Moving the Nation Forward on Climate
We could call 2012 the ‘Year of Climate Impacts.’ In twelve short months, the nation weathered Hurricane Sandy, overwhelming heat waves, calamitous drought, and watched the Southwest burn. As President Obama said in his second Inaugural Address, “…none can avoid the devastating impact of raging fires, and crippling drought, and more powerful storms.” This February 17th, tens of thousands of people who feel the urgency of the climate crisis—people who experienced those devastating events—will attend the Forward on Climate Rally in Washington, DC.
The Forward on Climate Rally comes at a time of enormous political opportunity. From the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline, to carbon pollution standards, to recognizing that real economic security is found in clean energy, President Obama’s upcoming decisions will determine his climate legacy. Bold, decisive climate action will set the stage not only for solutions and preparation in the US, but also for the US to be seen as a positive leader on the international stage.
There are plenty of other opportunities to act, many of them initiated by members of USCAN. For example, the World Resources Institute recently released a new report laying out pathways for reducing greenhouse gas emissions using existing federal authorities and state actions. The Natural Resources Defense Council has put forth a plan to cut carbon pollution from America’s power plants through a federal-state partnership.
In addition, the Obama Administration is transitioning into its second term. The resignation of several cabinet officials has paved the way for new appointees, including long-time climate champion John Kerry. From calling for a new National Climate Assessment in 2006 to introducing a climate bill with Senator Barbara Boxer, Kerry has proven himself dedicated to tackling the climate challenge from a variety of angles. However, successful action—and presidential support—will require the continued force of the movement.
In a 2011 meeting with youth climate leaders, President Obama expressed his need to feel the strength of a movement behind him. “Your job is to push me,” he instructed. We have—and will—continue to do so. After 15,000 people surrounded the White House a little over a year ago, President Obama sent the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline back to the State Department for review. The following year, more than three million comments were submitted to the EPA in support of its newly proposed Carbon Pollution Standard for New Power Plants. With the pipeline decision once again in Obama’s hands, the next set of standards for existing power plants in the works, and the clean energy revolution continuing to grow in the US, the climate movement has another chance to make itself heard in a big way.
This rally will bring the urgency of the climate crisis from communities across the US to President Obama’s front door. On February 17th, we can demonstrate how we’ve grown into a bigger, more powerful movement and seek to influence key political players. Let’s make sure Obama follows through on his promise to, “…respond to the threat of climate change, knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations.”
1. Join us in Washington, DC on February 17th
2. Become a partner: Promote the event and recruit attendees.
3. Engage remotely through social media: Follow @ClimateForward on Twitter and interact with the Facebook page here. You can also schedule a tweet or Facebook post now via Thunderclap to show support the day of the rally.
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more general information, template materials, and partnership information.
Official Forward on Climate Rally Web Page
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Written by Caroline Selle, US Climate Action Network Intern