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Klein Salamon at Australian summit and other news from The Climate Mobilization

In the U.S., Mississippi and Tennessee are experiencing devastating flooding after receiving 400% of normal rainfall. The Arctic shattered record high temperatures, reaching 70 degrees fahrenheit this past week. This is a Climate Emergency.

Australia: Climate Emergency Summit

Amidst the lingering devastation of unprecedented bushfires that have swept the nation, Dr. Margaret Klein Salamon, founder and executive director of The Climate Mobilization, spoke at the Climate Emergency Summit in Melbourne, Australia on February 14 and 15. The summit brought together over 2,000 intellectuals, private sector leaders, government officials, and organizers to explore how to facilitate an emergency-speed climate transition in Australia and across the globe. 

Margaret shared her perspective as a psychologist, talked about the role of democracy in mobilization, and challenged the culture of profit and extraction that has created our crisis. Margaret’s speech was a call to action — “If humanity’s two choices are to transform or to collapse, the only rational, moral choice is to immerse yourself in the struggle to protect all life.”

By the numbers

Total US declarations of Climate Emergency: 87 declarations within 23 states

Current active Climate Emergency campaigns in the US: 113

Percent of Americans who believe that climate change is the most important issue facing society: 56%

Percent of Americans experiencing “eco-anxiety”: 68%

Number of young conservative American voters who say that climate change is an important issue: 77%

Mobilization notes

Developers are adapting to the demand for all-electric new construction, even in places where government protections don’t yet make it a requirement. Though the trend toward all-electric new construction does not address the issue of electrifying millions of existing structures in the US and beyond that cook and heat with fossil fuels, it points to widening awareness and interest in “green” housing. Increased popularity of electrification will aid the overall transition, if and when the large-scale systems changes are implemented by law. 

Further Reading

Read about small success stories from local governments looking to make good on Climate Emergency declarations, as well as struggles to find concrete ways to act. From Reuters: Cities experiment with big ideas to confront ‘climate emergency’.

From Prince Edward Island, Canada, The Climate Mobilization’s Research and Publications Director Laura Berry speaks about democracy and climate solutions.

From Common Dreams, children’s singer and advocate Raffi Cavoukian writes in support of World War II scale mobilization to save humanity and the natural world.

Along with everyone else, we’re waiting to see what Jeff Bezos does with his $10 billion Bezos Earth Fund. We don’t trust many billionaires, but we hope to be surprised. 

Middle and high schoolers from Sunrise Movement held a teach-in in DC this week targeting Senate members who do not support the Green New Deal. Children as young as 13 were arrested for their participation in the action. 

Net Zero is Not Zero

We’re delighted and hopeful to hear so much discussion of lowering emissions and cutting carbon in the news. Even a year ago it was hard to find calls for “getting to zero.” Perhaps predictably, however, many current efforts touted as solutions are misleading. Several bills before Congress, as well as state and city governing bodies, use the term “net-zero,” meaning that emissions will be permitted, so long as they are offset by natural or artificial means of drawing carbon back out of the atmosphere or capturing the carbon at the point of emission and keeping it sequestered.

This way of calculating transition efforts makes space for questionable accounting of carbon offsets, and delays the urgent, comprehensive solutions we must put in place. The climate emergency demands action that addresses the root causes of the threat we face. To restore a safe climate for communities across the globe, we must both eliminate greenhouse emissions as well as safely draw down excess carbon from the atmosphere as quickly as possible — 2050 is far too late.

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Kristen Cashmore

Senior Director
Kristen brings more than 25 years of social justice advocacy to Climate Mobilization. Her previous positions at human rights, public health, environmental justice, and clean energy organizations inform her work with the variety of stakeholders she is engaging with to bring an accelerated response to the climate emergency. Kristen earned a BA in Peace and Conflict Studies from UC Berkeley, where she was a teaching assistant in the Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management.

Malik Russell

Communications Director

Malik leads Climate Mobilization’s press and communications strategy. He formerly served as Communications Director for the NAACP. He is a journalist, author, community-based educator, and former lecturer in the Department of Strategic Communications at Morgan State University. The former editor of the Washington Afro-American newspaper, he has worked as a journalist in the Black Press for over two decades.He has a BA in American history from Brandeis University and earned a Master of Public Administration degree from Baruch College in New York, where he was selected as a National Urban Fellow.

Ezra Silk

Deputy Director

Ezra is co-founder of The Climate Mobilization and Climate Mobilization Project. He authored The Climate Mobilization’s Victory Plan, an influential exploration of how the federal government can organize and implement a mobilization to save civilization from the Climate Emergency and ecological crisis. This document directly shaped the demands of the Extinction Rebellion movement and the Green New Deal framework. Ezra was also a lead author of the climate emergency declaration resolution introduced in Congress in July 2019. A former newspaper reporter, Ezra has a BA in history from Wesleyan University.

Matt Renner

Executive Director of The Climate Mobilization and Managing Director of Climate Mobilization Project

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.

Laura Berry

Research & Policy Director

Laura brings over a decade of experience to Climate Mobilization in climate advocacy, organizing, research, and policy. She has worked on climate, environmental, and sustainability issues from local to global scales with organizations including the Stockholm Environment Institute, the National Caucus of Environmental Legislators, and 350.org. She is passionate about deepening democratic engagement in response to the Climate Emergency. Laura has a BA in human ecology from College of the Atlantic and an MSc in global environment, politics, and society from the University of Edinburgh.

Rebecca Harris

Organizing Director

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

Operations and Community Manager
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.

Sydney Ghazarian

Digital Organizer
Sydney leads digital strategy for The Climate Mobilization and Climate Mobilization project. She is also a founder of National Democratic Socialists of America Ecosocialist Working Group and worked to establish climate as a primary focus of the American Left. Sydney has previously worked in journalism and in academic research. Sydney received her bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of California San Diego.

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.

Margaret Klein Salamon, PHD

Founder and Executive Director of Climate Mobilization Project

Margaret leads organizational strategy for The Climate Mobilization and Climate Mobilization Project. In this role she has helped catalyze a burgeoning worldwide Climate Emergency Movement. Margaret earned her PhD in clinical psychology from Adelphi University and a BA in social anthropology from Harvard. Though she loved being a therapist, Margaret felt called to apply her psychological and anthropological knowledge to solving climate change. She is author of Facing the Climate Emergency: How to Transform yourself with Climate Truth available from New Society Publishers in April, 2020.

AriDy Nox

Organizational Development and Engagement Manager
AriDy brings creativity, enthusiasm and a tremendous capacity for organization to her/their role, assisting the executive director with travel, communication and fundraising. AriDy Nox is a multi-disciplinary black femme storyteller and social activist. They have served as a national representative for The Young Women of Color Leadership Council, the Millennials of Color Leadership Bureau, and held writing positions with Advocates for Youth and RH Reality Check. She has worked as an administrative and executive assistant for a myriad of organizations including the Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program at Tisch School of the Performing Arts at NYU, the Youth Engagement Fund and the Community Resource Exchange.