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.


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