Updated: Nov 28, 2020
JYCM In The Making:
Our Leadership Board: We are currently working on building JYCM. We had our third board meeting two weeks ago and we were able to get a chance to get to know each other more, learn about JYCM’s buckets of work and working groups, and identify key gaps, considerations, and concerns within our work that we hope to address together in the near future. We solidified the JYCM mission statement (below), and a subgroup of our leadership board is solidifying the role of each working group within JYCM. They are almost finished, and our updated mission statement was added to our website, as well as a new page with our working group definitions. Many of our board members also recently appeared in LabShul's Reveal-A-Thon as well as on Hazon's After the Plague series, in conversation with CEO Nigel Savage. See the Leadership Board Member's bios here.
Actions and Advocacy (A&A) Team: The A&A team has been hard at work laying the groundwork for all of our future campaigns and actions. Currently, they are working on developing our policy platform, drafting letter templates for lobbying campaigns, and establishing relationships with local politicians.
Communications (Comms) Team:The Comms Team has been working hard since the website launch, making sure that everything has been running smoothly and adding to the blog and forum. As JYCM continues to grow as a movement, new pages will be added to our site, as well as more forum threads, so stay tuned! They have also finalized a logo design by Naomi Parr, and it is now our official JYCM logo. They have been continuing to update our Instagram feed, making 'sustainable at home' and weekly Shabbat posts, some featuring the photography and writing of JYCM board members!
Public Relations (PR) Team: Members of our PR team have started to work on writing articles for JYCM, which currently include information about what JYCM is and how climate change has impacted the environment. The PR team also talked about the benefits of having a journalism section, worked on making a website pledge to go on the JYCM website and on making an art and writing contest with the prompt being the importance of protest as a means of fighting climate change. They hope to launch the contest sometime in the coming months.
"Our goal should be to live life in radical amazement, [to] get up in the morning and look at the world in a way that takes nothing for granted. Everything is phenomenal; everything is incredible; never treat life casually. To be spiritual is to be amazed."
- Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel
A Word From a Board Member
My name is Sarah Mautner-Mazlen. I am from Brookline, Massachusetts, and in 8th grade. I am interested in politics, organizing, and government. I joined JYCM because I think the climate crisis should be our organizing and activism priority. I am excited to work with other like-minded Jewish young people on pushing for solutions for climate justice. I hope JYCM can become a leader in the climate justice space to help create a better future for all.
The Earth experienced its second-hottest year on record in 2019, and the first few months of 2020 have continued that trend. At the same time, progress has also been made. The United Nations recently reported that emissions have actually dropped in developed countries despite the growing economy. According to a recent study, over half of Americans are now either “alarmed" or “concerned” about climate change, a number that has more than doubled in the past five years, and more than 500 global companies have committed to set climate goals.
The Paris Climate Agreement in 2015 included nearly 200 countries that pledged to reduce emissions and keep temperature rise well below 2°C (3.6°F). But despite the progress we have seen, total global emissions have continued to grow and countries aren’t fulfilling the commitments they made in Paris.
The ongoing warming has continued to have catastrophic effects; Antarctica saw large-scale ice melt and the fracturing of a glacier, with the consequences of sea-level rise, and carbon dioxide emissions spiked following the devastating Australian bushfires, which spread smoke and pollutants around the world.
With the coronavirus pandemic shutting down most global activity, a dramatic cutback in global carbon emissions has been widely reported. The International Energy Agency projects that global carbon emissions are set to fall by 8%, or levels the world hasn't seen for a decade. The drop is attributable to commercial travel and business operations, but was limited because industries such as manufacturing, shipping, and food production have continued to operate despite the pandemic.
But despite this temporary drop, emissions would need to fall by more than 25% to see a total drop in the amount of carbon in the atmosphere, and thus slow an annual global rise in temperatures. As countries begin rolling out plans to restart their economies, there is a real opportunity to reimagine policy and the economy to meet climate goals. Europe has just laid out a vision of a green future, with a proposed recovery package worth more than $800 billion that would transition away from fossil fuels and put people to work making old buildings energy-efficient.
Unfortunately, the next round of global climate talks, which had been scheduled for November in Glasgow, are being delayed until late 2021 due to the pandemic. The Glasgow talks are the most important climate meeting since the Paris Agreement in 2015, which was largely designed to work through peer pressure among nations at annual meetings, and world leaders were expected to announce revised targets this year for reducing emissions. In addition, global protests demanding climate action have had to stop.
Nevertheless, managing and recovering from the pandemic provides a major opportunity for climate impact. “If the necessary climate action can be embedded in recovery efforts then this year will have been a year when we pivoted for good,” said Rachel Kyte, a former United Nations climate official and now the dean of the Fletcher School at Tufts University. “If we are distracted from climate action and fumble in the recovery, then we will have pivoted to an even darker road.” -Written by Leadership Board Member Orly Bolan
In Support of the Protestors
Although we are starting to return to more of our climate related content, racism is necessarily still a topic very much on our minds; especially environmental racism. Black lives matter is not just a trend. So, we encourage you to continue to call out racism in your community, educate yourself, donate, sign petitions, and protest injustice.
Take a look at this list of places to donate to compiled by Reclaim the Block. We realize that monetary donations are not possible for everyone, but even a little bit helps.
Sign the Justice for Breonna Taylor Petition
Call or email your House representative to demand they co-sponsor and vote for Ayanna Pressley, Ilhan Omar, Barbara Lee, and Karen Bass’ resolution condemning police brutality.
Post on social media about this issue.
Remember the women and queer folks suffering from police violence, including Breonna Taylor and Tony McDade, as they are so often forgotten.
If possible and comfortable for you, attend protests in your area. Remember to wear a mask and socially distance as much as possible (for example, search for car caravan protests). If you do choose this route, be aware that being among large crowds does significantly increase risk of Covid-19 exposure and that police are reacting violently to many protestors.
-Resources compiled by JYCM Leadership Board Member Alex Tananbaum
Hazon is launching a summer program called The 2020 Vision Rides, and we have created a JYCM Rides Team! Join our team and participate in a communal effort to ride, bike, walk, run 360,000 miles and raise $360,000. 80% of funds raised will go directly to JYCM, 10% to an organization of the Leadership Board's choosing and the last 10% into general Hazon funds. You can join our team on Strava to track your miles and have any outdoor activity you do be counted as part of the Vision Rides. Join our team!