Roadside Standouts Call Attention to the Climate Crisis

As the West burns and Massachusetts legislators ponder climate legislation, 350 Mass volunteers take it to the streets

350 Mass members and friends began a series of covid-safe standouts to help boost public attention to the climate crisis. Multiple teams posted up on busy commuter routes, each team holding a series of signs that combined to spell out the message – somewhat like the roadside advertisements for Burma-Shave in the 1930s. Check out this video from one of these actions.

These actions speak in part to the crucial upcoming action in the Statehouse, where a conference committee will soon be deciding what climate bill will be put before both the House and Senate for final action this year. So one team spelled out “CLIMATE CRISIS – HOTTEST YEAR – LEGISLATORS – GET IN GEAR – ACT ON CLIMATE NOW!” The huge wildfires recently ravaging the West add urgency to these efforts, so another set read “THIS IS DIRE – HOUSE ON FIRE – ACT ON CLIMATE - NOW”. Each set ended with a “350 MASS” sign, to help people find out more on the web.

In a parallel effort, on September 11, 350 Mass wrote to all members of the conference committee, detailing which aspects of the House and Senate bills we believe should be kept in the final conference bill. In this we are aligned with the broad coalition of environmental groups known as Mass Power Forward. The stakes are high, due to big differences between the two bills. So we ask all 350 Mass volunteers and allies to reinforce the above request by calling, emailing, and/or writing to their legislators - see model scripts here.

The roadside standouts were dreamed up by the 350 Mass non-violent direct action working group known as Climate Courage. Individual 350 Mass Nodes then made their own signs and chose when and where to stand out. Click here for more information on the Climate Courage group, and indicate if you’re interested in getting involved. Click here to find a list of our Nodes (local chapters) and check out one of their regular meetings.  You can channel your climate concern and personal creativity into actions with impact!

Charlie’s Climate Catastrophe Tour: What we did and how to stay involved

Following the Global Climate Strike, 350 Mass members took a 9-foot tall Governor Charlie Baker puppet on a week long tour of the state to visit the places that his administration is failing to provide real climate leadership.


Kickoff of Charlie’s Climate Catastrophe Tour 

To kickoff the tour, 350 Mass members and allies rallied in downtown Boston. With a focus on “accessible, affordable, reliable, electric” transit, “Charlie” and his fossil fuel executive friends were questioned in front of the state house and taken through the streets and T stations. Check out this video from the action.


Saugus Wheelabrator incinerator

“Charlie” met with his constituents in Saugus to hear about the stinky, toxic Wheelabrator incinerator burdening their community and environment. The incinerator, which generates toxic ash from burning trash, is located in the otherwise beautiful Rumney Marsh. The toxic ash is then dumped into a nearby, unlined landfill, meaning that there is no barrier to stop the toxins from seeping into the marsh or groundwater. Despite all of this, and the fact that the plant is at a high risk for flooding, there are plans to expand its operation. Follow SAVE (Saugus Action Volunteers for the Environment) on Facebook to stay up to date on this fight. 


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"Charlie on the M(B)TA"

In 1949, Jacqueline Steiner and Bess Lomax Hawes wrote "Charlie on the MTA" as the mayoral campaign song for the Progressive Party candidate in Boston. The witty lyrics tell the story of a man named Charlie who get's lost in Boston's decrepit subway system.

70 years down the road, 350 Mass volunteers rewrote the lyrics to the iconic song to highlight how much further the MBTA has fallen into disrepair under Governor Charlie Baker! An affordable, accessible,  reliable, and green public transportation system is what we need for justice in our communities and to transition to a clean energy future for all.

Watch the full video here!

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