Will you pledge to do one thing this week to push Congress to tackle climate change?
When, last December, Joe Manchin went on Fox News to declare the Build Back Better Act dead, I gasped with despair. The nearly $2 trillion bill contains crucial spending to address poverty and child care and early education, but, if passed, it would also represent America’s largest investment in tackling the climate crisis: $550 billion in tax credits, incentives, and programs to reduce emissions and create good-paying jobs.
As I discussed last week, Democrats have a fleeting of window of time in which to pass a spending bill, and Senator Manchin has indicated that he can support the climate provisions of Build Back Better. The problem now is that no one–not the White House, not senior leadership in the House or Senate, not environmental advocates–seems to have coalesced around a strategy. I think there is reticence to jettison the social spending parts of the bill and just pass the climate provisions; and there are a lot of other pressing issues to distract Congress.
But if the climate provisions have the votes to pass, then we have to pass the fucking climate provisions, not to mention that further delay on climate change would be utterly catastrophic for humanity. This is why I spent last week speaking to over 10 Senators, Congresspeople, and their staffers to remind them of the urgency of the moment. The problem? Every single one of them is already 100% supportive of the bill; they all noted that a single Senator, Manchin, are why it didn’t pass.
The good news is that they all committed to pressuring the White House and Congressional leadership to focus and get a bill across the finish line, but the President, Leader Schumer, Speaker Pelosi, and others need to feel the heat.
That’s where you come in. With a little effort, we can seize the moment and unleash trillions of dollars of economic activity that will slash emissions, engage voters and young people, create upwardly mobile jobs, and spur innovation and investment the world over. Capital Good Fund created an easy-to-use tool that patches you through to your Members of Congress. Take two minutes to call and ask that they support the climate provisions of the Build Back Better Act; the tool provides you with talking points, and I promise that it really makes a difference to call.
If you work for a nonprofit, encourage management and the board to speak out, highlighting how the climate crisis relates to your mission. If you work for a business, encourage leadership to speak out and focus on the economic imperative for action (you can cite this study, which shows that the bill would create millions of jobs and pay for itself three or four-times over). Write letters to the editor. Post on social media. Donate to groups like Evergreen Action that are advocating for Build Back Better.
Be creative. Have fun with it. There is no greater tonic for despair for action, no better opportunity for change than the present. We can do this! Share your ideas for action in the comments.
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