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home : commentary : thisissue October 17, 2017

Care for Mother Earth
Norma Smith Olson, left, and Kathy Magnuson

Overlap between feminism and the environmental movement is inevitable when the climate crisis is a symptom of patriarchal and extractive, colonial systems embedded in our society.
- Akilah Sanders-Reed, click here to read story.

by Norma Smith Olson and Kathy Magnuson


An 11-year-old girl and her friends showed us how to put insight into action. In February of this year, Olya Wright and some friends from their youth environmental group persuaded the Grand Marais city council to adopt a Climate Inheritance Resolution. The city committed to taking action within 3 months to develop a plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and including youth in the process. Grand Marais followed St. Louis Park, which was the first city in the nation to pass such a resolution in 2016.

When the Grand Marais council expressed concerns about implementing the resolution, as many of their services are shared with Cook County, Wright brought their resolution to the county board, too.

Their presentation was based on the fact that younger people will bear most of the impact of climate change, and they should have a voice in how to respond. "We're not here to simply complain, but to come together to find direction," Wright said to the city council.

The model for these Minnesota cities' Climate Inheritance Resolutions was created by iMatter, a national organization working to protect children - and future generations - from the risks of climate destruction. iMatter was founded a decade ago by then 13-year-old, Alec Loorz, and his mom, who were working on environmental issues in California. The idea is to act locally, Loorz said in a recent interview with Minnesota Public Radio, "That's where people actually know the youth of their communities. They can actually see, wow, OK, these people are my neighbors."

In this issue, in advance of the Women's Congress for Future Generations in early November, we share the stories of other women - both young and seasoned - speaking out and organizing for care of our Mother Earth.

Akilah Sanders-Reed works with Power Shift, a youth climate group, using a legal argument similar to the Climate Inheritance Resolution, to argue that young people will be the ones most impacted by a potential pipeline oil spill in northern Minnesota. She is one of the Youth Climate Intervenors - a group of 13 activists who were recognized by the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission in late summer as a "directly-affected party" in the case against the rebuilding of the Enbridge oil pipeline.

Lucie B. Amundsen of the Wrenshall, Minn. company, Locally Laid, raises chickens through sustainable agriculture and educates people about why that matters. Lisa Westberg Peters contemplates the implications of inheritating land that has been in her family for generations and is now is being fracked for oil. A group called Toxic Taters fights the effects of pesticide spraying on potato fields by corporate farming. As you're reading this October magazine, a group of four young, Minnesota women, who call themselves Women on Wheels for Wild Lands, are biking across the United States, from the west coast to the east coast, with a message of the importance of our public lands and the threats they face.

Women and young people are taking the lead in speaking out about the dangers of climate change. How can you have an impact locally or worldwide? How do you take care of Mother Earth - our community's home?

Loppett Fdn.banner.9-2017



Coming up:

November's
focus is "women's activism" and we're asking: How have you taken action or raised your voice since the Women's March last January? Tell us about it. Send up to 150 words to editor@womenspress.com
Deadline: October 10, 2017
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Deadline: October 10, 2017

December is our annual "Changemakers" issue What would you like to see changed for women or girls? Tell us about it. Send up to 150 words to editor@womenspress.com
Deadline: November 10, 2017
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Deadline: November 10, 2017





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