Young People Power Ahead on Climate Policy Change

iMatter Movement

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MONDAY 12/15/14 4 p.m. PST — HBO iMatter Movement video“Saving My Tomorrow,” features youth involved in the fight for climate change. Here’s the Trailer.

My May 2012 post on the iMatter Movement shared about kids (and adults), first marching to protest climate change, then relying on the public trust doctrine to sue the federal and states governments. The public trust is “a legal doctrine that imposes a fundamental, fiduciary obligation on all governments to protect our shared natural resources.” The goal of the suits is to force governments to create the recovery plans necessary to turn around or weaken the direction of global climate change.

Government isn’t the only focus. The Movement’s Youth Council, 3 Step “Revolution” for Change asks us all to change the way we Think, Live, and Act. The Movement’s website lets the children tell their stories in video. Stunningly beautiful and moving.

single turtle flip fleuron

COP 20 Lima, Peru

Opening ceremony COP20 Wikipedia image

Opening ceremony COP20
Wikipedia image

“I believe in order to get change we need to have massive mobilization. …governments are not going to move by themselves, they’re not going to choose to place people over profit. They’re not going to choose to align their policies with humanity, unless they are pushed to do so.” Emily Williams, California Student Sustainability Coalition * Interview “What Now for Climate Change? Youth Movements from Lima to Paris”

A broad coalition of California students are challenging public and private university fossil fuel-related investment practices. Radio KGNU interviews Emily Williams, Campaign Director of the California Student Sustainability Coalition about the nature of campaigns for change, particularly divestiture and sustainability. Just this week, California’s Chico State University became the first public university to commit to fully divesting all investments in fossil fuels within four years.

The 2005 United Nations (UN) Climate Change Convention (COP 11 or COP/MOP 1) spawned the concept of an International Youth Climate Movement(Wiki). Every year, the number of youth organizations attending the conference and working for climate change back home grows. Here are a few: Australian Youth Climate Coalition, Indian Youth Climate Network, UK Youth Climate Coalition, Kenya Youth Climate Network, Climate Youth Japan, China Youth Action Network. 

I want to grow in a world where all these young people, and many more like them, are in charge.

If you are an environmental youth group working on climate change, add your website and mission in the comments. And tell us how it’s going.

“Live as if our future matters.”  Alex Loorz, founder iMatter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

World Oceans Day ’14 ~ aka “Primal Parent Day”

Breakers M. Cst

Photo: Katy Pye

Interconnected seas form our parent ocean — to my mind, the most critically endangered species on the planet. We are undeniably linked: biologically (from whence we came), for sustenance (food, water, air), and emotionally (see “Blue Mind”-Wallace J. Nichols). We all know our parent is in trouble. What we do on land, and in the air and water can help or hurt. I’m always looking for ideas.

Yesterday, Marinebio.org posted a terrific education and action tool. “101 Ways to Make a Difference: Take Action for Threatened and Endangered Species.” Arranged by category, and not just about ocean issues, it’s easy to find a topic that warms your heart, makes your blood boil, or both. The deepest and most long-lasting changes — individually and for the planet — launch from a single passion, then often spread.

My top 4 (with links in green) are:

sea turtles ~ Turtle Island Restoration Project and Seaturtle.org (a primary resource for all things sea turtle)

over-fishing  ~ MarineBio.org-“…a solvable problem.” World Wildlife Fund “More than 85 percent of the world’s fisheries have been pushed to or beyond their biological limits.”

ocean pollution ~ National Geographic and NOAA (“Eighty percent of pollution to the marine environment comes from the land.” I include plastics as a form of “run-off.”)

the atmosphere ~ If you click on only one thing in this post, choose this one. iMatter: Young people are taking governments to court in a fight to protect the atmosphere. These powerful, passionate, and eloquent kids are using society’s highest tools to force the top game-changers to uphold and act under the law. Their stories and presence touch, educate, and empower. Expect goosebumps, smiles, maybe a touch of “parental” pride.

After rain photo by Katy Pye

After rain
Point Cabrillo Lightstation Historic State Park
Photo: Katy Pye
All rights reserved

We’re in this together. Feel free to share your favorite “primal parent” links, suggestions, and stories in the comments.

Thanks for stopping by, peace, and do what you can.

Nesting Kemp's ridley Photo: Adrienne McCracken

Nesting Kemp’s ridley
Photo: Adrienne McCracken

 

 

 

 

 

 

P.S. It’s sea turtle nesting season in many places and all 7 species are threatened or endangered. To avoid extinction, they need to up their reproduction rates. Please report any turtles or nests you find to appropriate local groups. Seaturtle.org lists 228+/- sea turtle groups in 63 countries. Follow local requirements or best practices, such as turning off outside lights at night. Don’t interfere with, or distract adults or hatchlings. Know how your fish and seafood is caught and whether laws to protect sea turtles from drowning in shrimping nets are being followed. Louisiana defiantly refuses to enforce federal fishing laws that protect sea turtles during shrimp trawling.

UPDATE: iMatter Kids Winning for the Atmosphere!

The iMatter kids lawsuits I wrote about in May are making headway. Where? In of all places, the historically conservative states of Texas and New Mexico.

CC dry streambed-Matt Rudge

photo: Matt Rudge – Creative Commons
from TckTckTck

Maybe this year’s hottest summer on record (3,282 heat records broken in June), ongoing drought and wildfires convinced Texas District Court Judge, Gisela Triana, to rule “the atmosphere and air must be protected for public use.”

A few days later, Judge Sarah Singleton of the New Mexico District Court, threw out her state attorneys’ request to shut down the iMatter Trust suit, which, likewise, sought to protect the atmosphere. The plaintiff who sued the state, 18 year-old, Akilah Sanders-Reed, was represented for free by lawyers with Wild Earth Guardians.

New Mexico flag CC

Judge Singleton’s ruling helps move the state to cut atmosphere-damaging emissions by developing “Climate Recovery Plans” similar to others in states and the nation that restore streams, native grasslands, and ocean fish populations.

Listen to Akilah talk about her decision to become the suit’s key actor (Progressive Radio Network July 31, 2012, beginning at 17:17 minutes into the show). Her reasoning goes beyond her state, to the importance of these individual lawsuits on the nation and the planet. Attorney, Tanya Sanerib, a legal counsel in the federal cases, joins her to explain the basics of the suit and the Public Trust and what’s at stake. I promise it’s not boring.

New Mexico Whitewater Baldy Night Fire 6/6/2012

New Mexico’s Whitewater Baldy Night Fire 6/6/2012
Photo: Kari Greer – Credit USFS Gila National Forest.

The iMatter kids have done their homework. Watch their video stories; new ones have been added since May. All are impressive. These passionate young people, from diverse backgrounds, know that fighting for everyone’s right to a livable planet won’t be easy. The lawsuits force judges to breathe their decisions into uncharted air. The Public Trust doctrine has been used successfully to support the environment, but it has never been tapped to protect the  atmosphere, thus full planet health. You can’t get more basic than that. Judges Triana and Singleton have bravely opened new legal territory, making it easier for other state and federal judges to act.

Visit and bookmark this page at Our Children’s Trust to read about and follow the state-by-state progress of the lawsuits.

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Now the weirdest story I’ve run across about adaptations to climate change.

http://old-photos.blogspot.com/2009_01_01_archive.html

Hoping for chocolate milk?

Farmers Feed Hungry Cattle Chocolate in Lieu of Corn

Opinions vary on why some cow farmers in the Midwest are resorting to feeding livestock chocolate, marshmallows, and gummy bears instead of corn. No science on the impact of turning cows into sweet junkies is offered. I wonder whether the state Ag Extension offices have weighed in. I may be a chocoholic, but I’m sticking to my California squeezed milk!

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“The Atmosphere Belongs to Every Generation”  iMatter.org and Our Children’s Trust.org

Watch the Earth Breathe!

Check out this cool model, Breathing Earth. Hover over different countries and watch the clock per second and annual tons of CO2 emissions per person change. Not every big country uses a lot of resources, and not every small country uses less. Some of it is population size, but not always. See what conclusions you come up with.

I used a link from the website to calculate my “CO2 footprint.” I came out sporting size 15 galoshes (that’s rubber boots for any of you under age 55). The actual question raised, rather than the size of your foot imprint on wet sand is, “How many planets does it take to support your lifestyle?” Even with all the “right” things I do like recycling, living in a fairly energy-efficient house, etc., 4.1 planets is beyond embarrassing! 

CO2 footprint shot

My CO2 Footprint as of 10-4-12

See how well you’re doing. Share ideas with us on what you’ve done to reduce your footprint.

Me? It’s lunchtime and right after I “explore scenarios” on the website to do better, I’m of to make a salad. Then get out in the sunshine to rejuvenate my garden beds and plant some fall veggies and sugar snap peas for spring.

See ya.