Introducing: The Climate Change Girl Scouts Patch!

The Girl Scouts of Colorado and Colorado Moms Know Best are excited to announce a new Girl Scout patch – The Climate Change patch. image002

Remember that little adrenaline rush you got when you earned a new Girl Scout patch? We think of these like diplomas that show the world what a girl has strived for, learned and accomplished. In fact, patches are sometimes even handed to recipients in a graduation-esque ceremony; and that’s exactly what will happen in the Colorado Statehouse in April when the first group of girls will earn and receive their patch.

The Girl Scouts of Colorado and Colorado Moms Know Best want the Climate Change patch to be a fun and engaging way for girls to learn more about climate change while building useful skills to last a lifetime.  The current generation of children is the one that will bear the greatest burden of climate change and have the most to gain by preventing its impacts. Hopefully, Scouts will be motivated to take a leadership role on this vital issue and take part in improving their own future.

Many of us are noticing the effects of climate change around us. We’re constantly setting new records for warmer temperatures and hearing about crazy changes in our seasons like a January and February with no snow — in Chicago!   We’re seeing more devastating extreme weather events.  The bad news is that human-made toxic pollutants are added to the atmosphere by burning dirty fossil fuels — creating these conditions.

But the good news? We have the power to change that.

colorado kids with firefighterGirls will calculate their own carbon footprint, understand the impacts of climate change at a local level, and be inspired to make a difference. They’ll acquire skills to affect policy on other issues that interest them as well.  They can learn how to research and present their findings. They’ll also learn about how government works and how to make sure their voices can be heard on the key issues of their generation.

Girls earn the patch by finishing one age-appropriate activity in each of the three categories – Discover, Connect, Take Action. They can choose from things like researching clean energy jobs, examining climate change in their towns, and talking to decision makers.

The Climate Change patch is now available.  Find out more details and read about the ways you can get the patch here.

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Action Alert: Regional Haze!

Sylvia Mathews Burwell, HHS Secretary said early this month that the Clean Power Plan is important, “Because breathing outdoors shouldn’t send kids to the hospital.”

One of our readers, Westminster resident Ellen Buckley, took this photo.  She recently posted this photo to document the extreme haze in our state.
Aug 2015 Haze on Front Range
The persistent regional air pollution the extreme fires in the west and the poor quality of air at some of our national parks are unacceptable. In fact, did you know that Rocky Mountain National Park – the crown jewel of parks in Colorado – just earned a “D” grade for air pollution? That is NOT a grade moms are happy about!

Colorado Moms Know Best fights for clean air for our kids, community and parks – side-by-side with moms, firefighters, elected officials and others who are worried about the risks of climate change. We have created a few action items in response to this air quality crisis, just in time for Rocky Mountain National Park’s 100th birthday:

Other Actions You Can Take

1. Coloring pages for clean air!Kids coloring for clean air!

Rocky Mountain National Park Kid Coloring. We are gathering kids’ “clean air, beautiful vistas” coloring pages for a Rocky Mountain National Park’s 100th birthday card to give to elected officials at the RMNP party on Sept. 4. Click here for the blank coloring page.

2. Letters to the Editor.

If you want to submit a letter to the editor regarding the need for clean, healthy air please let us know. We can help you write it, too! Email us: contact@coloradomomsknowbest.com

Kids coloring for Clean Air3. Kids coloring for Clean Air: Kids Action Party.

Some moms are hosting kids action parties. If you want to host a kids action party in your area, let us know.  Gather together with your friends and color with your children to color pages for our larger Clean Air Birthday Card! Send in a photo of your drawings and your group when you are done.

4. Rocky Mountain National Park Birthday Party!

You can also join us at Rocky Mountain National Park’s birthday party on Sept. 4 at 11 AM where we will eat cake, play outdoors and talk to Sen. Bennet and Sen. Gardner about policies to clean up our air.

Let us know the level of support you can give to make sure we have clean air for our kids to breathe.  We can’t let our leaders think this new level of haze is going unnoticed!

~Emma, Head Mom

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Nine-Hundred Thirty-One Oil & Gas Wells Near Colorado Schools

 

Nine-hundred thirty-one.

That’s the number of oil & gas wells within 1 mile of Colorado Schools (see maps below). Our kids are at risk of exposure to ozone pollution which could lead to lung problems, difficulty breathing, and asthma. Let’s protect our kids!

SEE THE LIST OF SCHOOLS

Sign on and tell Gov. Hickenlooper that’s nine-hundred thirty-one too many.

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TAKE ACTION – SIGN ON TO OUR LETTER NOW!

More about the  Maps – most of the oil and gas wells are active!

  • All of the oil/gas wells within 1,000 feet of a school are producing (24 in the northern front range, 26 statewide)
  • 125 of the oil/gas wells within 2,000 feet of a school in the northern front range are producing, 7 are drilling and 2 are permitted.
  • 709 of the oil/gas wells within 1 mile of a school in the northern front range are producing, 1 is waiting on completion, 13 are drilling, and 78 are permitted.
  • 130 of the oil/gas wells within 2,000 feet of a school statewide are producing, 7 are drilling and 2 are permitted.
  • 837 of the oil/gas wells within 1 mile of a school statewide are producing, 1 is active, 1 is waiting on completion, 13 are drilling, and 79 are permitted.

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Colorado Moms Anxious About Kids’ Health Going Back to School

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MEDIA RELEASE

Thurs., Sept. 5, 2013 
Contact:  Jenny Davies-Schley, 720-296-9545
 
Colorado Moms Anxious About Kids’ Health Going Back to School
139 Colorado oil & gas wells are located within 2,000 feet of a school
 
DENVER – The grassroots network Colorado Moms Know Best – concerned about the effects of air pollution on kids’ health – just uncovered disturbing information showing that many school children are starting school right next to potentially harmful oil and gas operations.
 
“Kids should be able to go school in a safe place without air pollution making them sick,” said Jaime Travis, Colorado Moms Know Best Head Mom.  “Our moms are anxious about oil and gas operations located right next to their kids’ schools – we want our concerns and research to inform the Governor and the Air Quality Control Commission’s upcoming rulemaking on air emissions this fall.  We need to put standards on air emissions from oil and gas operations that are next to our kids’ schools and in our communities so it’s as clean and healthy as possible. 
 
The moms researched the proximity of oil and gas wells to schools and found out that:
  • Statewide 931 wells are within 1 mile of a school, 801 in the Northern Front Range
  • Statewide 139 wells are within 2000 feet of a school, 134 in the Northern Front Range
  • Statewide 26 wells are within 1000 feet of a school, 24  in the Northern Front Range
 
Ozone pollution is created by an interaction between two different sorts of air pollutants, oxides of nitrogen and volatile organic compounds (“VOCs”).  Oil and gas development provides a significant source for both of these air contaminants. In fact, regulators in Colorado have identified the oil and gas industry as the biggest source of VOC emissions in the state and compressor engines and drill rigs used at oil and gas facilities as the biggest source of oxides of nitrogen in the Front Range ozone nonattainment area.
 
Health studies have shown that exposure to high levels of ozone pollution leads to lung problems, difficulty breathing, increased susceptibility to infections and other respiratory ailments, such as asthma attacks, a leading cause of hospital visits especially among children, and even premature deaths.
 
“When children are exposed to benzene and other air emissions from oil and gas operations, and associated higher levels of ground ozone, they are at increased risk for developing infections and difficulty breathing” said Anthony Gerber, M.D., Ph.D. and Associate Professor of Medicine at National Jewish Health and University of Colorado, Denver. “ Exposure to these emissions could harm kids’ health for a lifetime and should be mitigated.”
 
Oil and gas development is growing in Colorado  – since 2000, statewide drilling for oil and gas has more than doubled and drilling has nearly tripled in the Front Range. With that development there has been an increase in smog inducing air pollution around oil and gas sites now moving in residential areas.  These noxious emissions can worsen and even cause asthma, gastrointestinal problems, constant bloody noses and other illnesses.  Already one out of 10 children have asthma in Colorado, an even higher rate than in adults because their lungs are still developing. 
 
“All I want is for my kids to be able to go to school and play on the fields and playground without worrying about the air they’re breathing,” said AnnMarie Cleary, a Broomfield mom and supporter of the Colorado Moms Know Best network. “I don’t think it’s too much to ask to have common sense standards to ensure that kids are going to school in a safe place where the air is clean.”   
 
The moms have collected more than 7,500 signatures on a letter to Gov. John Hickenlooper calling for common sense yet innovative standards to control air pollution that require the oil and gas industry to:
  • Detect and repair drilling leaks
  • Stop natural gas venting
  • Use capture technologies on storage tanks
  • Disclose chemical emissions

Colorado Moms Know Best is a casual network of moms and friends that are looking out for our children’s health and wellbeing by protecting Colorado’s outdoors and quality of life.  

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Governor Hickenlooper Public Radio Story

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We at Colorado Moms Know Best were delighted to hear the public radio story with Governor Hickenlooper in Aspen.

The Governor succinctly said “Oil and gas is an industrial process that none of us want in our backyard” and we agree. It’s best not to have this industrial process in neighborhoods but if it is present we need to be responsible and protect our families and community health by reducing the air pollution emitted by the oil and gas operations.

We hope the Governor agrees and is ready to be a leader on this issue. We hope he’s agree to meet with us very soon to chat and discuss our concerns for our kids health!”

Listen to the full audio here.

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Meet Linda F.

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From Linda F. ~

“As a resident of Erie, I am very concerned about the oil and gas development that is occurring very near to our homes and schools. I frequently attend the Erie Board of Trustee meetings and speak out about the issue.  I attended a meeting on June 11th of this year, several residents spoke about their concerns regarding oil and gas development.  It’s important to address your local officials and voice your concerns, it’s equally important to voice our concerns to the Governor as well.  Apparently one of Erie’s  local elected officials also thinks it’s important for us to address our Governor! Trustee Gruber advised citizens to call Governor Hickenlooper at 3:02:57 in this record.”

You heard it moms! Let’s voice our  concerns and hopes for the future  to the Governor – add your name to our mom letter here!

 

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Governor Hickenlooper Meeting Request Update

Jamie's HeadshotMoms:
I wanted to update everyone on our efforts to meet with Governor Hickenlooper to deliver the first round of signatures on our letter to him. We did receive a response on behalf of the Governor- they were very nice but tried to hand us off to the CO Dept of Public Health. We responded (see response below) that many of our moms have already had the opportunity to speak with the Dept. of Health and Environment, and while we appreciate their role, we know that ultimately Governor Hickenlooper is the decision maker on this issue.

We have requested again to meet with the Governor this summer to deliver our letter and chat. We will keep you posted on how things unfold.

Best, Jaime

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Dear Jenna and Valerie  – (Governor Hickenlooper’s scheduling staff)

On behalf of Colorado Moms Know Best, thank you very much for getting back to us regarding our request to meet with the governor, we really appreciate it.

As you are probably aware, many of our moms have already had the opportunity to speak with the Dept. of Health and Environment, and while we appreciate their role, we know that ultimately Governor Hickenlooper is the decision maker on this issue. We completely understand that he is quite busy, but given the importance of this issue, we would very much like to meet with him in person (it shouldn’t take more than 30 minutes) to chat.

Please let us know, when and where and we will be there. Looking forward to it.

Thank you so very much,

Jaime Travis, Head Mom
Colorado Moms Know Best

 

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Ozone Alert Issued for Colorado Front Range

An OZONE Alert was issued on Colorado’s Front Range this week!

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Those with sensitive conditions, young children and the elderly should be aware and may want to limit outdoor activities. Learn more about the summer ozone program.

Colorado’s current drought and terrible wildfires are all acerbated by climate change and are not only tragic on a human level, but also on an environmental one, by adding to our already compromised ground level ozone pollution. But, did you know that in addition to emissions from power plants and automobiles, air emissions from oil and gas operations contribute greatly to ground level ozone pollution and to our Brown Cloud?

Learn more about the wildlfire relief efforts and how you can help at: www.ColoradoRedCross.org.

Join other concerned Moms across Colorado and take action right now, please sign our letter to the Governor, get educated and join us!

Colorado Moms Know Best supporters were also featured recently on Denver’s CBS 4 News.

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CMKB Requests Meeting with Governor Hickenlooper

Jamie's HeadshotHey Mom Friends:

Exciting news! CMKB submitted our formal request this week for a late June meeting with Governor Hickenlooper to hand-deliver our letter. The letter asks him to work with us to dramatically reduce lung-damaging ozone pollution and dangerous climate change emissions coming from oil and gas operations to protect our kids’ health and future.

Can’t wait to meet with him – and given we’re such a cool, smart group of moms, we imagine he feels exactly the same way!

Please join us if you haven’t already, sign on to the letter, share the information with your mom friends and if you want to get more involved, drop me a line.

Best,

Jaime

~ Head Mom of Colorado Moms Know Best

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