climate action alerts
A regional resource for Cape & Islands climate activists
July 26, 2020
By  Emma Goldberg , The New York Times, Published July 24, 2020, updated July 26, 2020

How Covid-19 Made it Easier to Talk About Climate Change
Rhiana Gunn-Wright, a climate policy director and architect of the Green New Deal, explains the connections between the pandemic and the climate crisis.

“It’s actually easier in a lot of ways to talk about
climate change now.” — Rhiana Gunn-Wright, climate policy director

Rhiana Gunn-Wright had asthma growing up.

So did many of her neighbors in Englewood, on the South Side of Chicago, where pediatric hospitalization rates for asthma were  significantly higher  than the rate nationwide in the early 2000s. Ms. Gunn-Wright had so many friends with asthma that she assumed it was a “childhood disease” that all young people had.

Only later in life did she realize it was linked to air pollution in the area, as was shown by  research  funded by the Environmental Protection Agency.

For some policymakers and advocates, even those organizing  global climate strikes , the effects of climate change can feel distant, but Ms. Gunn-Wright, 30, never had that luxury. Her work on environmental justice has always felt personal, tied to the public health problems in her community. In 2018, Ms. Gunn-Wright was recruited by the progressive think tank New Consensus, which focuses on climate and economic policy, to be a co-author on a paper titled “The Green New Deal.” Read more here.
Four More Days To Voice Your Support
There's no time to waste

T he Massachusetts statehouse will end its legislative session on July 31 and may not pass a single climate action bill, again, this year. We know it's tough to pass legislation during COVID, but there is strong bipartisan support for at least 2 of these bills (Roadmap 2050 and the Environmental Justice Bill). Please encourage your state legislator to push these bill over the line without delay!

  1. Roadmap Bill (H.3983) - The Roadmap Bill updates our statewide climate goals so Massachusetts is on track to reach Net Zero by 2050. This bill would include Municipal Light Plants in clean energy regulations from which they are currently exempt: a major win for Muni advocates across MA. We are also pushing for an amendment to the Roadmap Bill that would update our stretch code to a Net Zero standard, allowing communities to require Net Zero buildings NOW.
  2. 100% Renewables Bill (H.2836) - The 100% Renewables Bill is the most aggressive path to a future powered by clean electricity by 2035 and clean energy by 2045. This legislation would also establish a Clean Energy Workforce Development Fund to ensure a just COVID recovery for our health, economy, and climate. Urge your Representative to be a #100PercentHero today!
  3. Environmental Justice Bill (H.4264) - Black, Indigenous, People of Color, and low-income individuals are disproportionately burdened with climate change-causing pollution. The COVID pandemic has made it clear that the same communities that have been hit hardest by healthcare and economic disparities are also facing the worst effects of the climate crisis. This bill is a necessary and forward-moving step to rectify these inequities and injustices.

Act Now
  • Find the scripts supporting each bill here, and find sample social media posts here.
  • Send them to your elected official, whose contact information is here.
There is no Climate Justice without Racial Justice

The Sierra Club has taken up work to examine its 128- year-history, and pledged to more actively and thoughtfully dismantle racism in all of its forms and to combat exclusion wherever it occurs.

According to Hop Hopkins, Sierra Club's Director of Strategic Partnerhips, "You can’t have climate change without sacrifice zones, and you can’t have sacrifice zones without disposable people, and you can't have disposable people without racism. We’re in this global environmental mess because we have declared parts of our planet to be disposable. The watersheds where we frack the earth to extract gas are considered disposable. The neighborhoods near where I live in Los Angeles, surrounded by urban oilfields, are considered disposable. The very atmosphere is considered disposable. When we pollute the hell out of a place, that’s a way of saying that the place—and the people and all the other life that calls that place home—are of no value. "

Act Now Read the Sierra Club's article Racism Is Killing America and take your next step toward justice for all. For many, this begins with learning about our complicity first.
It’s Time To Talk About How We Talk About Climate Change
Climate XChange offers a deep dive into messaging around climate change

According to Climate XChange folks and others, "A lot of writing and advocacy on climate change these days gets it right about the risk, but wrong about how we try to accomplish the critical goal of raising public concern and moving people to action. That’s because it appeals to reason, and reason is not what drives human behavior."

Climate XChange has taken up the challenge to find effective and efficient ways to communicate the science as evidence of anthropogenic climate change and to mobilize public support for action and solutions, and has assembled a variety of voices on this subject in this podcast.

Act Now
  • Check out the Climate XChange CoolerEarth Podcast to learn how we--as advocates, policymakers, or concerned citizens--can best craft our message on this crucial topic. 

Your voice is making a difference
But there's still time, if you've not yet voiced your support

Vineyward Wind is a $2.8 billion, 800-megawatt wind farm to be built off the coast of Massachusetts and and the first commercial-scale wind project in U.S. federal waters. Thanks to many of you, the recent federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) hearings on the Vineyard Wind offshore wind project included over 100 positive comments from individuals making important points that will doubtless have signficant impact on the review process.

You can still add your voice by signing the petition, below, TODAY!

Why take action to support Vineyard Wind? Well....because offshore wind projects will:
  • Help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Address the climate crisis, meet our energy needs, and grow our economy simultaneously.
  • Create 83,000 jobs on the east coast alone.
  • Offer affordable energy, saving consumers billions of dollars on electric bills.
  • Help retire the fossil fuel plants that collectively provide power to five million homes in New England, thus protecting our climate and health.

Nearly a dozen wind projects are in queue for federal review, but Vineyard Wind is up first! Get on board, sign the petition below, and help our collective health, environment and economy.

Act Now
  • Sign this petition to U.S. Secretary of Interior Bernhardt urging him to approve Vineyard Wind and grow the offshore wind industry.
DYK? Reusable bags are back in Massachusetts! Every town on the Cape & Islands has worked hard to achieve bans on plastic bag use in grocery stores only to see them tabled due to the Coronavirus. Governor Baker's decision to reinstate these bans means RE-USABLE BAGS CAN BE USED AGAIN! Read more here to learn about the risk of Covid transmission from reusable bags and other packaging.

DYK? Which matters more for the climate: reducing meat consumption or eating local? Getting food onto people’s plates produces a lot of carbon pollution, and constitutes, according to UN estimates, about one-fifth to one-third of all global greenhouse gas emissions While there are many ways to reduce those emissions, such as eating locally produced food or avoiding plastic packaging, choosing to eat less meat makes the biggest difference, according to experts. Read more here.

DYK? A local Cape Cod company, Resilient Roots , publishes a " Victory (Over the Virus) Garden" blog with gardening tips to empower readers to take control and start growing food, even as we live with COVID-19.
The Climate Action Alerts newsletter is edited and designed by Fran Schofield and reported by Susan Starkey . We'd love to hear your thoughts. Please share this action alert with your friends and
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The Cape Cod Climate Change Collaborative is an all-volunteer 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is to reach carbon neutrality or net zero on Cape Cod and the Islands of Massachusetts by enhancing communication, collaboration, and activism among organizations, programs, and individuals committed to mitigating the climate crisis. We depend upon the generosity of our stakeholders to conduct our work.
 All donations are tax deductible as allowed by law.