What keeps our ice cream hard, our bedrooms cool, and our cell phones charged? Answer: electricity.
What generates our electricity in Mexico, and why do we care? Answer: Fossil fuel contributes 75%, renewable resources (wind, hydro, and geothermal) 23%, and 2% comes from nuclear power. Most of us don’t care.
We should. According to every credible scientific report about the state of the planet, humans are causing the extinction of ourselves, and many other species, by burning fossil fuels. This creates carbon dioxide and warms the air, which, in turn, heats the oceans and melts the ice caps and glaciers, which, in turn, raises sea levels and changes the climate. We have known about this for over forty years but have, until recently, ignored the situation. If we care about the survival of our children and grandchildren, we must stop killing the planet. We must get off the habit of burning fossil fuels.
There is both hope that this can happen and proof that action by “ordinary people” is now underway. We can join that action.
The climate emergency movement reached a historic milestone. In September. 1,000 governments around the world have now declared a “climate emergency.” That’s double the number from three months earlier. Countries, states, cities, and parishes representing over 210 million people from Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation (Old Crow) in the Yukon, to Blue Mountains in New South Wales, to Paris, France, and to N.Y.C. have declared a climate emergency. It’s good, but it’s not nearly enough. These declarations and subsequent decisions and actions must spread like wildfires do in California. If we can get local government to take action on what’s happening in our own back yards we might be able to put the climate genie back in the bottle. Right now, all of Mexico is missing from the action, so are Saskatoon, Atlanta, and China! The latest list of signatories is athttps://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1tb-LklFWLujYnjmCSvCWRcLUJCCWAL27dKPzVcFq9CQ/edit#gid=0
The Climate Mobilization (TCM) is the organization that is pushing for the adoption of climate emergency declarations and subsequent actions. A declaration is the first step by a community to shift local society into an emergency mode. Once we acknowledge we are facing a crisis, we can take the necessary actions to address it. We can then mobilize people and resources to fight the climate emergency in their backyards. It’s something that everyone, individually, can understand and help to fix. It gives us each our own level of responsibility and a way to act.
TCM https://www.theclimatemobilization.org shows that the shift from complacency and despair into emergency mode and action can be accomplished in each community by a three-pronged approach – “Ban,” “Plan,” and “Expand.”
“Ban” means that after a climate emergency declaration is passed, local governments must pursue a rapid, just, managed phase-out of coal, oil, and gas within the next decade. The science is clear and irrefutable: we must keep remaining fossil fuels in the ground. Local governments and jurisdictions must begin to use all possible legal avenues toward phasing them out. These include changing zoning restrictions to prevent the construction of oil infrastructure and mandating the shift away from oil and gas heating systems in new building construction. It’s going to be difficult, but it can be done.
“Plan”- By obtaining input from small groups ( “mini-publics”) of diverse and informed citizens, local councils create their Climate Mobilization Action Plan. This plan helps to mobilize resources to transition to a climate-safe economy and local community. Then they’d need to create a Climate Emergency Mobilization Department (CEMD). It’s already happening: Los Angeles recently created a Climate Emergency Mobilization Department and is hosting community assemblies on the climate emergency response; Boulder, Colorado, is creating a Climate Mobilization Action Plan with heavy community involvement, and New Haven, Connecticut, is convening a new Climate Emergency Mobilization Task Force to lead the community to zero emissions by 2030.
If it’s happening there, it can happen here in Puerto Vallarta or in your home town. We have to make it happen here and there. It has to happen everywhere!
Expand” refers to how we must work together to expand the climate emergency movement. We need to spread the word that this is our last chance to put things right. We need rapid, local, and international action to restore a safe climate. We must rebel against extinction!
Saving our planet is doable. It’s something we can and must all do together.