Profile: The Climate Mobilization Montgomery County

climate mobilization logo

by Lynn Litterine

As fires, hurricanes, and heat waves make headlines and our metro-area radio stations broadcast flood alerts, we take a look at the second of our partner organizations to be featured on this blog: the Climate Mobilization Montgomery County.

The Climate Mobilization Montgomery County is the local branch of a national organization founded by a clinical psychologist writing on the blog The Climate Psychologist, a journalist covering the Occupy movement, and a neuroscientist who researched PTSD in combat veterans and saw a link between a rapidly heating planet and the trauma of war.

The variety of their backgrounds informs the scope of the group’s goal, which is to get the nation to fight climate change with the level of urgency and commitment it brought to the homefront mobilization for World War II. Their strategy is to do that city by city and county by county, and the Montgomery County chapter has already had some success. It lobbied the county council to commit to reducing greenhouse-gas emissions by 80 percent by 2027 and by 100 percent by 2035. On Dec. 5, 2017, the council declared a climate emergency and committed to those goals.

Our former chair for community outreach, Jon Foreman, explains Indivisible Montgomery’s partnership role.

“The next step for the climate mobilization was to lobby the council to take concrete steps to make these goals a reality. Indivisible Montgomery signed on to testify before the council on behalf of a series of bills to create an emergency climate mobilization office and fund it and to pass a series of bills to encourage clean energy use and sound building practices and to reduce GHG output in transportation. I testified before the council representing Indivisible Montgomery.”

According to a story in the Dec. 5, 2017, edition of the Washington Post, measures that the county council plans to look at include increased investment in renewable energy, composting programs, greener building codes, and initiatives to boost the use of electric cars and solar panels.

Jim Driscoll, the Bethesda resident who coordinates the Climate Mobilization’s county chapter, says the group’s next focus is to shut down the coal-gas-and-oil-fired electric generating plant near Dickerson, Maryland, and the trash incinerator generating electricity in Dickerson.

The national Climate Mobilization declares on its website, “Our governments and institutions have failed to protect us. It’s up to all of us to take matters into our own hands with a new approach that could actually work.”

The site describes that approach as “truth based” because a problem must be seen clearly to be solved, as at “emergency speed” because change is outpacing projections, and as on the level of the “whole society.”

On its website (https://www.theclimatemobilization.org), the organization provides information for city plans, climate emergency policy, and an organizer tool kit. Its documents library reflects its broad-based approach by including information on climate-change science, psychology, and strategy.

The group’s message is urgent: “Humanity faces an existential threat. To survive it’s going to take everything we’ve got.”

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