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New Climate Emergency Declarations and News from The Climate Mobilization

Climate Emergency Movement Updates

The Climate Emergency Movement has gained momentum in recent weeks with four new declarations in the U.S. alone, bringing the total to 111 declarations nationwide within 24 states. 11.3% of the US population now lives in a jurisdiction that has declared, and globally there have been 1790 declarations of climate emergency within 30 countries.

Congratulations to organizers in Saco, Maine where the town council passed a declaration on 9/21, Provincetown, Massachusetts, where a declaration was passed in a town meeting on 9/21, and Yolo County, California, whose Board of Supervisors passed a declaration on 9/30.

The Board of Supervisors of Contra Costa County, California also passed a resolution on 9/22 which included a declaration of Climate Emergency. TCM executive director Matt Renner, who lives in Richmond, California, spoke in support of the county’s commitment to moving away from a fossil fuel-based economy in the region, saying in part “The oil industry is in free fall, and demand is not coming back for their product. The writing is on the wall for the four Contra Costa County oil refineries.”

Supriya Patel, climate emergency organizer, Climate Mobilization ally, and 9th-grader, authored an op-ed in the Sacramento Bee calling for a declaration of climate emergency in her city: “The youth have had enough. It’s time to declare a climate emergency in Sacramento County.”

New York City’s Climate Mobilization Act has been rated the United States’ most ambitious local climate action initiative, according to a new policy scorecard by the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE). Importantly, 11 of the top twenty cities on the scorecard have declared a climate emergency.

Read more about how climate emergency declarations are driving meaningful climate policy change in local governments across the pond in Are climate change declarations delivering change? 

Politics, science, covid-19, and climate 

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), our air pollution crisis is even more deadly than the covid-19 pandemic, resulting in approximately 7 million fatalities annually. Globally, nine out of 10 people are breathing air that does not meet WHO’s guidelines for limiting pollutants, and the outcomes are even worse for people in low-and middle income countries whose governments continue to build their industrial power with environmentally hostile production. The climate emergency is a public health crisis, and it is our world’s poor and disenfranchised who are bearing the brunt of the consequences. 

More than 4 million acres of California have burned this year due to increasingly intense wildfires fueled by climate change — more than double the previous record, set in 2018. Slate details how coverage of wildfires in the west is being influenced by conspiracy theory and anti-environmentalist rhetoric. 

Climate scientist Zeke Hausfather (@hausfath) explains how we have increasingly limited emissions pathways to net zero emissions before reaching dangerous levels of global warming, underscoring the absolute urgency of acting immediately.

During Wednesday’s Vice Presidential debate, candidates and the moderator ignored the realities of the climate emergency impacting millions of people across the United States, from fires in the West to hurricanes across the Gulf Coast. Candidates were not asked about how best to rapidly eliminate greenhouse gas emissions from the American economy — instead they were asked “do you believe in climate change?”  

President Trump has also refused to participate in the second Presidential debate if it were hosted virtually due to coronavirus concerns. With Trump back working in the White House despite his active infection, E&E News draws connections between Trump’s downplaying of the pandemic and climate denial

Connect with TCM

If you missed our campaign launch and want to take action around the 2020 election, check out last week’s #ItTakesAMovement live stream on TCM’s Facebook page, and sign the TCM pledge to vote, help get out the vote, and defend democracy. Join the campaign here.

Climate Mobilization founder Margaret Klein Salamon is writing a series for the Psychology Today Blog looking at the personal side of the climate crisis and answering reader questions about how to overcome climate-related dilemmas. Have a question for Margaret? You can submit it here!

Join the Montgomery County, Maryland chapter of The Climate Mobilization, who led their county to declare a climate emergency back in 2017, as they explore eliminating fossil fuel emissions locally. The webinar, Pathways to a Climate Positive County – Part 2. Buildings, consumption & mobility: making our buildings, vehicles, and energy network climate positive by 2027 will help organizers from around the country gather insights and build connections for local organizing work. The event is Tuesday, October 13th from 7:30 – 9:00 pm ET. Register for the webinar here.

Long Reads

For a bleak look at our possible future, and an invitation to action, check out Three Scenarios for the Future of Climate Change by Elizabeth Kolbert for The New Yorker.

The online environmental magazine Grist presents an Illustrated Guide to understanding the connection between environmental justice and police violence against Black and brown people. 

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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.