I heartily support the Climate Emergency Coalition and its work to shift philanthropy to organizations and initiatives fighting the threats to humanity brought by climate change.
—PAUL R. EHRLICH
The world is in a genuine climate emergency, yet this is not perceived, understood, or discussed. We must quickly get the emergency into the news cycle and conversation. The case is overwhelming for an Climate and Ecological Emergency Campaign, as an overriding national priority. The aim is zero emissions within a decade in the US, feasible with an all-out mobilization—that is, a restructuring of our economy at rapid speed. Mobilization of our nation’s people, resources, and economy to slash our fossil fuel use is necessary for a viable future.
Thus the absolute necessity of getting the emergency into the cultural conversation.
With the 2015 Paris Climate Change Agreement, world leaders started to awaken to the enormous risks we face. Yet nations’ intentions—with reductions postponed and huge fossil fuel incentives still in place—mean a vast heat blanket, way beyond Paris's 1.5-2°C goal. A central assumption for meeting the target involves the massive deployment of to draw CO2 from the atmosphere decades from now. But to actually deliver on 2°C, an immediate, dramatic fossil fuel phase out is needed—there’s simply no remaining carbon budget.
The U.S. must also provide low-carbon assistance for the developing world, so it avoids the carbon pathway. Climate change is an immense crisis, but it is also an immense opportunity to build a just world that works for all.
We must quickly drive an open, factual national conversation, to achieve a US consensus on this climate mobilization as quickly as possible. Public engagement must be galvanized through: (1) an extensive warning initiative, (2) a “Balance Broadcast Center,” and (3) civil discourse gatherings so that Americans perceive the Realities facing all of us. The Center could enable individuals and groups to interact with each other, suggest content, ask questions, and get best-practice answers so that viability can viralize. Public gatherings will offer personal, face-to-face dialogue in thousands of faith and civic spaces across the nation to awaken and engage citizens.
Philanthropy is the cultural agent to fulfill a "Paul Revere" role in shifting public perceptions and national dialogue by underwriting this extensive warning and engagement campaign. But it must be awakened to its necessary role. Take action to awaken philanthropy here.
The Climate Emergency Coalition creates a pathway for existing organizations to shift their missions to mobilization; additionally, it furthers the public conversation and opens the space for the mobilization to take root. The Coalition provides a structure to unite the disparate parts of the climate movement, so the collective voices of the grassroots groups across the nation can be amplified with a national call for effective policies.
In spite of what is needed, the Trump Administration has launched a concerted campaign to unleash the fossil fuel industry and end all climate protection, essentially putting the US and world on the road to climate catastrophe. The Trump agenda must be stopped.
Importantly, realize that it only takes 3-4% of engaged, impassioned citizens—those most concerned—to transform the situation.