COACHELLA —Seas are rising. Horrific hurricanes wreak havoc. The Salton Sea is shrinking. Drought brings raging wildfires to California. One-third of North American birds have disappeared. Climate change is not coming.  It’s here. It’s a climate crisis, according to Dori Smith, president of Democrats of the Desert.

A group of concerned area activists are holding a free, communitywide forum on Saturday, Nov. 9, titled “Confronting Climate Change for our Children, Our Communities & Our Future.” The forum will be held from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. in Coachella’s Veterans Memorial Park.

Speakers confirmed to date are:  RL Miller, chair of the California Democratic Party’s Environmental Caucus and founder/political director of Climate Hawks Vote; Joy Silver, member of the California Democratic Party’s Environmental Caucus and lead organizer of Courageous Resistance/Indivisible 36; Sylvia Montenegro, former Coachella mayor and member of the Salton Sea Coalition; Jaya Daniel, Extinction Rebellion; and area youths Solange and Valerie Luna.

Invited speakers include:  U.S. Rep. Dr. Raul Ruiz; Wade Crowfoot, Secretary of California’s Natural Resources Agency; Riverside County Supervisor Manuel Perez; Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia; Sen. Toni Atkins, California Senate President pro Tempore; and Dr. Cameron Barrows, research ecologist at University of California-Riverside.

In a prepared statement, Joy Silver said, “To survive this climate crisis — this climate catastrophe —for our species to survive, we need to break our addiction to fossil fuels .We’ve studied the problem and we know there are solutions. Now we need to act.”

Kim Floyd, Sierra Club conservation chair, said: “The members of the Sierra Club know that it is time for local decision makers, including elected officials, to be leaders against this ongoing climate crisis.  Time to stand up and protect our world for our children and grandchildren.  The crisis is here now.”

Jaya Daniel, Extinction Rebellion, said: “This is a pivotal moment in history: we are the last chance humanity has to change its course. Future generations will not have this gift, and we must not let them down. We know what we need to do and together we can do it.”

Smith said that in 2016, the Environmental Protection Agency reported that the earth’s climate is changing. Temperatures are rising, snow and rainfall patterns are shifting, and more extreme climate events – like heavy rainstorms and record high temperatures – are already happening.

“We urge residents to demand local political leaders take action now on climate change,” Smith said.

The free event will include a creative arts table for children; food vendors; and information on what individuals can do to combat climate change.  Attendees are encouraged to bring picnics, lawn chairs and blankets.

Organizers are:  Citizens Climate Lobby (Idyllwild), Courageous Resistance/Indivisible36, Democratic Women of the Desert, Democrats of the Desert, Desert Stonewall Democrats, Extinction Rebellion, Sierra Club, Sun City Democrats and area youth.

For more information, call Dori Smith, 760/774-5513.

Image Sources

  • Climate Change: Image by Darwin Laganzon from Pixabay