Climate Action in Amherst


The Climate March in New York City is over…

Now what?

In my last blog, I suggested that the big news coming out of the United Nations Climate Summit in N.Y. City –  following the largest climate change march in history is……. what WILL NOT happen.

Tonight I attended a meeting in Amherst to help think about “whats next?”  The organizers from 350Massachusetts and Climate Action Now in Western Massachusetts offered us several options for getting involved.  Here are a few:

1.  Divest UMass – The UMass Fossil Fuel Divestment Campaign (Divest UMass for short) is a dedicated student-led campaign organizing to confront the present and future issues created by climate change.  Here is how to GET INVOLVED.

2.  Divestment Massachusetts – College students, people of faith, environmentalists, economists, unions, mothers, and others converged on the State House on Sept. 10 to support S. 1225, a bill that requires MA to divest from fossil fuels!  To support the effort to divest sign here – Divest Massachusetts from Fossil Fuels.

3. Mothers Out Front are mothers, grandmothers, and other caregivers who can no longer be silent and still about the very real danger that climate change poses to our children’s and grandchildren’s future.  To connect to the Amherst group, go to; Amherst Mothers Out Front.

4. No Fracked Gas in Mass is working to stop the expansion of fossil fuel infrastructure in Massachusetts and to promote expanded efficiency and sustainable, renewable sources of energy and local, permanent jobs in a clean energy economy.  Here are some suggestions on what you can do!

5. Climate Action Plan in Springfield – support the community actions of our neighbor to the south (and the biggest polluter in Western Mass).  Help us to plan the march from the North End of Springfield to Springfield City Hall on October 20!  Join the planning meeting October 1, 2014 at 6:00 pm at the South Congregational Church, 45 Maple Street, in Springfield.


Many people are motivated to take action around climate change out of anger or fear, and this is a powerful force.  For those of us who are motivated out of love for all of creation and concern for our sisters and brothers living in poverty, you are invited to join us on Saturday, October 4 from 2:00-4:00pm to learn from each other and ask…..

So…. what would Francis do?

For those of you who agree with Pope Francis, who tells us that environmental degradation is the “sin of our time,” join us to celebrate the Feast of St. Francis at the Newman Catholic Center at UMass on Saturday, October 4 from 2:00-4:00pmin the Burke Lounge for a program titled From St. Francis to Pope Francis to You – Creating a Climate for Solidarity.

This workshop and discussion will focus on climate change from the perspectives of “the two Francises” – St. Francis and Pope Francis.  If you are curious about the Catholic position on climate change and its impact on the poor, PLEASE JOIN US!


Here is something else you can do right now!

Write a letter or send and email to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy like this one:

SUBJECT: Docket ID:  EPA-HQ-OAR-2013-0602 – Support Carbon Pollution Standards for Power Plants

Dear Administrator McCarthy:

As someone who takes climate change seriously, I have committed myself to advocate on behalf of the poor, the vulnerable, and all of Creation.  

Unfolding climate change caused primarily by our consumption of fossil fuels threatens both the planet and poor people. In light this,I believe that the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed rule to regulate carbon pollution from existing power plants (Clean Power Plan Proposed Rule) can help limit damaging greenhouse gas emissions, uphold human life and dignity and demonstrate a greater respect for the planet.

At the same time, I urge the EPA to offer clear guidance to states on how to protect low-income individuals and families from undue suffering under potential energy rate hikes.  Additionally, I encourage the EPA to work with policymakers to help workers impacted by the Plan transition to other employment.

If such steps to protect poor and vulnerable populations are taken seriously, then I support the Clean Power Plan Proposed Rule, Docket ID: EPA-HQ-OAR-2013-0602.


Send the email to:

Or send a letter to:

USEPA Headquarters
William Jefferson Clinton Building
1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, N. W.
Mail Code: 1101A
Washington, DC 2046


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