grid—who seem to have the Mass. legislature in their grip. (A grip facilitated by the fact that Governor Baker’s head of “Energy and Environmental Affairs” appointed a former executive at National Grid to head up the Department of Public Utilities!) They’ve been able to shape the narrative—and become a trusted provider of “the facts”—that our elected representatives “buy.” Or maybe it’s the legislators themselves who are getting “bought.” From that perspective it may soon be time to turn our attention to the buyers, to explore how to shift the narrative about the utilities as public servants in ways that illuminate how the public is not being at all well served by business as usual. As we make that shift, we will likely adopt other tactics, including protests, sit-ins, and possibly risking arrest. I anticipate a continuum of comfort among chapter members for more aggressive tactics, but we don’t all have to get engaged in any one action. Each can seek out something to suit their taste.
As we move forward, we take stock of the reality that—like most environmental groups—we lack diversity in class and race. Our one non-white member is a retired philosophy professor from India. To address this limitation, I find myself drawing on learning from CEN’s Elder Activist Social Justice team, which has been discussing readings about different areas of injustice, beginning with that of African-Americans. Experience there shows that it tends not to work to include racial minorities in a pre-established white group. More effective is to work alongside groups representing their perspectives, building relationships by supporting their actions and conducting self education about their needs. I assume that this lesson holds for reaching out across class lines as well. A good example of a strategic partnership of this kind—leading to marching alongside members of several racial minority groups as well as members of organizations focusing on economic injustice—was the “Jobs, Justice, and Environment” march and rally mentioned above. The Mass chapter is looking for similar opportunities going forward.
Five months into our existence, I continue to sense a palpable buzz of excitement at our meetings, where we share what we’ve done and support one another in taking on new challenges. Will ECA succeed in its mission? Who knows. But we’re doing what we can and that gives us hope. We’d love the company of other chapters elsewhere. Care to form one? If you’re like me, it would take you out of your comfort zone. But what better way to with aging?
Massachusetts Chapter, Leadership Team
|Arnie Epstein testifies before the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection.|
I've been passionate about doing what I can to combat climate change for over a decade. This led me along a number of paths including co-founding our local energy group, organizing a town-wide solar initiative, leading the effort to have our town designated a Green Community, and becoming our town's first Energy Manager.
After retiring, I searched for a way to have an impact beyond my own community. In Massachusetts there are a number of climate action groups and I "tried out" several. I was looking for something that was a fit with my own background and outlook and could make a real difference at the state and national level. Through a friend, Rick Lent, I heard about Elders Climate Action and attended my first meeting of the Massachusetts chapter in March. The group is diverse but open to different viewpoints. And all are committed to making a difference. I must also say that Grady McGonagill, co-founder of the chapter, is an inspirational leader.
I rapidly found ways to contribute that aligned with both my passion and engineering and scientific background. In Massachusetts, the debate over natural gas pipeline expansion was heating up and my research convinced our chapter this project would be terrible for the state. We lobbied our state representatives and, in coalition with other groups, took part in a number of rallies culminating in the People Over Pipelines four day march. This led me to take a closer look at the state's landmark Global Warming Solutions Act. I found that while the administration is actively working towards shorter term goals, the plans needed to meeting the longer term objectives of the bill are lacking. We are calling this "Get Real" and it has been adopted as a chapter initiative. Last week the state held public hearings on the Global Warming Solutions Act where Grady testified at the Boston hearing and I testified in Worcester (picture above). I've also been publishing our chapter newsletter and helping out where my background working with computer systems is useful.
The most moving experience for me has been at presentations given at retirement communities. I've met other elders searching for ways they can make a difference and leave behind a livable planet. Surely together we can.
FIRST ECA LOCAL CHAPTER HOLDS A MAJOR EVENT
ART EXHIBIT EMPHASIZES CLIMATE CHANGE AT NEW ART CENTER
By Grady McGonagill, Hinda Blum and Perry Carrison, ECA Mass Chapter
This event was a rewarding and successful example of a Mass. Chapter member pursuing an individual passion to address climate change. Hinda and Perry overcame a number of obstacles to make the exhibition happen: they identified artists with environmental themes and persuaded five to loan their art at no charge (other than shipment of photographs from the most well-known of the five); identified a place willing to make space available at no cost (the New Art Center, 61 Washington Park, Newtonville, MA); created and circulated a color brochure; promoted the event using social media (after creating a web-page); and raised $1818 from friends and family.
Read the Article in Wicked Local Newton
Welcome to Our Chapter Page! Here you can find out what current chapters are doing in their communities or contact us for more information about how to start an Elders Climate Action Chapter in your area!
CHAPTER NEWS from Massachusetts
Elders Climate Action Massachusetts is gaining momentum as evidenced by a $5,000 grant from the New England Grassroots Environmental Fund! The grant will provide support for our 2017 vision: fostering self-sustaining elder communities committed to addressing climate change in 10 Massachusetts communities that presently have no climate change advocacy.
To identify candidate communities, we've consulted with 3 Massachusetts organizations: 350Mass for a Better Future, Toxics Action Center and Massachusetts Climate Action Network. We will give priority to communities with significant low income populations, districts represented by influential state legislators, and communities where there is little or no membership in climate change groups. To gain entry, we will contact the Council on Aging in each community and Continuing Care Retirement Communities. We will also reach out to "at home" groups, with membership from elders who wish to remain in their homes as they age. In reaching out to plant seeds in targeted communities, we will draw on our experience in delivering presentations to over a dozen elder communities, resulting in a significant expansion of membership.
We look forward to collaborating with our brand new "sister" chapter in Ann Arbor, Michigan and exploring together how we can expand our reach. We will also work with the ECA Engagement Committee to form new chapters in other areas.
ECA SEEDS ARE GERMINATING IN THE SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA!
By Margo Frank
A small but enthusiastic group of Elders Climate Action members is exploring how to build a movement of elder climate activists in the North, South and East Bay region. Building on our successful Congressional Candidates Climate Project, we're looking for more ways to be involved. Some of us have joined ECA leadership committees and a number of us will be attending Elders Climate Action Day in DC this April. We're planning ways to start doing outreach to elder communities and facilities, building our confidence and connections as we go. We welcome others to join us!
If you're interested, please contact Marilyn Price at
Give today and help us take action on Climate Change!
Your gift today will help Elders Climate Action grow a powerful movement of elders. A movement dedicated to preserving our livable planet for the grandchildren and all life.
*Please note: Elders Climate Action is a project of the Conscious Elders Network (CEN) a 501(c)(3) organization, all donations are tax deductible as identified by the IRS. Acknowledgment of your contribution will come from Conscious Elders Network but all proceeds will support Elders Climate Action.
Join The Movement: Elder Climate Voters
Here is one easy opportunity for each of us, as an elder, to make a difference on climate change. We can have great impact on our gridlocked political system: Candidates know that a higher percentage of elders vote than other segments of the population. As more and more of us commit to be Elder Climate Voters, regardless of political party, the politicians who want our votes will respond.
Elders Using the Power of our Vote to Preserve a Livable Planet For All Our Grandchildren and Future Generations
Sign the Elder Climate Voter Pledge:
I pledge to exercise the opportunity to vote in every election, and to consider the positions of candidates on climate change as a critical factor in casting my votes. **
** As elders, we have many issues we care about that are impacted by elections at the local, state, and federal levels. This movement does not ask you to pledge to vote solely on the basis of climate issues (your vote is up to you). It simply asks that you pledge to consider the stances of your candidates on climate when voting.
Elders Climate Action won’t tell you who to vote for, but we will regularly provide you with information and tools to help you be an informed Elder Climate Voter.
Voices Of Elders - Taking Action for the Climate
Meet some of the Elders making a difference across the country!
"The Next Generation Takes a Stand"
Geri Freedman, Elders Climate Action Co-Chair
I attended the Women's March accompanied by two magnificent women with whom I was proud and honored to march-- fellow ECA member Leslie Wharton from Bethesda, Maryland and my daughter-in-law Diana from North Carolina. We left NC at 3 am on Saturday and travelled by bus to DC. This was Diana's first march and was an opportunity for both generations, allied in purpose, to make sure our voices were heard.
We were accompanied by hundreds of thousands of people, some very old with walkers, some very young in strollers, men, women, and people from every walk of life. The love and support were amazing! During the walk, we thanked 3 officers holding back traffic for marchers to cross the street and they said "Thank you for being here for us."I will march until I can no longer walk.
I will march with my children. I will march with my grandchildren. I will continue to raise my voice in support of a livable earth for all.
Partnerships Liaison, Elders Climate Action
As soon as I became aware of Young Voices for the Planet, I purchased and watched their DVD with my husband, daughter and granddaughters. It was truly inspirational! The passion that these children and teens brought to their projects was simply amazing! Several of their stories brought tears to my eyes. Their belief that we can address climate change, stop global warming, slow sea-level rise and bring nutritious food to our school lunch programs instilled in me beautiful hope for the future of our Planet. Each video can be watched separately in family or classroom settings to begin meaningful discussions about climate change or in general, how kids can make a difference! I donated my copy to the New Brighton Middle School science teacher in Soquel, CA and recently took the DVD with Spanish sub-titles to Mexico to be shown at a primary school library in La Cruz de Huanacaxtle. I highly recommend visiting the website to obtain the DVD for your own families and schools.
I continue to be inspired by my own grandchildren, Maya McCain, Emma McCain, Madeline McGrath and Will McGrath, seen here at the January 21st Women's March in Santa Cruz, CA.
Elders Climate Action member and creator of the FutureFlash! Project
Sowing a Culture of Peace with the Elders Climate Network
In this holiday season, when people sing of Peace On Earth, I'm inviting my own family -- and yours -- to tell what this statement means to them.
Recognize that peace is the wholeness created by right relationships with oneself, other persons, other cultures, other life, Earth, and the larger whole of which all are a part. - The Earth Charter
I want my six grandchildren to know why I care so passionately about the condition our planet is in. I need for them to know that I believe that we can change climate change. I'm telling them about significant moments in my own journey. And I want them to consider their own part in the unfolding saga of how the human family learned to live together in a culture of peace.
I would love to hear from members of Elders Climate Action. Your family's climate conversation is a gift to the Earth, Our Home.
We invite you and the young people in your life to share your own stories for FutureFlash! 2050: Pacha and the Game.
Together, we are Sowing a Culture of Peace, with the Earth Charter as a guide.
Sue Blythe, creator of the FutureFlash! Project, lives at the Sustainable Living Center of the Florida Coalition for Peace and Justice in Hampton, FL. For information about Sowing a Culture of Peace and the FutureFlash! Climate Challenge, contact Sue Blythe.
Read more about Sue's journey here.
Ellyn Dooley, Climate Warrior
ECA Volunteer, California
My mother instilled in me at an early age that it is important to contribute oneself in life. So I was a Brownie and a Girl Scout and a volunteer throughout my life.
As I got older, I didn't want to simply take action for the sake of taking action. Incremental change didn't appeal to me. It needed to be a grand scale difference, a highly leveraged difference. I say this rather tongue in cheek because the sound of it makes me embarrassed. I do not think of myself as an arrogant person, but for whatever reason, I always felt that any investment of my time and energy should be pivotal, should change the tide. So as a young twenty something I was ending hunger. In my thirties I was transforming education. In my 40's and 50's I was raising money to cure cancer.
Enter my 60's and the birth of my first grandchild. At that moment I realized I had to do something about climate change. The thought of my legacy all of a sudden became relevant. I couldn't imagine my grandchildren not being able to play outdoors because it's too hot or the air is too polluted. I couldn't imagine them not enjoying the gushing waterfalls of Yosemite or the lush tropical gardens of Hawaii. I couldn't imagine their world not having all the species of birds or the presence of the simple wildlife that I'd taken for granted my entire life.
That was and is still unthinkable to me, and so I was called into action with Elders Climate Action. Why ECA? Because ECA is strategically positioned to be that pivotal energy, that turn the tide kind of effort that resonates with me. Elders care deeply about what they are leaving their grandchildren. It is the largest and most powerful voting bloc in our country---whose voice can't be tuned out, dismissed or ignored. And I love the elegance of our message and our mission. Carbon fee and dividend, divestment and the Clean Power Plan reduce carbon emissions in an economically stimulating, socially just way. It is brilliant, clean and simple.
So I write letters to the editor, I lobby my member of Congress and am a self-proclaimed "climate warrior" educating and informing my friends and family as much as I can. Because at the end of the day, I cannot sit by and do nothing knowing what that "nothing" could end up leaving for my grandchildren.
Reflections on Elders Climate Action
Massachusetts ECA Chapter Member
I received an email last winter from Grady McGonagill, inviting me to join him and others for a meeting of ECA. My friend, Rajesh Kasturirangan, had talked to me about it earlier. I was out of the country at that time, so I wrote back to Grady, that once I am back, I would love to join them.
Elders Climate Action Day Team
Born in 1942, like most of my age-peers I grew up unaware of environmental problems. That began to change in the '50s when beaches near Cleveland were being closed due to raw sewage entering Lake Eire. Awareness grew on moving to Los Angeles in 1964. While Clevelanders could opt to swim in a pool, Angelinos had no alternative to breathing polluted air. Pursuing a graduate degree in chemistry, I was confident that technical solutions to these local environmental problems would be found without further action on my part. And they have been and now we have Global environmental problems!
Fast forward to 1985. I was working at the National Academy of Sciences that has a Congressional mandate to study big problems. Just by overhearing elevator conversations, I become aware of a whole new class of problems: those caused by simple gas molecules released into the planet's atmosphere by human activity. The easy one, Ozone layer depletion by CFCs, was successfully addressed in just two years by the Montreal Protocol. But the hard one, climate change driven by carbon dioxide loading, is still very much with us.
One doesn't have to be a scientist to appreciate that climate change will not be solved by a few geniuses off in a think-tank somewhere. Each of us needs to find a way to grapple with global warming. That is why I've joined Elders Climate Action. Together we can support each other in the hard work of restoring our precious planet.
aka Earthman to the younger set
My name is Lanny, yet most people know me as the "Earthman". You will see in the Climate Crisis Jam music video, why people call me this.
As an elder, there is no greater service to humanity then to bring all the gifts blessed upon each of us to help grow a sustainable future. I am a North American Environmental Educator of the Year, and have been an Eco Artist in Residence for the National Audubon Society, the National Wildlife Federation, the League for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, and multiple school systems in Florida, Tennessee and Kentucky. Last year, I trained under Al Gore in the Climate Reality Project.
Currently, I am working with a team of elders to create the Float The Vote for the Climate campaign challenging Floridians to make a decision about climate change and sea level rise before the election. With 13 million people's future at stake near the Florida coastline, now is the moment to make a decision and act on it with their vote.
We are the elders and I am proud to stand with you. I leave you with the words from the chorus from one of my songs which has flown in space and touched hearts around our planet. "Come In Planet Earth Are You Listening. The World Is Just An Island In The Sky. If We Can Fly Among The Stars, We Can Find the Truth Within Our Hearts, Love's The Only Way We Can Survive".
Elders Climate Action Volunteer California
In 1960 I was an undergraduate majoring in Sociology at the University of Michigan. We were assigned to read The Challenge of Man's Future by Harrison Brown. In his book, Mr. Brown talked about running out of non-renewable resources. I had never thought of this before. The notion frightened me and I wondered what would happen to our world.
This book sparked a lifelong interest in environmental protection but I was not spurred to action until reading Paul Erhlich's The Population Bomb in the early 70s. I then spent 10 years volunteering for various environmental causes and in 1988 I started Trips for Kids, a non-profit which takes underserved youth on mountain bike rides. One of the goals was to use the bike as a tool to expose youth to the natural world and instill in them a love of the environment and a desire to protect it in their everyday lives. There are now over 70 Trips for Kids chapters in North America and a couple of chapters are overseas.
This year I retired from the Trips for Kids staff and decided to use most of my volunteer time working more directly with local environmental organizations. I began by taking classes with Resilient Neighborhoods, a local nonprofit that helps households lower their carbon footprint. Since the 70's I had lived fairly lightly on the earth but I found dozens of ways to cut my carbon emissions even further. Being an avid cyclist, one significant thing I did was to give up my car and travel by bike and occasionally bus.
My continued search for local environmental organizations led me to discover Conscious Elders and Citizens for Climate Action. I was immediately drawn to ECA because it was composed of Elders like me working to save our environment. I was more firmly hooked when I watched the video of ECA seniors all nicely dressed in DC singing and dancing to encourage onlookers to help save our planet. Their passion and energy was infectious and I wanted to be part of their group.
I realize that there are many ways we can all pitch in to prevent global warming and keep our planet healthy but working with people my own age who are on the same path seemed like the perfect scenario. As a grandmother I firmly believe there is no more important work to be done for my grandchildren and all people on our earth. Thank you Elders Climate Action for your caring and contribution toward this effort.
Elders were represented well in Philadelphia at the Clean Energy March prior to the Democratic Party Convention. We made our voices heard asking for real Climate protection legislation. It was heart-warming to see so many elders courageously walking under the boiling sun. The synergy between young and old, Black, Asian, Hispanic people demonstrating together was uplifting. Many voices were asking for a livable planet, while wildfires raged in California and water shortages all over the world have created crisis situations. Together we made a commitment to ask for Climate Change legislation from our representatives on town, city, county, state and federal level: the Senate and House of Representatives. The tax and dividend approach is a progressive, revenue-neutral tool for a real shift to renewable energy.
I was struck by our elders' perseverance, strength and commitment to saving this beautiful Earth and future generations from serious Climate Change impacts. Some of the great, personalized posters were generated by older participants. We smiled, walked and shouted slogans together. It may not be your cup of tea to demonstrate, but the feeling of exuberance and hope was palpable. The daughter of Berta Caceres, a Honduran Elder who was recently murdered for her climate and human rights work, spoke eloquently about her mother's courage and strength even when her life was threatened. She inspired us to continue the fight for the future of our children and grandchildren.
Hazel Chandler, Elders Climate Action Leadership Team
On the eve of the Democratic National Convention, numerous Elders Climate Action members joined with a crowd estimated to be over 10,000 people in the Clean Energy March for action to prevent climate catastrophe. The March was organized to demand that current and future policy makers act on several issues that are critical in providing a livable future for generations to come. These include banning fracking, keeping fossil fuel in the ground, stopping dirty energy, environmental justice for all and a quick just transition to 100% renewable energy. Elders Climate Action, was a co-sponsor for the Elders Contingent and was well represented marching with other elders and other contingents.
This message of a clean energy future and acting now to allow future generations a livable future was echoed by many of the speakers at the Democratic National Convention. This is a giant step forward, as in the past these issues were barely mentioned. For the first time in history a national party platform included strong steps to combat climate change. This is a first step and hopefully in future national platforms climate change will have a strong presence. While great progress has b een made to have Climate Change rise to a priority in this election, our work has just started. Never before have the decisions we make in the voting booth been more important. We still have widely divided viewpoints on this issue. It is imperative that we elect officials, at all levels that understand the science of Climate Change and are committed to acting to address the real and urgent threats to our future. We do not have another four years to waste.
Once elected we must hold all elected officials accountable for their decisions. We must recruit millions of other elders to work with us in this effort. Elders are the largest voting block and our viewpoints are important to elected officials. Make your voices he ard for your Grandchildren and future generations.
Leslie Wharton, Maryland
Our Grandparents Climate Action Day planning day was fantastic! What a wonderful coming together and sharing around the table among our small team, many of whom had not met - or barely met - before.
Grady McGonagill, Massachusetts
I'm a person who doesn't usually make decisions quickly. But when I got a call from Paul Severance inviting me to join him and other members of something called "Elders Climate Action" for an event calling itself "Grandparents' Climate Action Day" (GCAD) last September, I signed up on the spot.
Something about using elderhood as an organizing frame for building a mass movement to generate the political will to address climate change struck a resonant chord with me. I was familiar with Congressional "lobby days" from having been twice to Washington, D.C. to advocate a "Carbon Fee and Dividend" on behalf of the Citizens' Climate Lobby. But who knew there was such a thing as "Grandparents' Day"? I decided to go, and recruited the head of the Boston CCL chapter, Rabbi Judy Weiss, to go with me. Together we were able to meet one of our Senators, Elizabeth Warren. Speaking of her grandchildren brought tears to the feisty Senator's eyes. What had brought tears to my eyes over 25 years ago was reading of the demise of the Texas horned toad. "Horny toads" had been a part of growing up in Texas. I couldn't imagine a world without these creatures. Their survival skills were legendary, yet they were disappearing for unknown reasons-human activity being the prime suspect. In that moment I resolved to do what I could to protect the environment.
As a consultant, I began seeking out opportunities to work with environmental nonprofit organizations. But none of this felt like doing enough. Enter the call from Paul Severance and my decision to take part in Elders Climate Action and Grandparents Climate Action Day.I stayed on for a planning session following GCAD, where I learned that ECA not only embraces the CCL goal of putting a price on carbon nationally to address its mission, but also encourages actions at the state and local level. Inspired by the possibilities of shifting focus to activities closer to home, I invited the four other folks from Massachusetts who had attended GCAD to join me in forming the first local ECA chapter. Five months into our existence, I continue to sense a palpable buzz of excitement at our meetings, where we share what we've done and support one another in taking on new challenges. Will ECA succeed in its mission? Who knows? But we're doing what we can and that gives us hope.
To read the full text of Grady's article click here
Sue Sorensen, Conscious Elders Network and Elders Climate Action Volunteer
Arrested at 75, Sue is an example of elders truly stepping up for their beliefs and convictions - even to the point of arrest. Sue's passion for our planet, future generations and all life took her to Washington, DC this spring.The Tee shirts with "Elders Standing for Future Generations" says it all. Read the following article from Senior Planet about the march in Washington and the effort to take back democracy.
Senior Activists were at the Center of Recent Demonstrations, By Ellen Simon, April 26, 2016, Democracy is not for sale, we're not too old to go to jail." - Democracy Spring chant
Even though it was her birthday, Sue Sorensen wanted to get arrested. And she did. At 75, it was her first arrest. She was in good company. The mass arrests at the eight-day Democracy Spring demonstrations in Washington, D.C. earlier this month, where Sorensen was protesting, were the largest since the Vietnam War era. Also arrested were Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield of Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream, Harvard law professor Lawrence Lessig and actress Rosario Dawson.Capitol Police made more than 1,240 arrests, according to USA Today. Many of those were elders. Read the Article
ECA Volunteer Jerry Lee Miller takes action with this letter to the editor of the LancasterOnline, February 26th, 2016. Jerry Miller is spearheading the formation team for an Elders Climate Action Chapter in Lancaster Pennsylvania.
A friend moved from Lancaster to California to be near his granddaughter. Now that my first grandchild has arrived, I understand my friend's motivation. The birth of a first grandchild is life-changing. I'm still aglow with the joy and wonder of this blessed event.
However, I fear for my granddaughter's future if humankind does not quickly change a prevailing mindset. This mindset sees the earth as a pile of resources that humans can extract and use indefinitely. This shortsighted way of looking at the world is driving us toward multiple catastrophes.
Life as we know it cannot continue unless we acknowledge our subjugation to physical laws that allow only so much ocean acidification, only so much greenhouse gas in the atmosphere, only so much polar and glacial ice melt, and only so much sea-level rise.
Irreversible consequences ensue when we cross certain thresholds. Do we know how close we are to these thresholds? Are we willing to play Russian roulette with our grandchildren's future?
The amount of carbon dioxide is rising, the oceans are increasingly acid, and recent temperatures are the hottest on record. How long can this go on?
With many others, I have engaged in political advocacy on behalf of a stabilized climate, worked at educating the public, marched, demonstrated and prayed. So far these efforts have fallen short.
But now I have a powerful new motivator. For her sake, I will keep on seeking solutions. Any other grandparents want to join me? Visit eldersclimateaction.org/eca_in_action or contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I am a retired environmental economist. For many years I worked on risk assessments and benefit analyses for EPA, helping them assess the risks of various air pollutants and the benefits of tightening our standards for some of the most ubiquitous ones, like particulate matter. But the air pollutant that is likely to ultimately be the most dangerous got no regulation at all: carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels.
The evidence for human-caused climate change is overwhelming. And the costs of clean energy alternatives - solar and wind - have plummeted in the last decade or so. So why hasn't the U.S. transitioned away from fossil fuels? It's not a lack of good science; it's not a lack of good economic approaches; it's not a lack of alternative energy solutions; it's the politics.
I'm not a natural activist, but I can see that activism is essential to getting the government action we need to fight climate change. So the only way I can be happy in the age of climate change is to get active - as I wrote about in my essay, "How to Be Happy in the Age of Climate Change (Updated)." Because, as I say in the essay, " ... it turns out that I really care about this earth and all the people and animals on it. I've grown rather fond of civilization, for all its faults."
And, you know, I'm also rather fond of the next generation (a couple of whom are my own kids). As one person, I cannot do much. But with thousands and thousands of us, we can move mountains - and perhaps even our government!
I am inspired to be an Elder-Activist because of the gratefulness I feel for my years of life experience, the talents and the resources that are mine; and, as an elder I believe that part of the process of a good life completion is the sharing of my gifts for the sake of future generations - that is my legacy, my possible immortality.So when I look around at our world, that needs so much fixing, I have this feeling that I must do something.
No one person can do it alone - we each have a piece of the puzzle - of creating a thriving and just future.Finally, I am inspired by the words of Agnes Bauerlein, who wrote: "I realize that the Earth doesn't have to be governed by fear and violence. I simply decided that raising and nurturing... children was too much of an investment to leave unguarded.....I decided to take action myself and not let the future of my family be decided by someone else." Me too!
I have a confession to make. I'm 85.
But I have a philosophy: "We're never too old to get young!" It's the theme that kicks off a book I wrote, Wonderlust, published last year by Glenbridge Publishing. Wonderlust is about my trekking the seven continents, camera in hand, and the lessons I learned - a coffee table book with about 100 photos and 26 lessons.
When I started trekking several decades ago I had no thoughts of writing a book. But, somewhere along the way, I began to see what Thoreau meant when he said, "It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see." Then I picked up on what Jane Goodall - who spent her life studying our chimp cousins in Africa - said, "What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make." That became Wonderlust's closing challenge.
So, I had no choice. When I finished Wonderlust, I asked myself. "What kind of difference did I want to make?" The first thing I did was to pick up the phone and call Our Children's Trust, in Oregon and offer my help. We have some gutsy kids bailing us out of issues we elders should have paid more attention to. Not much later, I came across something on the web about elders, Elders Climate Action. That fit right in, so I made a second call. In my Wonderings while Wandering, I became convinced that there was a vital role for us elders to play. In fact, I wrote a blog about the important role we have, The Grandparent's Hypothesis: The Story We Live is What We Leave Behind, http://theglobalnaturalist.com/2015/07/05/the-grandparents-hypothesis-our-story-is-what-that-we-leave-behind/
We elders must never forget: We're never too old to be young! And when we use our wisdom we can become serious difference makers!
Leslie Wharton, Bethesda, Maryland
I am 64 years old. That is something I have trouble absorbing. Yes, I have a bit of arthritis and my hair is gray, but I don't relate to 64. Inside, I feel much closer to 40. And after years of "being" my job, I want to do something that really matters to me.
I look at my nephew and his wife, both in their 20s, and feel a cold fear that this is the best part of their lives, that 10 or 20 years from now they may be struggling to survive in a world where extreme weather events, rising sea levels and extensive droughts undermine the economic system that has made post-World War II life so comfortable and secure for all of us. This is what matters to me.
I'm an introvert. So I really stepped out of my comfort zone when joined more than 100 other elders on Grandparents Climate Action Day to urge our representatives and senators to support the EPA's Clean Power Plan and carbon fee and dividend legislation. We came from all over the country, with different life stories, but we shared one common desire: to make our elected officials understand that we want our grandchildren to inherit an earth on which they can flourish. It was an exhilarating experience. I learned that, with courage and determination, I can make a difference. I am proud to be an Elders Climate Activist.
Sam Gloyd, Massachusetts
As their grandfather, brothers Sammy aged 8 years and Benjamin aged 6 years have been my charge one day a week until they started school. Needless to say we have developed a bond. I want them to enjoy this wonderful world at least as much as I have and do. That is the reason I have joined ECA.
After living in a coop in Dudley Sq., Roxbury for four years, I have moved to an old farmhouse west of the city of Boston in Sterling, MA. Having grown up on a farm in Indiana seems I've come full circle. I now commute three days a week into Boston to see clients in a private psychotherapy practice. In nature, I restore my soul.
Ron Kearns, Boston, Massachusetts
Ron Kearns came of age in the 60's, finding his voice echoed along- side the voices of others. He discovered how right and good this felt and has found that history has proven the worth of standing up for what he strongly feels. Now, with the sense that time is ticking in regards to our earth's health, as he watches species continue to disappear, he is compelled to wake that voice once again- for himself and especially for the children.
Ron lives in the Boston area where he started a seasonal gardening business after many years as a Chiropractor. He also spends lots of time in California with his three grandchildren.
Renee Fisher, an ECA Grandparents Day Participant and Volunteer
I am a child of the 60s. I marched, I attended sit-ins, and I wore a black armband at my college graduation. The efforts of my peers ended a war and caused a President to resign. At no other time in my life did I feel so empowered.
In the decades since, my activism took second place. Raising my family and furthering my career were first. When I think about global and national events of those years, I think first "Who was I pregnant with? Who was starting school? Which company was I working for?"
Now my children have created families of their own. My profession, which is still important to me, has started to wind down. But my passion to better this world has survived intact. I have looked around at the huge issues we face and I see that none of the issues have meaning, if our planet can no longer sustain us.
For that reason, it is climate change that calls me to action.
Being a part of Elders Climate Action and participating in the Grandparents Climate Action Day lobbying on the Hill brought me back to the heady days of the 60's. But now, we are the Elders, and we assume the responsibility of Elders throughout history. We have the vision to see the kind of planet we want for our children and grandchildren. And we have the commitment to make that vision a reality.
I invite all Elders to take a stand and join us. In numbers, we can do this.
Cher Tanner, Indian Rocks Beach, Florida
I didn't know what to expect as I stepped outside of my comfort zone and flew from Florida to Washington, DC to lobby with the Grandparents Climate Action Day. What awaited me was an experience of a lifetime! I walked into a gathering of a hundred (or more) strangers and was embraced by a warm, committed, hard-working group of elder advocates determined to get their voices heard. I hope this will become an annual event. It was brilliantly conceived and perfectly executed by ECA.
The training I received around the issues of climate change and Citizen Climate Lobby's Carbon Fee and Dividend legislative proposal and the Clean Power Plan will serve me well (and hopefully the planet) going forward. I was exhilarated to learn from climate expert Dr. James Hansen, Pro-Activist Lynne Twist, Dr. Danny Richter of Citizens Climate Lobby, Gretchen Dahkemper of Mom's Clean Air Force. They gave so generously of their time.
Day two, ECA put us together in our lobbying groups. It was then I had my most memorable political experience. My group was comprised of intelligent, caring grandparents who all showed up to make a difference for their grandchildren and future generations. My Florida contingency provided me the moral support I needed to speak 'truth to power.' And did we ever! I left DC hopeful of a continuing conversation with my representative and anxiously awaiting my next flash mob in Union Station (the most fun ever)!
Noel Marshall and Bob Warner, Bartow, Florida
EMPOWERED! A PART OF THE SOLUTION! These are the results of a day on Capitol Hill with the Elders Climate Action. Frankly, we did not know what we were getting ourselves into when we signed up to participate in the Action Days. What we DID know was that we only had to bring our heart's desire for a clean and safe future for our grandchildren and the Next 7 Generations..and that we would be surrounded by other Grandparents who were doing the same.
The inspirational talks by Jim Hansen and Lynn Twist directed our hearts into action. Danny Richter, from CCL, focused us. And the energy of the present Elders and the spirit of the unseen Elders lifted us into action. What a learning experience! The weeks of occasional concern about what to say and how to find "common ground" for discussions with Republican labeled-climate deniers dissolved as we took our hearts to Capitol Hill and spoke with fellow human beings. Five Congressional meetings later, we were emboldened by what we had given voice to - our demand of a clean future and concrete recommendations of how to head in that direction with resolve.
Clearly, there is still work to be done. Clearly, we, along with many others, are the ones to be doing it!
Margo Frank, Ukiah, California
As much as I would have loved to be in DC for Grandparents Climate Action Day, it didn't make sense to burn a lot of carbon to get there. I decided that I'd participate from afar, rounding up a few other concerned elders in my rural Northern California town, and visiting our local field office for our Congressional Representative. We were welcomed by the local staff person, passing on ECA info and our agenda which she then forwarded to Congressman Huffman's environmental staff person.
Afterwards, we gathered around a computer where we watched the webcast from DC. In many ways this was the highlight of the day. My friends were impressed by the group assembled in DC- that it wasn't a bunch of professionals, but concerned elders just like them. We loved watching the flash mob, were inspired by Paul's comments and are motivated to inspire others to get involved.
The Earth is changing and it is not all good.
I demonstrated as a teenager; we walked as a group of protestors dressed in black then buried a coffin on which was inscribed the words, "Mother Nature".
Power lines and tract housing were the issues then, survival of the species and the very mantle of the Earth are at stake now.
We belong to the Earth and not the other way around.
I joined Elders Climate Action today hoping to make a difference so that my grandchildren would have a chance to be part of a healthy, beautiful planet tomorrow.
Lila Terry lives in the Boston area three blocks from her two daughters and twin grand babies. She has maintained a private practice in the natural healing arts for over thirty years.
What is missing that could break the gridlock on Climate Change?
The UNIFIED voice of the ELDERS!
We are a campaign, a movement of elders committed to making our voices heard...to change our nation’s energy policies while there is still time to avoid catastrophic changes in the Earth’s climate.
Because of this concern and because we are the largest voting bloc, we elders are in an unique position to influence national policy and can use that power to push for policies that will reduce greenhouse gases to a level consistent with life thriving on our planet.
Join Us in Phoenix for the Western Regional Pre-Conference!
Engage, Inspire & Inform: Unleashing the Power of Elders on Climate Change
November 3: Elders Climate Action Western Region Pre-Conference in Phoenix, AZ
(in conjunction with the Citizens' Climate Lobby Wild West Regional Conference)
Now more than ever We Elders Need to Speak Out on Climate Change before it’s too late for our grandchildren and future generations! Never has it been more critical to educate and mobilize Elders voters leading up to the 2018 election.
ECA appreciates all of the Representatives who have joined the bi-partisan Climate Solutions Caucus
“The Caucus will serve as an organization to educate members on economically-viable options to reduce climate risk and protect our nation’s economy, security, infrastructure, agriculture, water supply and public safety,” according to documents filed with the Committee on House Administration.
To find out if your Representatives have joined, CLICK HERE
(links to our Partner Organization, Citizens' Climate Lobby)
Elders Climate Action Day 2017 in Washington D.C.
While We Were In DC, We Visited all 535 Members of Congress!
We asked them to sign a Climate Pledge to pass legislation designed to reduce the threat of climate change by limiting greenhouse gas emissions. See who has signed the pledge, who has responded to our members, and download a copy of the Climate Pledge to send to your Congressperson!
Elders Climate Action Day 2017 Highlights:
Elders Taking Action at the People's Climate March 2017:
Grandparents Climate Action Day 2015
The first annual Grandparents Climate Action Day in Washington DC on September 9 & 10th, 2015 was a huge success with over 100 grandparents joining together on behalf of the climate. Get the full recap by watching the Webcast which features highlights from the two day gathering, keynote speakers, and scenes from the flash mob! Watch the webcast now.
Elders Climate Action Passes a Resolution in support of the Standing Rock Sioux in Dakota. Click here to read more.
To read our latest newsletter or read our previous newsletters click here.
Join Us and Take Action for the Climate!
"I am committed to restoring a livable climate for future generations."
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Find out more information on how to use Facebook here including helpful tips on how to share ECA.
Engage, Inspire & Inform: Unleashing the Power of Elders on Climate Change
November 3: Elders Climate Action Western Region Pre-Conference in Phoenix, AZ (in conjunction with the Citizens' Climate Lobby Wild West Regional Conference)
Join us in Phoenix November 3-5 for the Citizens' Climate Lobby Wild West Regional Conference and Elders Climate Action Pre-conference.
Now more than ever We Elders Need to Speak Out on Climate Change before it’s too late for our grandchildren and future generations! Never has it been more critical to educate and mobilize Elders voters leading up to the 2018 election.
Our partner organization Citizens' Climate Lobby (CCL) is holding a regional conference for the people living in Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Montana and Wyoming to provide advanced lobby training focusing on the human element of working with people, creating opportunities from obstacles, listening and building rapport, and finding common ground.
This is a great opportunity for Elders Climate Action members to receive the amazing Citizens' Climate Lobby training and participate in the ECA Pre-Conference. Our conference will focus on developing Elders Climate Action leaders, on providing tools for building chapters in their state and local areas and building a movement of climate voters leading up to the 2018 election.
When & Where?
November 3, 1:00 - 4:00 PM : North Mountain Preserve Visitor Center, 12950 N 7th Street, Phoenix, Arizona, Southeast Conference Room. CCL conference begins at 5:00 PM.
The pre-conference is free. Donations are welcome to help off-set ECA pre-conference expenses. Suggested donation $10
Register for Citizens' Climate Lobby Regional Conference Click Here
ELDERS CLIMATE ACTION GOES TO WASHINGTON
ELDERS STEPPING UP FOR GRANDCHILDREN AND FUTURE GENERATIONS
It has been a busy few months for Elders Climate Action. From the Citizens' Climate Lobby Conference, to Lobbying in Washington, from planning another Climate Action Day event in 2017 to participating in Moms Clean Air Force Play In in Washington D.C. and marching for Clean Energy in Philadelphia. We elders have shown we have the energy, passion and wisdom to make a difference and we WILL make our voices heard.
News from the Massachusetts Chapter
The Early Story of the Mass. Chapter of ECA
Grady McGonagill, May 2016
I’m a person who doesn’t usually make decisions quickly. But when I got a call from Paul Severance inviting me to join him and other members of something called “Elders Climate Action” for an event calling itself “Grandparents’ Climate Action Day” (GCAD) last September, I signed up on the spot. Something about using elderhood as an organizing frame for building a mass movement to generate the political will to address climate change struck a resonant chord with me. I was familiar with Congressional “lobby days” from having been twice to Washington, D.C. to advocate a “Carbon Fee and Dividend” on behalf of the Citizens’ Climate Lobby. But who knew there was such a thing as “Grandparents’ Day”? I decided to go, and recruited the head of the Boston CCL chapter, Rabbi Judy Weiss, to go with me. Together we were able to meet one of our Senators, Elizabeth Warren. Speaking of her grandchildren brought tears to the feisty Senator’s eyes. Read More
Grandparents Climate Action Day 2015
What a success! The first Grandparents Climate Action Day, September 9&10, 2015, was a huge success with over 100 elders coming together in Washington, DC to show congressmen and political leaders what an important issue climate change is. In case you missed the action, get the full recap by watching the Webcast which features highlights from the two day gathering, keynote speakers, and scenes from the flash mob! Watch the webcast now.
Join us, Like us on Facebook or check back for more information about future Elders Climate Action Events for 2016!
Grandparents Climate Action Day - KEYNOTE SPEAKERS 2015
Dr. James Hansen
Former Head of NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, Director of the Program on Climate Science, Awareness and Solutions at Columbia University Earth Institute
Founder of the Soul of Money Institute, Co-Founder of the Pachamama Alliance, Coach Consultant, Author and Humanitarian
Elders in Action - Washington DC!
ECA Elders in Action - Ft. Lauderdale, FL
Are you an Elder in Action? Send us your pictures and we will post them on our website!
National Policy Goals
Priority National Policy Goals of Elders Climate Action (Active leadership)
• Revenue Neutral Carbon Fee and Dividend Legislation - Legislation to enact a steadily rising fee on carbon fuels at the point of extraction or entry into the U.S; with the proceeds fully refunded to citizens.
• Full implementation of the EPA’s Clean Power Plan to regulate and reduce carbon emissions from all U.S. power plants.
• Effective regulation of methane emissions from all sources in the U.S.
National Policy Goals That Elders Climate Action Supports
• Divestment of fossil fuel stocks by public and private institutions
• Keep fossil fuels in the ground
• End fossil fuel extraction on public lands
• Ban off-shore drilling for fossil fuels
• Phase out hydraulic fracturing as a method of mining fossil fuels.
• Environmental Justice: Protect vulnerable low-income and minority communities from the devastating impacts of pollution of their air, ground, and water.
• Remove special interest money from U.S. political campaigns.
• Oppose construction of additional pipelines carrying fuels through the U.S.
Adopted by the Elders Climate Action Steering Committee, 4.20.16
Elders Climate Action supports the following pathways toward reversing climate change and restoring a livable climate for future generations:
The Carbon Fee & Dividend Proposal: through this legislation, an escalating price will be placed on carbon emissions and the collected revenue will be distributed to American families to offset the increased cost to consumers. Price to burn carbon will soon be more expensive than using renewable energy sources. Elders Climate Action selected this proposed legislation because based on independent research by REMI (Regional Economic Models, Inc.), there is no economic argument against Fee and Dividend. It creates jobs, grows the economy, saves lives, and makes Americans richer. It does this while also reducing CO2 emissions to 31% below 1990 levels by 2025, and to 50% below 1990 levels by 2035. F&D therefore sets the new standard for climate and economic policy.
The EPA's Clean Power Plan: full implementation to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from the single largest source - coal fired power plants. Elders Climate Action is in support of this agenda item because along with fee and dividend legislation we need to regulate how much greenhouse gas is emitted into the atmosphere. The two together create a complete package to ensure a healthy climate for future generations.
Divestment: People and organizations are encouraged to divest from fossil fuel burning companies to demonstrate the will of the people that companies shift to using renewable energy sources. This movement reinforces our other agenda items in that it sends a powerful message using a financial incentive for energy producers to shift to renewable energy sources.
You can support ECA by writing letters to your Congressional Representatives and Senators letting them know that you request their support of these policies, and by divesting from fossil fuel investments in your own portfolio.
Meet the volunteer leaders who make Elders Climate Action possible
We are grandparents, we are baby boomers, we are from the Greatest Generation. With age has come the wisdom, the perspective and the understanding that we are the guardians of future generations. We have arrived at the undeniable realization that if we don’t do something now, our grandchildren and future generations will suffer from our inaction.
Even if we recycle, compost, solar power our own homes and conserve water, it isn’t enough to stop the tidal wave of climate change. Without strong policies to curb carbon emissions we won’t be able to make a big enough difference, fast enough.
That is why Elders Climate Action was formed. To mobilize and unite our voices to bring this message to our leaders. The time has come to stop playing political football with our grandchildren's future. No matter on what side of the debate you sit, all our grandchildren will be affected and it is time to come together to solve this problem. It won’t be easy, but it is critical and we can do it, together.
Elders Climate Action Chair, Indianapolis, Indiana
Paul Severance enjoyed a 35 year career as a community organizer, doing urban neighborhood organizing in New York and Indiana, and then founding United Senior Action of Indiana, a statewide senior citizen public policy advocacy organization which he served as Executive Director for 27 years, retiring in 2004.
Paul is a Certified Sage-ing Leader, has served as Board Chair and currently Administrative Director for Sage-ing International.
His greatest passion is doing his very best to make a difference in the impact that climate change will have on his grandchildren, great grandchildren, and future generations.
Elders Climate Action Co-Chair, Cooper City, Florida
In my youth I was an activist, involved in the women’s movement, peace activities and the environment. I worked for many years in social services, most recently with elders and then many years in local government administration.
When I became a grandparent, and later retired, I knew I could do more to preserve our planet. On finding Elders Climate Action, I looked at my young grandchildren and was immediately inspired to act. As a contributor to the current state of the earth I must act now. I know we can make a difference for our grandchildren through our passion, wisdom, skills and actions. My vision is for my grandchildren to live in the beautiful world we grew up in.
Partnership Task Force Leader
I have been retired for six years and have been looking ever since for a way to be involved in meaningful volunteer work. Elders Climate Action is fulfilling that goal. I cannot imagine a more meaningful purpose than to alter the course of global climate change. This is an incredible opportunity for older Americans to make this our life's work.
Steering Committee & Chapter Development, Brookline, Massachusetts
For 30 years Grady offered independent consulting and coaching services for leadership development, serving a wide range of corporate, government, and nonprofit organizations in North and South America, Europe and Asia. In 2013 he began focusing exclusively on addressing climate change, offering coaching and consulting to The Better Future Project and joining the Citizens’ Climate Lobby. Grandparents’ Climate Action Day attracted him to a leadership role in ECA nationally and in Massachusetts.
Grady holds a doctorate from Harvard University and a master's degree from Stanford University. He is author of “The Coach as Reflective Practitioner,” inExecutive Coaching, edited by Fitzgerald and Berger (2002), and the lead author of Leadership and Web 2.0: The Leadership Implications of the Evolving Web (2011).
Building Our Base Committee, Bethesda, Maryland
Leslie got her Ph.D in American history in the late 1970s, went to law school, and has been practicing law for more than 30 years. She first became concerned about climate change in 2007. At first she thought our political leaders would do the right thing. But as the years passed and our government still failed to address the threat, she became convinced that we the people needed to take this issue in hand. She participated in Grandparents Climate Action Day in Washington DC in September 2015 and has been an active ECA member ever since.
Building Our Base Committee
Margo Frank is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who lives and works in a small rural community in Northern California. Through her work with older adults in medical and residential settings and her private psychotherapy practice, she has witnessed the many ways that we can grow old. Margo is passionately engaged in her own aging process, drawing from a deep well of creativity, authentic movement work and nature’s wisdom. Margo leads elder council circles, Grandmother circles and Art of Aging workshops in Northern California through her Crossing into Elderhood programs. She is currently working to create a resiliency informed community where she lives. After attending a Work that Reconnects intensive through CEN, Margo heeded the call to do all she can to leave a just, sustainable and habitable world for her beloved grandchildren.
Conscious Elders Network’s (CEN) coordinating director and serves on ECA’s fund raising and steering committees.
As a youth he heard the aerospace call and followed it for 45 years of engineering design, corporate management, and entrepreneurial experiences. His early career was devoted to spacecraft and rocket engineering including trajectory design for astronaut Moon landing. In 1971 he transitioned to air transportation systems technology development and thereafter led over 100 design projects for US government agencies, manufacturers, and airline clients. John founded and led Seagull Technology - a transportation technology incubator company for 20 years.
Twelve years ago John heard another, deeper calling – time to re-invent and dedicate himself to humanitarian service. He uses earlier experiences to fulfill that calling as a strategist for transforming our culture to one that encompasses the wisdom and caring of the conscious elder. He is a passionate supporter of social and environmental justice causes including comprehensive efforts to combat the threats of climate disruption. In addition to CEN and ECA operational management, John supports external ventures directed at healthy food consumption, war victim recovery, and inner personal growth.