VIRGINIA BEACH — How do 7.5 billion living, breathing human beings impact the health of planet Earth?
In too many ways to imagine.
One way specifically though are the behaviors that lead to the release of greenhouse gasses, including carbon dioxide (CO2), which is produced when we drive cars and trucks and busses, and when we burn oil and gas and coal.
The CO2 then rises into the atmosphere and inhibits heat from escaping.
On June 30, mothers and grandmothers in Virginia Beach are invited to attend a discussion forum that will focus on sustainable energy independence, common-sense policies, and job-creating innovations.
“We want to spread awareness that Hampton Roads is on the front lines of climate change,” said Kim Miller, organizer for Mothers Out Front in Hampton Roads. “We are experiencing unprecedented increases in flooding and destructive storms. We must act now to convince our leaders to make policy decisions that include lowering carbon emissions and focus attention on sustainable energy options.”
The goal of the event, Miller said, is to gather information and insight from those who attend and take action right away. Likewise, the group is hoping to gain insight on building a team of mothers to help move the agenda forward in Virginia Beach.
The event will be at the Virginia Beach Friends Meeting House, 1537 Laskin Road at 10 a.m.
Last summer Mothers Out Front and the Sierra Club worked together to encourage Norfolk Mayor Kenny Alexander to sign on to the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate Change and Energy, and to also form a Climate Change Commission for that city, which features representation from two mothers.
Miller said they’d like to see Virginia Beach’s leaders sign on as well.
“The basis for the meeting is to bring mothers in Virginia Beach together to talk about how we may call upon our decision makers – like City Council members – to take meaningful action to lower carbon emissions and push for more renewable energy sources in our city,” she said.
The event will mainly be a brainstorming session to identify what local mothers’ climate concerns are.
“Are they concerned with increases in inclement weather that keeps kids out of school for days at a time, frequent hospital visits due to high childhood asthma rates or flooding that make it impossible to get our families out of our own neighborhood?” Miller said. “We want to hear from all mothers.”
The mission of Mothers Out Front, which is a national organization, is to “build power as mothers to ensure a livable climate for all children.”
Although the event is mainly focused on mothers and grandmothers, anyone is welcome to attend.