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TCM Update: Extreme Weather, Oil Money and the Movement to Build a Better World

In this Update: More jurisdictions declare Climate Emergency, Margaret Klein Salamon on Rich Roll Podcast, oil and gas fuel Trump, indigenous tribes in Alaska take action to protect Tongass National Forest, and more.

Climate Emergency Movement

To date the global population living in jurisdictions that have declared a Climate Emergency is 831,690,444 people. In the U.S. that number is 35,372,017 people, or 10.77% of the country’s population. The most recent declaration of Climate Emergency in the United States came from Mendocino County, California on July 21st, 2020.

Facing the Climate Emergency

In honour of Baby Beluga turning 40, legendary childrens’ entertainer Raffi is supporting climate action to protect our children’s future. He’ll be giving away 10 copies of his favorite new climate book, Facing the Climate Emergency by psychologist and TCM founder Margaret Klein Salamon, plus a special opportunity for you and your family to meet Raffi! via Zoom! You can enter the contest from now until August 5th.

Margaret recently appeared on The Rich Roll Podcast to talk about solving the Climate Emergency, growing the movement, and the book! (All proceeds from Facing the Climate Emergency directly benefit Climate Mobilization Project)

Listen to Margaret Klein Salamon on the Rich Roll Podcast


Extreme weather

Time is running short. This summer is already providing terrible and stunning evidence of accelerating climate breakdown. 

Tropical Storm Isaias is making its way up the east coast, leaving flooding and property damage in its wake as it churns through unusually warm waters

The number of fires burning in the Amazon rainforest have increased 28% above last July, worrying experts after a record setting fire season there last year and posing dire risks for the people and wildlife of the most biodiverse region on Earth, and our planet’s overall climate stability. 

Record-shattering high temperatures in the Arctic are continuing this summer, with large parts of Siberia currently on fire. For some perspective on the cascading changes in the Arctic, watch this stunning time lapse showing 35 years of climate impact in 125 seconds

Click to watch this stunning time lapse showing 35 years of climate impact in 125 seconds

In the wake of a recent super-cyclone, Monsoon-related rains have caused widespread flooding in Bangladesh, with between a quarter and a third of the entire landmass currently underwater. 

The Apple Fire in Riverside and San Bernardino Counties in California has grown to over 20,000 acres, and was only 7% contained as of Monday evening.

The impact of these disasters is exacerbated by the pandemic and its economic fallout, underscoring the devastating human toll of the Climate Emergency across the world. We must mobilize all of our resources to transition away from dangerous fossil fuels toward a just, sustainable economy at emergency speed.

Politics 

The oil and gas sector has given Trump $935,000 in campaign donations as of July 21, more than three times what they have given Democratic candidate Joe Biden, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. These reported donations do not include contributions to political action committees nor other hidden mechanisms for injecting oil money into the U.S. political process. Recent examples of unlawful bribery and influence by utility companies and their lackeys in Illinois and Ohio demonstrate the pervasive nature of the influence of big energy over decisions that directly impact our future. 

A landmark case in Ireland brought by environmental group Friends of the Irish Environment has led to the ruling stating that the Irish Government has a legal obligation to protect its citizens from the worst impacts of climate change. The law draws on previous acts passed by the legislature that have not been carried out and holds the Irish government accountable. Though the legal implications are unclear, organizers hope that this step increases pressure on lawmakers to take decisive action.

Movement and Organizing
Last week, nine native Alaska tribes filed a petition calling on the U.S. Department of Agriculture to halt the removal of protections for the Tongass National Forest, the country’s largest reserve of public woodlands, which the tribes say is vital to their livelihoods. The Trump Administration is seeking to open the old-growth forest for logging and has requested that the U.S. Forest Service, part of the USDA, lift the rule from the Tongass, a process that is in its final stages. A decision is expected later this summer. 

A new Gallup poll found that nearly two-thirds of Americans support the Black Lives Matter protests. Movement for Black Lives is rolling out Freedom Summer 2020 organizing campaign, an echo of the 1964 Freedom Summer voting rights drive that precipitated the passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act. Learn about Freedom Summer organizing and support local mutual aid here.

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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

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.