Meet the Young People Taking Action for the Climate
Observations of an Elder in Training....
Jen Chandler, Director of Operations at ECA
A year and a half ago, I joined Elders Climate Action as the first staff position to help move the organization forward and achieve its critical mission. My choice to join the volunteers at ECA has without a doubt proven to be one of the most fulfilling decisions of my life. Although I am not yet an elder, I consider myself an elder in training; someone with a personal responsibility to learn from previous generations, bridge with younger generations, and bring change for future generations and all life.
Since returning from Elders Climate Action Day in Washington, D.C. I have spent time reflecting on the experience. Beyond the obvious highlights including brilliant and inspiring speakers, a discovered love of the diverse city, and taking to the streets with over 250,000 people at the Climate March. I was deeply moved and inspired by the passion, commitment, caring, and deep questioning that came from the elders in attendance. For me, one of the most powerful moments of ECAD was the visit from Our Children's Trust and FrostPaw, and subsequent impromptu apology from ECA member, Margo Frank. (see Youtube Video below)
What I experienced most in D.C., was multiple generations standing up and taking action for the climate. It was a vibrant illumination of a common value, a common acceptance of responsibility for the damage that has happened, and a common commitment to take action for the future. Take Climate Action Now, Take Climate Action Often. Protect the Future.
VOICE OF A FUTURE ELDER
Julie Hantman, National Outreach Manager, Mom's Clean Air Force
The climate movement is picking up steam and its increasing diversity is a big reason why. No longer can any headline say e.g. 'environmentalists decry roadblocks to climate action.' That's because it isn't just environmentalists speaking up anymore. We've got a big and bigger tent. There are scientists of course, there are experts on national security, food security and you-name-it security. There is the faith community, labor, and more.
And generationally there is the youth movement, there are moms and dads - and now elders.
The climate movement needs the unique voices of elders. Parents of school-age children have the exquisite focus of day to day parenting to bring to bear in our advocacy. Elders - grandparents or not - have the long view. As I meet more ECA members I see plenty of internal diversity but the common denominator perhaps is the passion that comes from experience and dynamic reflection. A different flavor! We need you and it's a pleasure to think and take action together.
Note: Julie adds new meaning to being a partner by spending a day with ECA elders to participate in our next Elders Climate Action event in 2017
Delaney Reynolds is an amazing young woman who lives in Miami, Florida. At age 16, Delaney is very much aware of the danger climate change poses for her, her community and the wider world, and she is not sitting back and waiting for others to take action. Not Delaney.
She is the founder of the Miami Sea Rise, has created an awesome website miamisearise.com, and has published three books for elementary and middle school students on climate change and sea level rise. At age 16, those are stupendous accomplishments. But on the issue of climate change, Delaney is unstoppable.
She has created PowerPoint presentations for young people and delivers them to students in schools, not only in her home state but via videoconferencing to students in places like India and Vietnam.
Delaney's work is being noticed. She recently gave a TED Talk and is also featured in a video alongside scientists, politicians, and authors, Ahead of the Tide, and she was selected as a Youth Leadership Council Member at EarthEcho International, a nonprofit environmental and conservation organization founded by siblings Philippe and Alexandra Cousteau.
This young woman has written a letter on behalf of the world's children asking each of us to do whatever we can to protect them from the threats of global warming and sea level rise. Please read what she has to say and ask yourself: if she can do this, what can I do to help turn back the rising tide of global warming?
Read The Sink or Swim Project, A letter to the parents and grandparents by Delaney Reynolds.