On the morning of February 11, I headed to downtown Raleigh to participate in the HKonJ Moral March on Raleigh, a march calling to protect the rights and liberties of all citizens, especially marginalized groups, from discriminatory legislation and policies at all levels of government. I was to be one out of tens of thousands of people attending one of the largest marches in state history, and though it was my first time going to any march, I felt like I was part of something very welcoming.
On February 25, following the confirmation of Scott Pruitt as head of the Environmental Protection Agency, over a hundred Bay Area residents gathered outside of the EPA headquarters. The attendees were dressed in black funeral attire and carried flowers as part of a mock funeral, demonstrating the dire consequences that Scott Pruitt's appointment would have on the agency. Five ACE Fellows and two of their friends were among the crowd. The crowd each received a postcard on which they wrote a note of solidarity to the EPA employees.
Democracy got a little more exciting on February 13, 2017 at the New York State Legislative Offices in Albany. NY Renews, a statewide coalition of over 100 environmental justice and labor organizations, packed the room for the Department of Environmental Conservation state budget hearing to let state senators and assemblymembers know that policies convey a fundamental role in mitigating climate impacts in a world that has not been invulnerable to climate change.
As major buyers of electricity, school districts can lead the way to a renewable energy future. Solar installations on schools have increased five-fold nationally since 2008. Wake County Public Schools, one of the largest school districts in North Carolina, spends millions of dollars annually on dirty energy.
Not only is burning coal and gas more expensive, it also contributes to air pollution, which aggravates respiratory diseases such as asthma–the leading cause of school absenteeism for children with chronic diseases.
On Monday, February 20, ACE Fellows Sara Smith and Vincent Candelaria joined a group of clean energy activists at the Renew NV press conference. Renew NV, a partnership of Nevada organizations working to build and enhance the state's clean energy economy, called on state legislators to adopt a more aggressive Renewal Portfolio Standard. The group is pushing for 50% of Nevada's energy to come from renewables by 2030 and 80% by 2040. Fellow Sara Smith took the mic and put Nevada legislators on notice.
On an unseasonably warm day for February in Boston hundreds of scientists and over a thousand supporters gathered on Copley Square for a rally to #StandUpforScience while the annual meeting of American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) took place nearby.
Just three hours into Trump’s new presidency on the afternoon of January 20, Action Fellow Lindsay Morgenstein and North Carolina Program Manager, Briana Steele, headed to the office of their State Representative, Congressman David Price. Lindsay and Briana were joined by three members of the local 350.org chapter, 350 Triangle.
When I think about a Trump Presidency, I worry about my family in Taiwan. I won’t be sitting idly by while the seas rise. We’re going to protect this Earth now, for this generation, because my family in doesn’t have another four years to squander.
Countless people, including youth like me, are being mislead about the threats of climate change every day. It is our collective responsibility, each and every one of us, to inform the public about the undeniable truth about climate change so my generation has a chance at a safe climate future.
For many of us committed to solving the climate crisis, the results of the election on Tuesday night left us heartbroken. Our work just got a lot harder with a President-elect who has said climate change is a hoax. And, these feelings of grief don’t start or end with climate change. They extend to what it feels like today to be an immigrant, a person of color, a LGBTQ+ individual, a woman, someone differently-abled, someone of a religious minority, or anyone working on issues to build more equity and justice in our nation. Together, we mourn.