Despair or Action: What Do YOU Choose
The latest report from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says we are terrifyingly close to the point of no return in terms of stemming the worst impact of the climate crisis. The world’s on fire and it's only going to get worse unless we act. So the questions are simple: What are we going to do? What changes are we going to make to our lives? Are we going to fight, or are we going to despair?
I know what I am going to do. I am going to fight. I am going to do everything I can to help mitigate the impacts of the climate crisis which is caused by the carbon pollution emitted by the fossil fuels we’ve burned for generations, and continue to burn to power our world today. And I’m going to get my friends and family, and everyone I can, to join me. Because we can’t do this by ourselves, we need collective action. We have to do all we can now if we want to create a healthier future for our children and children's children to thrive and grow.
If we fail to take aggressive action to stem the emission of carbon pollution, the global temperature increase could spiral out of control. Right now we are treating the world like we’re tending the fire, adding logs to the flames and sitting back and watching it grow.
Inaction means dire consequences, and we’re all counting on each other now more than ever. Science tells us that nothing short of a major systemic shift towards decarbonization will prevent the worst impacts of the crisis. Comprehensive action is needed, on the scope and scale of major rapid mobilizations such as the race to land a person on the moon during the Kennedy Administration. And true solutions will integrate economic and racial justice mandates so that the most vulnerable communities will be first in line to build resilience and a new green energy economy.
But we can move forward ambitiously, as Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley and White House Climate Advisor Gina McCarthy both reiterated at a recent meeting in East Boston seeking input on the federal stimulus and Build Back Better plans. “We need to sit up, stand up and invest in ourselves again, “ said McCarthy. “We need to get aggressive. The IPCC report couldn’t have been more stark.”
Climate change is water change. Some places will experience increased frequency and intensity of rain, floods, and sewer overflows. Other areas will experience frequent droughts, water scarcity and increased fire risk. That's why the Massachusetts Clean Water team is launching an #ActOnClimate challenge -- what can each of us do this fall to fight for a better future and reaffirm our commitment to climate justice? We choose action, not despair! What about you?
Here are a few ideas from Clean Water’s team… we hope they inspire you to take action and fight back with us!
Cindy Luppi, New England Director: I commit to continue separating out and composting (via Black Earth Composting) our household’s food waste. In addition, I will meet with my state legislators representing Winthrop in support of bills that will remove barriers to more offshore wind, and reduce air pollution from vehicle tailpipes.
Elizabeth Saunders, Massachusetts State Director: I will return to riding the T more regularly instead of driving--which I have only done a few times since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and I will get involved with a local climate action organization to team up with my neighbors in Dorchester to fight for climate justice for our community, the state and the world.
Paulina Casasola, Climate Justice Organizer: I commit to holding corporations accountable for their impact and rethinking my habits as a consumer. I want to support local farmers and opt for pre-loved items instead of supporting fast fashion brands. Participating in clothing and pantry swaps are a fun and budget friendly way to help the planet and reduce my waste. In addition, I will continue to meet with City Counselors to fight for emission reductions and energy efficient buildings in Boston!
Laura Spark, Senior Policy Advocate: I commit to being fossil-fuel-free by spring 2022. Before the end of 2021, I will upgrade my electric service and buy an air source heat pump. I already purchased 100% electricity and have an electric car. I will replace my gas hot water heater by spring 2022. I will also fight for funding that allows all Massachusetts residents to have the resources and information they need to stop powering and heating their homes with fossil fuels.
Maureo Fernandez y Mora, Associate State Director: I commit to increasing the amount of my food that comes from local sources, and researching ways I can reduce my energy consumption in the apartment that I live in. In addition to my personal commitments on the individual level - I will continue to take part in community organizing events that fight for racial justice, economic opportunity, and a healthier environment. Because we aren’t going to win if we aren’t standing with the frontline communities who will be most impacted by climate change.
Not sure where to start?
Sign up to become a Clean Water volunteer! You’ll get emails from our rockstar interns on a regular basis letting you know about important action alerts, upcoming volunteer events, and campaign updates about important issues local to Massachusetts.