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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 3- Consolidate our focus: Support a single bill for action

People often say our governmental leaders aren’t doing enough on climate change and they are right. The effort to date isn’t close to what’s needed to save humanity, which is why in Step 2 of our roadmap to climate justice we urged you to demand that our leaders commit to Climate Restoration, not just curbing carbon emissions. 

Without a doubt, our leaders are failing us as Build a Movement 2020’s climate scorecard makes clear.

But, we also have to realize that they are doing something (some of them, anyway). Did you know that right now there are about 50 bills languishing in Congress all offering solutions to global warming? 

This piecemeal approach, while commendable, represents a thousand flowers blooming, and nothing will become law. What we need is a bouquet of flowers that becomes a single, powerful message of lasting change. 

What if instead, we urge our political leaders to get behind a SINGLE bill that would in fact spur the tipping point of real change? This is Step 3. 

To recap:

Step 1: Forge systemic change

 

Step 2Demand more

 

And Step 3:  Consolidate our focus.

We are building a movement to consolidate support around significant Congressional action for change. 

Climate Restoration is already prioritized in recently introduced Congressional Climate Emergency Resolutions (S.Con.Res.22, H.Con.Res.52) and by Santa Clara County, California (Res. 98193). Passing these bills into law would kickstart a worldwide “Climate Restoration Emergency Action” that can ensure that humanity can survive on Earth for generations. 

So far, our presidential candidates aren’t committing to Climate Restoration. Together, we will change that.

We can mobilize a bipartisan political movement to return atmospheric CO2 to safe pre-industrial levels by 2030 and restore Arctic ice to prevent permafrost melt and the resulting disastrous methane emissions.

Climate restoration won’t be easy — in fact, it will be the most challenging endeavor humanity has ever undertaken — but it can and urgently must be done, as fast as possible.

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