People who recognize a neglected cause often conceive advocacy groups out of necessity. This principle applies to the New Haven Climate Movement (NHCM) who officially launched their operation last July.
Despite 97 percent of climate science agreeing our earth’s rising temperature to be man-made, this issue remains in question for the majority of republicans and armchair experts.
If you don’t believe our footprint on the environment is valid, consider this:
- Humans have used more resources in the last 50 years than in previous history.
- In 2008 the United States buried or burned over 160 million tons of resources including metal, paper, plastic, and glass.
- In 2005, two of three bottles sold in the U.S. ended up in landfills or littered. That amounts to 144 billion containers.
Without strong city hall leadership, this group of New Haven residents decided they’d had enough.
“The group came together in July 2015 to do public education on climate change and push for policies to support greenhouse gas reduction and public health improvements,” said Ceyda Durmaz, the group’s planner.
Through environmental activism in New Haven and New York City, the group now has 10 regular members, and expects more to join.
NHCM members consist of representatives from the CT Fund for Environment, Fossil Free Yale, Yale Climate Action Network, New Haven Leon Sister City Project, and other various volunteer organizations.
In less than a year, in their infancy, the group has already installed the Alien Planet public art display in October, 12 Days of Xmas Fossil Fuels educational event in December. The group’s March launch party invited locals to congregate and collaborate about new ideas and envision on greener future.
NHCM also spearheaded a movement to get 33 organizations to sign a letter demanding the City of New Haven update their 2004 Climate Action Plan (CAP). The city responded by agreeing to the request—a sign of the group’s immediate and potentially lasting impact.
Ceyda said NHCM is pushing for the city to update their CAP by this July and are helping facilitate the advocacy portion of the project through a postcard campaign for the Governor’s Council on Climate Change.
NHCM has alleviated much of the leg work even offering to help New Haven with the stakeholder process.
The organization plans to hold an event for Earth Day on April 22. Speakers will address the crowd who will also experience an art installation about ocean acidification, titled “SeaChange.”
There are a number of ways to make your voice heard in the fight against climate neglect, like shared solar, Durmaz said.
“We try to create awareness about projects like this and also use our network to support the bills that will promote those projects,” she said. “We urge people to call their representatives, go to public hearings, and testify.”
To learn more about the movement, check out NHCM’s Facebook page.