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TCM Update: Jacob Blake, Extreme Weather and Climate Voters

In this Update: Impacts of the climate emergency are intensifying, shooting paralyzes unarmed father of three Jacob Blake, some good news from Brazilian rainforest, and more.

Extreme Weather

Along with pandemic fears and political tensions, this month is bringing extreme weather to the United States. The impacts of the climate emergency are clear, terrifying, and intensifying. Our hearts are heavy for those affected, and our dedication to our mission is stronger than ever. We must have a national transformation that rapidly restores a safe climate and creates a just and democratic society.

Iowa is still recovering from a devastating derecho wind storm that hit the region without warning on August 10, tearing through farmland and urban areas with category 2 hurricane-force winds. Little national media coverage or government response has followed. 

More than 1.4 million acres of California have burned in the past week of wildfires. The scale of this destruction is truly staggering, with over 600 separate fires burning around the state. And as an example of our cascading crises and injustices, California is facing a lack of firefighting capacity due to the state’s reliance on prison labor, which is less available due to pandemic-related prison lockdowns and early release programs to spare prisoners from the virus that is ravaging incarcerated people across the country. Air quality in Northern California has been extremely poor and wildfire smoke has reached across the West as far as Kansas

Hurricane Laura has become a category four storm and is poised to hit the Texas and Louisiana gulf coast late this evening with risk of devastating storm surge.

Racial Justice

Protests began this week around the nation, after the police shooting in Kenosha, Wisconsin of Jacob Blake, a father of three, who was shot seven times in the back by police in front of his children. Blake was unarmed and is now paralyzed from the waist down due to the shooting.

Protests range from ongoing marches in Wisconsin and Los Angeles to practice and game boycotts begun by players and coaches in the N.B.A., and followed by players in the W.N.B.A., M.L.B. and Major League Soccer, and members of the Detroit Lions NFL team. 

Hopeful News

In Brazil’s Amazon rainforest, areas where indigenous groups are given full property rights have much lower deforestation rates, preserving the biodiversity of the rainforest and it’s critical function as a vital storage sink for carbon, at a time when fires and deforestation threaten the region. Over 2 million hectares of land may be turned over to indigenous groups in Brazil, making it more difficult for development and other encroachment to destroy the forest.  

Organizers from many groups, including The Climate Mobilization, Hoboken, are protesting the planned construction of a fracked gas plant in Kearny, New Jersey. Activists are taking to the water in kayaks and marching to protest the air pollution and climate impacts of the project, set to begin in 2021.

New public opinion polling has demonstrated that 68% of the public believes that the government should do more to address climate change. Despite the multiple crises facing the country at this time, the climate crisis is not being eclipsed by other issues as a top concern. This new research suggests that climate will be an important voting issue for a growing sector of the US electorate come November. 

Senate Democrats have called out dark money used to prop up fossil fuels, deceive the public and spread climate denial. Their plan calls for an end to the influence of the fossil fuel industry over policy and public opinion. 

T-Shirts are Back!

We’re happy to announce the opening of our new online store! Our t-shirts, mugs and stickers will start conversations and help you tell the world about the Climate Mobilization we desperately need to create a just economy and a stable climate.

We’re happy to announce the opening of our new online store!

Good Reads

“What Climate Alarm Has Already Accomplished” — David Wallace Wells for New York Magazine

“Disasters are Driving a Mental Health Crisis” Dean Russell and Jamie Smith Hopkins for The Center for Public Integrity

“How Decades of Racist Housing Policy Left Neighborhoods Sweltering” — Brad Plumer and Nadja Popovich for The New York Times

“The Climate Crisis is an Emergency, Not an Issue” — Mark Hertsgaard for the Columbia Journalism Review

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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.