“Only the most important climate legislation ever proposed in America.”
The future of my grandchildren can’t be all about what Democratic senators Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema do. Call Republicans, too.
Two strikes and we’re out.
As Bill McKibben noted in a recently released webinar (see references) that hosted multiple fighters for climate-action, the United States tried to pass a climate bill in 2009 but failed. Strike one.
Twelve years later (it’s taken that long to put together another such bill), the U.S. Senate is deciding whether a second significant climate legislation will live. If we don’t pass the reconciliation build back better bill in the next week, then it’s strike two to our efforts to stave off severe climate chaos.
Climate scientists tell us bluntly that we must halve greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 (only eight years from now). Earth doesn’t suffer fools. We have no strike three.
Passage of the reconciliation bill can’t be all about Democratic senators Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema. Some Republicans (two, three, or more) want a climate future for their grandchildren, and some will vote for this bill—even if it costs them their Senate seat. We’re told to telephone Manchin and West Virginians to emphasize that this is our last chance to use the powers of the United States government to rapidly accelerate America’s transition to clean energy—a rapid acceleration that must occur for us to survive.
I can’t believe that my grandchildren’s future depends on two Democratic senators’ votes. Yes, there is spending in this big reconciliation bill that individual senators of both parties object to, but there is also in this bill the only significant setting-the-direction-of-America climate legislation that we will see in years—and we have no other years left. There is no other national climate bill coming soon, and Earth won’t allow for us anything but soon.
This bill is it. Senators, work the things you object to later—but pass this bill. We need a survivable planet upon which to work.
Passing the reconciliation bill will redirect in a strong way America’s course toward clean energy. It will send a strong signal to other countries as we meet with them in Glasgow in November to determine the world’s energy direction. So much is determined by passage or failure of this reconciliation bill. As Mike Tidwell of Chesapeake Climate Action Network said in the webinar, this is “only the most important climate legislation ever proposed in America.”
Some Republicans (two, three, or more) want a climate future for their children and grandchildren, too, and they will act. This is a faith-and-strength-of-Abraham-Lincoln, foresight- and-audacity-of-Theodore-Roosevelt moment for our national representatives.
So telephone Republicans, too.
Two strikes and we’re out. It’s not a forgiving game we’re playing.
⸺ webinar “Build Back Better. Biden Climate Plan,” 24 Sep. 2021, Chesapeake Climate Action Network, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mxPKw_Ahf7M
[This webinar hosted climate action champions Jay Inslee, Leah Stokes, Bill McKibben, and Lennox Yearwood, as well as CCAN members Mike Tidwell, Clinton Scott, and Jamie DeMarco. They ask you to call your senators and representatives at 202-951-7780 or by going to https://www.call4climatenow.com/ to demand that the reconciliation build back better bill (which contains most of the climate legislation) be passed.]
⸺ Mira Patel, “Explained: How two Build Back Better bills have put the Democrats in a tight spot,” Indian Express, 25 Sep. 2021, https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/us-joe-biden-build-back-better-bills-explained-7530969/
[A well-written explanation of the reconciliation process]