How are all of you doing? Thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, this has been a tough time for everyone, both here in the US and around the world. Bet you’re ready for something to take your mind off COVID-19, right? Great! Let’s talk about the climate crisis.
Our apologies to everyone who was hoping to concentrate on just one global crisis at a time! But listen, if it’s done nothing else, COVID-19 has exposed what’s working and not working at all in our society. All those reports of clearer skies, cleaner rivers, and significant decreases in pollution and carbon emissions thanks to everyone having to quarantine, along with reports of the Trump administration further weakening environmental protections, have reminded us that while the climate crisis is not going away, we do still have a chance to do something about it. Besides, the good news is that the pandemic will end (eventually)—and the even better news is that we have a chance to come out of it with a roadmap to making the world better than it was before.
One huge step to making that happen is voting this November. Here’s how you can make climate action a priority on Election Day.
1. Register to Vote
Being registered to vote is a pretty important part of the voting process! In other words, if you haven’t registered already, REGISTER NOW! (Our friends at TurboVote are monitoring the impact of COVID-19 on elections and voting, and after signing up you can check out what your state is doing to make sure voting will be safe and secure.)
Not sure if you’re registered? Not a problem. It’s easy to find out. Even if you’re certain that you are, it’s still a good idea to check. Some states have been sneakily purging voter rolls, so it’s better to find out your status now than to show up on Election Day and be told you’re not registered and can’t vote.
2. Pledge to Vote Climate
OK, you’re registered, which means you’re ready to go! That’s great, but let’s push this a little further. Since we’ve got some time before November, why not take the time to show every candidate on the 2020 ballot that we mean business?
If all of us pledge to vote for the climate, that’ll ratchet up the pressure on anyone who might be wavering, and it’ll show all those who support climate action that we’ve got their backs. Sign the pledge today!
3. Vote for Candidates Who Don’t Take Money from the Fossil Fuel Industry
We’ve been saying for years that the fossil fuel era is over. The use of clean, renewable energy has been on the rise, surpassing coal and relatively soon, some predict, natural gas. But that hasn’t stopped a lot of politicians from doing all they can to prop up the dirty fuel industry.
Well, we know that the only way to keep climate change’s worst-case scenarios from actually happening is to keep fossil fuels in the ground. You can do your part by voting for candidates who don’t take money from the fossil fuel industry.
4. Vote for Candidates Who Support the Green New Deal
Yes, climate change is real. And no, we have no time to lose. Which means that we need people in office right now who are ready to act. When your house is on fire, you don’t want firefighters to show up outside and start debating whether it’s really on fire, or how the fire might have started, or whether the fire is actually a good thing. You want them to put the fire out!
• Net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 (via a fair and just transition for all communities and workers)
• Millions of good, high-wage jobs
• Huge investments in US infrastructure and industry
• Clean air and water, climate and community resilience, healthy food, access to nature, and a sustainable environment for all
• Stopping current, preventing future, and repairing the historic oppression of frontline and vulnerable communities.
5. Vote for Candidates Who Want to Create a New Normal
Some people understandably long for everything to get back to normal. They want the pandemic to end and for regular life to pick up where we left off. There is something comforting in that idea, but we think there’s a better way… because there was a lot about the old normal way of doing things that really wasn’t working at all.
As we emerge from the heartache, stress, pain, grief, and economic devastation of the pandemic, let’s create a new normal. Let’s build a more resilient and sustainable society, one that takes care of its most vulnerable and consistently underserved populations—one that places the climate, justice, and equity at the center of its vision.
Ten European countries have already called for rebuilding the economy around the European Green Deal, ensuring that people, health, and the environment, not corporations, are at the heart of all recovery efforts. We can do the same here. This Election Day, vote for candidates who believe in a just recovery, who support creating a new normal through the People’s Bailout, an approach that puts regular people, not corporate executives, first.
Think it’s impossible? New York State just did it. South Korea is on track to doing it. Nothing is impossible if we stand together. Let’s make it happen. Vote for climate action this November. Vote for a new normal.