August 2016     
2016 is a Critical Year
for the Future of All Our Grandchildren!

Now, the truth is that 2017 will also be a critical year for our grandchildren, and 2018, and every year thereafter . . . until the world either:

(1)  permanently reduces our greenhouse gas emissions enough that their concentration in the Earth's atmosphere begins steadily dissipating; or

(2)  tipping points are passed which will ensure that climate change has spun out of control and there is no longer anything we can do to prevent catastrophic sea level rise with millions of climate refugees, agricultural disruption and destruction of coral reefs that drastically reduces world food supplies, out of control spread of tropical diseases, commonplace catastrophic weather events, and more.

Note:  This is not a partisan political statement.  It is a scientific judgement supported by the conclusions of every National Academy of Science in the world!  This is about our survival, not about Democrats vs Republicans, Liberals vs Conservatives.  Unfortunately, it's also about politicians under the influence of big money from fossil fuel companies.

Then what's so important about 2016?

The United States entered into agreements in Paris to do our part in addressing this international crisis.  The world is looking to the US:  Are we serious about keeping our commitments?  If it becomes clear that we are not, the world effort to protect the lives of the grandchildren disappears.  So 2016 will provide the first test as to whether the United States will step forward to do our part to combat a threat that we have contributed by far the most to creating.

And, of course, 2016 is an election year that could have great impact on US policy on greenhouse gas emissions for the next four years. 

Just when we need a World War II scale mobilization to address this threat, our politicians are largely ignoring it.

As Dr. Noam Chomsky, Institute Professor  Emeritus at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and the author of over 100 books, said recently in an interview (regarding the 2016 elections): "It ' s pretty remarkable to see how the worst threats that the human species has ever faced, the most important decisions it must make- and soon -are virtually absent from the discussions and debates."


Paul Severance
Co-Chair, Elders Climate Action


64 Elders Climate Action volunteers have already signed up to participate in our Congressional Candidates Climate Project.  Volunteers form a small team to ask their Congressional Candidates to complete an Elders Climate Action Survey about their position on climate change and what needs to be done.  Their responses to the survey (or lack of response) will be published on the ECA website.  You can put as little or as much time and effort into this project as you wish!  It takes very little time and effort to present our surveys to your candidates and ask them to complete them.  That in itself will raise the profile of climate change in this election - the candidates will have to decide whether or not to participate!  If they initially don't respond, you can, at your discretion, follow up, and get others to support you.

Note:  This is a non-partisan effort.  We will not endorse or express preference for any candidates - we simply want them to make their positions clear to their voters!

Be a part of this effort to make sure climate change is not ignored in this election! 

To indicate your interest in the ECA Congressional Candidates Climate Project, please fill out    THIS FORM.  

Congress in session image.jpeg

To get more information, join our Congressional Candidates Climate Project Volunteer Call on 
Wednesday, August 24th at 7:00 pm Eastern Time
You can access the call at
or by telephone: Dial: +1 646 558 8656 (US Toll) or +1 408 638 0968 (US Toll)
Meeting ID: 477 209 5159

For the sake of all our grandchildren, let's not let our candidates for Congress ignore climate change in this critical year!  Elders can make the difference!   

Upcoming Event

Conscious Elders Network 2016 
National Gathering
September 18 - 21st, Burlingame, CA.

"One Earth, One Humanity, One Future"

The  Conscious Elders Network  (CEN)  was launched in the spring of 2014, out of concern over the serious social justice and environmental issues we face as a nation. With 80 million elders in our country, we know that, collectively, we have the experience, knowledge, wisdom, resources, and time to create the needed changes in our society. Motivated by a deep desire to leave a livable world and future for our grandchildren and all of life, we began.  
Having initiated significant strategies and actions during our first two years, we are planning to gather as the leaders of this movement once again this fall. Our goal is to assemble 100   dynamic   elders to envision and chart our future course.  You are known to be a caring, engaged elder who has much to offer to this purposeful undertaking.  We invite you to join us in our endeavor! Elders Climate Action will hold two sessions at this gathering.

Space is limited so register now for One Earth, One Humanity, One Future 


It has been a busy few months for Elders Climate Action.  From the Citizens' Climate Lobby Conference, to Lobbying in Washington, from planning another Climate Action Day event in 2017 to participating in Moms Clean Air Force Play In in Washington D.C. and marching for Clean Energy in Philadelphia.  We elders have shown we have the energy, passion and wisdom to make a difference and we WILL make our voices heard.


This June, a contingent of Elders Climate Action members traveled to Washington, D.C. to attend the Citizens' Climate Lobby annual conference, which included a day of lobbying as Elders followed by a day of planning for the 2017 Elders Climate Action event.  Although most members had been meeting and communicating by 
email and conference calls it was a wonderful experience to finally meet in person. Some of the ECA members who travelled to DC 
included, Bob Warner, Noel Marshall, Chris Kan e and Geri Freedman from Florida; Leslie Wharton, Harriet Crosby,   Christia ne Graham from Maryland; Larry Underwood, Sally Gibbs, and David Mog from Virginia; Lynn Raskin from D.C .; and Paul Severance from Indiana.

The group spent two days at the CCL conference learning, planning and bonding as well as generating more energy and enthusiasm to continue our work.  On Tuesday, six ECA members met on the Hill to meet with legislative staff and deliver materials to Members of Congress. After that exhilarating experience members spent a day together planning for the next Elders Climate Action event to be held in 2017. ECA members were also joined by Julie Hantman from our partner Moms Clean Air Force.   There was enthusiasm and incredible ideas and the beginning of a fabulous team to plan for the next big event.

Christiane Graham
Clean Energy March,Philadelphia, 
July 24, 2016 

Elders were represented well in Philadelphia at the Clean Energy March prior to the Democratic Party Convention. We made our voices heard asking for real Climate protection legislation. It was heart-warming to see so many elders courageously walking under the boiling sun. The synergy between young and old, Black, Asian, Hispanic people demonstrating together was uplifting. Many voices were asking for a livable planet, while wildfires raged in California and water shortages all over the world have created crisis situations. Together we made a commitment to ask for Climate Change legislation from our representatives on town, city, county, state and federal level: the Senate and House of Representatives. The tax and dividend approach is a progressive, revenue-neutral tool for a real shift to renewable energy.  
I was struck by our elders' perseveran ce, strength and commitment to saving this b eautiful Earth and future generations from serious Climate Change impacts. Some of the great, personalized posters were generated by older  pa rticipants. We smiled, walked and shouted slogans together. It may not be your cup of tea to demonstrate, but the feeling of exuberance and hope was palpable. The daughter of Berta Caceres, a Hondur an Elder who was recently murdered for her climate and human rights work, spoke eloquently about her mother's courage and strength even when her life was threatened. She inspired us to continue the fight for the future of our children and grandchildren. 

Hazel Chandler, Elders Climate Action Leadership Team

On the eve of the Democratic National Convention, numerous Elders Climate Action members joined with a crowd estimated to be over 10,000 people in the Clean Energy March for action to prevent climate catastrophe.  The March was organized to demand that current and future policy makers act on several issues that are critical in providing a livable future for generations to come.  These include banning fracking, keeping fossil fuel in the ground, stopping dirty energy, environmental justice for all and a quick just transition to 100% renewable energy.  Elders Climate Action, was a co-sponsor for the Elders Contingent and was well represente d marching with other elders and other contingents.

This message of  a c lean energy future and acting  now to allow future generations a livable future was echoed by  many of the speakers at the Democratic National Convention.  This is a giant step forward, as in the past these issues were barely mentioned.  For the first time in history a national party platform included strong steps to combat climate change.  This is a first step and hopefully in future national platforms climate change will have a strong presence. While great progress has b een made to have Climate Change rise to a priority in this election, our work has just started.  Never before have the decisions we make in the voting booth been more important.  We still have w idely divided viewpoints on this issue.  It is imperative that we elect officials, at all levels that understand the science of Climate Change and are committed to acting to address the real and urgent threats to our future.  We do not have another four years to waste. 

Once elected we must hold all elected officials accountable for their decisions.  We must recruit millions of other elders to work with us in this effort.   Elders are the larg est voting block and our viewpoints are important to elected officials.  Make your voices he ard for your Grandchildren and future generations. 

Blog Post from Our Partner Citizens Climate Lobby (CCL):
Ground shifts in Congress as Republicans break ranks on climate change

By Flannery Keck
These days, Washington ' s gridlock can have even the most optimistic people tossing up their hands. It seems like everything follows a predictable, partisan script.  T ake, for example, an appropriations bill Congress voted on last month: one of the amendments in the bill proposed to "eliminate funding for the Air, Climate and Energy Research Program under EPA." You can probably assume who voted for that amendment and who voted against it, straight down the party lines-right?
Toss the partisan script and forget your assumptions.  This amendment was defeated , thanks to 33 Republicans who broke ranks to vote against it. That ' s 33 Republicans who understand that it ' s only common sense to fund efforts for clean air and a stable climate. 33 Republicans who are ready to reject the status quo in order to support the greater good.
A few of t hose 33 were familiar Republican names,like New York representative Chris Gibson, who introduced a resolution last year calling for action on climate change. Most of his co-sponsors for that resolution also voted down this amendment - a big shout out to Representatives Costello (PA), Curbelo (FL), Dold (IL), Fitzpatrick (PA), Hanna (NY), Katko (NY), LoBiondo (NJ), Reichert (WA), Ros-Lehtinen (FL) and Stefanik (NY). (If these are your representatives, thank them on Twitter for this vote and for supporting the Gibson resolution!)
But many of the other names were unexpected - Republicans who hadn ' t stepped up in defense of logical climate legislation before now. So is this vote a one-off? Or is it, perhaps, an indicator of sanity starting to guide the climate conversation? We spoke with a few CCL staffers in the Washington, DC office to find out.
The Shift is Real
Danny Richter, CCL ' s Legislative and Science Director, says, "This is the latest evidence that this partisan divide is crumbling. It ' s getting easier to get Republicans to sign onto things like this." And what ' s more, this cooperation is happening civilly! He points to the House ' s bipartisan Climate Solutions Caucus , saying, "The fact that Republicans and Democrats sit across from each other and have pleasant conversations on any topic, much less on global warming, is remarkable."
CCL 's Senior Outreach Liaison Stephanie Doyle agrees. "The vote to me shows that Republicans are beginning to break down the bias that all of them are anti-environmental. Republicans are working to move back into this space and want to sit at the table on climate solutions." This is a positive trend both for the future of the planet and the future of the party- polling shows that young Republicans are concerned about human-caused climate change. Doyle says, "Republicans are realizing that they need to answer to the younger generation of their own party who want to see conservative solutions to this issue."
Growing Support
Doyle points out, "33 Republicans is still a long way to go from a majority on the issue of climate change, but it is definitely encouraging." Happily, there ' s evidence to suggest our cause has even more support out there than these 33.
There have been a host of other votes like these, where a few Republicans bucked the status quo and cast a pro-environment vote. The most exciting fact is that it ' s not the same Republicans every time - often, depending on the bill, it ' s different representatives stepping across the aisle. For example, when a June amendment wanted to prohibit the Department of Defense from spending money to prepare for climate change, 24 House Republicans vote against it. But only 15 of those representatives overlapped with the July vote.
That tells us there ' s an even bigger group of Republicans out there who, on one bill or another, have voted for common sense when it comes to climate change. If we can all keep a laser focus on the need to protect our common way of life, that group of climate-conscious legislators could eventually include nearly every Republican in the House.
Note: Citizens Climate Lobby has been an invaluable partner and guide for Elders Climate Action since we began a year and a half ago.  After careful research on legislative proposals that would have the most impact on the level of greenhouse gases in our atmosphere (the cause of climate change, we made Carbon Fee and Dividend, CCL's proposal, our top priority.  You can find lots of great information on CCL's website, .  

Lynne Iser:  Activist, Facilitator, Teacher
Creed of Elder Activists -  Philadelphia March for a Clean Energy Revolution!  

  " We stand as Elders - as elders have always done for their communities  - for all children and for those who are waiting to be born in the ages to come. For their sake we March for a Clean Energy Revolution so that there will be for them, as there was for us, blue sky, fruitful land, clear waters, and a thriving and just world for all.   We invite all who wish to stand for, and march for, future generations to join us."    

What Can You Do? ...begins with YOU
  • Educate Yourself - take workshops, join organizations, read books, talk with your friends.
  • Become Inspiredtransform your heart-mind from despair to possibility.
  • Create Community - begin conversations, share your ideas, inspire and support each other, have fun together!  
  • Take Action - participate in rallies, letter-writing campaigns and boycotts. 
  • Build Sustainable Institutions - create a positive future with food co-operatives, time banks and good neighborhood schools. 
Visit Elder Activists website for more inspiration and information.

Yale Climate Solutions, Global Warming's Six Americas and the Election, 2016. By  Connie Roser-Renouf ,  Edward Maibach ,  Anthony Leiserowitz   and  Seth Rosenthal   Six Americas

TERRA , An Ode to Humanity.  Terra is an essay telling the story of life. Yann Arthus Bertrand and Michael Pitoit reveal the incredible saga of our living planet. Terra is a journey through the history of life forms, a quest for the animal within us. For true humanity. See the trailer here

In This Issue
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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.

The most remarkable feature of this historical moment on Earth is not that we are on the way to destroying the world- we've actually been on the way for quite a while.  It is that we are beginning to wake up, as from a millennia-long sleep, to a whole new relationship to our world, to ourselves and each other.      Joanna Macy

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