Posts

Our next President must save humanity

Our next President must be prepared to save humanity. In the face of a climate emergency that impacts every aspect of our lives, half-measures and plodding steps will not be sufficient. And we have just over 350 days to impact the election with this critical goal.

An effort to save humanity probably sounds extreme. But the science is clear: We are running out of time. Equally clear is that there are options for climate restoration that can do the job. We can save humanity.

This election cycle has focused more attention on climate justice than ever before. Several candidates are calling for a climate emergency. Several are offering bold ideas. But none yet has broken to the top of the field, according to our newly released Climate Restoration Emergency Action Scorecard.

Democratic voters in Iowa and around the country should be alarmed by the lack of ambition to address climate change by the Presidential candidates. 

CREA report card tracking saving humanity

All of the candidates are failing to respond adequately to our climate emergency. We need more than rhetoric and empty promises. 

Climate Restoration Emergency Action (CREA) won’t be easy by any stretch of the imagination. Yet with bold leadership, it’s affordable and achievable. 

Now is the time for voters to make sure the next President leads a global movement for climate restoration. 

You can read the full report on the CREA report card here.

Ensure our next President helps save humanity

Our next President must also go beyond current ambitions for climate action. 

Besides ongoing mitigation (reducing CO2 emissions) and adaptation (preparing for inevitable consequences), the next President must set a new goal to achieve “climate restoration” — to repair the current damage and proactively ensure a safe and healthy climate for future generations.

The next President must mobilize the full capabilities of the federal government, universities, and the private sector to deploy innovative solutions to return atmospheric CO2 to safe levels of less than 300 parts per million by 2050. 

In addition, efforts must restore sufficient Arctic ice for eight months of the year to prevent permafrost melt and the resulting disastrous methane emissions. This is an urgent priority.

So far, none of the candidates have committed to this goal.

The next president must lead the rapid acceleration of the three legs of climate action: mitigation, adaptation, and restoration. This will require mobilizing the entire federal government and society on a scale not seen since Americans mobilized to win the battle against fascism in World War II.

So far, none of the candidates have committed to this goal.

Our next President must unify a broad range of constituencies within the Democratic party and demonstrate their skill to mobilize cross-partisan support that attracts Independents, green Republicans, and especially non-voting Americans. A unified political movement is an absolute prerequisite for breaking the political logjam to accelerate federal climate action.

So far, none of the candidates have committed to this goal.

Our greatest presidents have called on shared sacrifice to accomplish broad goals like winning World War II and ensuring “government of the people, by the people and for the people, shall not perish from the earth.” 

A new president’s mission is a little more succinct: to ensure people shall not perish from the earth. The top agenda must be to save humanity.

Let’s join forces with all Americans and vigorously demand action to restore our climate.

 

 Step 1: Forge systemic change

It felt like change, didn’t it? 

Out in the streets, marching for climate justice, seeing the worldwide response of a global movement rise up, you felt the time for serious, sustainable, history-making change has arrived. 

But let’s be clear: Yesterday’s Global Climate Strikes were the start. It’s a long road ahead. That’s why climate marches will continue all week. Keep stepping. Keep posting. Keep sharing. Keep demanding our political leaders take action. Keep taking action

In the simplest terms, we march for our survival. We’re marching to build a movement of change. 

Seven Steps to Change

Over the next week of marching for climate justice, we will offer seven steps for decisive, collaborative and impactful action. Seven clear answers to what we want, what we need and what will bring effective lasting change. 

The threat of a warming planet has been documented for years. In 2015, 198 countries agreed at the COP 21 in Paris to work toward the reduction of carbon emissions. 

Yet every meaningful statistic since shows we’re not doing enough, fast enough, to ensure the survival of humanity on planet Earth, and we can restore a healthy climate and flourish for generations to come. 

Listen to Katie Eder as she calls for bold action to #RestoreTheClimate.

We can be bold. We can make do this.

How? In seven bold steps we can take together: 

STEP 1: We must forge a coalition for systemic change. 

I’ve worked on social and political movements in the past. I’ve seen historical shifts because of this work. As a physician working to curb the global AIDS epidemics decades ago, I learned a lot about how to create lasting change against a seemingly insurmountable obstacle. 

So much of our efforts early on in the AIDS epidemic was failing. We were too scattered. There were too many small efforts all recognizing the threat of AIDS and its global impact on millions. It took a collaborative effort–a movement. When we created the Global AIDS Alliance it coalesced a large number of stakeholder groups to align behind a common strategy. The result was a historic shift in forever altering the course of the AIDS epidemic, as I wrote about in my book, Waging Justice: A Doctor’s Journey to Speak Truth and Be Bold

The intensities of climate impact in recent years (and even more urgently in recent weeks) have helped us elevate the reality of climate threat in a way that hasn’t occurred before, despite many years of growing environmental consciousness. The full weight of this impact is dramatically changing. The tipping point for change has arrived.

Changing a march into a movement

For decades our scattershot approach to climate change has helped raise consciousness, but it hasn’t yet altered the course of our warming planet sufficient to remove the perilous threat to humanity. 

Together… united… undeterred and undivided, we can create a movement that will bring the radical change necessary at this point in history. My work for the last 30 years has been to hold governments accountable. I’ve been waging justice and I want you to join me. I launched Build A Movement 2020 (#BAM2020) to spark a movement for justice. Click here and join the movement today.