In the wake of COVID-19, 350 Colorado is working to proactively respond with public health and safety as a top priority. For all of us working to address the climate crisis, this pandemic serves as a strong reminder both about likely challenges that lie ahead in our collective response to climate change and also our ability to act quickly for the greater good when we must. We see this is a keen reminder of systemic weaknesses and opportunities, coupled to our interconnectedness, and the need to address global and local challenges in solidarity and community, with a spirit of resilience-building.
As a climate organization, we recognize the connection between global pandemics and the climate crisis. (See this article to learn more about how researchers believe climate change is exacerbating the spread of disease.) Just as with the climate crisis, we know that the way to combat this pandemic is through rapid and swift action that prioritizes human rights and dignity. While we recognize that there is a lot of fear in this moment, the only way to fight this virus is to come together to confront this crisis head-on as one, united, global community.
In light of the ongoing pandemic, all of our in-person events and actions will be on hold until mid-May. We will reassess the situation at that point. Our staff are self-isolating, and we encourage all of you – our friends and fellow activists – to protect yourselves and others by staying home as much as possible to help stop the spread of the virus so hospitals are not overwhelmed. (Use #StayHome and #StoptheSpread to encourage others!)
We will continue to move forward our efforts to protect our planet and address the climate crisis through alternate means, including our ongoing committee planning calls and forthcoming online webinars and trainings. Stay tuned for opportunities to plug in and stay connected virtually in the days and weeks to come. We will update our calendar with online events – www.350colorado.org.
Just last Friday we initiated this new organizing approach by moving our ‘Protect Our Children’ Press Conference and Rally online, with over 1,800 of you tuning in via Zoom or our Facebook live recording. You can catch up on the event and the report we released last week on benzene emission exceedances due to fracking at Bella Romero Academy (4th-8th grade school) in Greeley here.
In the weeks to come, we invite you to work with us to identify new ways to promote health and safety as a top priority and to consider how together we can build resilience and community during this time. With this broader theme in mind, we are preparing a webpage we will launch soon with ways to take action to care for ourselves and each other and to call on our leaders to protect the people, especially the most vulnerable among us, from illness and economic hardship during these difficult times. We’ll be back in touch soon. Stay safe and know that we’re thinking of you all and sending you strength and comfort.
Micah and the 350 Colorado Team