I am one of the large number of elders who are fortunate to call Brookline my home. Like many of you, I have children and grandchildren. My twin grandbabies will be in their 60s in 2080. As I witness the ever-growing impacts of climate change, I feel a personal responsibility to do what I can to leave a livable world for them and to start doing so now.
I have never considered myself an activist before, but I have pushed myself to step out of my comfort zone and commit myself to taking action. Brookline is a great community to do so because there are so many people, including elders, who are actively engaged as citizens and community members. This includes many people in organizations that are dedicated to stemming the impact of climate change and degradation of our environment. The town hired a sustainability program administrator a few months ago, who has been pulling together working groups of citizens and town officials on many different fronts that bear on climate change.
Working to effect the large-scale social and political change needed to stem climate change is daunting. The generation heading into adulthood knows that the future health of their world and their own health, including my toddler grandchildren, is at stake. I am heartened by how many young people have stepped up to take action, particularly at Brookline High School. They have joined up with youth worldwide, rapidly using social networking skills that us older folks can only marvel at. They bring high energy, no nonsense talk, and a strong commitment to social justice.
The young people need us as partners and allies to bring our resources, our skills, our experience, and hopefully some wisdom gained from that experience, just as our work will be strengthened by what they bring to the table.
There are two concrete ways we can work together now.
The first way to get immediately involved is to join in one of the various climate change events which are being planned during the week of Sept. 20-27, beginning with a youth Global Climate Strike on Sept. 20 on Boston City Hall Plaza. Let’s show the students that we are standing with them. https://actionnetwork.org/event_campaigns/charlies-climate-catastrophe-tour and https://bit.ly/boston-climate-strike.
The second is to get involved with one of the various organizations involved with climate change which are active in Brookline. These include:
• Sunrise Movement, https://sunrisemovement.org;
• Mothers Out Front, https://ma.mothersoutfront.org/brookline;
• Elders Climate Action, https://ecamass.org;
• 350Mass, https://350mass.betterfutureproject.org;
• Climate Action Brookline, https://climateactionbrookline.org.
[See below for Newton organizations]
If you contact one of these organizations you can learn about various bills before the Massachusetts legislature which need strong constituent advocacy if they are going to become law. While Brookline’s own state legislators are onboard, they need to know climate change-related legislation is a priority to you. However, Speaker of the House DeLeo and Governor Baker need to feel the pressure from many more citizens of Massachusetts if we are going to see legislation that will make a real difference.
Posted Sep 7, 2019 at 8:50 PM