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Dear Decaturish – Join us for the ‘Decatur Cares about Climate’ challenge

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Dear Decaturish – Join us for the ‘Decatur Cares about Climate’ challenge

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Dear Decaturish,

As a pediatrician and a mother, I’ve met a lot of parents, grandparents and other caregivers. Nearly all have one thing in common; they want the best for the children in their care.

Many times, parents say that they would do anything for their kids and I have seen this to be true. I’ve seen parents stay up all night with a sick child or work three jobs to put food on the table. If there was something you could do today to help your child and future grandchild when they are fifty or sixty years old, would you do it? I think most of us would.

This year, there actually is one task that we all need to do to protect our kids: Decrease greenhouse gas emissions. We need an intact and stable natural world to raise healthy children. We must decrease emissions rapidly over the next decade to prevent the worst effects of the climate crisis on children’s health. Climate change is already affecting today’s children and endangers their future. We’ve seen this in recent severe weather events across the country. We also know that children of color suffer disproportionately from climate related hazards in the US. The situation will get profoundly worse if we do not act. Georgia currently averages about 20 dangerous heat days a year. If no actions are taken, by 2050, we are projected to see more than 90 such days a year. https://statesatrisk.org/georgia/all.

This means:

– Less days when it is safe to spend time outdoors

– More canceled sports practices

– Less days of outside recess for our children and grandchildren

More carbon released into the atmosphere also means:

– Less likelihood that our kids will have reliable access to nutritious food

– Greater chance they will experience asthma

– Greater likelihood that they will deal with extreme weather events that will disrupt their lives

https://states.ms2ch.org/ga/georgia-aap-adopts-climate-resolution/.

So far, Decatur’s citizen voices made climate action a major priority for the city in the next decade through the strategic planning process. Well done! Now, we need everyone actively involved in the next steps. To do that, a group of advocates in Decatur is organizing the:

Decatur Cares About Climate Challenge! – a city-wide challenge to engage in climate action in three meaningful ways:

1. Learn: Educate yourself on the critical science and approachable actions needed to positively impact our kids and grandkids

2. Act: Take steps in your own household to decrease greenhouse gas emissions

3. Advocate: Lend your voice to driving system change

Completing the monthly challenges will guide you to actions that will safeguard your family’s future. Step 1 is simply to sign up at Decatur100.com/challenge. Each month you’ll receive an email highlighting things you can do to Learn, Act, and Advocate along with your neighbors.

If you love children, support racial equality, and want the best for all children, we need you. They need you. Let’s make them proud of us. Let’s show them that we were willing to act in order to guarantee them and their children a more equitable and better future. Let’s join together and make more progress than we as individuals alone can make. As Helen Keller once said, “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.”

– Preeti Jaggi, M.D.

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