Best of 2017

by Shannon Anderson

John Gibson, our Resilient Indiana Field Coordinator, ECI co-founder, and environmentalist extraordinaire, reminds me all the time that we don't celebrate enough. I take a little issue with that because of all the advocates I know, the eco-warriors are a pretty party-interested bunch. 

But I realize that's not entirely what he means. We have to take time to acknowledge what's working, what's inspiring us, and what is bringing us closer to the society we want to be. 

In too many ways, 2017 has been a Crushing. Devastating. Heartbreaking. year for climate-concerned people and those who want to protect our environment. I don't need to remind you of some of our significant policy losses and setbacks. We will of course always continue to work towards national and international cooperation to protect our planet and its people, but it's time now to look to *the possible* our friends are creating right here at home:

We saved Crown Hill Woods! With just days to spare before the woods would be cleared to make a columbarium cemetery, a coalition of organizations and veterans convinced the Veterans Admin to halt the project and spare this pre-settlement gem.

Carmel, Indianapolis, and Lawrence passed youth-led Climate Recovery Resolutions (we're pretty sure anyone reading these emails knows this, but we just can't get over saying it).

"Little Warriors," the documentary about Indiana's Climate Resolution students picked up awards at Indy Film Fest, Heartland Film Fest, AND Global Impact Film Fest. 

Eight Hoosier Mayors have gone on the record to support the Paris Agreement and international climate cooperation and action. Four of those mayors have signed onto the "We are Still In" Mayor's pledge.

Indiana University launched the Grand Challenges and the Environmental Resilience Institute in response to alarming environmental change and concerns for public health.

North Vernon's Mayor Mike Ochs announced that the city's buildings would be completely solar-powered and work has already begun! It will be the first all-solar city government in Indiana.

Mom's Clean Air Force has collaborated with organizers along the Northern IN industrial corridor, created a very successful event to strategize pollution concerns.

Indy VegFest launched its first Vegetarian and Vegan food festival in Indianapolis and blew away expectations with over 4,500 visitors at the debut one-day festival.

Youth Power Indiana won the Mal Atherton Climate Advocate of the Year award at Hoosier Environmental Council's Greening the Statehouse just 9 days ago!

Speaking of Greening the Statehouse, this year was a RECORD attendance at HEC's 10th Anniversary of that event. Wow. Over 550 people. 

There's a lot more actually, which tells you that there are plenty of ways to get involved in 2018 with the movement! As far as I'm concerned, you're all the Best of 2017, dear climate family! 

Shannon Anderson