We connect you with grassroots climate change solutions.
With a problem as extensive as climate change, many of us do not know the best way to support. Community-based climate action has a large collective impact, but it can challenging to figure out how to support local, community-based work. We are changing that.
Our Climate Voices augments climate stories to spark climate action. We:
1) Humanize the climate disaster through storytelling. Personal climate stories are often left out of mainstream climate dialogue, but climate change is affecting our communities and our spaces now and it is necessary that we talk about it.
2) Center the voices of those most impacted. Countless people are being impacted by climate change today, but their voices are rarely heard. The perspective of those most impacted are must be represented in climate problem solving.
3) Connect you with grassroots solutions to make a difference today. Together, we can support local solutions and have a large collective impact. We listen to fresh perspectives from grassroots leaders and support their work.
Read our stories below.
OCV 2019 Series
“There is a lot of exaggeration about what Line 3 will bring. It’s tough up here, because there aren’t a lot of jobs, so people grab onto this pipeline. It’s like, ‘Oh, some jobs!’ A lot of people have worked construction in North Dakota in the oil patch so it’s familiar to them. I don’t think we should put people in these kind of situations, where they have to choose between a job and the environment. It’s not about stopping a pipeliner from getting a job, it is about giving him a better job—one that he can proudly tell his kids that he’s doing for their future, not one that’s destroying it. The real jobs are in removing these pipelines from the ground when they decommission them.”
“If this line is approved, it would go directly through our 1855 Treaty area. The 1855 Treaty was a legal binding document signed between the States Government and Chippewa (aka Anishinaabe/Ojibwe). By signing this treaty, my ancestors gave the settlers the right to settle on the lands and the Anishinaabeg agreed to live in peace among one another. We retained our inherent rights to hunt, fish, and gather on these ceded lands, and the government promised education and medical care indefinitely. This agreement also included the promise of government payment for the use of the lands. However, there has been a discrepancy about payment, a lot of which has not been paid. There has been a history of trickery and collusion among agencies and settlers in the pursuit of land and timber.”
“The fracking industry has been able to blend in and move into the community slowly. But this project is just like, ‘We are going to do this because we can do this now.’ That’s my take on it. The reality of it is that there are so many community members that work in the oil and gas industry, that it makes it hard to speak against the industry to anyone. There are a lot of people that care about this, even though they may not be vocal about it. A lot of people are very fearful of the explosions and disasters that the industry refers to as accidents or anomalies. People are literally dying in their homes because of this industry. I feel that if this lawsuit were to be successful, it would give people a little bit of hope and that would calm some of their fears. An industry should not have as much stronghold as the fracking industry has here in Colorado.”
“It doesn’t take an extraordinary person to do extraordinary things. It takes a person willing to make change. A lot of young people are dealt situations that they don’t deserve, but they make something beautiful out of their pain. My grandma used to tell me, ‘the best things come from out of tears of sadness.’ It took me a long time to understand what she meant by that, but when you cry about something and you do something about it, it becomes an amazing thing. Because you were at a point where you thought you couldn’t do it. You went from having that self-doubt to a point where you made something incredible, not only for yourself, but for other people, for your environment, and for the people you talk to.”
“Not if, but when, the pipeline breaks, it will affect the part of the Missouri River that we live on. My community will be forced to move again, and there will be nowhere to go except a higher place in our indigenous territory. We won’t have the resources that we have now. Our water will no longer be safe for us, so we will have to find a different source. We will have to find emergency housing for our elders, for our youth, for the people that live there. And we will have all our memories torn from us, from our place we call home. As indigenous peoples, we have a history of finding a home and then having that taken from us. And it is very scary. It is a real-life scenario, and it’s scary.”
“I was 14 or 15 the first time I thought about climate change in Honduras. We were at our house, which is close to the beach, and it’s also where my mom grew up and lived her whole life. She was talking about how when she was younger, they used to have to walk a little bit to get to the beach, and now it’s just right there. I remember being on the beachfront and seeing that the community had put together these sand, rock, walls, and seeing telephone poles that were in the ocean that didn’t used to be there. I remember thinking, these people, my people, don’t necessarily have the resources or access to knowledge to fully understand what this is and how it’s impacting them, but it’s clearly a huge presence in their lives every day. And it’s because of emissions from where I’m from and actions of people around me and my peers. The society that I live in is drowning the society that I’m from.”
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“Because of our drought, the sand around Cameron became super dry. Then, because of the winds, nothing was keeping it in one place. So we had a reservoir, and it dried up. Then one day it rained very hard. And I remember back when I was smaller, the rains used to be really nice—smooth and consistent. But this rain was very harsh, and a lot of water came down all of a sudden. And it caused the reservoir to fill up, which is sort of good. But then the next few days after that, it was super dry, so it weirdly resulted in dry sand on the top layer. And the lake was super muddy, almost like tar. And after the rain, wild horses came to this one little puddle. They tried to get to the puddle, and it was all like quicksand, and they didn’t see it because the topsoil blew over it, and they couldn’t get out. It resulted I think in one-hundred-twenty horses found dead in that area.”
“The Marshall Islands has been fighting for justice for a long, long time. Before colonialism, the Marshall Islands had a lot of natural resources. The United States did 67 nuclear tests and tested the first hydrogen bomb there. Several of those bombs vaporized islands right off the map. There have been islanders who were unable to return home because of radiation. And now, on top of that, the Marshall Islands is on the front lines of climate change. It is a very narrow, flat, small set of islands. It’s in danger of being one of the first countries to go underwater. There are no mountains or anything. There’s literally nowhere to escape to if there is a flood, or a hurricane. Ocean acidification and the rising sea levels are causing erosion, making the islands significantly smaller. King tides are flooding the land. Ocean acidification is making fishing—a huge part of Marshallese culture—challenging. On top of that, when the waters come rushing in, they wash away cemeteries where our grandparents and other ancestors are buried. Our people are tied to the land and our ancestors are on that land.”
“In the Arctic, the effects of climate change are much more pronounced than in Minnesota because the further north you go, the more advanced the impacts are. There’s a number of reasons why it plays out that way, but it all culminates at the North Pole, which is truly ground zero for climate change. The impacts of climate change at the pole provide data to model the impacts that are likely to be felt further south here in the decade ahead. It’s very much in-your-face visible when you’re in the Arctic.
I worry for my kids and grandkids because I know that the Boundary Waters are destined for dramatic change, and we’ve got to wrap our heads and hearts around that. We have to reconcile the things that can be done to adapt and realign to accommodate that. In the long-term, the heartbreaking element for me is that changes are occurring with sufficient speed such that, as much as I’ve enjoyed my career in Arctic adventure travel and operating a dogsledding operation in the Boundary Waters, I would never encourage my children to follow in my footsteps and do the same. I don’t think this will be a viable career a decade or two from now, or maybe even sooner.”
OCV 2018 SERIES
“My name is Dania, and I live in Jurupa Valley, California. I attend school next to a road which sees over 800 trucks pass every hour, and our community suffers serious health effects because of it. The Mira Loma community in the city of Jurupa Valley has been fighting against the industrialization of their neighborhoods for years. A once rural-agricultural community has been overrun with warehouses and diesel trucks that pollute the air and lungs of residents and create excess traffic and increasing commute times.”
“Growing up, I could see smokestacks near my house that filled the entire sky with clouds. The power plant was planned in a predominantly white community, but the people of Denver rallied and said that it was unsafe. Xcel Energy moved it two hours south to my predominantly Hispanic town—Pueblo, Colorado. The company was aware of the health risks and offered the community free energy and jobs in exchange. The city took it. After ten years or so, the company stopped giving free energy and rerouted the jobs. Now my hometown is experiencing pollution and destruction from this power plant without anything in return.”
“There is cultural damage because of climate change. People talk about loss and damage a lot in traditional climate dialogue spaces, but it’s always controlled by Western thought and Western methodology. They talk about people being displaced by storms. But, for Indigenous people, when we get displaced, we’re not just displaced from our homes, we’re also displaced from our homelands, our way of life, place-based spirituality, and all the things that are ingrained in our cultures and traditions. Maybe people who get displaced in a place like Miami will miss their home if it flooded, but it’s not the same as someone who has been in their community for thousands of years, from places where their ancestors are buried or where their landmarks stand. If we have to move, it’s irreversible cultural identity loss and damage. Removed tribes suffered that once already, like the Shawnee, through federal policy in the 1800s.”
“Last summer, there were two weeks where it was so smoky we couldn’t see blue sky. That has never happened in my life. I didn’t notice how intense it was until it was dragging on and on, there were barely any days when it got lighter. We had to wear particle masks. It’s extremely bothersome on a farm. It’s scratchy. It’s hot. Finally, I started to see blue sky again. I was so thankful. But, then I thought, ‘The way things are going, it’s probably going to be worse next year.’ As wildfires get more severe and common with climate change, the chance of our farm being in the target area, the burn area, increases more and more every year.”
“The night the flooding happened, I wasn’t the person who noticed. I was asleep because it was midnight. I have a sister who’s a year older than me and stays up. She was on her computer when she noticed flood water coming under her door. She moved her electronics then woke up my oldest sister. When there’s rain, it goes downwards to the back of the house. My room is at the back of the house and it got worse back there because the house isn’t level.”
"The environmental movement has been predominantly white for a long time. It’s really important to bring new voices, new faces, and new colors to the movement. It’s the Hispanic populations, the Latino populations, and the African American populations that are already seeing the impact of climate change. They are living closer to oil and gas operations, and closer to toxic chemical facilities. The only way that we’re going to get movement and action is if we address this inequality and hear the stories of those directly impacted."
OCV 2017 Series
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