PARENTING IN A CLIMATE CRISIS
Washington Post writer Caitlin Gibson spoke with our national field director Heather McTeer Toney about mindful parenting in this era of climate consequences. In “How climate experts think about raising children who will inherit a planet in crisis,” Heather opens up about how she approaches parenting with a focus on resilience and optimism. In a follow-up piece titled “Parents can’t fix climate change with life hacks — but here are ways to make a real impact,” Heather offers tips on how to make a real impact by raising kids to become stewards of our planet.
One highlight from the Post: “Sometimes, after her children have gone to bed, [Heather] and her husband talk about where they should take the kids, the places they should see quickly, before they are irreparably changed. But when she speaks to her children about what lies ahead, there is no lingering in sorrow; she is determined that they will thrive. ‘My entire ancestral line is built on, ‘You have to figure out how to make it work, how to survive, because no one is going to help you,’ she says. I do not want my children operating in fear. I do not want them operating in a mind-set that all hope is lost. That is not my mind-set.’”
MOMS DENOUNCE MERCURY POLLUTION
Our Seattle-area member Rachel Heaton was featured in front-page Washington Post coverage about the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and its attack on our nation’s Mercury and Air Toxics Standards, or MATS (“The EPA is about to change a rule cutting mercury pollution. The industry doesn’t want it.”): “Some communities, meanwhile, are awaiting the EPA’s decision [to roll back our MATS standards] with dread. Rachel Heaton, a mother of three and a member of the Muckleshoot Tribe of Auburn, Wash., said her tribe’s reservation lies between two rivers, the White River and the Green River. Members also fish the waters of Puget Sound, and salmon is a food staple and a livelihood for many in the area. Mercury in the atmosphere can dissolve into water, and Heaton worries that means more of it eventually winding up in her community: ‘I don’t trust the EPA. . . . I don’t see this one in our favor,’ she said, citing dozens of regulatory rollbacks in the Trump era. ‘It’s very personal. Ultimately, it affects my people, our community, our children.’”
See our interview with Rachel as part of the series, American Indian Women Speak Out on Mercury Standards.
LATINA MOMS UNITED IN CLIMATE ACTION
Why does being green come naturally to U.S. Latinos? And paradoxically, why don’t Latinos get much credit for being environmentalists? Grist senior staff writer Yvette Cabrera, who focuses on environmental justice, set out to find some answers. In her reporting, Yvette points to the grassroots program Ecomadres, co-founded by Moms Clean Air Force in partnership with GreenLatinos, as a shining example of how Latinos approach their environmental stewardship with a mentality that prioritizes community and family. The term itself — Ecomadres — is explained by Mark Magaña, founding president and CEO of GreenLatinos: “Ecomadres — a play on the Spanish term comadres, which translates to something like ‘close friends’ or ‘dear friends,’ as well as madre, the Spanish word for ‘mother.’ The term functions both as a nod to the women and mothers who are pillars in Latino communities, as well as the close kinship between comadres who depend on each other, work together, and unite to be a stronger force. […] This effort is about reminding Latinos who are joining the environmental movement that they are not alone. It’s about saying: ‘There are a lot of other people who are concerned about this who will fight with me, and we’ll do it in a way that our ancestors did it.’ ”
This article also appeared in Mother Jones here.
MOMS FOR ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE
Our Denver-based field organizer Shaina Oliver attended Bicycle Colorado’s annual mobility conference, where she spoke to the news outlet Westword about local pollution impacts for the article “Can Denver finally end its love affair with the car?”: “Shaina Oliver saw the effects of environmental contamination firsthand while growing up in the Navajo Nation in Shiprock, New Mexico — and she sees them today near her home in northeast Denver, not far from major sources of pollution like Interstate 70, the Suncor Energy oil refinery and the oil and gas fields just north of the city. ‘We’ve been living with these health impacts, and we’ve been ignored for the longest time,’ says Oliver, an activist with advocacy group Moms Clean Air Force. ‘Many people who live around these industries share the same story, like Commerce City, Globeville, northeast Denver, which all border the highway, as well as Suncor.’ ”
MOMS WON’T BE SILENCED
In a public hearing this week in Washington, DC, four members of Moms Clean Air Force testified to the White House Council on Environmental Quality defending our right to have a say in evaluating projects that impact our environment, our families, and our kids. The Trump administration is working to undermine the National Environmental Policy Act, one of our oldest environmental rules. These rules have helped keep our children safe for the last fifty years. As many members mentioned in their testimony, this rollback is an attempt to cut families and communities out of the decision-making process on projects that could harm our kids. The publication E&E News highlighted our members at Interior Department headquarters. Our social media about the day was picked up in Raw Story.
MOMS URGE CLIMATE OPTIMISM
On the “Black Spectrum” radio show on Springfield, Massachusetts’s black community radio station WTCC FM, our national field director Heather McTeer Toney was interviewed (starts at 2:08:00). Heather discussed her journey as a climate activist, the need for zero climate pollution across all sectors of the U.S. economy, and the staggering number of environmental rollbacks under the Trump administration (nearly 100) – all while underscoring the need for climate optimism.