“We burnin’ and burnin’” – Olivia and The Climate Strike
Olivia leaves school. Then she designs and creates her sign with the message above and a graphic of an African American girl perched above and behind a globe. Then she boards a bus in New Hampshire to travel down to the Global Climate Strike in Boston.*
Olivia tells me that this is her first demonstration. There are a lot of “firsts” that youth like Olivia look forward to, first car, first love, first degree, first job, first apartment, but this “first” probably isn’t one of them. She joins millions of other young people and their supporters worldwide taking time out of their daily life to try to change a frightening future before it’s too late.
Olivia and her co-strikers may feel as though they are on a sinking boat. A key element of their future that they previously took for granted – a relatively stable, predictable, and nurturing natural world – is no longer available to them. They emerge from childhood with the awful realization that their parents and teachers, no matter how much they love them, can’t single-handedly protect them from climate change calamities.
Mothers Out Front is proud to welcome Greta Thunberg to the U.S. As mothers we feel the urgent need to lead the way forward to a clean energy economy and a livable climate. We want Greta to know that we support her and the millions of youth around the world that she has inspired to action.
We have until 2030 to cut carbon emissions by half. The denial and inaction of prior generations have led to the mess we are in. Now, the youth of the world want to know - will adults take necessary action to protect their health and safety?
Mothers will join the global climate strike and lead the way for other adults to join. We will show the youth of the world that they are not alone. Once the strikes have ended, we will hold all elected officials and business leaders responsible for doing all they can to ensure a swift and just transition to clean renewable energy.
We do this for all children and their hope of a livable climate.
This blog, written by Andrea Winslow, Arlington Mothers Out Front, was hosted at YourArlington.com!
See the blog post here and full text is available below:
I have written and spoken to many concerning the Bella Romero Academy middle school in Greeley, Colorado and Extraction Gas and Oil’s proposed well project… now under way. I have many who joined me with voice and action. The facts that support the danger of the project are clear and have been well stated, in lawsuits and in public statement. Continued evidence is being discovered concerning the health and safety issues of having a fracking operation not more than 650 feet from the playing fields and playground.
Early on a Wednesday morning about a week and half ago, I met 5 other members of Mothers Out Front at a building in Boston’s Seaport neighborhood. It was a chilly May morning, but we arrived early to greet Governor Charlie Baker and talk to him about the 1500 plus postcards that had been signed by mothers, children and others around the state as part of our Mother’s Day campaign.
Governor Baker was scheduled to speak at the Green Ribbon Commission meeting to talk about climate change and its impact on Boston. We wanted to thank the governor for being there to discuss climate change and ask him to put his power behind stopping the Weymouth Compressor station and other gas infrastructure in Massachusetts. We planned to approach him as he entered the building.
As a mother of two young boys, I think a lot about the future. They will be young men in 2030, the year leading scientists from the United Nations gave us to change or face climate catastrophe. The situation is dire, but we can rise to the challenge with Colorado leading.
We have already seen amazing progress. More than a decade ago, our state was one of the first in the country to require that a certain amount of energy come from renewable sources, such as wind and solar. Transit agencies are securing electric buses, electric vehicles and charging stations are expanding, and legislators support Senate Bill 181’s common-sense protections from the dangers of gas and oil extraction. On April 16th, Colorado Governor Jared Polis signed S.B. 181, which imposes new restrictions on oil and gas activities in the state, into law.
by Mother Out Front Jill Medina Elizalde
I am a mother from Auburn, Alabama and since moving here two years ago, I became a leader in organizing the first team in Alabama for Mothers Out Front. Recently my six year old daughter and I visited Washington D.C. with my husband Dr. Martin Medina Elizalde, a Paleoclimatologist at Auburn University. We were fortunate enough to attend a session that he and his colleagues were hosting at AGU 100 2018 (American Geophysical Union), in which Dr. Katharine Hayhoe was invited to be the main speaker. She is a prominent climate scientist, one of the lead authors that published the Fourth National Assessment on Climate, and I did not want to miss this talk!
Wednesday, February 6th, construction workers in San Francisco hit a gas main. Their accident set off an explosion that set fire to four buildings, sent people running for their lives and left thousands without power during a cold snap.
As I watched black smoke rise from an office window downtown, I only had one thought: my kids are over there!
The explosion occurred less than a mile from my home. It occurred even closer to the homes of many of my kids’ friends. There’s a park with a tree my son loves to climb nearby. My family loves getting weekend dim sum at Hong Kong Lounge II, a restaurant engulfed by flames.
Today, the dangers posed by natural gas literally hit close to home.
In my new, densely populated neighborhood of Arlington, MA, I find so-called “natural” gas infrastructure everywhere I turn. A couple of streets over is a compressor station that regularly emits chemicals into the air. And Mothers Out Front Arlington has helpfully alerted neighbors to gas leaks all over town with their “Fix the Leaks” signs.
One of the gas leak signs is right across the street from National Grid’s odorant facility. The gas smell is strong, coming not from the odor station but from the leak under the street. At one place in town it is easy to smell gas even with the car windows closed.
Growing up, as a member of a political family that by necessity divided our time between Washington DC and Colorado, my heart always belonged to Colorado. And so it is with great excitement and anticipation that I announce Mothers Out Front has hired a Colorado State Organizing Manager, Laura Fronckiewicz. Based in Niwot, Laura comes to us from another great organization, Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, where she was a regional organizing manager for several states including Colorado. In the coming months, Laura will be building our statewide operation to engage mothers across Colorado as active leaders in protecting our children from climate change and the damaging health and other impacts of fossil fuel extraction and use.