topblockFebruary, 2016     
Future Generations Are Calling Out to Us 

There is, of course, lots you can do.  As an individual and a family you can take actions to lower your own carbon emissions.  You can use your power as an investor to help bring about change, as we discuss in this issue of the Elders Climate Action Newsletter.
And you can participate in our elders campaign to change energy policies in our country to preserve a livable planet for future generations in whatever way works for you, from just helping out with an hour of your time, to becoming one of our Elders Climate Activists.
Get Involved With  
Elders Climate Action

For us to make the difference that is so important to the future of our grandchildren and beyond, we need the involvement of all elders who care.  We and our allies are up against powerful interests who continue to make huge profits on fossil fuels - profits they don't want to give up.  Yet the lives of our grandchildren and future generations depend on a rapid shift from fossil fuels to clean, renewable energy.  That will take us all working together.

You can be involved at whatever level works for you:  
Become an Elders Climate Activist - Go to our Volunteer Page

Or start by contributing One Hour For The Climate

Or make a donation to help cover the expenses of our Elders Climate Action campaign.

If you have questions, or just want to discuss the options, send an email to, and we'll respond or give you a call.

We hope you will get involved in Elders Climate Action in a way that makes your life better - because you'll feel great about contributing your talents and resources to make a difference in a way that is enjoyable, and produces new learning and growth for you.  Welcome to the team!

Elders Climate Action Report:  
Plans for Growing Our Voice

There are some good signs recently related to climate - 195 nations agreeing on action in Paris, a growing understanding of the threat of catastrophic climate change, advances in renewable energy technology with lowering prices. 

But as concentrations of CO2 and other greenhouse gases continue to increase in the Earth's atmosphere, scientists are warning us that we don't have any more time to waste.  The solutions are available and they could be implemented quickly.  But action by the United States is critical, and partisan gridlock is still predominant in the US Congress.

Elders can be a significant force in breaking that gridlock.  We can be . . . we must be . . . a powerful, non-partisan voice calling for action to preserve a livable climate for our grandchildren and future generations.

That requires us to mobilize elders across the political spectrum to put aside partisanship and work together to build the political will to take the actions needed, both at the national policy level and the local/state level.

How are we going to meet that challenge?  We certainly don't have all the answers, but we have a dedicated group of elders committed to not letting future generations down.  And we're in the midst of planning how to grow from our membership of just over 1,700 now to the hundreds of thousands we will need.

Here are the major directions identified in our planning to date: Read More

Progress Toward Carbon Fee and Dividend on Both Sides of the Aisle in Congress

Movement toward Carbon Fee and Dividend legislation has occurred on both the Republican and Democratic sides of the US House of Representatives: Read More
Clean Power Plan Upheld by Appeals Court

On January 21st a federal appeals court refused to block Obama administration regulations aimed at reducing power plant pollution while a legal battle wages on.  Read More

Want to Know More About
Elders Climate Action?

Join Our First ECA Members Conference Call
Wed, Feb 10th, 12 Noon Pacific Time

ECA will be holding our first Members Conference Call on Wednesday, February 10th at Noon Pacific Time, 3pm Eastern Time.  Our first guest speaker will be Danny Richter, Citizens Climate Lobby Legislative Director.  Danny will give an overview of Carbon Fee and Dividend, how it will work, and what the impacts will be.  And he'll talk about how we can best work for passage of this critical legislative proposal.

Sign up for the call by sending an email to:  Just say "Members Conference Call" in your email, and we'll send you the details for logging into the call.

Should You Divest From Fossil Fuels?

What is Divestment and What Can You Do?

Divestment is the opposite of investment. If we care about the impact of fossil fuels on our planet we can make our personal contribution and not support the fossil fuel industry by investing in those companies. Divestment campaigns have made a difference in the past, the most noted being around the issue of South African Apartheid. Divestment in South Africa helped bring in democracy to that area. Following are some helpful strategies and toolkits that you can use to begin the conversation about divestment from fossil fuels. You may not be aware that many pension funds are invested in fossil fuels as well as many government entities. The voices of elders can make a difference not only in individual investments but also at a corporate or government level.

Resources to Begin Thinking About Divestment

If you own stock in individual companies as part of your retirement savings, you might want to consider becoming a shareholder activist, holding those companies to an ethically and socially responsible standard. This can be done as an individual or as a group. When you form or participate in a local ECA chapter, your group may want to organize around this action. The Shareholder Activist website provides a wealth of information to help you do this. website 

Unearthing the Fossil Fuels in Mutual Funds
Carol J. Louse, Financial Advisor, November, 2015

If you're into green investing, do you really know what's in your portfolio? Andrew Behar, the CEO of As You Sow, an Oakland, California based nonprofit that works with shareholders to promote corporate responsibility, discovered he didn't when he began digging around in the mutual funds of his employer-sponsored 401(k)
Read more

How to Talk to Your Retirement Plan Manager
OK - you've used Fossil Free Funds, looked inside your employer-sponsored retirement plan mutual fund holdings, and have determined that you want to make some changes. So what's next? Here is a link to begin the conversation with your retirement plan manager or financial advisor. (From Fossil Free 

If you are an individual investor you can take the Divest-Invest pledge from, to move your money out of fossil fuels. This pledge is also available on the ECA website for your convenience.

As You Sow
has developed a search tool to identify exposure to various fossil fuel companies and the funds they are contained in. Follow this link for an easy to use tool to see if your savings are invested in fossil fuels. Fossil Free Funds

green_house_grey.jpg Reinvest Your Home

If some or all of the money that has been freed up through divestment is not in an IRA or other retirement account, think about reinvesting in your home. Some tips to "reinvest" your home are here.
An example to save energy is through the use of advanced power strips.

Why I Am an Elders Climate Activist

By  Leslie Wharton 

I am 64 years old. That is something I have trouble absorbing. Yes, I have a bit of arthritis and my hair is gray, but I don't relate to 64. Inside, I feel much closer to 40. And after years of "being" my job, I want to do something that really matters to me.

I look at my nephew and his wife, both in their 20s, and feel a cold fear that this is the best part of their lives, that 10 or 20 years from now they may be struggling to survive in a world where extreme weather events, rising sea levels and extensive droughts undermine the economic system that has made post-World War II life so comfortable and secure for all of us. This is what matters to me.

I'm an introvert. So I really stepped out of my comfort zone when joined more than 100 other elders on Grandparents Climate Action Day to urge our representatives and senators to support the EPA's Clean Power Plan and carbon fee and dividend legislation. We came from all over the country, with different life stories, but we shared one common desire: to make our elected officials understand that we want our grandchildren to inherit an earth on which they can flourish. It was an exhilarating experience. I learned that, with courage and determination, I can make a difference. I am proud to be an Elders Climate Activist.

Kids Demand Presidential Candidates Address Climate Change
Farron Cousins, Ecowatch, DeSmogBlog,
January 11, 2016

Few issues have as much impact on the future as climate change. Sadly, the issue of climate change has taken a backseat to economic policy, divisive cultural issues and the threat of terrorism. The main reason for this is the media coverage of these issues.

Watch this commercial from Science Debate where kids ask "Why don't the Candidates for President Debate Science?"

Vermont Governor Urges State to Divest from Coal, Exxon
Zahra Hirji, Inside Climate News, January 8, 2016

In his annual address, Gov. Peter Shumlin said Exxon's history of alleged climate deception is grounds for the state to pull pension fund holdings. Read more

World's Cities Join Growing Push to Divest From Fossil Fuels

Wendy Koch, National Geographic, December 2, 2015
Environmental activists call for banks to divest from fossil fuels outside the investment bank Blackstone on October 14, 2015 in New York City.
Photograph by Andrew Burton, GETTY 
Pittsburgh City Council to Take Up Fossil-fuel Divestment
Robert Zullo, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, January 4, 2016

Among the first pieces of legislation city council President Bruce Kraus will put forward in 2016 will be a bill aimed at extricating the city pension funds' investments from fossil fuels.

At a council meeting last week, Mr. Kraus told a group of activists from the Divest Pittsburgh campaign that his office is working from a draft measure the group submitted to council members in December and hopes to have a bill ready soon for introduction. Read more 

U.S. Halts New Coal Leases on Federal Land, First Review in Decades
Valerie Volcovic, Reuters Washington, January 15, 2016

The Obama administration, in the first major review of the country's coal program in three decades, on Friday ordered a pause on issuing coal-mining leases on federal land as part of new executive actions to fight climate change. Read more

Environmentalists Plan to Sue Feds for Approving Navajo Coal Mine Ops
Anne Minard, January 6, 2016. Indian Country

Environmental groups are threatening to sue federal agencies over the feds' recent approval of ongoing operations at the Navajo Mine, which supplies the notoriously polluting Four Corners Power Plant in the eastern Navajo Nation. Read more


Want to help protect our planet for future generations? You're busy.  We know it.  How about One Hour? Want to do more, let us know.

Here are some things you can do that take less than an hour.  
  • Email friends and family asking them to take a stand on climate change and go to our website and take the pledge to restore a livable climate for future generations. Need a sample email? Send your request to
  • Invite friends and family to go to ECA's Facebook page and "like" and "share" it. Need help with Facebook, scroll down for instructions.
  • Recruit elders to take action for the climate by taking our Pledge/Membership form to a group/event/faith community and other gatherings. Request the forms at
  • Invite an organization, club, faith community, or other group to sign up as a Partner organization with Elders Climate Action.
  • Write to your US Representative and two Senators about supporting ECA's climate change legislative proposals.
We will provide the materials and guidance to assist you.

Join us for an inspirational monthly call. Watch your inbox for details for the next time and date in 2016.

Divest Invest

by Vanessa Green, Campaign Director, DivestInvest

Have you pledged to personally divest from fossil fuels yet? Join the growing effort to engage individual investors across the economic spectrum in the global clean energy transition.

Divest Invest Individual, complements and coordinates with other fossil fuel divestment movement leaders like , Divest Invest Philanthropy, and Europeans for Divest Invest. At the COP21 Climate talks in Paris last month, they jointly reported $3.4 Trillion in fossil free commitments from 500 institutions and 46,000 individuals internationally -- including Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Ruffalo and U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse.

"Look at Divest Invest," said Leo in a recent Wired interview . "It's something I'm involved in, and it's a fantastic way you as an individual can say, 'I do not want to have investments in oil, coal, or gas.'"

Despite the substantial challenges of the tragic events preceding COP21, people on their own or as stakeholders in universities, foundations, faith groups, health care institutions, businesses, NGOs and other groups demonstrated a huge and global appetite for bolder climate leadership from government and civil society.
Divest Invest Individual will continue to mobilize and embolden the global divestment grassroots to pressure the finance sector to accelerate development of fossil free retirement funds, mutual funds, ETFs and other financial vehicles for shifting more money behind our energy future rather than the legacy past. Pledge today via our News from our Partners page .

How to Change Minds about Our Changing Climate

Authors Seth B. Darling and Douglas L. Sisterson

This slim paperback is amazing because, although it delves deep into the "science" of climate change, the authors do so in an easy to understand fashion.

Using a hypothetical climate change denier named Brad; the authors take each of Brad's arguments against anthropogenic climate change, look at the supposed facts and "science" supporting those arguments, and then explain why each argument is based on cherry-picked data or a mistaken understanding of the underlying science.

In the process, they offer a clear, understandable explanation of the science and evidence on climate change that those of us who never took science courses can easily understand. These explanations are presented not as lectures but as easy going, often humorous, conversations with the reader.

After reading this book, you will never again hear someone sounding off on how climate scientists have got it all wrong without the ability to provide a clear and solidly-based refutation of those arguments.

Wangari's Trees of Peace: A True Story from Africa
Author Jeannette Winter 

As a young girl growing up in Kenya, Wangari was surrounded by trees. But years later when she returns home, she is shocked to see whole forests being cut down, and she knows that soon all the trees will be destroyed. So Wangari decides to do something-and starts by planting nine seedlings in her own backyard.
This true story of Wangari Maathai, environmentalist and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, is a shining example of how one woman's passion, vision, and determination inspired great change.

The European Space Agency has a website with some fun activities and a coloring/workbook for kids

The Alliance for Climate Education (ACE) has a mission to educate young people about the science of climate change and empower them to take action. ACE is appropriate for teenagers. Parents, grandparents and climate advocates can suggest ACE's assemblies and materials to local schools to engage their students. 


Web Workshop: Starting a Divestment Campaign - has produced a webinar detailing strategies to starting a local community driven divestment campaign. Although the webinar is lengthy and somewhat directed toward younger people it contains valuable information for local action. Web Workshop: Starting a Divestment Campaign

Here are a variety of links to divestment resources; videos; reports; and organizations to help you learn more about divestment:
, Divest-Invest.
In This Issue
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Elders Climate Action 
is  a Project of the 
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The Conscious Elders Network (CEN) is an educational, non-profit organization fostering a budding movement of vital elders, dedicated to growing in consciousness while actively addressing the demanding challenges facing our country.

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