Did You See ECA in the USA Today?

These grandparents are dropping everything to fight climate change

By Elizabeth Weise, USA TODAY, Published 9:24 a.m. ET April 23, 2019

Late-blooming climate activists

Leslie Wharton calls herself a “late-blooming” activist. Now 67, she still works full time as a lawyer, a career that’s kept her so busy she simply hadn’t paid much attention to the issue of climate change.

She was never much for protesting, even though she was in college during the Vietnam War.

“I didn’t go out and march. I was too deep in my studies,” she said. She ended up getting a Ph.D. in American history, then going to law school.

A six-month sabbatical gave her time to catch up on her reading. What she learned about climate change worried her as someone who had studied the rise and fall of Babylonia, Assyria and ancient Rome and Greece.

“We live in a world we think is forever. Because I had been a historian, I realized that there’s nothing guaranteed,” she said.

She lives in Montgomery County, Maryland and in 2015 she got involved with Elders Climate Action, a national group of grandparents and concerned elders who work to fight climate change. “I stepped out of my comfort zone and went to a gathering in D.C.,” she said.

It’s not something she’s really comfortable with as a “totally introverted non-activist,” but she feels she must. There’s no time to lose, she said.

“If we play our cards right, we could actually come through or we could lose it all. A lot turns on what happens in the next year, five years, 10 years. We can’t wait 10 years to start moving.”

Last month, she did a presentation on climate change at a nearby retirement community. She’s also worked with some elders in a supported living community on the nuts and bolts of political organizing.

“They have been busy protesting fracking gas pipeline construction for the past year!” she said.

Read the Full Article Here

 



 

Did You See ECA in Yes! Magazine?



A Climate Action for Every Type of Activist

No matter your age, gender, race, or political ideology, there are ways to fight climate change that fit your life and values.

Read the Original Full Article here:  Yes! Magazine

Most of us have heard about U.N. researchers warning that we need to make dramatic changes in the next 12 years to limit our risk of extreme heat, drought, floods, and poverty caused by climate change. Report after report about a bleak climate future can leave people in despair.

But another option is good for you and the planet.

Susan Clayton, a professor of psychology and environmental studies at the College of Wooster, says getting involved with a group can help lift your climate-related anxiety and depression in three ways. Working with like-minded folks can validate your concerns, give you needed social support, and help you move from feeling helpless to empowered.

And it can make a difference. “Groups are more effective than individuals,” Clayton says. “You can see real impact.”

So join forces with like-minded citizens and push for change.

The U.S. Climate Action Network lists more than 175 member organizations, which are activist groups working through energy policy to fight climate change. And that doesn’t include all of the environmental groups out there. So you have lots of options for getting involved.

Full disclosure: I found my activism comfort zone with Citizens’ Climate Lobby. I love its bipartisan, nonconfrontational style, and it suits me. What’s your climate action style?

I’ve done some matchmaking for you. Here are nine activism styles that might fit, along with some groups that align with them. Pick one, and you can start making change.

1. You believe in a bipartisan approach.

Citizens’ Climate Lobby is an option for those who believe the best strategy is to gain support on both sides of the aisle. The group trains people in ways to build political will in their communities and to effectively lobby their members of Congress. It asks volunteers to bring respect and empathy to all of those encounters, even when talking with people who may vehemently disagree with their cause.

What distinguishes Citizens’ Climate Lobby from many climate groups is its singular legislative goal—to see a fee placed on carbon, with the proceeds returned to citizens as dividends. After more than 10 years of lobbying, a bill similar to their proposal has been introduced with bipartisan sponsors in the U.S. House.

2. You’re an educator looking for support.

The Alliance for Climate Education can be a climate teacher’s best friend. It offers educational and interactive resources that can be streamed to high school classrooms. The group also works to fight anti-science policies that have been cropping up in some school districts and helps train teachers to counter misinformation.

3. You’re ready to take it to the streets.

Consider joining 350.org. You may find yourself attending rallies, lobbying elected officials, helping get out the vote, or even getting arrested for protesting fossil fuel projects.

“To solve and fight the climate crisis, we need to employ every tactic we have,” says Lindsay Meiman, 350 U.S. communications coordinator.

One of the group’s more high-profile fights has been against the Keystone XL pipeline. But 350 members are also encouraged to take actions that make sense in their own communities. For instance, Meiman has been involved in a campaign against a fracked natural gas pipeline under New York Harbor.

4. You’re a fierce mama or papa bear looking out for your kids.

Check out Moms Clean Air Force, a million-strong organization of moms (plus dads, grandmas, aunts, uncles, godparents). These parents show up in senators’ offices, with babies on hips, to talk about climate change. They testify against rollbacks of clean air regulations. They work with their mayors to spark change locally, and they write or call their representatives.

“We have this saying: ‘Tell Congress to listen to your mother,’” says Heather McTeer Toney, national field director.

5. You prefer working with people who share your culture.

If you’re a person of color, working with White progressives may not feel comfortable for a variety of reasons, no matter how welcoming they try to be.

Hip Hop Caucus is an option for anyone who embraces hip-hop culture regardless of age or race, says Mustafa Santiago Ali, a former senior vice president. The group takes a holistic approach, linking culture and policy. Its work ranges from registering people to vote to lobbying members of Congress to producing the radio show and podcast Think 100.

Other options for climate fighters of color: the Indigenous Environmental Network, GreenLatinos, Ecomadres, and the NAACP Environmental and Climate Justice Program.

6. You’re young and ready to change the world.

The Sunrise Movement started in April 2017 and got lots of attention last year for its protest along with U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s office demanding a committee to study the Green New Deal proposal.

The Sunrise target age is 14 to 35, and most members are in their teens and 20s. The group is growing fast—100 new hubs opened within two months in communities across the country after November. Communications Director Stephen O’Hanlon says the group’s overarching goal is “taking on the corrupting influence of fossil fuels and making climate change an urgent priority in every corner of the country.”

And if you’re still in high school, another option is Alliance for Climate Education.

7. Your spiritual beliefs guide your life—and your climate actions.

Many religious groups find support for caring for the planet in the Scriptures. Two that are doing important work are Young Evangelicals for Climate Action and its parent group, Evangelical Environmental Network.

Because evangelical Christians are often more conservative than traditional environmentalists, these groups are able to get an audience with Republican lawmakers (they’ve met with U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell) who are less receptive to liberals. They also work to educate fellow churchgoers and spur them to action.

Other faith-based options include Green Faith, which unites people from the Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Christian, and Buddhist traditions in working to protect the planet, and Interfaith Power and Light.

8. You have more money than time.

If you’re too busy to volunteer time but would like to support the climate cause financially, all of the above groups have operating expenses and need donations.

You may also want to invest in one of the large established groups that have been in the environmental battle for years, like the Environmental Defense Fund, Natural Resources Defense Council, and Sierra Club Foundation.

Charity Navigator, an organization that ranks charities based on their financial health, accountability, and transparency, can help you evaluate the groups. But be aware that relatively new or small groups may not be evaluated yet.

9. You’re older and want to fight for the next generation.

Elders Climate Action members are using their life experience and skills—and for many, the extra time they have in retirement—to try to make a difference on climate issues.

“Most of us won’t be around when the worst of climate change hits, but the people we love will be,” says Leslie Wharton, Elders co-chair.

Although members are nominally 55 and older, anyone can join; people as young as 18 have. And even though some members are in frail health, they can still get a lot done. For instance, members of an Elders group at an assisted living home write letters to lawmakers to ask for pledges of action on climate from candidates who come to speak to them.



 

Building a Green Legacy: Elders Climate Action

Geri and grandkids
Geri Freedman was motivated to join Elders Climate Action to protect the planet for her grandsons Nathan and Noah, pictured here along with her and her husband Dave. Photo: Natalie Brand.

We are excited to share this wonderful blog post by Climate Optimism, Building a Green Legacy: Elders Climate Action

Thank you Climate Optimism for highlighting the work of Elders Climate Action!

Read the blog here:  Building A Green Legacy: Elders Climate Action

 

 

 

 

 



 

Environmental Activism Attracts Boomers Seeking an Impact

Concerned for future generations, they are working to stop climate change

Article from Next Avenue. Read Full Article Here 

By Beth Baker May 9, 2017



ECA Member Meg Newhouse interviewed by Leslie Wittman from Stories with a Heart Videos.

ECA Member Meg Newhouse interviewed by Leslie Wittman from Stories with a Heart Videos.  Meg reflects on Elders Climate Action Day in Washington, D.C. as well as participating in the climate march.  She reminds us of the question “What did you do, once you knew?”  Thank you to Stories with a Heart Videos for this wonderful production.



 

Elders Climate Action Highlighted by Yale Climate Connections!

Our Partners at Yale Climate Connections produced this wonderful video highlighting the activities of Elders Climate Action!  We are grateful for the support and actions of our partners striving for a better world for all of us.

In addition, link to a short Interview with Grady McGonagill on Climate Connections.  Grady is a Member of the ECA Leadership Team and Massachusetts Chapter Founder & Leader.

 



 

Grand Voices Magazine — Elders Speak Out

Climate Change – Elders Speak Out

Posted on by Christine Crosby in

Read the Full Article Here

What are you doing to lessen the effects of climate change?

BY PAUL SEVERANCE

Elders Climate Action was formed a year and a half ago to bring the voices of elders to bear on what scientists agree is the greatest threat to life on Earth in human history: climate change. We came together sharing two convictions:

  • A conviction that elders have the perspective and wisdom to see that the political gridlock over climate change is absurd – and fueled by the money and influence of the fossil fuel industry. The science is clear: The well-being of the generations of our grandchildren and beyond is deeply threatened by our spewing greenhouse gases into the Earth’s atmosphere and warming the planet as a result.
  • A conviction that elders could be a powerful force in breaking that political gridlock. When we unite around our concern for future generations, we can have immense clout: Our numbers are growing and growing. We vote in higher percentages than other age groups. We are deeply concerned about our legacy; we have the long-term perspective to make future generations a top priority; and we know that we have a responsibility to speak out on their behalf!

Read the Full Article Here

 

 

 



 

Nexus Media – The Wisdom of the Aged

The Wisdom of the Aged

Self-proclaimed “elders” stand up for the generations that will follow in their footsteps.

nexusmedianews.com,  By Laura A. Shepard

Read the full Article Here

With age comes wisdom. Ask any politician. They listen closely to what older Americans think and say for a simple reason: older people vote.

There’s an even simpler reason why politicians (and all of us) should listen to the elders of our communities: they’ve seen and know a lot. It should, therefore, come as no surprise that a growing number of seniors are taking up a cause that’s the critical challenge of our age: climate change.

While efforts to lower global emissions often send people into partisan corners of the political boxing ring, one group is showing it’s possible to transcend boundaries and unite around this common goal.

“We’re facing a lot of challenges as a country, and as a world, and I had this sense that older folks could be making more of a contribution,” said Paul Severance, a founder of Elders Climate Action.  Read the full Article Here

 

 

 



 

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