Code Red for Humanity
Chapter Chair Update - September 2021

Susan Eastwood

August 13, 2021, Willimantic, CT

A small group gathered in the 95 degree heat, in order to protest the expansion of unneeded gas plants and compressor stations in Connecticut and pipelines across North America, such as Enbridge’s Line 3 in Minnesota, which will disturb sacred indigenous lands. We stood in the extreme  heat; despite our discomfort we knew it was important to be there. 

I took some time to talk with the protestors to ask why they were there and to better understand their dedication to our world. I learned that folks had come from all over Eastern Connecticut, even seeking rideshares to come from New London.

Here's a sample of what they said:

  • “I’m here to promote the fact that we need to take care of the planet and people – we need to stop the pipeline.” – Jesse Clark, Willimantic

  • “It’s obvious that we are living through a crisis that has to be addressed immediately. The Killingly gas plant will add to our environmental burden, and we don’t need the energy . We need to stop the plant and Line 3 if we are to have a chance of surviving this crisis.” – Kate Donnelly, Hampton

  • “The latest data gives a stark picture of the future if we don’t stop burning fossil fuels. Adding more pipelines won’t help us keep temperatures from rising more than 1.5 degrees C!” – Janet Bellamy, Ashford

  • “I am here because it is still possible to stop the Killingly plant. But it will require political courage on the part of the Governor. Mostly, I am here for the sake of my grandchildren.” – Claudia Allen, Thompson

  • “It is imperative that we invest in nothing but renewable energy from now on. The continuance of our civilization depends on it.” – John Schwenk, Willimantic

  • “I’m here despite every bone in my body saying that it’s too hot. Climate change is so real, we really feel it today, so we need to show up! Showing up is 99%. Thank you for showing up!” – Clay Colt, Hampton

There are a number of warriors out there, sounding the call, and fighting the good fight. I salute those who braved the extreme heat on Friday. But we know that without the political will, very little will be done. That phrase, “political will”, is cunningly impersonal. What this truly means is that without immediate action from strong leaders–our Governor, our President, and world leaders across the globe– we are condemned to a bleak future.

We need all of us NOW. We need all of us to speak out to our Governor, our Senators and Representatives, and our State Legislators here at home. And we need thousands to speak out to our President and to the world leaders who will be meeting this November at the UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP) 26 in Glasgow, Scotland. This is CODE RED FOR HUMANITY! 

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I hope that you, our dedicated Sierra Club members, will take the time out of your busy lives to fight for us all! 

In this month’s Quinnehtukqut, there are several articles to help you get started. You’ll learn about our exciting, new Climate Campaign (Climate Awareness Campaign Urges Governor Lamont To Act Boldly on Climate!), and the future scenarios projected by the IPCC report (IPCC Report – It’s Too Damn Hot!). 

 Another highlight is Sam’s dynamite Op Ed, first published in the CT Post, on how Connecticut must step up to the challenge of preventing climate catastrophe (Opinion: Climate emergency requires more from Lamont).

On September 18th, we will come together for End Environmental Racism: A Climate Emergency Town Hall, a gathering in Bushnell Park with speakers, spoken word poetry and music, to hear from the communities most harmed by the twin evils of climate disruption and social injustice. Please join us!

Wishing you a great start to fall and the school year,

Susan

Susan Eastwood is Chapter Chair of Sierra Club Connecticut.