Action for a Safe Climate

From the July/August 2019 PNL #867

by Peter Michel

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“At least for the foreseeable future, winning the battle against climate change characteristically will depend less on scientific advancement and more on political activism.” –Michael Bloomberg, introducing
the Beyond Carbon project with a $500 million investment

Eight of the hottest years on record have been in the last 10 years. This global warming trend—largely the result of using fossil fuels—will eventually make our planet uninhabitable. Climate scientists agree that there is a short window of time to act before we reach a tipping point that puts the climate crisis out of our control.

The enormity of what we are facing together may create feelings of despair and hopelessness. There is no guarantee that aggressive action will stop the climate crisis, but if we don’t commit to it, the possibility of success is zero.

Renowned climate communicator and atmospheric scientist Katherine Hayhoe says the best thing we can do is to talk about this. Representative Ocasio-Cortez and the Sunrise movement have brought the conversation into the public space with the Green New Deal. As climate activists our challenge is to create a critical mass of people who will effectively persuade our politicians to legislate for aggressive government policy that will mitigate the crisis. As an example, NY Renews along with its 178 member coalition worked to pass the NY Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, the nation’s strongest climate legislation.

There are five immediate actions that you and I can take to mitigate the climate crisis:

1) Educate ourselves about the climate crisis and solutions which exist.

 •Read Drawdown—the Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposedto Reverse Global Warming.
 •Participate in a workshop by Climate Change Awareness and Action (a affiliated group), such as “Introduction to Drawdown,” a 2-hour workshop from the Pachamama Alliance (creates programs integrating in-
digenous wisdom with modern knowledge).
 •Check out books, videos, articles, websites, films: resources at

2) Support local organizations or local chapters of national organizations. Send money, join and/or volunteer:

•Onondaga Earth Corps (works with inner city youth to plant 1000’s of trees)
• Citizens’ Climate Lobby
• Sierra Club’s 100% renewable program
• HeatSmart CNY (makes geothermal heating & cooling more available)
• Alliance for a Green Economy (campaigns for renewable energy)
• NY Climate Smart Communities/Clean Energy Communities Program

3) Make our voices heard—speak out.

• Ask your congressperson to cosponsor and support The Energy Innovation and Dividend Act, HR 763 to put a fee on carbon and return the proceeds to all citizens. Jim Hansen, a climatology researcher who testified before Congress on climate change in 1988, says this is the most effective action to combat climate change short term.
• Write a Letter to the Editor.
• Talk to your friends and family, coworkers and members of organizations you belong to.
• Arrange for speakers from the above organizations to present solutions to your groups.

4) Reduce your carbon footprint.

• For suggestions see:

5) Divest from fossil fuels.

• The Reinvestment Alliance of CNY promotes divesting from fossil fuels and using our finances in socially responsible ways.





Our Community’s Response
to the Climate Crisis: A Call to Action

Sunday, August 25, 3:00 to 5:30 pm
at CNY Rise, 275 W. Seneca Turnpike
Free and Open to Everyone!

Panel Discussion with:
Mark Lowery, Asst Dir, DEC’s Office of Climate Change;
Freida Jacques, indigenous leader and educator;
Jim D’Aloisio, climate change awareness educator & activist;
Lucía Olivia Hennelly, climate advocacy professional;
Rhea Jezer, env. educator, policy and green energy expert.

Organized by the Zen Center of Syracuse; co-sponsored by the
SPC/NOON, Skä•noñh Center, and InterfaithWorks



Peter volunteers with Climate Change Awareness and Action (a
affiliated group), the Citizens’ Climate Lobby, and the Onondaga Earth
Corps. His website has many great resources (see article).