From Alan Palm for 350 Mass <[email protected]>
Subject Climate Movement Weekly: COVID-19's Lessons for Climate Change
Date June 9, 2020 4:52 PM
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Check out the latest news from the Massachusetts climate movement!
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Dear friends,

Recently, I wrote a opinion piece for Commonwealth Magazine, "COVID-19’s lessons for climate change". You can read the full piece here, ([link removed]) but here’s the conclusion:

All parts of our work, from fossil fuel pollution to the clean energy economy to preparing for climate impacts, all of these things exist and will continue to exist in a racist society. So when we apply a race-neutral lens to a racist society, we will continue to produce racist outcomes.

It is only when we apply a race-positive lens, when we actively work to dismantle and undo the systems of oppression that permeate every part of society, that we can hope to produce truly race-neutral outcomes. Where, in proportion to our population, those most harmed by extreme weather events are just as likely to be white as black or brown, where those getting access to the new jobs created by the clean energy economy and benefitting from investments in resilience are just as likely to be black and brown as white. We have so much work to do, and so little time to do it in. But what choice do we have but to work in earnest to combat these centuries-long systems of oppression? To do otherwise is to accept an implicit devaluation of black and brown lives, of black and brown dreams, of black and brown rights. Surely, that is not something we want to let happen.

In short, we need to reduce pollution much more quickly than most care to admit, and we must do it in with a strong, anti-racist lens that centers the voices, experiences, and needs of black, indigenous, Latinx, and other traditionally marginalized groups. This will not be easy. In fact, it will be incredibly hard. But climate change, like the coronavirus, does not care for the difficulty of the task before us. It simply asks the question: will we rise to the occasion, and be our best selves? Or will we ignore experts, dither and delay, and then express surprise and remorse when disaster strikes and hits black and brown communities first and worst?

The choice is in our hands, and we have precious little time to choose.


Craig S. Altemose
Co-Founder and Senior Advisor, 350 Massachusetts
Executive Director, Better Future Project

** June 12 Digital Day of Action for Climate

It’s time to build momentum on our environmental justice and climate action legislative priorities, and we need you! The deadline was extended until July 22. Come to a digital lobby day with your State Legislators this Friday; The Mass Power Forward Planning team is setting up Zoom meetings by county, and you'll have an opportunity to meet and organize ahead of time (instructions will be provided). Sign up here ([link removed]) and see the Facebook event here ([link removed]) . Fri, Jun 12, 1-4 pm.

** Other 350 Mass News

Course Correction—Just Transition in the Age of COVID-19: The 350 Mass Solidarity Working Group is forming small-group discussions for each of the four sessions in Movement Generation's free virtual class Course Correction: Just Transition In The Age of Covid-19. ([link removed]) This is a great chance to unite and explore preventative approaches to cultural, economic, and scientific complexities. Register for the discussion group here! ([link removed])

Give Chase an F on Climate: Join Climate Courage, our Direct Action group, to leave reviews for Chase Bank on a number of platforms, calling out their outrageous financial support of the fossil fuel industry! We'll send you a reminder email with easy, step-by-step instructions (plus sample reviews) for a variety of platforms like Yelp and Google Maps. Sign up here. ([link removed])

Sign a Petition to Build Back Better: Support the 350 Mass North Shore and Greater Lowell nodes in their efforts to show their representatives that the people of Massachusetts demand action to address the climate crisis, reduce pollution, invest in infrastructure, and create good jobs. Sign here. ([link removed])

We Need Your Photos: Do you have any great pics or short videos of 350 Mass rallies, meetings, and other activities? We're looking for photos of our volunteers taking action, smiling, and having a great time! Please upload them here. ([link removed])

Write a Letter to the Editor: There has never been a better time to take part in 350 Mass' Letters to the Editor (LTE) team. Want to join? Email Alan Palm, Director of Organizing, (mailto:[email protected]) to find out more! Our members have a great success rate in getting letters published!
Here are some recent letters:
Read 350 Mass member Liza Ketchum's letter in the Boston Globe: " ([link removed]) Canaries . . . and Carolina wrens, and red-bellied woodpeckers . . . in the climate coal mine ([link removed]) " ([link removed])

** Other Climate Movement News

Court Vacates Air Quality Permit for the Weymouth Compressor! The first Circuit Court agreed that the MA Department of Environmental Protection made the wrong decision. "It means that although Enbridge may continue constructing, they cannot operate this facilitiy without the air quality permit." Learn more about the decision and how to support at: [link removed]

Tell BlackRock To Divest from Fossil Fuels: BlackRock is the world's leading investor in fossil fuels. Send a postcard ([link removed]) urging CEO Larry Fink to be true to his words and "transform finance" in the face of the climate crisis.

Urge Liberty Mutual to Stop Funding the Climate Crisis: Liberty Mutual is a huge backer of the tar sands sector, which spells disaster for the climate and Indigenous rights ([link removed]) . Are you a Liberty Mutual policyholder? You have a unique platform to voice concerns. Sign up here. ([link removed])

** Solidarity Opportunities

10 Days of Action for 10 Days of Emergency Paid Sick Time: The federal coronavirus response package left out hundreds of thousands of workers in Massachusetts. These workers are forced to choose between working while sick or losing the pay they need to make ends meet. Emergency Paid Sick Time would provide ten additional days (80 hours) of job-protected paid sick time for immediate use during the outbreak. Join Raise Up Mass to take part in ten days of action through June 17 ([link removed]) and help keep working people and the public safe and healthy!

Webinar—White People's Work to End Racism: SURJ (Showing Up for Racial Justice) presents a webinar for folks who are newer to racial justice work and those doing the work of bringing new white folks in. White people have an important role and responsibility for being part of a multi-racial movement to end racism and win collective liberation. Now is as good of a time as ever to join in this work or deepen your involvement in making change. Register here. ([link removed]) TODAY, Tue, Jun 9, 8 pm.

Petition—Tell Governor Baker that Reopening Plan Must Protect Workers and Hard-hit Communities: Essential workers, communities of color, and nursing home residents are bearing the worst brunt of the COVID-19 epidemic. None of these groups are represented in Governor Baker's Advisory Board for reopening the Massachusetts economy. Sign a petition demanding a more equitable reopening ([link removed]) .

Stand With the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe: The Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe, the very tribe that welcomed the Pilgrims in the 1600s, is at risk of losing what is left of their homelands due to a determination made by the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Sign a petition ([link removed]) to support the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe Reservation Reaffirmation Act (HR.312).
Is this newsletter a helpful resource? Help us make it possible by donating ([link removed]) today!

** About Better Future Project and 350 Mass
Better Future Project (BFP) ([link removed]) builds grassroots power to advance a rapid transition beyond fossil fuels. 350 Mass ([link removed]) is Better Future Project's volunteer-led climate action network.

We're on Facebook ([link removed]) and Twitter ([link removed]) . Did you receive this email from a friend? You can subscribe here. ([link removed])

Questions? Email Alan Palm, [email protected] (mailto:[email protected])
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Tue, Jun 16, 7-9 pm
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