It’s time for an all-out national mobilization to defeat the climate crisis.

President Biden and Congress must lead the charge to defeat the climate crisis and build a thriving, just and inclusive clean energy future. Join our work to help make it happen.

Donate

It’s time for an all-out national mobilization to defeat the climate crisis.

President Biden and Congress must lead the charge to defeat the climate crisis and build a thriving, just and inclusive clean energy future. Join our work to help make it happen.

As a Catastrophic Wildfire Season Approaches, Democrats Must Act on Climate

The package of climate investments in budget reconciliation legislation passed by the House is our best chance to avert runaway climate catastrophe.

Helicopter crews from the Florida National Guard support the wildfire suppression efforts in Bay County, FL March 7, 2022. (© 2022 The National Guard/Flickr cc by 2.0)

The American people are facing a summer of intensifying climate disaster. After years of escalating fires and drought, this coming summer may be the West’s worst fire season yet: 1 in 6 Americans now live in a wildfire risk zone, and that number is only growing. New Mexico has already experienced a record-breaking fire this year. Over the last five years, the proportion of Americans “alarmed” by climate change has nearly doubled from 18% to 33%.

As that figure climbs, and more communities face mounting disasters, voters will be looking to their leaders for meaningful climate action. As the recent elections in Australia demonstrated, voters are urgently demanding climate action, after years of backsliding and delay.

President Biden has proposed a transformational package of $555 billion in climate investments that would get America on track to meet its climate goals and stave off the worst impacts of climate change. But right now, that legislation is languishing in Congress. Senate holdouts have reopened negotiations, but progress is slow and the window of opportunity to make a deal is fast-closing.

The urgency of this moment cannot be overstated. The package of climate investments in budget reconciliation legislation passed by the House is our best chance to avert runaway climate catastrophe, and Democrats’ best chance to show the American people that they can deliver the climate action that they campaigned on. Congress must act and bring the full $555 billion of investments over the finish line. Further delay is not an option.

Blog Post Image

The remnants of a van destroyed by the Marshall Fire in Boulder County, Colorado (© 2021 State Farm/Flickr cc by 2.0)

The Climate Crisis is Here and Getting Worse

 A Democratic leader recently described climate action as “for the children.” That framing turns a blind eye to the mounting devastation taking lives and uprooting families across the country right now—last year, nearly 1 in 3 Americans suffered climate disaster. Climate change is no longer a chart or a graph or happening in some far-off future. In 2021, California alone suffered 8,600 wildfires that burned almost 2.6 million acres, destroyed more than 3,600 structures, and directly caused three deaths. The long-term toll on public health is incalculable: particulate matter and ozone pollution, both of which inflict disease and premature death, are on the rise as fires spread.

Wildfires are far from the only life-threatening disaster made worse by climate change. The “Pacific Northwest Heat Dome” of 2021 likely killed more than 600 people. The West’s changing climate, with higher temperatures and longer periods of drought—the Southwest is suffering its worst megadrought in 1,200 years—has made these escalating disasters possible. Elsewhere in the U.S., chronic floodingrecord-breaking storms, and other climate disasters are taking lives and wrecking infrastructure.

These cascading crises amplify environmental injustices. The fossil fuel pollution driving climate change takes 50,000 lives a year in the U.S., and air pollution takes 9 million lives globally each year. That pollution is concentrated in low-income communities of color; in the U.S., race is an even stronger predictor of air pollution exposure than income. A long legacy of colonialism and redlining means communities of color are likewise hit hardest by climate disaster and, thanks to inequitable aid distribution, take the longest to recover. 

President Biden has already pledged to address this rapidly escalating crisis. He ran and won on two key climate pledges: reaching 100% clean energy by 2035, and net-zero carbon pollution by 2050. He has repeatedly reaffirmed those targets since entering office. That’s because they’re more than political theater and empty gestures: those are the timelines demanded by climate science if we want any hope of keeping warming below 1.5°C or even 2°C.

Analysts have found Biden’s targets to be feasible, but only through an ambitious combination of federal investments, executive action, and state and local initiatives. Increasingly dire warnings on the gap between climate commitments and pollution cuts underscore the need to enact the president’s vision. If we overshoot his promised timelines, we will face far worse than the unprecedented disasters already wreaking havoc across the country.

Democrats must do everything they can to avert that fate. Failure to act would leave frontline communities defenseless against mounting disaster and abandon every American to a worsening climate fate. If leadership doesn’t get a reconciliation package passed, they will be committing a world-historical abdication of responsibility, consigning the planet to catastrophic warming for years to come.

Blog Post Image

A Santa Rosa home destroyed by the October 2017 wildfires in Northern California. (Image courtesy U.S. Army Corps of Engineers)

The American People Are Demanding Climate Action 

Democratic voters unequivocally support climate investments, and President Biden and the current Democratic Senate and House majorities were elected on a wave of support for action on climate. In the 2020 election cycle, more Americans cited climate change among their top voting issues than ever before. Climate change was the number one motivating issue for Biden voters 18-44 who didn’t vote or voted third-party in 2016. Key Democratic voting blocs, such as young, Latino, and African American voters, were also strongly motivated by the need for ambitious climate action, and Biden’s margins among those groups were critical to his leads in crucial states such as Arizona, Michigan, Nevada, and Wisconsin.

As more voters come face-to-face with the climate crisis, their sense of urgency will only grow. The Yale Program on Climate Change Communications has identified a correlation between exposure to climate disasters and support for climate policy. Climate-focused candidates’ recent victory in Australia, where climate change was a prevailing issue following years of cataclysmic bushfires, affirmed voters’ widespread support for getting serious about climate change. If Democrats want a shot at winning the 2022 midterms, they need to follow through on their voters’ priorities.

Voters have reiterated their support, time and again, for bold climate investments. They know that the climate crisis is no longer an abstract threat years in the future—it is happening now, and taking lives now.

This is Our Last Shot 

The window for getting a major climate package is closing. Every incremental action on climate is vital, and failing to get the reconciliation bill passed does not make other legislative and executive moves obsolete. But the full $555 billion suite of investments is the cornerstone of the Biden climate agenda, and we will not hit the president’s science-based targets without it.

Voters have reiterated their supporttime and again, for bold climate investments. They know that the climate crisis is no longer an abstract threat years in the future—it is happening now, and taking lives now. Climate change drives water rationing in the West, spews wildfire smoke poisoning agricultural laborers, and powers unprecedented storms that drown families. Democrats must act now, deliver for their voters, and seize our last chance to avert spiraling, ever-worsening climate catastrophe.

Here's What You Can Do to Take Action

President Biden and Congress have a narrow window to prove to the American people that they can keep their promises and deliver meaningful climate action before the midterms.  Enter your information and we'll connect you with a tool to help you call your senators right now.