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9 Years to Zero: Deadly Heat, Policy Solutions and Our Summer Series

Accelerating Climate Impacts

This past month has brought hellish reminders of the gravity of the climate emergency and the very real danger it brings. We’ve seen destructive heat waves in the Northwest, which cooked shellfish on the shore and is estimated to have killed more than a billion marine animals

Hundreds of people, including unhoused individuals, elderly people and farm workers, died in the US and Canada during the heatwave. 

Already an endangered species, salmon in the Sacramento river may not survive this summer’s heatwave as water temperatures rise beyond what the fish can tolerate. 

Extreme heat is bringing wildfires to the west, where air quality is poor and Native American tribal land is threatened. In Lytton, British Columbia temperatures reached 121 degrees fahrenheit in July, followed closely by a devastating fire that burned 90% of the town. 

In Pakistan, temperatures have risen to over 125 degrees fahrenheit. In this heat, combined with humidity, the body’s natural cooling system (sweat) no longer functions. In areas like Pakistan’s Sindh province, where air conditioning is scarce, heat can turn deadly for people who are left exposed. 

On the east coast of the US, New York City saw flooding from tropical storm Elsa that demonstrated vulnerabilities in public transit and aging infrastructure — commuters waded through contaminated water to get to subway platforms, and others were rescued from cars on flooded roadways.  

The climate emergency is making conditions unsafe for millions of people. We must act boldly and urgently to prevent far more devastating impacts. 

Climate Mobilization Summer Series

We’re kicking off our Climate Mobilization Summer Series with a conversation about building power through coalitions. Join us as we host Alex Easdale, Executive Director of Southeast Climate Energy Network, and Janet Zahn, organizer with the Grand Rapids Climate Resolution Coalition, on July 27th at 5pm Pacific, 8pm Eastern. Sign up today!

Founder Joins Climate Emergency Fund as Executive Director

We are thrilled to announce that Margaret Klein Salamon, our Founder and former Executive Director, was recently hired as Executive Director of the Climate Emergency Fund, where she’ll be leading the charge to channel money into grassroots organizations that are waking the public up to the climate emergency through protest and direct action. This important role gives Margaret a great opportunity to help influence philanthropy to treat climate as the emergency it is, and fund ultra-ambitious organizations and campaigns. Margaret has stepped down from her positions on the TCM and CMP Boards of Directors in order to focus on her new role. However, she’ll remain closely tied to us, with Climate Awakening still going strong. On that note, if you haven’t participated in a Climate Emotions Conversation yet, sign up for one now!

We can’t wait to see what she does at CEF!

Infrastructure Bill

Democrats in Congress have negotiated a $3.5 Trillion  spending package to supplement the bipartisan infrastructure bill, which needs the support of every Democratic Senator in order to pass. An analysis by the Congressional Budget Office is pending, as is final word on whether all Democratic senators, including West Virginia’s Joe Manchin, will be on board. 

Policy News

New home construction in Tucson, Arizona will have to include charging outlets for electric vehicles due to changes in building code passed this June. This change comes as part of City of Tucson’s Electric Vehicle Roadmap, which has been developed in response to Tucson’s declaration of climate emergency last year. The Tucson landfill is also getting a new name and a new mission in the city’s response: the Los Reales Landfill will now be known as the Los Reales Sustainability Campus and it will serve as a hub for sustainability-related activities to help the city achieve carbon-neutrality by 2030 and zero-waste by 2050. Details about this effort can be found in a presentation from the city

New Jersey has approved the largest off-shore wind installation in the U.S., which is projected to power over 1 million homes by the end of the decade. 

The legislature of the state of Maine has divested the state’s pension funds from fossil fuel investments, the first state government to take this step. In Maine a statewide ban on disposable plastic shopping bags has taken effect as of July 1, and a new bill signed by Maine governor Janet Mills this week will shift the cost of plastic packaging disposal by creating an Extended Producer Responsibility Program to charge waste producers and channel funding to local recycling programs. 

The state of New York has passed a bill to encourage the use of concrete that has a lower carbon footprint in new public-sector construction. Proponents of the bill hope that new infrastructure spending across the nation will employ materials with less environmental impact, particularly concrete, which contributes roughly 7% of global greenhouse gas emissions. 

After a disappointing attempt by democratic state legislators to ban hydraulic fracturing in California, Governor Gavin Newsom announced in April that he would use regulatory action to ban all new fracking permits in the state by 2024. In 2021 approvals for new wells have gone down 90%. Though fracking makes up a small percentage of fossil fuel extraction in California, banning the practice in the state would eliminate this heavily polluting practice and make California the largest oil-producing state to ban fracking. 

Good Reads

  1. Reuter’s hot list of top climate scientists disproportionately highlights Global North scientists, missing an opportunity to elevate research from the Global South and exposing a long-standing bias that has direct impacts on people living in the Global South. 
  1. As calls for reparations for African Americans gain traction, Tamara Toles O’laughlin makes the argument that climate reparations are an intractable part of Black Liberation.
  1. There is increasing research proving that perhaps one of the most effective technologies to combat rising temperature levels are trees. 
  1. Mostly due to deforestation for beef and soy production, scientists have confirmed that the Amazon has changed from carbon sink (a place that absorbs carbon) to carbon source, a truth that has enormous implications for global carbon levels. 

Supporting this work

Thank you for your continued interest in The Climate Mobilization and the Climate Emergency Movement. If you can support us with a donation, you’ll help us build community power across the US for emergency declarations and the Climate Emergency Programs that follow. 

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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

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.

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

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.