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Table of Contents

THURSTON CLIMATE ACTION TEAM: A Green and Just Recovery | Indigenous Rights is Climate Justice

No Going Back: COVID-19 Recovery as Climate Action

We are living in unprecedented times. 2020 began with raging forest fires in Australia, blood red skies, thousands of homes and businesses destroyed, and over a billion dead animals. For many of us, this horror was quickly overshadowed by the COVID-19 pandemic, which was then eclipsed by worldwide protests against systemic racism and police brutality. There is no doubt that these three are inextricably linked.

Let’s focus on the climate crisis for just a moment. A recent article in The Gardian states: “The world has only six months in which to change the course of the climate crisis and prevent a post-lockdown rebound in greenhouse gas emissions that would overwhelm efforts to stave off climate catastrophe…”.  In other words, we can’t go back to the way things were before the pandemic.

Over the next few months governments over the world will spend trillions of dollars on social and economic recovery due to COVID-19. What they spend it on will determine our economic course for years to come. Our opportunity is to make this recovery a Green and Just Recovery.

Fortunately, in Thurston County we are already in the process of crafting our own Climate Mitigation Plan, which could be a blueprint for our own Green Recovery. The plan is in its final phases and it is our responsibility to make sure it is adopted and implemented by local government.

Here are three actions you can take today to support
a Green and Just Recovery in Thurston County:

  • Call or write letters to your local city and county representatives asking them to make Thurston County’s COVID-19 recovery a Green and Just recovery. 

  • Sign and share our pledge and petition in support of a strong Thurston Climate Mitigation Plan. Sign up now, so we can be sure to have hundreds of voices speaking out this fall when the plan will be up for a vote with city councils and the county commissioners.

  • Join a Climate Action Group

Tribal Reservation Pandemic Protection Act


On June 24th, 2020, Congressman Joe Kennedy III (D-MA) and Congresswoman Deb Haaland (D-NM) introduced the Tribal Reservation Pandemic Protection Act, which would prohibit the Trump Administration from threatening tribal reservation lands in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Tribal sovereignty and the right for Indigenous tribes to practice their traditional ways of life safely for future generations to come is a climate change issue. Indigenous communities all across the world have been the first stewards of the land and never stopped caring for the land even through colonial genocide.

TCAT staff members live and work on many occupied Indigenous territories, such as the Lummi and Nooksack traditional territories, the Nisqually ancestral lands and Squaxin Island. 

To advocate for climate action and a Green and Just recovery from COVID-19 is to advocate for Indigenous rights. To learn about current threads across Indigenous territories watch this recorded webinar from the National Congress of American Indians. 

Photo:Justin Sullivan, 2017 Getty Images
TCAT's newsletter will now be published bi-weekly instead of weekly, so be on the look-out for our next special edition newsletter on July 14th! 

For more information about how submissions and subscriptions to the newsletter please
read here.

TCAT WEBINARS: COVID-19 & the Climate Crisis | Trees as Climate Solutions

Learning the Lessons of Now: COVID-19 and the Climate Crisis


Missed the webinar from April, 2020 on the similarities and differences between the health pandemic and the climate crisis? Watch the recorded version here!

Lynn Fitz-Hugh, Community Engagement Director for TCAT presented this webinar and in addition discussed the lessons to be learned that can be applied to actions in Thurston County to fight climate change. 

Make sure to check it out!

The Lorax Project: Trees as Climate Solutions


A Green and Just Recovery from COVID-19 must prioritize the health of trees, because they directly affect our respiratory systems.

To learn more about the benefits of trees and why TCAT is fighting to get ordinances to protect them in Thurston County, check out the recorded webinar below! 
 
“ I am the Lorax who speaks for the trees
which you seem to be chopping as fast as you please!  (Dr. Seuss)
 

EVENT HIGHLIGHTS: Applying COVID-19 Lessons to Climate Change

Applying COVID-19’s Hard-Earned Lessons
to Climate Change


Thursday, July 9th, 10:30 AM PST
REGISTER HERE!

This year, to combat coronavirus, companies adapted their production, governments poured money into technology, central banks permitted exceptional stimulus packages, and societies mobilized to shield the most vulnerable. Has this created the blueprint for combating climate change? How can legacy systems and businesses transform to scale solutions at this unique moment in history?
 
Join the New York Times Climate Hub for Netting Zero’s first event, a timely debate moderated by The New York Times’s Climate Editor Hannah Fairfield.

CALENDAR:

July 1, 2020 -
5:30 pm
Green Drinks

Green Drinks is a no-host networking meet-up for people interested in the environment. It occurs the 1st Wed. of the month (except holidays). Check Facebook for location.

( Click for details.)
July 7, 2020 -
7:00 pm
Youth Education Community Outreach (YECO) Action Group

YECO is a Youth focused climate action group. For link to join the meeting please email YECO coordinator Carrie Ziegler at carrie@thurstonclimateaction.org

( Click for details.)
July 8, 2020 -
12:00 pm
Buildings as Climate Action : Virtual Luncheon

Attend the bi-weekly Buildings As Climate Action (BACA) virtual luncheons. ZOOM LINK For more information email southsoundchapter@ecobuilding.org

( Click for details.)
July 8, 2020 -
7:00 pm
Chrysalis Project: Transforming Together Workshop

The workshop explores the power of art, the critical moment we are in as individuals and a society, what we might experience with the climate crisis, and the transformation of butterflies, ourselves, and our society. REGISTER HERE!

( Click for details.)
July 11, 2020 -
9:30 am
Citizens' Climate Lobby Meeting

We’ll listen to a national video-conference and discuss actions our local chapter can take to support the bipartisan Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act.

( Click for details.)
July 15, 2020 -
3:00 pm
Carbon Free Thurston Campaign

The Carbon Free Thurston (CFT) campaign advocates for a strong Thurston Climate Mitigation Plan being developed by the County and the cities of Olympia, Lacey, and Olympia.

( Click for details.)
Planning Ahead? Check out TCAT's monthly calendar

NEWS: Washington Initiatives | All Crisis Are Connected | A Green COVID-19 Recovery Globally

Climate Crisis and COVID-19 Are Intertwined


Earth Day 2020 was unlike any other Earth Day before. Thousands of climate actions were put on pause and reassessed to meet the needs of participants taking action from the safety of their homes and online. However, for the Washington Climate Alliance, the 50th anniversary of Earth Day meant an opportunity to advocate for "bold transformative change and a just response and recovery from COVID-19 to ensure a safer, more equitable, climate justice future". 

According to Washington Climate Alliance, "We know firsthand that the impacts of both the climate crisis and COVID-19 are disproportionately impacting working people, lower-income, and communities of color...similarly, many of the solutions needed to mitigate the impacts of COVID-19 will also ease the transition to climate justice—such as prevailing wage, safe jobs, access to affordable healthcare, housing, childcare, and clean transportation and energy options..."

To continue reading Washington Climate Alliance call for a just recovery and take action to support their frontline coalition partner’s emergency justice calls to action, click here!

Another local organization that has taken action to advocate for a COVID-19 recovery plan that mitigates for climate change is the Washington State Sierra Club chapter. According to a statement published in April, 2020: "The climate crisis and the pandemic are not separate fights: the futures we seek for COVID-19 and climate mitigation are one in the same"

To read their full statement and take action to tell your representative to support the
100% Clean Economy Act , click here!

Q&A: A Human Rights Expert On Covid-19,
Climate Change and Racial Injustices


In a recent interview for InsideClimate News, Ilana Cohen interviewed Philip Alston, a New York University law professor and former U.N. Special Rapporteur, on the recent protests for racial justice and ending police violence, amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, and how these different crisis interconnect with climate action. 

ILANA: To start off, how do you see the issues of human rights and climate change as intersecting with the current Covid-19 pandemic? 

ALSTON: I think there are different ways of looking at it. The optimistic way is to see Covid-19 as a trial run for what's on the way with climate change in the sense that it really is a crisis that has affected vast numbers of people that has shown up the importance of being prepared and the importance of listening to the warning signals, and the potential for totally disproportionate impact on different groups of the population—whether by gender, class, race and so on. Covid-19 could provide some sort of wake-up call to those of us who are pretending that climate change is going to be manageable and we don't really need to do anything until it actually starts to hit ever more dramatically. 

Read the rest of the interview here!

COVID-19 Economic Recovery and Investing Sustainably


Washington State is not the only state pushing for a Green and Just recovery from COVID-19 and Climate Change, this has become a national demand and an international movement.

In the City of Aspen, Colorado "The Rocky Mountain Institute, a Boulder-based energy research group, released a report for governments with recommendations on how to allocate money and effort while working on economic recovery plans", according to an article by the Aspen Public Radio

As the climate action manager for the City of Aspen, Ashley Perl stated, we can prioritize an economic COVID-19 recovery while prioritizing climate actions that will benefit all members of our community: "If you’re going to solve a human health crisis," Perl said, “Or you’re going to rebuild a building, or you’re going to expand your transit system – it may not seem like a climate program, but it needs to have a climate lens.” Continue reading the article here.

Internationally, climate action advocates are demanding the UK government prioritize "laying the ground for a zero-carbon house building boom—one which can create millions of jobs nationwide while reducing emissions and leaving households healthier" as part of its COVID-19 recovery plan. (Boydell, 2020)

Additionally, according to an article by Physics.org, "in order for the UK to meet its climate change commitments, all houses, old and new, must be zero-carbon by 2050. Currently, houses account for about 28% of all carbon emissions worldwide, half of which comes from energy used for heating and air conditioning". Globally, a COVID-19 economic recovery means prioritizing the investment in more sustainable housing and services for all community members. Continue reading the article on zero-carbon housing in the UK here.

SUPPORT TCAT'S WORK 

Spring Fundraiser


A big THANK YOU to all those who generously donated during our recent Spring fund drive. Your financial support will help us continue our work. It will help us with supplies, staffing and other financial needs as we look to create new, local climate solutions that help create a healthier, more equitable community.

Donate to Thurston Climate Action Team

 

TCAT is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization advancing projects that increase collaboration between local environmental groups, governments and our community to lower our greenhouse gas emissions and protect our livable planet. 

 

Donate via PayPal or with credit or debit here

Celebrating Washington State Employees Who Donate Throughout the Year



Washington State Employees Combined Fund is partnering with Thurston Climate Action Team! Choose the amount you’ll give every paycheck to support local projects that lower our carbon footprint, and unite the fight for a livable planet. Click the image below to get started!  Search for Thurston Climate Action Team, or Charity Code: 1482564.

Click the image below to get started!

Excerpt from cfd.wa.gov:

[...] "For more than 30 years, Washington State has proven to be one of the most giving states in the nation. Each year, over 15,000 active and retired public employees pledge more than $5 million to over 1,700 local, national and global charities. That number is good enough to place Washington State third in the nation amongst state employee giving programs, an incredible feat given the fact that our great state is 13th in overall population." [...]

            
 

SUBMISSIONS | SUBSCRIPTIONS

The TCAT Weekly Newsletter is published every two weeks by Samara Almonte, Digital Communications Coordinator. Most images are provided by pixabay.

If you have climate-related news and events to share with our subscribers:
  • Please email Samara at samara@thurstonclimateaction.org
  • Deadline is COB on Thursday of the week before your desired publication date.
  • The newsletter is published every other Tuesday of the month. 
  • Submissions may be edited for grammar, space, or relevance. 
Between newsletters, please check the TCAT calendar for upcoming events or read the latest blog post.

Disclaimer
The inclusion of events and articles in this newsletter does not necessarily represent the endorsement of the Thurston Climate Action Team.
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Thurston Climate Action Team (TCAT) is a local non-profit dedicated to bringing our community together to reduce climate disruption — resulting in a healthy, just and prosperous future for all.
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