User login

A Community of Green Bloggers & Activists

Three Things Parents Can Do to Stop Climate Change

Psy stormGotta love those noble intentions. Even if you leap out of bed each morning asking yourself “how can I stop climate change today?”, as a parent you’ll soon confront that daily avalanche of carpools, deadlines, kids’ dentist appointments, meetings, etc, etc. You know that scene in the Gangnam Style video where Psy struts headlong into a raging storm of trash and snow? Well parents, that’s us (minus the chicks and the style.) Who has time to work on climate change amidst all that?

Luckily, after years of herding our kids around, we’ve learned radical prioritizing -- how to cut to the chase. You’ve probably had many conversations like this with your kids: “Now, Jenny (Johnny, Janie, whatever), which do you think will help us get to your school on time; continuing to poke that dead worm with a stick or getting in the car?” We can apply this sophisticated logic to other questions like: which do you think stops people from ruining the environment; asking them nicely, or making carbon pollution illegal and expensive? (Hint: we’ve already tried the first one.) Politicians can pass laws making carbon pollution illegal (cap and trade) or very expensive (carbon tax), but only if we tell them to -- often. So, parents can cut to the chase and tell their representatives to vote for the climate. No need to keep poking the climate with a stick.

Letters to representatives can be brief and simple, and they’re about the most effective way to communicate with politicians. In your letters just say 1. where you live, 2. that you’re concerned about climate change, and then 3. tell them what action you want them to take (see the list.) The letters should be hand-written and legible, and rough syntax is ok.

Here’s this week’s list:

- Massachusetts State representatives have proposed HD3422 which would put a tax on carbon pollution to pay for transportation works. Ask your state representative to vote for HD3422 and you can add that a carbon tax is the fairest way to reverse climate change. You can find who your state rep is, and their address here: Mass reps.

- On the federal level, the House and Senate don’t have specific climate bills yet, so it’s a good time to ask your congressmember and Senators to take a strong stand by sponsoring or co-sponsoring a bill that fights climate change. You can add that you think a carbon tax is the simplest and fairest way to cut carbon pollution. Here’s how to find your House representative:House reps. You can google your Senators for their address.

- Obama has shown that he won’t help with the climate unless pressed to, and that’s where we come in. You can ask Obama to take a leadership position on climate change, direct the EPA to regulate carbon pollution more tightly, and to open a dialogue with congress about stopping climate change. 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, 20500.

Writing our reps is just one of many ways to engage climate politics, and we should probably do as much as possible. If you have any questions put it in a comment to this blog entry. Then just fire off those letters and jump back into the Gangam storm of raising kids.