April 2023 Newsletter
In this Issue
  • Save the Date!
  • "Invest in Our Planet" this Earth Day
  • Legislative Team Update: Learning, Connecting, Teaching
  • Videos and photos from the 3.21.23 Bank Day of Action
  • Biodiversity and Climate Change
  • Recommended Climate Podcasts
"Invest in Our Planet" this Earth Day
Legislative Team Update
Learning, Connecting, Teaching
Until later in May, the House will be focused on budget issues, digesting the Healey budget, and then hammering out their own. The budget process wraps up in July when the governor gets to exercise her line-item veto on a budget bill worked out by a House/Senate conference committee.
Our budget working group will be testifying on our behalf at upcoming hearings on climate-related funding issues. Down the road, the Legislative Team is looking to do a deep dive into the pros and cons of all the financing/funding options available for state climate programs and other community decarbonization efforts.
Our team will have its recommendations for ECA Mass policy and legislative priorities ready when committee hearings begin later next month and will present priorities beginning at the May chapter meeting. Among those priorities: decarbonizing residential and large buildings; establishing a climate bank; electrifying trains, buses, and vehicle fleets; protecting our forests; and fixing the grid.
In the meantime, team members have been busy connecting with key legislators and their staff, our allies, and Healey administration leaders at meetings with climate chief Melissa Hoffer, the new climate legislative caucus and the Roadmap Coalition. At a recent Legislative Team meeting, Senator Creem’s climate staffer Garrett Casey talked about climate bills the senator is sponsoring on promoting low-carbon construction materials, assuring that new buildings are all electric, municipal reforestation, and climate resilience.
Representative Meschino reviewed her priorities (climate bank, electrification of school buses and vehicle fleets, building decarbonization, solar for low-income residents) with the Roadmap Coalition, which includes many of our allies. The coalition originally came together to support Meschino's Roadmap bill and will continue to meet regularly.
Our Legislative Team members produced a presentation on the Massachusetts legislative process that was previewed at a recent ECA Mass new members meeting. One message is that getting impactful climate legislation passed can be fun. However, it can also be frustrating if you don’t know the milestones, the hurdles, and the pitfalls. Since this information will be useful to all ECA Mass members, we have posted the video of the 101-level presentation at https://youtu.be/Bi2Art7RVFs.
The NYU master students we are sponsoring in their capstone project have completed interviews with Massachusetts legislators and climate movement leaders and will present their findings on Thursday, May 4 at 6 PM (see Zoom link and report outline here). All are welcome. Come hear what some up-and-coming advocacy experts have to tell us about improving our advocacy efforts.
Jeff Clark and Roger Luckmann
Videos and Photos
On March 21, our partners at Third Act organized nationwide protests demanding that banks – particularly Chase, Bank of America, Citibank and Wells Fargo – stop funding fossil fuels. ECA Mass, 350 MA and other Massachusetts climate allies partnered with Third Act on actions around the state – urging local activists to close their bank accounts and cut up their credit cards. The Boston Action, attended by many ECA Mass members, targeted Chase Bank with a protest at Downtown Crossing, followed by a rally march to New England Bank of America headquarters.
Watch videos of the Massachusetts actions, here, and national protests, here.
And these are a few of the MANY photos contributed by ECA Mass members who attended protests. (Thanks to all ECA Mass members who participated – too many to acknowledge you all by name or to share all your photos in this newsletter!) Top row: Boston, Pittsfield, Bedford. And more scenes from the action, including Seth Evans (who highlighted our group, cutting up his credit card in front of the Boston rally crowd), and also with Jim Campen, Tina Grosowsky, and Allan Fierce.
Biodiversity and Climate Change
Three new reports and a missing piece
Recommended Climate Podcasts
We all read lots of climate articles. Sometimes it’s good to get our news in another way, as podcasts. Here are two podcasts I listen to every week and find helpful – and occasionally even enjoyable!
The three hosts of this podcast have a great exchange of comments and insights with their guests. At times, the hosts also are quite funny. Christiana Figueres was Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, leading the process that secured the landmark Paris Agreement. She also co-wrote one of my favorite books on negotiating the crisis: The Future We Choose: The Stubborn Optimist's Guide to the Climate Crisis, with Tom Rivett-Carnac. And Paul Dickinson is an entrepreneur focused on creating a global economic system that operates within sustainable environmental boundaries and prevents dangerous climate change. 

Their guests come from a wide range of backgrounds and each show has a unique focus. There is a lively exchange of views and frequently the podcast lives up to both parts of its title. But it is usually hopeful and hence, optimistic. On the first podcast of this year, Christiana pointed out that we are 1/3rd of the way through the decade that really counts…we will make it or really break it. “Everything counts, but it is not enough. Not enough, but everything counts.”
This podcast lives up to its billing as public radio’s environmental news magazine. Each week it may feature a well-known guest like Jane Goodall, but it also covers breaking stories, like President Biden’s authorization of the new oil drilling project in the Arctic. For that segment, environmental law expert Pat Parenteau explained the climate contradictions within the White House and what could happen next. Each week’s show also contains a segment called “Beyond the Headlines,” which includes some historical perspectives on our current predicament.  
Rick Lent
This Newsletter is Published for Members and Friends of the
Elders Climate Action - Massachusetts Chapter
ECA Massachusetts is a chapter of the national Elders Climate Action. We are a movement of elders committed to making our voices heard... to change our nation's policies while there is still time to avoid catastrophic changes in the Earth's climate. Visit the ECA Massachusetts website, event calendar, and Facebook page to learn more about our chapter's activities and climate news. JOIN ECA MASSACHUSETTS AND STAY CONNECTED! Subscribe to our monthly newsletter, and for more active participation, sign up to receive Action Alerts and meeting announcements. Fill out our subscription form.