Fires, Smoke, and Extreme Weather
It has been a terrifying few weeks as we watch the impacts of the climate emergency unfold across the country and throughout the world. We’ve seen the skies turn red in the San Francisco Bay Area from extreme fires across the West, with unprecedented fires continuing to burn throughout the West, including uncontrolled fires in Oregon and in the Los Angeles National Forest. Air quality across the region turned dangerously poor and is only now beginning to improve. Last week smoke from fires blew across the country through the midwest, and all the way to New York City.
Meanwhile, hurricanes fueled by warming oceans are churning through the Atlantic and Gulf coasts one after another — so many now that we’ve run through the alphabet of named storms and on to Greek letters for only the second time since the naming of storms began in 1953. Damage from Hurricane Sally alone has reached an estimated $8 to $10 billion, primarily from widespread flooding and water damage.
We are in a climate emergency, and this kind of calamity is only the beginning unless we act decisively with a massive, all-hands-on-deck Climate Mobilization.
California Executive Order
Today Governor Gavin Newsom of California issued an executive order requiring that all new cars sold in the state after 2035 must be zero-emissions vehicles. Further, Newsom called on the California legislature to ban hydraulic fracking in the state.
While a critical first step, this executive action does not go far enough to address the full spectrum emissions of the transportation sector, which make up half of California’s emissions, or the fossil fuel industry’s hold on California’s energy system.
ACTION ALERT – #ItTakesAMovement
Join The Climate Mobilization & Climate Emergency campaigns nationwide for a quick and easy action to kick off #ItTakesAMovement — an exciting new campaign to vote out Trump, inspire people to join Get Out the Vote efforts and defend what is left of U.S. democracy. The kickoff virtual action takes just 30 mins to complete and can be done on your own time, wherever you’re located. Click here to sign up and join the movement!
Montgomery County Spotlight
The Climate Mobilization Montgomery County is holding a speaker series to help locals engage the County government to act faster, bolder and much more inclusively in developing our county’s Emergency Climate Action & Resilience Plan (draft due in November 2020). Learn from their efforts during an online event next Tuesday, September 29 for Pathways to a Climate Positive County: Buildings, consumption and mobility.
Climate Emergency Movement
Congratulations to organizers in Acton, Massachusetts and Tucson, Arizona, which declared a climate emergency on September 8th and 9th, respectively, both with a goal of reaching carbon neutrality by 2030. The declaration in Tucson, a city warming at the third-fastest rate in the country, puts particular emphasis on a just transition for marginalized communities who are already disproportionately affected by the negative impacts of the climate crisis. Contra Costa County also declared a climate emergency on September 22nd, commiting government officials to prepare for a Just Transition away from a fossil-fuelled local economy.
Globally, this movement has achieved 1779 declarations across 30 countries to date.
There is much more work to be done, but the Climate Emergency Movement continues to provide a unifying call to action for organizers across the globe to pressure governments to acknowledge the climate crisis, and take immediate, bold action to address it.
New Research and Long Reads
Climate Mobilization allies Larry Edwards and Stan Cox have published an updated version of their Cap and Adapt proposal — a “failsafe,” mobilization-scale plan for a managed decline of fossil fuel use and rapid transition to renewable energy system — in the journal Solutions this month. Read about Cap and Adapt here!
Read about how the environmental movement can become less dominated by white activists and more inclusive in The Guardian’s interviews with activists from across the US.
The New York Times details how Trump’s gutting of environmental protections has and will exacerbate the climate crisis if elected to a second term.
Executive Director of Climate Mobilization Project, Margaret Klein Salamon, talks about changing the course of her life to fight the climate emergency in this article from Quartz.
Read about late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg’s record of voting for climate protections in RBG’s death leaves a climate shaped hole in the supreme court from Grist.
New polling finds that 75% of Americans want to hear about the connection between the climate emergency and the extreme weather disasters in the news. Climate Mobilization ally Genevieve Guenther, writing in The Boston Globe, explores why media outlets have been hesitant to link disasters to the climate crisis, and urges a shift to full reporting of the impacts of the climate crisis across sectors, from weather disasters to business, immigration, real estate and beyond.