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The Society of Fearless Grandmothers Santa Barbara, in cooperation with 350Santa
Barbara, Sunrise Movement, Women’s March-Santa Barbara and Extinction Rebellion
and the Greta Thunberg Fridays for Future international organization, is sponsoring its third
monthly SHOE STRIKE FOR CLIMATE JUSTICE on Saturday, September 26, 2020, from
noon to 2 PM at the beach near Stearns Wharf. Previous Shoe Strikes have focused on
opposition to new fossil fuel drilling permits and the tragedy of recent wildfires. We continue
our opposition to new drilling permits and focus this month on Sea Level Rise resulting from
Across the nation, unprecedented fires, record breaking heat, historic storms and widespread drought
have caused billions of dollars in economic damage, environmental devastation and untold human
suffering. Air poisoned with wildfire smoke and fossil fuel pollution has had disastrous health
consequences for millions of people. Plans for adaptation for sea level rise will cost billions of dollars.
Welcome to the “Anthropocene” era of climate change.
The City of Santa Barbara has prepared a draft Sea Level Rise Adaptation Plan, to be discussed at a
Webinar on Thursday, September 24. It is important for citizens to pay attention to this Plan, which
draws on information from Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (“IPCC”) reports and
extensive research on local impacts of projected sea level rise.
The science is settled: we will experience significant increases in sea level rise in the future. Heat is
accumulating in the ocean causing the water to expand and generating about half the increase in sea
level. As Earth surface temperatures increase, melting of glaciers and unhinging of huge masses of
ice from the Arctic and Antarctic will cause more sea level rise. According to IPCC reports, the
magnitude and rate of this rise will depend on levels of future greenhouse gas emissions. A slower
rate of sea level rise allows greater opportunities for adaptation in the human and ecological systems
of small islands and low-lying coastal areas. The draft Santa Barbara Sea Level Rise Adaptation Plan
shows that the beaches where our grandchildren play today will be under water, likely within this
The rate of sea level rise is difficult to predict. Although there is significant understanding of the
science, there is much uncertainty in what we humans will do. Three things are certain: 1) What we
do now makes a difference in how soon and how drastic the sea level rise will be. If we continue
“business as usual,” sea level rise will be more devastating and more rapid. 2) To avoid exceeding
1.5°C to 2.0°C of global warming, we must take dramatic action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions
in the next 10 years. 3) We must make smart, informed decisions to prepare our coastal communities
for sea level rise.
To those who say “We can’t afford a Green New Deal” we say: “We can’t afford the consequences of
delaying dramatic action to address climate change!” Global solutions and strategies for reducing
atmospheric carbon have been extensively researched and well documented. We must mobilize on
a WWII scale to implement these solutions.
WE DEMAND that our elected officials at ALL levels of government must
• DENY any new permits for fossil fuel projects,
• FOCUS responses to the COVID-19 crisis on a just transition from the fossil fuel economy,
• PROTECT people and the environment — not corporate profit,
• END systemic oppression to stop the long history of racial and economic injustice.
SHOE STRIKES are a COVID-19-safe means of holding a demonstration without the need for large
in-person gatherings. Modeled on the SkoStrejk movement that started in Sweden, now spreading
across the world, Shoe Strikes display shoes to represent the people who, but for the COVID-19
pandemic, would be demonstrating in the streets. We can observe social distancing while making our
message visible: “People demand climate justice!”
SHOE STRIKES are being held worldwide on the last Saturday of each month to raise awareness of
the need for Climate Justice and to demand that elected officials at every level of government take
immediate action to address the climate crisis and the social and economic impacts of climate change
and the COVID-19 pandemic. These two unprecedented crises require unprecedented action to
protect our citizens and our planet.
THE SOCIETY OF FEARLESS GRANDMOTHERS-SANTA BARBARA is a group of calm, peaceful,
loving, courageous older women who understand that the time to stand up for current and future
generations is NOW. The group was formed out of a shared concern for the future of our planet and
the need for climate justice. We are committed to nonviolence and believe that grass roots movements
incorporating nonviolent civil disobedience are the best means of achieving the change needed to
address the climate crisis. We recognize that the impacts of climate change disproportionately affect
people of color and vulnerable populations. We can no longer tolerate a planet where anyone’s right
to breathe is compromised – whether by police brutality, pollution or wildfire smoke.
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