By Camilla Feibelman, Rio Grande Chapter director
I work from home a lot. I don’t have to spend much of the day masked. I get a lot of social interaction, but mostly on Zoom. When I go out to drop the kids off at school or shop for food I’m sometimes struck by the impact of the pandemic — at what it’s like for every human on this globe to be aware of a problem and its solutions (whether they follow them is another story).
It makes me lament the climate crisis, which is upon us and affecting so many people today. People have lost their homes to storms, flood, fires. The stories of climate are on the one hand overwhelming and on the other hand easier to set aside than a problem that results in everyone in masks.
But climate is core to our survival, the quality of life of our kids in the future and now. It’s core to protecting our air, water, wildlife, lands, food and so much more.
You know already that this isn’t as simple as staying home, masking and getting vaccinated. But the Sierra Club has long prioritized climate action, and we can help you find ways to get and stay involved. Below is an overview of the key areas for action, and a timeline.
Now is the time and we are the ones. Join ClimateCORPS.
Meetings: We’ll meet at noon every other Thursday (on Zoom)
Sign up: Send an email titled: Join Climate Corps to firstname.lastname@example.org
Tell your story: Include a picture of you and your reason for action in your email. Maybe it’s a place, maybe it’s a person. Send a couple of sentences about your reason for action.
Add our ClimateCORPS action calendar to yours: https://bit.ly/2WRfGgB
Bring the kids!
Join our NMClimateParents listserv to find out how to get your kids and grandkids active on climate action. Email us to join: email@example.com.
Become a Global Warming Express mentor for kids ages 9 to 12. To apply, email Genie Stevens at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A checklist for action on every front
Advocate for a climate moonshot allowing agencies to act comprehensively on climate and pass climate legislation putting the governor’s Climate Executive Order into law.
The Utility Affordability Act: Advocate for the Low-Income Utility Affordability Act that seeks to improve utility affordability, reduce energy burden, and increase utility access of low-income New Mexicans.
Drive economic, social and racial justice: Ensure transition funds and jobs for communities impacted by extractive industries and fossil-fuel workers in transition.
Support the Sustainable Economy Task Force that was passed into law last session.
Time to get over oil and gas
Bring on the strongest state methane and ozone safeguards in the country and enforce them.
Bring on federal methane rules that protect us from States like Texas that don’t regulate sufficiently.
Stop new oil and gas leasing on public lands: Ending oil and gas industry Subsidies at the DOI and in the tax structure.
Go electric, go renewable: Ensure that utilities move away from coal and toward renewables and storage, not more natural gas.
Pass Clean Cars and Trucks rules at the state ensuring that electric vehicles make it to our dealerships and our driveways.
Ensure the state regularly updates its energy-efficient building codes.
Stop greenwashing: “Blue” hydrogen, carbon capture, “certified green” gas are in many ways equivalent to the antiquated idea that we could have “clean coal.” While some of these technologies may be needed and useful in niche areas, we’ve got to set climate- and community-protecting guardrails before accepting the hype.
Timeline for action
Speakers Climate Summit
October 26: This is a chance to interface with New Mexico legislators and help drive climate legislation forward. In-person registration is filled but the event will be broadcast online.
Register on eventbrite.
October 31 to November 12
New Mexico Gov. Luján Grisham will attend the latest UN Climate Summit, the first since Biden took office. We’ll want to call for the greatest local action to do our part for the global climate.
See article – this is a make or break event
NM Legislative Session
January 18 to February 17, 2022
This 30-day budget session is a chance to push for greater climate action to put our greenhouse-reduction goals into law and get our environmental agencies fully funded.
The time is now.
Feature image by Frances Denny for The Luupe/theluupe.com