November , 2015

It's Crunch Time for the Clean Power Plan!
The Clean Power Plan (CPP), promulgated by the Environmental Protection Agency, is under attack in the U.S. Senate. The CPP, if it goes into effect, will for the first time limit carbon dioxide pollution from existing power plants - the largest single source of this greenhouse gas that is warming our planet. 

Elders Climate Action has made supporting the CPP a top priority. It will prevent billions of tons of carbon dioxide emissions that otherwise will enter the atmosphere and stay there for as long as a thousand years, from impacting the Earth's climate.

This EPA regulation is a critical component of U.S. climate action. If the Senate kills this critical climate change action, that could undermine any hope of significant world action at the Paris Climate Summit at the end of this month. The Clean Power Plan, needless to say, will play a huge role in the United States being able to meet its carbon reduction pledge. Killing, or even delaying, the rule would draw the United States' global leadership into question. And that would undermine the willingness of many other nations to make major reductions. 

Some experts predict that the veto override could come down to one or two votes. Elders Climate Action Chair Paul Severance urges all ECA members to contact their Senators and ask them to support the Clean Power Plan, and especially those who have a moderate Republican Senator and/or a Democratic Senator. "It's going to be very close, and your call could make a difference."

One piece of very good news for climate advocates came on October 25th, when Republican Senator Kelly Ayote of New Hampshire announced her support for the Clean Power Plan. ECA leader Pat Hoertdoerfer, on hearing the news of Ayotte's announcement said: "I think our 7-person respectful lobbying effort on September 10th played a tiny part in Ayotte's decision." Way to go Pat and team!

Parents And Grandparents Call For Climate Action: 'We Consider It Our Moral Obligation'
Katie Valentine, Climate Progress, Oct 13, 2015
Protecting the planet for future generations has become a near-universal reason - at least among those who accept climate science - to act on climate change. Noted climate scientist James Hansen has said that the U.S. government's inaction on climate change violates "the fundamental rights of...future generations," and President Obama said in January that "no challenge poses a greater threat to future generations than climate change."

It's in that spirit that 14 organizations from around the world announced the launch of Our Kids' Climate, a group that's calling on world leaders to act on climate for the sake of kids' futures. The group, launched Tuesday, is focusing its efforts on the Paris climate talks in December. Members plan to deliver a petition - which so far has garnered nearly 4,000 signatures - to world leaders during the conference "demand[ing] actions strong enough to protect the children we love from catastrophic climate change." ( continued below)


Names of concerned parents and gra ndparents from every corner of the globe are demanding climate action from world leaders.  Please visit the website and sign the petition which will be delivered to Paris for the Climate Conference.
The petition, which organizers say is also addressed towards local and state leaders, calls for international commitments to "keep global temperature rise at safe levels" and, ideally, "a world powered by 100 percent clean energy with net zero greenhouse gas emissions."  Read more

Strategic Action Plan for 2016

With the successful Grandparents Climate Action Day over, it is time to lay the plans for the upcoming year. As our day in Washington approached, we surveyed members about what they believed our priorities should be going forward.  From their answers, our Strategic Planning Committee came up with these initial goals for 2016:
  • Build a large, diverse national membership of committed elders with a goal of 5,000 in 2016.
  • Engage members in our national campaign by providing them with inspiration, opportunities for effective action, and education.
  • Develop local Elders Climate Action chapters that are empowered and supported by ECA.
  • Expand, engage and nurture our network of partners.
  • Hold the next Elders Climate Action Day in Washington.
  • Create and maintain a dynamic website and social media program.
  • Raise funds to support these priorities in conjunction with Conscious Elders Network
All Elders Climate Action members received a list of volunteer positions that will be needed to address these goals. We hope YOU will find at least one position to volunteer for. All of us are needed.
Send an email to eldersclimateaction@gmail.com  and let us know you are ready to step up and act now.  We'll be happy to arrange a phone call with you to discuss how you might get involved.

We are represented in 47 states and the momentum is growing quickly.

The Climate Reality Project    
If you've heard about the historic UN climate negotiations coming up in Paris and wondered what you can do, this is your answer. If you've ever wondered if one day you can make a difference for our planet's future, this is that day.

The day is November 13. On this date, we're bringing the world together for    24 Hours of Reality and Live Earth: The World Is Watching,  a day of planet-wide climate action and music hosted by former US Vice President Al Gore and streaming live from cities around the world.
Join us for this live broadcast event featuring global artists and influencers and inspiring stories of progress around the world as we set the virtual stage for a breakthrough climate agreement at the UN climate talks in Paris beginning on November 30.

In the weeks leading up to the Paris climate talks,
millions around the world are raising their voices to demand that world leaders take action.  Will you raise yours?
  Let's use  24 Hours of Reality and Live Earth: The World Is Watching  as our podium to speak together as one planet and demand action. www.climaterealityproject.org.
Global Climate March: on the Road to Paris

If Elders Climate Action members join events in cities and towns everywhere, we'll show our leaders meeting in Paris that our movement cannot be ignored and we will accept nothing less than an ambitious climate deal, with a global commitment to 100% clean energy!

This could truly be the biggest climate march ever. With events across the globe, look for the event closest to you. Events are the weekend of November 28th and 29th, immediately preceding the United Nations Climate Summit, COP21 in Paris.

Click the link to join in and find an event near you: Global Climate March for all the children, grandchildren and future generations.

An Invitation To A Special Climate Event, Friday, November 13th, 2015

  "Elders Turning the Tide on Climate Change" 
- a teleconference with Kathleen Dean Moore

Those of us who are "life-experienced" have a passionate desire to leave a vibrant planet to our grandchildren and all children. We also have unique gifts and capacities to contribute to the climate change movement - the wisdom, love and perspective that come only from decades of lived experience.  Yet it's so easy to feel powerless and overwhelmed in the face of such a daunting global crisis. What difference can we possibly make as individuals?

In this conference call, Kathleen Dean Moore, author and noted environmental advocate, describes the role that elders are uniquely qualified to play in turning the tide on climate change. What does our life experience prepare us to contribute? What is our moral responsibility to future generations? How can our love for our grandchildren and all children be a powerful force in addressing climate change? How can we sustain hope and continue showing up in the midst of our heartbreak and fear for future generations? 

Join us on Friday, November 13 from 12:30-1:30 for this lively and stimulating conversation! Payment is on a sliding scale from $5-$25; please pay the maximum you can so others with more limited income can also participate. To register, please either:
  • Send an email to ourcclegacy@gmail.com and we will send you the appropriate link to register on Eventbrite when it is ready OR
  • Visit www.ourcclegacy.net and leave your first name and email address in the "sign up here" boxes. We will send you the appropriate link to register on Eventbrite when it is ready
Register now and join us to unleash your power, love and wisdom toward turning the tide on climate change!

ECA members performing in Union Station, Washington, DC

Elders Call for Climate Wake-Up 

Meg Newhouse from myArticles blog 

It is nearly 8:30 a.m. and people are going to and from trains or having conversations over breakfast in the Rotunda of Union Station in Washington, D.C. Suddenly a group of mostly elders coalesces and begins to sing and dance.

I was among the group, participating in an Elders Climate Action on Sept. 10, timed to coincide with National Grandparents Day. A fledgling organization, the Conscious Elders Network, had brought over about 125 members and others from partner organizations from across the country to exercise their rights of citizenship on behalf of the planet we are bequeathing to our grandchildren. 

Specifically, we were in Washington to lobby Congress for the preservation of the EPA's Clean Air Plan and for a bill to levy a revenue-neutral carbon tax, which would be returned to the public in the form of dividend payments.
I came away even more convinced that, as citizens, elders, and grandparents of all ages, we have both the moral obligation and the wherewithal to mobilize our fellow citizens to halt climate change and preserve our planet for our grandchildren and their grandchildren.  It is a moral obligation, I believe, because our generation has greatly exacerbated the accumulation of greenhouse gases that inexorably threaten life as we know it on our planet, and because all of us, but especially elders, have the responsibility for stewardship of all forms of life on this planet. 
We can reverse or at least ameliorate this dire legacy but only with selfless individual choices and sustained political advocacy. Staffers from both parties, as well as Sen. Whitehouse, assured us that they welcome citizen lobbying and input to counteract the organized, moneyed interests that carry outsized influence, given our gerrymandered districts and polarizing primary system.
We have the wherewithal, because Boomers-plus are 80 million strong, with a tendency to vote at higher rates and to take a longer, broader view of life, what I call in shorthand "a seven-generation and interdependence perspective." 
What if we could imagine our great grandchildren asking us, as they did in Drew Dellinger's poem "Turning the Tide: What did you do once you knew that the "planet was [being] plundered... when the earth was unraveling...[and] democracy was stolen?" Could we tell them that we finally stepped up to the plate, in the nick of time?
- Edited from Meg Newhouse's Blog 

Hieroglyphic Stairway

It's 3:23 in the morning, and I'm awake

Because my great, great, grandchildren won't -let -me -sleep.

My great, great, grandchildren ask me in dreams

What did you do, while the planet was plundered?

What did you do, when the earth was unravelling?

Surely you did something when the seasons started failing

As the mammals, reptiles, and birds were all dying?

Did you fill the streets with protest when democracy was stolen?

What did you do once you knew?

- From Hieroglyphic Stairway by Drew Dellinger

Can Toilet Water Heat Town Hall?  

Barnstable tests system that utilizes wastewater for energy

Geoff Spillane, Cape Cod Times, October 21, 2015
HYANNIS - A flush of a toilet could one day heat Barnstable Town Hall and the adjacent school administration building.

The first pilot program in America to test a German technology designed to climate control buildings using wastewater from treatment plants is underway in Hyannis.

The concept may sound futuristic, but the technology has already been implemented at 10 locations in Europe and one site in Canada. It could soon be heading to the U.S. if the local trial proves successful.

The four-week pilot program is being funded by a $50,000 grant awarded to Barnstable by the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources. The program is being operated by the town's water pollution control division and overseen by GHD, an environmental engineering firm with offices in Hyannis. Read more

10 Groundbreaking Solutions for a Sustainable Planet 

Ecowatch, Sustainia, October 19, 2015

Today, sustainability think tank Sustainia and partners announced a top-10 of leading sustainability innovations for 2015. The 10 projects and technologies are finalists for international honor, Sustainia Award, which identifies and celebrates groundbreaking sustainability solutions from all over the world.

Sustainia's Award Committee, led by Arnold Schwarzenegger, will now review the finalists, which come from nine different countries and cover everything from new ways of financing climate mitigation projects in cities, leasing models for baby clothes, citizen engagement projects for energy consumption and solar rechargeable hearing aids.   Read more.

Elders Climate Action:
Stories Best Told by Our Members

Renee Fisher, an ECA Grandparents Day Participant and Volunteer
I am a child of the 60s.  I marched, I attended sit-ins, and I wore a black armband at my college graduation. The efforts of my peers ended a war and caused a President to resign. At no other time in my life did I feel so empowered.

In the decades since, my activism took second place.  Raising my family and furthering my career were first. When I think about global and national events of those years, I think first "Who was I pregnant with?  Who was starting school? Which company was I working for?" 

Now my children have created families of their own. My profession, which is still important to me, has started to wind down.  But my passion to better this world has survived intact. I have looked around at the huge issues we face and I see that none of the issues have meaning, if our planet can no longer sustain us. 

For that reason, it is climate change that calls me to action. 

Being a part of Elders Climate Action and participating in the Grandparents Climate Action Day lobbying on the Hill brought me back to the heady days of the 60's. But now, we are the Elders, and we assume the responsibility of Elders throughout history. We have the vision to see the kind of planet we want for our children and grandchildren. And we have the commitment to make that vision a reality. 

I invite all Elders to take a stand and join us. In numbers, we can do this.   

This Is About As Mad As  
The Dalai Lama Gets

Samantha Page, Climate Progress, Oct 20, 2015

"There is no other planet where we may move," the Tibetan Buddhist spiritual leader said in a video posted on YouTube. "This is our only home." Dalai Lama video

"This is not a political matter, not a religious matter, but ultimately [about] the survival of humanity," he said.

The Dalai Lama has been an outspoken advocate for the environment for years. This summer, he
praised  the pope's encyclical on climate change. Read more

Reading with Your Grandchildren

The world of books is far more than entertainment.  It is a valuable source of education and enlightenment. Along with taking us out of our lives, books can help clarify our vision for our lives.  Along with our families, our life experiences, and our educational experiences, books help mold us into the people we ultimately become. 

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 following books are a good start:

A Kids' Guide to Climate Change & Global Warming: How to Take Action! 
(How to Take Action! Series)
 - Cathryn Berger Kaye 
(grades 6+)

  A Kids' Guide to Climate Change and Global Warming is a recent workbook for kids in grade 6 and up in the How To Take Action! Series. It contains a global warming map, carbon footprints explanation, water audits, youth summits, alternative energies, cool foods, green comics and much more to empower kids to take action to reduce or end global warming. Providing step by step suggestions for effective activities, A Kids' Guide to Climate Change and global Warming is a fine educational tool for young student environmental activists.

Snowy White World to Save
- Stephanie Lisa Tara
(elementary school)

This powerful and important story brings the plight of the polar bears to readers through lyric writing and gorgeous illustrations. Once the Arctic ice is gone, the beautiful polar bear will no longer have a way to survive. With the ice goes the magnificent creature's hope. Bears use the ice as a home, for everything from food to birth is tied to the ice. If nothing is done, scientists warn the majestic polar bear could be extinct in fifty years. This amazing journey is full of heart, empathy, and useful information to bring readers into the world of the polar bear and show why these special creatures should be saved. - Alex Walton (Illustrator)

The Great Kapok Tree
- Lynne Cherry
(ages 4-8)

If a tree falls in the forest... someone or something will always be there to hear it. Many, many creatures will feel the effects when their source of sustenance and shelter falls to the earth. So when a man is sent into the Amazon rain forest one day, under instructions to chop down a great kapok tree, many eyes watch him nervously. It's not long before he grows tired, though, and the "heat and hum" of the rain forest lulls him to sleep. One by one, snakes, bees, monkeys, birds, frogs, and even a jaguar emerge from the jungle canopy to plead with the sleeping ax-man to spare their home. When the man awakens, startled at all the rare and marvelous animals surrounding him, he picks up his ax as if to begin chopping again, then drops it and walks away, presumably never to return.

The Trouble with Dragons
- Debi Gliori 
(grades K-4)

The world is populated by some beastly dragons that care nothing for how much they mess up the oceans, chop down the trees, gobble up all the food and use everything up without stopping to think. Those dragons need to wake up to what they are doing to their world before it is too late ... A delightful and energy-filled picture book that addresses concerns about the environment in the most child-centric and delightful way possible.

Be on the lookout for ECA's November Climate Action Bulletin which will outline the top 2-3 key actions you can take this month to make a difference!
In This Issue

Stay tuned in to the ECA website , our Facebook page and future newsletters for updates and opportunities in your own 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.

Grandparents' Climate Action Day Short Documentary

Sit back and watch this moving short video by documentary videographer, David Carey.

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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! info@eldersclimateaction.org 

"Never before in human history has a generation been given such an opportunity for genuine heroism. The same fate that has made us the first generation to face the growing possibility that we will destroy human civilization by our own hand through climate change and/or nuclear catastrophe has also given us unprecedented opportunities to lead 'heroic, timeless and supremely meaningful' lives."