topblockJanuary, 2016     
After Paris: It's Up to Us  
What should we make of the recent Paris climate agreement? While everyone seems to agree that it is not sufficient to solve the looming climate crisis, the consensus ends there.  

President Obama stated that . . . "the Paris agreement establishes the enduring framework the world needs to solve the climate crisis. In contrast, Bill McKibben, founder of, and a leading climate activist for many years, said: "If all parties kept their promises, the planet would warm by an estimated 6.3 degrees Fahrenheit or 3.5 degrees Celsius, above preindustrial levels. And that is way, way too much."

Obama is right. For the first time 195 nations affirmed that climate change is a threat to human civilization and that global temperature rise should be limited to 1.5 ° C. All of the signatories pledged to take action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, to report results in a verifiable basis, and revisit their targets every five years. With the Paris agreement, the scientific and world communities have come together, and one can no longer credibly claim that we don't need to worry about climate change. 

But McKibben is also correct. Under the Paris agreement, each country is free to set its own emissions targets, there is no mechanism for enforcing compliance with those targets, and the targets that were agreed upon in Paris are not in themselves sufficient to prevent disastrous climate change.

James Hansen, the renowned climate scientist who alerted the world to the coming climate crisis in 1988, said that the transition to clean energy that is needed will not happen while fossil fuels are the cheapest source of energy, and despite widespread calls for a carbon tax, that was not included in the Paris accords.

Without strong US leadership, the shift to clean energy is not likely to happen in time. And the US is dragging its feet, in large part because our Congress is paralyzed by partisanship.  The political will to take the necessary actions in the face of opposition from fossil fuel corporate lobbying will have to come from the voters.

And this is where we come in. We elders have the long-term perspective, the wisdom, and the passion to set aside political posturing and stand up for the future of our children and grandchildren. The Paris agreement isn't perfect, but it creates a framework in which our actions can truly make a difference.

So what can we do?  On a national level, we can follow the lead of James Hansen, who is urging adoption of Carbon Fee and Dividend legislation proposed by Citizens Climate Lobby and strongly supported by Elders Climate Action.  Under that proposal, the tax proceeds would be returned to citizens to help offset higher energy prices.  Higher prices on fossil fuels will spur innovation and the adoption of renewable energy sources, and the tax rebates to citizens will improve our economy, according to recent economic studies.

So, if Congress won't take the necessary action on its own, it's up to us to convince it to do the right thing. And as we do that, we can put pressure on our state and local governments and businesses to move us towards a sustainable future. 

In sum, we elders can be a vital part of one of the greatest movements in history: the movement to prevent global climate disaster. Working together, we will increase awareness and support throughout the nation and the world, build hope, and help bring about a future in which our children and grandchildren can thrive.

Specifically, we must:
  • Rededicate ourselves to passing Carbon Fee and Dividend legislation in the US Congress.
  • Build support in the US Congress and the next administration for full implementation of the Clean Power Plan and the new proposed methane regulation.
  • Act at the State and local level to make our governmental and private institutions adopt policies and undertake initiatives to make deep cuts in carbon emissions.
  • Act responsibly in our personal lives to deeply reduce our carbon footprints.


You Can 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.  You have lots of options. Please find our Get Involved form here, and select how you'd like to get involved.  You can send us an email, you can print out the involvement form, fill it out and mail it to us.   We look forward to having you involved in this campaign - We need you!

You Can Make a Personal Contribution 
to the Carbon Emission Goals 
Agreed Upon in Paris.

First, Determine Your Carbon Footprint

How much land area does it take to support your lifestyle? Take this quiz to find out your Ecological Footprint, discover your biggest areas of resource consumption, and learn what you can do to tread more lightly on the earth.

Create your own avatar and discover how your lifestyle impacts planet earth. This interactive tool will help you think about all the ways that your lifestyle makes demands on the planet. You'll even discover how many planet earths it would take to support a world full of people living like you.

After completing this process you can explore ways to lower your impact and make a pledge to take specific steps. This tool is designed to be used by people around the world and the questions alone will help you recognize that not everyone lives the way you do. Global Footprint Network.

If you want to see how many pounds of CO2 you use each year and learn ways you can reduce that go to the calculator here EPA Carbon Footprint Calculator.

On both of these sites there are some suggestions to reduce your footprint on this planet and if you are looking for more ways to make a difference, here are some websites with tips to take action now.

Here and Now, December 2, 2015

Here and Now host Jeremy Hobson talks with Tony Leiserowitz, Director of the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication, about the choices and changes people can make in their daily lives to have an impact on climate, and how much those changes really matter. Listen to the interview.

Taking Action for the Climate

By Sam Gloyd from Massachusetts

As their grandfather, brothers Sammy aged 8 years and Benjamin aged 6 years have been my charge one day a week until they started school. Needless to say we have developed a bond. I want them to enjoy this wonderful world at least as much as I have and do. That is the reason I have joined ECA.

After living in a coop in Dudley Sq., Roxbury for four years, I have moved to an old farmhouse west of the city of Boston in Sterling, MA. Having grown up on a farm in Indiana seems I've come full circle. I now commute three days a week into Boston to see clients in a private psychotherapy practice. In nature, I restore my soul.
Emergence of the Massachusetts Chapter of Elders Climate Action: A Brief History

by Grady McGonagill
(one of ECA's leaders)

Five members of Conscious Elders Network/Elders Climate Action from Massachusetts attended Grandparents Climate Action Day in September 2015. One of us followed up by inviting the others to join in forming a Massachusetts chapter of ECA.

After an initial meeting among three of us in October, we convened a meeting in mid-December designed to include a much larger number of people. We set the intention of enabling others to explore whether ECA would be a good fit for them, as well as lay the groundwork for moving forward.

Our next meeting attracted a total of 16 people with very diverse levels of knowledge and experience regarding climate change. Fourteen of us were between our early fifties and early seventies, with one person in his forties and another aged twenty-eight years.

A few were currently active as organizers of other initiatives. Most were retired, coming from widely ranging professions, from environmental lawyer to auto mechanic, as well as a cluster of consultants/coaches and a mathematician. The group included the head of the Boston chapter of the Citizens' Climate Lobby, making two of us who are active in CCL.

The agenda included the following:
  • Sharing what attracted each of us to the meeting and what we have been doing about climate change.
  • Reviewing ECA's evolution, purpose, and strategies, (including its relationship with the Citizens' Climate Lobby).
  • Exploring initial chapter strategic directions.
  • Writing a holiday greeting card to our Republican Governor, urging him to support strong action on climate change.
  • Discussing what kinds of focus would be attractive to members in future meetings.
  • Agreeing on the scheduling of future meetings.
Discussion initially focused on the rationale for using elderhood as an organizing framework. We then explored potential chapter priorities, with the greatest interest expressed in building political power that could be directed in the short run toward influencing the Governor and the legislature.

Participants also embraced the suggestion that we also pursue our individual passions and form subgroups around topics/actions of common interest. Some of us hope to deepen our learning about the science of climate change; others hope to learn skills; still others prefer tangible actions (like writing the card) and hope for guidance.

We agreed to meet monthly, face-to-face, for two hours on a weekday. For the time being, the two CCL members will serve as chapter co-leaders. The meeting closed with a strong sense of enthusiasm around our common purpose and an emerging sense of community.

Elders Group Helps Achieve 'Possible Turning Point' in Fight to Keep Fossil Fuels in the Ground 

An elders group, Elders Rising For Intergenerational Justice, played a leading role in a Utah protest that stopped (at least for now) the auction - an effort to accomplish what scientists tell us must be done to preserve a livable planet for our grandchildren: keep the fossil fuels in the ground.

Elders Rising For Intergenerational Justice provides the newly forming Chapters of Elders Climate Action with a great example of how we can make a difference in our own states.

Climate change and El Niño fueled 2015's record heat 
Climate Nexus, December 21, 2015
Earth's second consecutive record hot year signals  
an alarming trend.   
Read more

Watch this video which encapsulates the extreme conditions during 2015 in 2 short minutes,
2015 The Hottest Year on Record

US Cities Join Defense of Clean Power Plan
Climate Nexus, December 23, 2015

More than a dozen US cities, along with the National League of Cities and the US Conference of Mayors, filed a motion Tuesday to defend the EPA's Clean Power Plan. The cities, including Salt Lake City, Baltimore, Miami and Houston, join 18 states that have also filed as "friends of the court," as well as two former Republican EPA administrators.

The motions represent the local and regional commitment to reducing emissions and reinforcing the US pledge to fight climate change. In statements, mayors said they are best equipped to defend CPP because they are "on the front line" of climate change. Read more .

Santa Arrested at Gates of Crestwood Saying No to Dirty Energy, Yes to Renewables
Ecowatch, December 22, 2015

The Grinch, Santa and his elves took a short break from their Christmas preparations to visit the gates of the Crestwood gas storage facility near Seneca Lake in New York to warn the company that Santa-and the world-is watching. His elves and local friends held signs saying, "Dirty energy = naughty, clean renewables = nice" and "Here comes the sun, go solar!" Read more .

Echoing Paris Climate Accord, NJ Lawmakers Vote To Cut Carbon Pollution
Tom Johnson, NJ Spotlight, December 18, 2015

In the wake of a historic agreement to curb global warming, New Jersey lawmakers voted to take aggressive steps to reduce carbon pollution while delivering a rebuke to the Christie administration. 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 liveable 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.
  • Join us for an inspirational monthly call. Watch your inbox for details for the time and date in January, 2016.
We will provide the materials and guidance to assist you.

Facebook - the Basics

Facebook is an essential tool in getting the word out about Elders Climate Action. Here are a few useful tips to share ECA with your friends and family on Facebook. The more our Facebook page is visited, LIKED, and SHARED, the more people we will reach. In order to be seen, we need you! Learn the Facebook basics here. Like us on Facebook now!

Moms Clean Air Force

Moms Clean Air Force (MCAF) played an important part in Grandparents Climate Action Day!  Health Policy Director Molly Rauch and Julie Hantman, DC Field Organizer, (whose granddaughter was the star of our Flash Mob at Union Station) were a key allies in helping to promote our day and National Field Manager Gretchen Dahlkemper was there to help prepare us for lobbying our Members of Congress on the EPA Clean Power Plan.  

Led by co-founder and senior director Dominique Browning, Moms Clean Air Force is a national movement of more than 600,000 Moms and Dads who are protecting our children's right to clean air - just as our parents fought for us, forty years ago, when the Clean Air Act was passed. 
We highly recommend a visit to their website where they present a treasure trove of reliable information and solutions through online resources, articles, action tools and on-the-ground events.  There is an especially engaging section devoted to "Climate Change at Home" where the emphasis is on how it affects us every day in our kitchens, back yards, bathrooms and bedrooms.  

"In addition to being a leading voice on climate change and clean air, Mom's Clean Air Force has been extraordinarily supportive and helpful to Elders Climate Action, and they have provided us with a great example of effective organizing and activism,"  said Paul Severance, ECA Chair.  "As a new organization, we're hoping to be like MCAF when we grow up."

What We're Fighting for Now Is Each Other: Dispatches from the Front Lines of Climate Justice

by Wen Stephenson

With an apocalyptic tone, journalist and climate activist Stephenson introduces the work of fellow activists, environmental scholars, and frontline community organizers in this substantial volume on the climate justice movement. Stephenson considers climate change "the most fundamental and urgent threat humanity has ever faced," and faults "the fossil-fuel industry and those who do its bidding" as they "deceive the public, and willfully obstruct any serious response to the climate catastrophe."

When Stephenson shifts the focus to comrades in the fight, the conversation gets more interesting. Among the leaders and foot soldiers Stephenson presents are Tim DeChristopher, a climate activist in Salt Lake City jailed for disrupting a Bureau of Land Management auction of oil and gas drilling leases; longtime environmentalist Wendell Berry, whose 1979 essay "The Gift of Good Land" makes "a Biblical argument for ecological and agricultural responsibility"; and Beverly Wright, a New Orleans native who helped document "the deep structural and environmental racism" many African Americans experience in communities along the Mississippi River.

There is plenty of harsh language, which may turn off some audiences, but others will be glad to see Stephenson promoting the work and commitment of an array of activists engaged in what is often a thankless battle.
As grandparents, especially grandparents who take a stand for the health of the planet, we have a unique opportunity when we buy books for and/or read to our grandchildren. We have the ability to not only show our grandchildren the wonders of the world, but to instill in them a respect for how we should treat the earth. The fun does not end with reading there are websites and apps to engage your grandchildren.

The Everything Kids' Environment Book: Learn how you can help the environment-by getting involved at school, at home, or at play

by Sheri Amsel
Paperback, age 9 and older

In this book kids can find out what they can do every day to help protect our planet. They will also learn why the rainforest is so important to us, how animals go extinct, and what environmentalists can tell us about taking good care of our world.

The New 50 Simple Things Kids Can Do to Save the Earth

EarthWorks Group, with contributor Sophie Javna

The original best-selling book has been revised for a concerned and vibrant Web 2.0 youth market. It's easy-to-do and kid-friendly projects show that kids can make a difference, and each chapter is packed with tons of links to groups and resources. What makes this book stand out, though, is that it doesn't just inform kids, it encourages them to make a difference by providing them, their friends and their families the tools to take action.

Tiki one world has some tips for kids to help in reducing carbon footprints.

The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) has a website devoted to climate information for kids.

In This Issue
Stay connected via our  
ECA website , Facebook page,
bulletins and newsletters for updates and opportunities in
your communities.

Elders Climate Action 
is  a Project of the 
Conscious Elders Network

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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There are many ways to get involved with Elders Climate Action. Each person and their efforts can make a big difference!