State of the Environment: Climate Change Policy (5/30/17 Circle)

State of Our Environment Resource and Action List

Circle of Light Gathering May 30, 2017


“Let the beauty of what you love be what you do.” ~Rumi

Use Your Voice!

Instead of despairing over the Administration’s decision to pull out of the Paris Climate Accord this week, use your frustrations to FUEL YOUR FIRE!

Action Alert: Tell members of Congress to protect Paris Agreement (Greenpeace)

Tell U.S. Leaders: Don’t Back Out of Climate Action  (The Nature Conservancy)

Take the #FrontlinesFirst Pledge (Green For All)

READ this week’s responses from our Circle of Light organizations:

Greenpeace statement

Paris Climate Accord: The Future Depends on Us (Green For All)

Green For All Director Vien Truong Interviews Commissioner Vella at EU Green Week

10 things you should know about the Paris Agreement, and what they mean for you (The Nature Conservancy)

A good overview article from New York Times


  1. URGENT: Call The White House, your Senators and Representatives and tell them how you feel about the U.S. pulling out of the Paris Agreement!

a.   Use Resistbot to write Congress in under 2 minutes: Text “RESIST” to 50409 (No downloads or apps required)

b.   Find contact details for your elected officials (federal and state legislators) using Common Cause locator

  1. Keep an eye on HR 1430 The Honest Act of 2017, HR 1431 EPA Science Advisory Board Act of 2017 and proposed Senate bill 100×50 Act of 2017; connect with your Congressional Representatives to let them know your stance
  2. Sign Climate Parents’ Stop EPA Cuts petition
  3. Join the #ReadyFor100 movement by signing the letter to tell your mayor you’re ready for 100% clean and renewable energy
  4. Help #FixThePipes in Flint, Michigan. For every $10k we raise, we can fix the pipes in one home. And we have a lot of homes to fix.
  5. Ask Book Publishers to Stand Up For Free Speech and Forests!
  6. Join Greenpeace’s Rapid Response Action Team by texting RESIST to 877-877
  7. Follow Greenpeace’s 6 step kit to resisting Trump’s anti-environmental agenda


Its Personal!

  1. GO OUTSIDE and soak it in! Use our public lands. Encourage others to do so too.
  2. Watch a fun short film about all the stuff in our life: The Story of Stuff and Tell Your Story of Stuff
  3. Estimate your carbon footprint using The Nature Conservancy’s Carbon Calculator
  4. Open Your Eyes (plastics) and make smart choices in your consumption. In addition to carrying your own water bottle and thermos, forgo plastic straws or replace them with an alternative
  5. If your family is not willing to go entirely meatless, try Meatless Mondays
  6. Check out how this family generates only a quart-size jar of waste per year and see what tips you can adopt in your home
  7. Read through the most comprehensive list I’ve ever seen on how to be a Global Steward with your actions
  8. Stay tuned for more innovation in biodegradable or recycled product offerings (think sneakers made from corn and Sneakers from ocean plastics)


Get Involved! 

These organizations are doing a lot of on-the-ground research, fighting for environmental justice and holding our governments accountable.  They all welcome your support with time and/or money:


Nature Conservancy

Climate Parents

Green for All

314 action

March for Science

Union of Concerned Scientists

Earth Justice

Natural Resources Defense Council

Communities for a Better Environment


Sierra Club

Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC)

Energy Foundation

Wilderness Society

Earth Law Center


Stay informed with these blogs, podcasts, videos, research reports and news outlets!

Climate One by the Commonwealth Club


Hot & Bothered: A Dissent Magazine Podcast

Green for All Research and Reports

I AM the Green Economy Stories

The Nature Conservancy Reports

Cool Green Science, the conservation science blog of The Nature Conservancy

The Nature Conservancy California Projects and Campaigns

The Environmentalist, Greenpeace blog

Story of Stuff Videos


Anthropocene (formerly Conservation Magazine)



Make sure kids in your life are armed with resources to become informed and engaged!

NASA Kids Club


Earth Guardians

NPR’s new kids’ science show! Wow in the World

Eco Friendly Crafting

Green Kid Crafts

Join a local group/volunteer!


Follow on Facebook and Twitter to stay connected!
Climate Parents/Sierra Club

Contact:  Lisa Hoyos

cell: 510-282-0440


FB: Climate Parents

Twitter: @climateparents


Greenpeace USA

Isabelle Geczy


FB: Greenpeace USA

Twitter: @greenpeaceusa


Green For All

Contact: Michelle Romero


FB: Green For All

Twitter: @GreenForAll


The Nature Conservancy

Contact:  Mari Marjamma


FB:  The Nature Conservancy

Twitter: @nature_org


Additional Actions/Resources that came out of 5/30 Circle of Light (these actions are NEW and were not included in gathering handout):

  • Connect with folks who are still at EPA to let them know you appreciate their work
  • Talk to your relatives and friends across party lines about what is at stake here; let them know we can have BOTH a fruitful economy and environmental protection (as Administrator McCarthy says, “the clean energy train has left the station”)
  • Outreach to Amazon and other businesses: ask them why they are not using clean energy; also ask “Alexa” why she is contributing to climate change (this data is compiled for Amazon daily)
  • Check out https://grabyourwallet.orgfor a list of companies to boycott and shop
  • Be on lookout for Governor Brown’s potential extension of cap and trade policy in the fall
  • Californians: make sure we don’t let our Reps off hook at federal level (even though as a state, we’re headed in right direction as leader in this space)
  • Bay Area folk: look for work by local artist (based in Oakland) Favianna Rodriquez and her organization Culture Strike, which focuses on many faces of environmentalism
  • Watch and share:
    • this under 3 minute video about 100% clean energy; note the diversity of voices; I particularly like the former utility executive interview
    • 8-minute video on the importance of message and messengers
  • Join Green For All’s email list and specifically look for updates on:
    • Green For All director Vien Truong’s trip to Brussels at the EU this week; she is the only American representative heading to Germany with top leaders for EU Green Week
    • A new campaign to organize women/moms to engage Ivanka around preserving the EPA’s budget
  • Follow real people’s voices on Twitter (not just orgs): @AnnieMLeonard, @mppsweeney, @Viendetta, @michelledreams2, @VanJones68; @TomSteyer; @GinaEPA (to see all amazing work she did at EPA); CA-based organizations: @Greenlining, @APEN4EJ


Climate of Hope: How Cities, Businesses and Citizens Can Save The Planet by Michael Bloomberg and Carl Pope

The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History by Elizabeth Kolbert

This Changes Everything by Naomi Klein

Feature Films:

Catching the Sun

Before the Flood

Chasing Coral


“Being good stewards of the environment God gave us should not be a partisan issue.”  ~Ronald Reagan


Pre-Circle Homework:


Climate One (by the Commonwealth Club)

Climate policy with Gretchen Goldman from Forecast: climate conversations with Michael White

Episode 78: Margaret Atwood, Evangelizing Against Climate Change, and Greek Tragedy from The New Yorker Radio Hour

EOC 119: Inside the March for Science – The Meaning and Inspiration Behind the March from The Eyes on Conservation Podcast

EOC BONUS: CA State Assembly Member Todd Gloria on the Vaquita, Climate Change, and Standing Up to the Trump Administration from The Eyes on Conservation Podcast

How Climate Scientists Really Feel About Climate Change in Their Own Words – Part 1 from Climate Change Minute

NPR’s new kids’ science show! Wow in the World

The Children’s Climate Crusade from Bill Moyers in Conversation

ScienceCast 221:  Reshuffling Heat on a Warming Planet from NASA ScienceCasts


The New York Times, 23 Environmental Rules Rolled Back in Trump’s First 100 Days

The Hill, White House leaning toward exiting Paris climate pact

globalcitizen.orgChicago Now Hosts Deleted EPA Content on Its City Website

globalcitizen.orgCities Are the Best Place to Fight Climate Change, UN Says 

Articles that feature our panelists

Harvard Gazette, Fighting words from former EPA leader: McCarthy urges scientists to raise their voices on climate change

Street Roots News, ‘Carbon pollution isn’t free’: How Oregon can cap, trade, reinvest (an interview with Michelle Romero)

The Washington Post, Laying a road map for states, liberal senators introduce bill to end U.S. fossil fuel use by 2050

ColorLines, 3 State Reps Announce Congressional Caucus Dedicated to Environmental and Climate Justice

Huffington Post, Reflections of an activist mom in the Trump Era, by Lisa Hoyos

Blogs, videos and research reports

Green for All Research and Reports

I AM the Green Economy Stories

The Nature Conservancy Reports

Cool Green Science, the conservation science blog of The Nature Conservancy

The Nature Conservancy California Projects and Campaigns

The Environmentalist, Greenpeace blog

Story of Stuff Videos



Annie Leonard is the Executive Director of Greenpeace USA. Leonard began her career at Greenpeace in 1988 and has returned to help the organization inspire and mobilize millions of people to take action to create a more sustainable future together. She is based in San Francisco.

Leonard has over two decades of experience investigating and explaining the environmental and social impacts of our stuff: where it comes from, how it gets to us, and where it goes after we get rid of it. Her film, The Story of Stuff, blossomed into The Story of Stuff Project, which works to empower people around the globe to fight for a more sustainable and just future. The project has built a community of over half a million people and released 8 more videos since The Story of Stuff, which have been viewed over 40 million times and been incorporated into countless school and faith curricula. In 2010, Simon & Schuster published Leonard’s New York Times bestselling book, The Story of Stuff, which takes a deeper dive into the issues of the film.

A hallmark of Leonard’s work with The Story of Stuff Project has been her keen recognition that solving environmental crises requires working across a wide range of movements to fix economic and political systems that are currently dominated by corporations at the expense of people’s health.

Leonard currently serves on the boards of Wallace Global Fund, Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream, Public Citizen, and the Democracy Initiative and has previously served on the boards of the Grassroots Recycling Network, GAIA, the Environmental Health Fund, Global Greengrants India, Greenpeace India, and the International Forum on Globalization. She earned her undergraduate degree at Barnard College, Columbia University and has a Masters in City and Regional Planning from Cornell University. During Leonard’s tenure at Greenpeace, she was arrested for protesting a business that was exporting hazardous waste to South Africa under the apartheid regime, and dumping it in a black community.


Gina McCarthy has dedicated her 30-year career in public service to environmental protection and public health. Her leadership and perseverance has led to federal, state, and local actions on critical environmental issues, and her significant accomplishments include action to advance environmental, clean energy, public transportation and public health goals consistent with a growing economy in New England and across the United States.

From 2013 – 2017, McCarthy served as Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under President Obama.  As Administrator, McCarthy was the nation’s leading advocate for common-sense strategies to protect public health and the environment. Willing to take bold action, Administrator McCarthy achieved notable success by finalizing the Clean Power Plan (CPP) which set the first national standards to reduce greenhouse gas emissions for fossil-fuel fired power plants.  The CPP demonstrated the United States strong commitment to climate action, sparking broad international support for adoption of the Paris Climate Agreement.  Under her leadership, EPA also finalized the Clean Water Rule to protect rivers and streams that 117 million American s rely on for their source of drinking water.

Prior to her role as EPA Administrator, McCarthy held the position of Assistant Administrator in EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation.  Previously, McCarthy served as the Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection, where she began an initiative called “No Child Left Inside” to introduce families to the natural world by visiting state parks, and she helped design and implement the nine-state Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), the nation’s first cap and trade program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions for power plants.   She has also held senior positions in Massachusetts, serving five governors, including Deputy Secretary of the Office of Commonwealth Development and Undersecretary for Policy for the Executive Office of Environmental Affairs.

Since leaving the Obama Administration, McCarthy has been serving as a fellow at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government’s Institute of Politics and as the Menschel Senior Leadership Fellow at Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health.  She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Social Anthropology from the University of Massachusetts at Boston and a joint Master of Science in Environmental Health Engineering, Planning and Policy from Tuft’s University.  A native of Massachusetts, McCarthy lives in the Greater Boston area with her husband and spends as much time as she can with her three children Daniel, Maggie, and Julie.


Lisa Hoyos is the co-founder of Climate Parents, a program of the Sierra Club that mobilizes parents and families for clean energy and climate solutions. She has been a campaigner in the labor and environmental movements for over twenty years, working with such organizations as the BlueGreen Alliance, the national AFL-CIO, and Greenpeace. Lisa also served as a committee staffer to the California Senate Natural Resources Committee under Senator Tom Hayden. Lisa’s international experience includes working on global justice issues with the Congress of South African Trade Unions as well as coordinating an international coalition focused on fair and just trade policy. She is a member of the San Francisco Commission on the Environment, and on several boards including Labor Network for Sustainability, the Alliance for Climate Education and the California League of Conservation Voters. Lisa is Latina and bilingual. She lives in San Francisco with her husband and two sons.


Michelle Romero has nearly a decade of organizing and advocacy experience fighting for progressive issues — ranging from immigrant rights and economic justice, to higher education, redistricting, and voting rights. Michelle joined Green For All in early 2016 to bring her interdisciplinary and multi-ethnic organizing experience to the fight for climate justice.  In her role as Deputy Director of Green For All, she leads the team to implement a bold climate agenda that seeks to create an inclusive green economy for all – starting with those hit first and worst by pollution and climate change.

Almost immediately upon joining the organization, Michelle helped organize a celebrity bus tour with Van Jones, Mark Ruffalo, Vien Truong, and Tom Steyer to bring national attention and support to Flint, Michigan — a community suffering the effects of lead-poisoned water and under-investment. She also helped spearhead an effort with national partners to produce a first-of-its-kind policy toolkit to provide a robust set of policy ideas for states to advance climate solutions that address both poverty and pollution. With Michelle’s leadership, Green For All has built a powerful coalition that is advancing a national strategy to replicate carbon pricing policy that invests billions into rebuilding the health, wealth, and environment of frontline families.

Immediately prior to joining Green For All, Michelle worked in the Issues Management and Policy Analysis unit for the President of the University of California system Janet Napolitano. She also spent five years at the Greenlining Institute, leading state strategy to ensure communities of color have a voice in the major decisions that affect their lives, and received legislative and congressional recognition for her work to engage an unprecedented number of low-income people and people of color in California’s citizen redistricting process.

Michelle has published research on barriers to voting, advised state and local government agencies about effective practices for engaging communities of color in decision-making processes, wrote and lobbied for legislation, and helped catalyze a shift in the election policy community to design programs that are user-centered.  Michelle’s work has been featured from the prominent stages of Netroots Nation and the California Democratic Convention, to media outlets like the San Francisco Chronicle, Los Angeles Times, KQED Newsroom, and ABC News. Michelle holds a B.A. from the University of California at Santa Cruz.


Mike Sweeney is executive director of The Nature Conservancy in California and managing director of global fisheries. He has worked in business, government and nonprofits and has more than 20 years of experience solving major environmental challenges in the U.S. and internationally. He joined The Nature Conservancy in 1998 as a project director and became chief operating officer and associate state director in 2001. In that role he oversaw historic accomplishments and major strategic initiatives in water, climate, oceans, and public finance. In 2007, he was named Executive Director in California, and in 2016 he added the role of Managing Director of Global Fisheries. As an assistant to Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt, he helped advance the first Clinton Administration’s conservation priorities, including national park concessions reform, the transition of closing military bases to wildlife refuges, Everglades restoration, and making the Endangered Species Act more effective. Previously, he worked in national politics for the Clinton-Gore ‘92 campaign in Little Rock, worked for Kodansha Ltd, Japan’s largest publisher, and served on the staff of a member of the Japanese Diet. Since 2008 he has served as a director and program committee chair for Island Conservation. He holds an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School and a B.A. from Harvard College.
“The world is waking up to the fact that problems for nature are problems for people too—when nature suffers, so do we. Now is the time to build a world where people and nature thrive together.”


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