exc-5dc482efcaf37322ed8b631f

Ten Years to Zero: A newsletter of the Climate Emergency Movement

11k+ Scientists Declare Climate Emergency, Climate Breakdown in California, Fighting Fossil Fuel Producers in Court

 11,000+ Scientists Declare Climate Emergency

The scientific community is sounding the alarm, with a group of over 11,000 scientists from 153 countries banding together to publish a paper in the journal BioScience stating ““We declare clearly and unequivocally that planet Earth is facing a climate emergency.” Citing their moral obligation to speak up, the scientists warn of “untold suffering due to the climate crisis” and convey their thinking with precise data collected over 40 years that brought them to their conclusion.  Click the graphs to the right to read the full paper

The paper calls for massive changes across all sectors of society to combat the crisis, and underscores the possibilities for “greater human well-being” inherent in a just transition away from fossil fuels. 

The Washington Post linked this statement to our Climate Emergency Campaign efforts: 

The term “climate emergency” has been championed by climate activists and pro-climate action politicians seeking to add a sense of urgency to the way we respond to what is a long-term problem. The Climate Mobilization, an advocacy group, is seeking to have governments in the United States and elsewhere declare a climate emergency and enact response measures commensurate with such a declaration … To date, scientists have been reluctant to use such language. However, this study may change that.”

Declaration Update

The hard work of local Climate Emergency organizers paid off in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where city counselors voted unanimously to declare Climate Emergency on November 4. The measure calls on Ann Arbor to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030, in alignment with our demands. 

Since January 1, 2019, there has been a 404% increase in the number of governments that have declared a Climate Emergency. Last month Malta became the eighth national government to declare, joining the UK, Republic of Ireland, Portugal, Canada, Argentina, Spain, and Austria. This data is being tracked here, please feel welcome to share it.

Some cities that have already declared are beginning to mobilize. Berkeley’s ban on natural gas in new construction is proliferating — 13 cities in California have passed similar measures, including San José, which passed a strong Climate Emergency declaration  in September and is now working to live up to it. 

Local action is desperately needed, as the national governments are failing to act or moving backward. On November 4, the Trump administration announced it will begin the yearlong process of withdrawing from the Paris Climate Accord — an effort to keep warming within a still-deadly and unacceptable 2 degrees. (Check out The Climate Mobilization’s Communication Director Malik Russell commenting on the withdrawal in The New York Times.) 

 Image:  telegraph.co.uk
Image: telegraph.co.uk

In better news, Canadian voters endorsed climate change action in that country’s national elections last month; after the election, two-thirds of Members of Parliament support a carbon tax.

Climate Chaos in California

California has been burning and without power. Last week the Kincaid fire spread to more than 77,000 acres (close to twice the size of San Francisco), forcing the evacuation of 200,000 people. A ring of fires now dot the outskirts of Los Angeles, forcing more evacuations and threatening homes. Many of these fires were caused by wind damage to electrical equipment — despite a “Public Safety Planned Shutoff” by Northern California’s major utility company, PG&E, that shut off power to nearly 3 million people for days at a time. 

 Image: nbcnews.com
Image: nbcnews.com

For millions of people in California the chaos, uncertainty, and physical danger of the climate crisis made itself painfully clear this month. Higher global temperatures produce drier, hotter weather punctuated by more intense rainfall — leading to increased plant growth that becomes dense fuel each autumn. 

Housing policies have pushed population growth in the fire-vulnerable wildlife urban interface, and a  profit-driven, privately owned power company  has failed to make the necessary infrastructure improvements to keep Californians safe.

California’s wildfires show us what states can and must do to radically alter how people live with an already-altered natural environment. Among these concrete steps — detailed in the Climate Mobilization’s Victory Plan — is the development of a “SuperSmart Grid” that uses decentralized, solar-based power generation to maintain highly resilient, flexible sources of energy, with zero carbon emissions. Advanced renewable energy microgrids onsite at critical facilities are a straightforward step to providing some resilience in the face of continued power shut offs and fires.

Taking on Fossil Fuel Extractors in Court

Cities and states throughout the U.S. are bringing lawsuits against oil, gas, and coal companies, arguing that the companies’ extraction, promotion, and sale of fossil fuels has led to rising sea levels, increased flooding, and more frequent extreme weather events — thereby creating a public nuisance. Litigating these cases means revealing how fossil fuel companies have lied to the public and going after companies that are still expanding drilling, endangering us all.  

The U.S. Supreme Court delivered a significant victory to the latest campaign of public nuisance suits in October, rejecting an appeal from oil companies and allowing the cases to proceed. Coastal cities like Baltimore and states like Rhode Island will now have a chance to demand documents, present evidence, and seek remedies for the damages they are already suffering as a result of climate change. 

Along with legal action, this year’s presidential primary campaign has seen a broader shift among national politicians in the U.S. placing blame for climate chaos with the fossil fuel companies and demanding that climate action begin with a ban on new production.

If you’re interested in learning more about lawsuits aimed at remediating the effects of, or demanding a stop to, carbon production, the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law maintains an incredible online resource for tracking climate change litigation in the U.S. and internationally.

Parenting in an Emergency

For parents, living with climate truth brings particular heartbreak and challenges. As Climate Mobilization Project board member Shuo Peskoe-Yang put it recently in an interview with NPR, “the future as it has been promised to [us], is not what that will be” for our children. The interview covers ways to minimize the trauma children experience while making clear the stakes and empowering them to act. 

Researchers recommend talking openly about climate, cultivating a love of nature (even if only in the local park), and encouraging and supporting children as they engage directly in activism with parents or peers.

In Italy this week the government voted to take on the work of those conversations in schools, making a climate change and sustainability curriculum mandatory in all grades.

 Image: forbes.com
Image: forbes.com

Greta beetle

Finally, on a lighter note — entomologists have named a new beetle species after Greta Thunberg. The researcher who identified and classified the Nelloptodes gretae from a sample at London’s Natural History Museum chose the name to honor the climate activist and her campaign to save planetary biodiversity — and human life — from climate catastrophe.

Thank you for your interest and commitment to this work! Visit our webpage to find out how you can join the movement to protect humanity and the natural world from climate breakdown. 

Share this post

Scroll to Top

Alexia Leclerq

Network Coach

Alexia (she/they) is an environmental justice organizer based in Austin, TX. They graduated summa cum laude from NYU (’20), where they self-designed a major titled “The Politics and Economics of Inequality.” Their research focuses on political ecology, environmental justice, AAPI communities, inequality, postcolonialism. As an organizer and researcher they have spent the past 5 years working on various issues from preserving the Colorado River, water rights, fighting land use policy and zoning that enforces race-based discrimination, conducting ethnographic research on climate health, to organizing mutual aid, youth programming, and shaping national legislation alongside members of the Environmental Justice Leadership Forum and the Environmental Justice Health Alliance; today Alexia continues to work as an organizer with PODER, a grassroots EJ org. Alexia is also the co-founder of Start: Empowerment, a BIPOC led social and environmental justice education non-profit working with youth, educators, activists, and community members to implement justice-focused education and programming in schools and community spaces. S:E curriculum and programming has reached over 2,000 students, been recognized by the NYC Department of Education, and taught in universities. In 2021, their work was recognized by the prestigious Brower Youth Award.

Emmett Hopkins

National Organizer

Emmett organizes local-scale mobilization for the Sonoma County campaign, while supporting Climate Mobilization’s organizing efforts around the country. He brings over a decade of experience collaborating with diverse stakeholders to build community food systems, ensure equitable access to public lands, and mobilize resources towards a just transition to an amazing zero carbon future. He graduated from Stanford with a BS in Earth Systems and MS in Urban Planning & Sustainable Design. Emmett enjoys growing food and cultivating relationships, riding bikes and buses, and reimagining our communities to better serve all the people living in them.

Suha Dabbouseh

National Organizer

National Organizer Suha Dabbouseh leads national strategy for The Climate Mobilization. They are originally from Chicago but have lived, organized and rebel-roused in seven states and 11 cities. Suha received their law degree from CUNY-School of Law where they focused on social justice lawyering representing detainees at Guantanamo Bay. While practicing law, Suha had worked to advocate on behalf of domestic violence survivors, transgender clients and fighting employment discrimination. Their passion is building people power and organizing to dismantle structural inequities.

Matt Renner

Executive Director of The Climate Mobilization

Matt has worked as a nonprofit executive in clean energy, climate policy, and journalism for over a decade, focusing on the near-term social and economic impacts of climate change. He leads organizational expansion and works closely with the communications and organizing teams. Matt earned a BA in political science from UC Berkeley, where he was deeply inspired by the work of Professor George Lakoff.

Mariyah Jahangiri

Network Organizer

Mariyah leads Climate Mobilization Network’s recruitment, coordination, and organizing support. She has organized across movements and is passionate about addressing white supremacy in the mainstream climate movement and building capacity for youth-led, BIPOC-led intersectional climate movements. She has been inspired by her experiences organizing to defund the police in Boston, supporting mutual aid and food sovereignty projects in Iowa, Atlanta, and Puerto Rico, and working on a Make Big Polluters Pay campaign. Mariyah worked as an organizer with the Bernie Sanders 2020 campaign and Planned Parenthood PAC. She graduated from Grinnell College with a Sociology degree.

Rebecca Harris

Co-Leader and Director of Organizing

Rebecca leads Climate Mobilization organizing efforts. Along with a history of social movement organizing, Rebecca he has worked as a journalist covering equity in Chicago public schools. Most recently, Rebecca worked as Development and Communications Manager at Latino Union of Chicago, an immigrants’ and workers’ rights organization. She is a 2017 graduate of the Reframe Mentorship in strategic communications and a 2019 participant in the Anne Braden Organizer Training Program.

Marina Mails

Co-Leader and Director of Operations
Marina manages operations and volunteers for both The Climate Mobilization and Climate Mobilization Project. She brings broad experience working in non-profit organizations, health care settings, and running her own private counseling practice. Before joining Climate Mobilization, Marina maintained a practice focusing exclusively on climate-related emotional coping, helping people make bold choices for lifestyle and professional change in response to the Climate Emergency. She has a bachelor’s degree in political science and Spanish from Wake Forest University and a Masters in Counseling from UNC Greensboro.

Meghann Beer

Co-Leader and Director of Resource Mobilization and Strategy

Meghann brings more than 20 years of nonprofit management and fundraising experience to The Climate Mobilization and Climate Mobilization Project. For over a decade Meghann has worked as a nonprofit consultant helping organizations expand their capacity, secure revenue, develop successful strategies, and effectively evaluate their programs, enabling them to create greater positive change in the world. She has also worked as an executive director, designed and facilitated international service learning experiences, and taught university courses in fundraising and nonprofit management. Meghann earned a MPA in Nonprofit Management and Comparative and International Affairs from The School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University, in Bloomington, IN and a BA in Art History and American Studies from Tufts University in Boston, MA.

Cris Lagunas

Strategy Director

Cris is helping to grow the Climate Emergency Movement by supporting creative campaigns and extending the reach of the movement’s message. Cris is a co-founder of the National Immigrant Youth Alliance, an organization dedicated to using direct action tactics to expose, challenge and dismantle the immigration detention system.Cris got his start in organizing when he was 15 years old, getting involved in a local group of fellow undocumented youth.

Zack Burley

Policy Associate

Zack provides policy support for the Climate Mobilization team, and brings a versatile set of policy skills and experiences in labor organizing, journalism, legislative politics, and legal practice to the climate emergency movement. Zack earned a JD from Denver University Sturm College of Law, is a founding organizer of the Political Workers Guild of Colorado, and formerly served as a legislative aide in the Colorado General Assembly.

AriDy Nox

Co-Leader and Director of Narrative Strategy

 AriDy Nox is a multi-disciplinary black femme storyteller and social activist with a variety of forward-thinking creative works under her/their belt. They create out of the vehement belief that creating a future in which marginalized peoples are free requires a radical imagination. Their tales are offerings intended to function as small parts of an ancient, expansive, awe-inspiring tradition of world-shaping, created by and for black femmes. They have over a decade of experience as a young social activist and organizer, within reproductive justice and racial justice frameworks with organizations like the Young Women of Color Leadership Council with Advocates for Youth, the Toni Cade Bamabara Collective at Spelman College and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated. They bring creativity, enthusiasm and a tremendous capacity for organization to her/their role and deep belief that times of apocalypse are opportunities for rebirth. We need first imagine the world we want in order to create it.