At the time of writing, the nation watched aghast as the U.S. Capitol was stormed by a violent pro-Trump mob. In response to the insurrection, our co-founder and head Dominique Browning wrote this searing article calling the events “abhorrent” and a “blow to the integrity of our democratic election process.” In another major development, Democrats secured the Senate majority after a pair of runoff election victories in Georgia, an outcome that may smooth the path for President-elect Joe Biden to pursue the most ambitious climate agenda of any President.
CALLING OUT LOOPHOLES THAT HARM FAMILIES
As part of the Carlsbad Current-Argus’s coverage of public hearings on New Mexico’s proposed oil and gas methane venting and flaring rules, the paper quoted testimony given by our field organizer in the state, Celerah Hewes: “The OCD [Oil Conservation Division] must strengthen the proposed rules to eliminate oil and gas pollution. These methane rules are needed because we have a serious methane waste and pollution problem. Our children are counting on this.”
TAKING AIM AT WEAK SMOG STANDARDS
Common Dreams media featured a twitter post and media statement from our public health policy director, Molly Rauch, criticizing Trump’s EPA, which refused to strengthen smog standards, thereby blatantly exposing children, older adults, and other vulnerable groups to unacceptable health risks: “[This] will lead to more kids having asthma attacks that could have been prevented, more missed school days, more lung infections, worsening of dangerous chronic conditions like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and more children whose lung development is impaired.”
In a Salon article on how ecosystem destruction causes more pandemics to spread, Dominique Browning is quoted on the topic of the inadequate smog standards: “‘This [final rule by Trump’s EPA] flies in the face of good science and good public health. It is outrageous,’ Dominique Browning, co-founder and the head of Moms Clean Air Force told The Washington Post.”
ALIGNING ADVOCACY WITH VALUES
Our West Virginia field organizer Leah Barbor’s effort to co-launch “A Citizen’s Guide to Climate Change” for residents of her state was the subject of a profile in My Buckhannon. As Leah told the paper, the guide offers a vision for climate action based on three pillars: climate justice, a just transition, and reduction in greenhouse gases. “These pillars align pretty seamlessly with our work at the Moms Clean Air Force. As parents, we care deeply about climate change and air pollution.”
Our national field director, Heather McTeer Toney, spoke with Yale Climate Connections over the end-of-year holidays to share how her climate activism embodies the principles of the Kwanzaa holiday, including unity and collective work: “For me personally, it’s a period of reflection, of preparation, of really centering myself in my culture and my spirituality and celebrating African Americans.” Heather also offered how much of collective climate action draws on the “responsibility that we all feel to take care of our environment and to take care of each other at the same time.”
ON TAKING ACTION VIRTUALLY
In a letter to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette editor, our Philadelphia-based field organizer, Brooke Petry, applauded her state’s Department of Environmental Protection for hosting virtual public hearings recently on the state’s proposed participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative: “I was one of hundreds of Pennsylvanians who spoke out in support of the initiative. The virtual format was easy to use and helped ensure the safety of me and my daughter who did not have to travel to a physical public hearing. As we both suffer from asthma, we no longer engage in public gatherings in order to protect ourselves and others. The pandemic has made all too clear that we cannot wait to reduce our greenhouse gas pollution and clean our air. The climate crisis is upon us and we must act.”
AND THE BEST CLIMATE BOOK OF 2020 GOES TO….
Bloomberg Green favorably reviewed All We Can Save: Truth, Courage, and Solutions for the Climate Crisis, an anthology of writings that includes an essay from our senior director, Heather McTeer Toney. Hailing the book as “one of this year’s best climate books” which brings an “empathetic perspective to a fraught subject,” the reviewer says about Heather: “There are hat-tips to national politicians, any of which shrinks in substance to, say, former U.S. regional Environmental Protection Agency administrator Heather McTeer Toney’s account of how when doors close and meetings start, ‘there was no room for petty division.’”