With Gratitude #2: CCL blog series expresses gratitude for volunteers’ actions
By Katie Zakrzewski
As the holiday season draws near, this is a great time to reflect on all that we’ve accomplished this year, and everything that we have to be thankful for. Fortunately, we have a lot to be thankful for, especially this year. One of the best ways to do that is to revisit all of the neat things that our volunteers have been up to over the course of the year.
Through the end of the year, CCL will be spotlighting some of our favorite volunteer efforts from 2022 as we look back on all of the hard work that allowed us to be where we are today, as well as the financial support that helped mobilize our volunteers to do incredible things. We couldn’t have done it without you.
In this extra thankful blog, you’ll read about volunteers who helped organize a film festival, CCLers who talked about climate over ales, CCLers who got an endorsement from the Mayor of Charleston, and plenty more examples of CCLers creating the political will for a liveable world!
Earth Day virtual film festival
CCL volunteer Elyce Klein of Berkley, California, spent lots of time working hard to prepare a virtual film festival for Earth Day. The Wild & Scenic Film Festivals are organized by multiple environmental organizations, with CCL presenting, and were held from Apr. 22-27 and feature the most popular environmental films of this year.
“The theme of this year’s festival is ‘A Current of Hope.’ The flagship festival featured many films about water issues, a few of which we included. However, if you take a look at the films in our on-tour program, a wide variety of issues are addressed in the films,” Elyce said.
Several CCL chapters in turn signed up to host their own virtual showing in partnership with the film festival. You can find information for the 2023 film festival here.
CCL chapter talks climate over ales
CCL’s Columbus chapter found itself in the news earlier this year. NBC 4 reporter Ben Orner joined CCL Columbus for an evening of pizza, beer, and climate discussion with the chapter’s monthly “Ales and Climate Tales” event. The casual meetings feature a guest speaker who focuses the event’s main discussion on a climate-related issue. One such speaker was Ohio State University Ph.D. candidate and earth scientist Allison Chartrand, who presented her research with glaciers. The event is a timely one, explains chapter co-leader Donny Murray. Central Ohio is projected to see hotter summers and more flooding, among other costs.
“(CCL’s events are) really just trying to educate the public on why climate science — why climate change — is important to your everyday life,” Murray said.
You can read that full story here.
Climate Anxiety Counseling
Tamara Staton, the Greater Pacific Northwest Regional Coordinator and the Education and Resilience Coordinator for CCL, did an interview posted on Medium about finding resilience in climate work. At CCL, Tamara helps volunteers manage anxiety and prepare for climate action through mental wellness resources offered by the Resilience Building Action Team. In her interview, Tamara touches on themes like courage and resilience.
“Courage and resilience both support us in taking on challenges, with a general sense of confidence that things will work out,” Tamara said. “The difference between the two, however, is that resilience enables us to skillfully manage the setbacks.”
Additionally, Tamara talks about the importance of taking the time to recover from setbacks in order to come back stronger than before.
“Resilience helps us stay the course, through the highs and lows, and helps us bounce forward from challenges. It is that characteristic that gives us strength to stick things out when they are challenging, when we are inclined to give up, but we don’t.”
You can read her interview here.
CCL Executive Director’s op-ed success
Earlier this year, CCL’s Executive Director Madeleine Para wrote an op-ed, connecting the dots between the war in Ukraine and fossil fuel, calling for cleaner energy usage. CCL encouraged volunteers to send this op-ed to their local papers and publications. Since then, Madeleine’s op-ed has appeared in dozens of papers across the country, from California to Virginia.
“The clean energy transition would bring more geopolitical, economic, and climatic stability, keeping us safer and more secure on many fronts,” she wrote, pointing to a well-designed price on carbon as a policy to speed up that transition.
Charleston Mayor endorses EICDA
Charleston, South Carolina’s Mayor John Tecklenburg endorsed the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act (H.R. 2307) this year, with the help of CCL’s Charleston chapter, which is co-led by Mark Gould.
“Climate change is a real and significant threat to our city, country, and the world,” said Mayor Tecklenburg. “It is imperative that we work together to solve this issue with the help of Congress through the enactment of environmental legislation such as the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act.”
Mayor Tecklenburg is one of more than 3,100 other organizations and prominent individuals who support this major climate legislation. In Charleston, this legislation has also been endorsed by City of Charleston Councilmembers Carol Jackson, Ross Appel, and Jason Sakran.
To figure out how to get your own grasstops endorsement for carbon pricing legislation, check out our grasstops engagement training.
Ski industry leaders endorse the Energy Innovation Act
Montana ski industry leaders Troy Nedved, Bob Petitt, and Jeff Schmidt, endorsed the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act in a guest column of the Bozeman Daily Chronicle. The three wrote that climate change has led to the deterioration of the state’s snowpack, which is much needed for successful skiing. The snowmelt also impacts skiing, winter recreation activities, and tourism in the state as a whole. The trio called on Congress to pass the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act, as well as other climate mitigation legislation, to help the landscape and tourism industry of Montana.
CCLers lobby members of Congress (June 2022)
CCL volunteers across the country chronicled their lobby adventures with the #CCL2022 hashtag. CCL volunteers lobbied members of Congress in Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Minnesota, Nebraska, and Utah to name a few states. CCL also got to welcome plenty of volunteers, some old and some new, who shared their stories about why lobbying with CCL is so important. These volunteers were from Kentucky, Louisiana, New York, Virginia, and Washington, among others.
Connecting through wildlife stories
CCL’s Wildlife Action Team completed a newsletter focused on pollinators and climate change. The goal of the Wildlife Action Team is to make more connections for CCL with wildlife-centered outreach by fostering relationships with wildlife conservation groups across the country.
This newsletter, titled Pollinators: The Baseline of a Symbiotic World, includes stories about “pollinators, the role they play in ecosystems, and the issues they have been facing due to climate change,” explained action team co-leader, Katherine Chang.
The full newsletter is available on the Wildlife Action Team’s CCL Community page.
Rotary Clubs plants trees in honor of CCLers
Maryland CCLers Cliff Strawitch and Jeff Turner of Howard County have spent the last two years giving 20 talks to Rotary clubs on the East Coast. On June 15, the Rotary Club of Washington, D.C., and the National Park Service honored Cliff and Jeff by dedicating two trees in their names to be planted as part of the Trees for the Capital Program. The Rotary Club of Washington, D.C., in conjunction with the National Park Service, have been planting trees on the National Mall and around the Tidal Basin for over 30 years. The Trees for Capital program also provided Cliff and Jeff with GPS locations for their trees, so they can visit them and watch them grow over time.
Congratulations to Cliff and Jeff for all their grassroots climate outreach work, and we’re proud to see them honored in this way.
All of these activities this year (and many more, as you’ll see throughout the next couple of months) were possible because of your hard work, both in the field and through your donations.
Now, Citizens’ Climate is rolling up our sleeves again: ready to advocate for the policies needed to meet—and even exceed—the goals set in the Paris Accord. But we need your support to be successful. We help our volunteers to turn their climate alarm into climate action. Your donation will help us reach, train, and mobilize even more climate-concerned constituents.
And, we have a HUGE opportunity now through Giving Tuesday (Nov. 29, 2022): we’ve been issued a $350,000 dollar-for-dollar matching pool for funds raised from now through Giving Tuesday. If we don’t raise $350,000 by the end of the day on the 29th, we leave the remaining money on the table. This opportunity is too big to pass up: Donate to fight climate change today.