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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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

Co-Leader and Director of Operations & Programs

Emmett manages operations and leads Climate Mobilization’s intersectional organizing around transportation justice, where he works with local community groups to build commitment, alignment and action among frontline constituents who rely on public transit and active transportation modes. He brings over a decade of experience collaborating with diverse stakeholders to activate power towards equitable, climate-friendly transportation systems, build mutual-aid-based community food systems, ensure equitable access to public lands, and mobilize resources towards a just transition. In 2021, Emmett developed an online platform for collaborative, community-scale visioning of a just, zero-carbon future. In 2022 he helped launch a transit riders union in Sonoma County, CA, which has engaged in mutual aid, storytelling, and a successful campaign to win fare-free buses and expanded frequency.

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

Co-Leader and Network & Movement Building Director

Mariyah is a first-generation Pakistani community organizer who is on a life-long journey of working to create alternative, anti-capitalist models of collective healing, popular education, community organizing, and revolution. She has been inspired by studying social movements and organizing in many movement ecosystems and geographies – most recently in Cape Town, Iowa, Puerto Rico, Atlanta, and currently in Los Angeles. At Climate Mobilization, she is a Network Organizer where she leads programming, coaching, and other resource development for a learning hub of 43+ local decarbonization and climate justice campaigns. She also develops strategy for youth, BIPOC-led, climate movements alongside the Network Support Team at Power Shift Network, and is currently leading a Pakistani collective spearheading political education on the need for climate reparations to the Global South and coordinating grassroots fundraising for Pakistan flood relief efforts. She also recently organized with the Asian Pacific Environmental Network to base-build in Wilmington and San Pedro alongside low-income API communities most impacted by extractive industries in Los Angeles.

Rebecca Harris

Co-Leader and Director of Resource Mobilization

Rebecca has been with Climate Mobilization since 2019 leading our organizing efforts. In this role, she has coached dozens of local climate groups, coordinated organizing trainings, and launched the campaign for a national Climate Emergency Declaration. In July 2021, she collaborated with Acton, MA residents to launch Housing and Climate Justice for Acton, a renters rights and climate justice group led by public housing and Section 8 renters and other low-income residents, and has already won several campaigns. Along with a history of social movement organizing, Rebecca previously worked as a journalist covering equity in Chicago public schools and as the 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.