“Third Act” Acts on Climate Change for Planet’s Future

Effects of climate change are obvious in Andover

By Donna Baker-Hartwell
Third Act NH members Deborah Mahar and Donna Baker-Hartwell taking action on climate change.

Are you unsure as to the impact of climate change on New Hampshire? Are you unsure as to whether there is a way for us, as individuals, to do anything about it? Are you concerned about the future of the next generations? Are you in my generation of over-60 and feel a responsibility to your grandchildren and great-grandchildren to help change the course of planetary warming?

As a native of New Hampshire and long-time resident of Andover, I have seen climate change happening. For example, Tucker Mountain Road — the road I live on — has experienced more and more severe wash-outs. 

Our highway department has spent increasingly more time and money repairing the damage. The ditches have had to be made wider and deeper — deeper trenches, more culverts, and more run-offs. Our winters are milder with more rain.

Some folks might call the warming and increasing episodes of severe weather a natural change. After all, the planet has been changing since the beginning of time. However, science is showing that human activity, especially the increased use of fossil fuels and coal, has caused global temperatures to rise exponentially.

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Ocean levels are predicted to continue to rise, as well. This year is heading toward being the warmest year on record.

Enter the grassroots climate campaign, “THIRD ACT.” Bill McKibben is an environmentalist and founder of Third Act, an organization that encourages people over 60 to take action on climate change. He began his global environmental movement, 350.org, in 2008 and has written many books on the subject, including, The End of Nature (c. 1989).

The Third Act movement is now expanding across the country, with more than 30 Working Groups in 22 states. It’s unique in that it specifically calls on seniors to get involved. It is the mission of Third Act New Hampshire to take collective action on issues of climate justice and to strengthen democracy. 

TANH has been networking with other environmental groups and supporting NH youth in their efforts. This is a joyful group of older people who wish to have an active part in finding solutions. We welcome others to join us in our efforts. At Third Act.org you will find our working group and contact information. (There is no cost to become a member.)

THIRD ACT NH is newly formed and will be officially launched on November 2, at 7 PM. This will be a one-hour webinar with a link that can be accessed by going online to Third Act.org. Bill McKibben will speak, as well as three New Hampshire panelists, selected by the Third Act NH Working Group committee. They are Kendra Ford of Exeter, Jamie Robertson of Contoocook, and Laura Telerski of Nashua. 

The panel will address the subject of climate change, its impact in New Hampshire, climate action, and how we can strengthen our democracy. There will be opportunities for questions and answers, music, and a video of New Hampshire residents — some of our own neighbors — speaking on climate change. It is our hope  that viewers will be inspired to join the movement.