A Brief History of the Climate Stewards of Greater Annapolis

 

The Climate Stewards of Greater Annapolis (CSGA) stem from Annapolis Friends Meeting where, in mid-2013, the Clerk of the Meeting asked for volunteers to form a working group to develop a “minute” – i.e., a public statement – about global warming.  The purpose of the minute was to articulate: an understanding of the science; an expression of Quaker values; and a call to action about the warming of Earth and the climate-change impacts that result from it.  The working group met over a period of several months and created a draft minute, which was officially approved by Annapolis Friends in January of 2013.

 

Shortly after approval of the minute, several members of the working group, in consideration of the call to action from the minute, created a climate-change organization for people of all faiths and persuasions from the greater Annapolis area.  They took their plan to the Annapolis Friends Peace and Justice Center, which recognized the effort as a “spiritual leading”[1] and provided a small start-up grant.  The organization first met in February of 2014, with about twenty-five people from the greater Annapolis area participating, and, shortly thereafter, took the name “Climate Stewards of Greater Annapolis” (CSGA).  Members of the climate stewards defined their mission as advocacy and education, and began to organize actions around the mission.

 

Over the past two years, CSGA has taken the following actions:

  • 6/14 (ongoing)  Affiliated with the Chesapeake Climate Action Network, Citizens Climate Lobby, Interfaith Power and Light, and Maryland Climate Coalition;

  • 6/14 (ongoing)  Visited with City of Annapolis, State of Maryland, and U.S. Federal Government lawmakers and administrative officials to advocate for strong and effective climate change policies;     

  • 9/14  Chartered a bus, with financial assistance from the Maryland Sierra Club, traveled to New York City, and marched in the Climate Change Demonstration;

  • 10/14  Awarded members David Ingalls, Beth Vernon, and Mardy Burgess recognition for their outstanding efforts in organizing the Climate Change March;

  • 12/14  Received a grant from the Annapolis Friends Holiday Market to hire a webmaster and created a CSGA website;

  • 1/15-4-15 Visited lawmakers and demonstrated on Lawyers Mall in front of the Maryland State House to advocate for strengthening of state’s Renewable Portfolio Standards;

  • 3/15 (ongoing) Initiated an “Certificate of Appreciation” award for efforts by elected officials to advance climate change understanding and policy making.  Awards, to date, have been given to U.S. Representative Chris Van Hollen, and U.S. Representative John Sarbanes;

  • 8/15  Adapted Climate Problems, Remedies, and Strategic Actions: A Statement of Convictions (See at http://www.csgannapolis.org/ )

  • 11/15  Demonstrated at the White House in Washington, DC to demand meaningful international action on climate change at the COP21 talks in Paris;

  • 1/16 Settled on a pattern of providing, each month, one two-hour business meeting, to plan events and make decisions, by consensus, and one two-hour educational meeting with scientists and policy makers to raise consciousness about policy options and their consequences.

  • 1/16 (ongoing) Visited lawmakers to advocate for renewing Maryland’s Greenhouse Gas Reduction Act and strengthening the state’s Renewable Portfolio Standards;

  • 2/16 (ongoing)  Grew the CSGA List-serve from 25 people, in 2/14, to 190 people in 2/16;

  • 2/16 (ongoing) Partnered with the Maryland Climate Coalition to create a speakers series – featuring Dr. Donald Boesch, President of the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, as the first speaker in the series.

 

 

 

[1] Among Quakers, the term “leading” refers to an idea that is inspired by the Spirit.