Thousands of Jews from over 100 communities joined 400,000 people of all faiths in the People’s Climate March on September 21. It was an inspiring day that revealed the public’s concern about climate disruption, and growing understanding of the need for serious action.
We need to keep the pressure on political leaders at every level, from local communities to the US Congress, to follow through on measures that will limit greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels and accelerate the transition to renewable energy. Here are some ways that you can engage your members who were inspired by the March and are ready to keep going:
Educate Your Community
- Hannukah, the festival of light, is a great time to learn about different sources of energy and their impact. COEJL’s Hannukah Energy Scavenger Hunt is a fun place to start.
- Show Disruption, the exciting film that tells the story of the People’s Climate March.
- Do your members know what you are doing to make your organization more energy efficient? Share your progress with your board of directors and in your newsletter. If you need to start tracking your energy use, learn how to use EPA’s Portfolio Manager.
Help Members Take Concrete Action
- Schechter School of Long Island brought a representative of Power Up Communities to a Parents Association meeting to encourage families sign up for a free home energy audit and reduce their own energy use. Similar programs exist in every community.
- Encourage members to switch to a renewable energy supplier for their electricity. Learn how from Con Ed and other utilities. 350.org has more information and recommendations for New York City residents. Hazon’s Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center has been purchasing green energy for several years.
- JCC on the Hudson is hosting a forum on Investing Your Money to Transform Your World on November 5. To learn more, read Fossil Fuels: What’s a Jewish Investor To Do?
Continue Your Advocacy
- Keep the pressure on world leaders to sign an international treaty on climate change by planning a vigil as part of Light for Lima, a multi-faith initiative sponsored by Our Voices. Vigils will take place the first week of December to coincide with negotiations in Lima, Peru.
- Get involved in the effort to ban fracking for natural gas in New York State. A forum atTemple Israel Center of White Plains , “To Till and to Tend: Energy Needs and Environmental Impact on Westchester’s Communities,” explored this issue. Join Jews Against Hydrofracking at the Governor’s State of the State Speech in Albany on January 7, 2015. Buses from everywhere in NYS will be available from Food & Water Watch.
- Join or create a Citizen Climate Lobby group for your legislative district. This grassroots organization is pushing for legislation that would insure that the price of fossils fuels reflects their true cost to society.