Last year was the biggest year of climate activism ever. More leaders from various sectors—from environmentalists and scientists, to CEOs and business leaders, to faith and moral leaders—are now lending their considerable influence to call for climate action at all levels of government, as well as in civic institutions and corporations.
Yet, to some degree, we are singing to the choir. The next critical step for the climate movement is contending for indelible mainstream cultural relevance. Put plainly, if the climate movement does not become more inclusive, the goal of transitioning from fossil fuels to clean energy will not happen.
This is the key to winning public support and political will for climate action that will meet the demands of science.
This upcoming weekend at the University of the District of Columbia Law School, Bill McKibben, Dr. Michael Dorsey, Lester Brown, Professor Mark Jacobson, Mustafa Ali from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Professor Phillip Harvey, Barbara Arnwine, Rev. Rodney Sadler, Jay Nightwolf, Krystal Williams, Joe Uehlein, Ted Glick, Chuck Rocha, Professor Joel Rogers, Nikisha Glover, Mike Ewall, Jeffrey Wolfe, Joel Segal, State Sen. Ben Ptashnik, Jacquelyn Patterson, Terrence Muhammad, Mark Magana, Dr. Gabriela Lemus, Leslie Fields, Andrea Miller and many, many more, will address these two central questions in a convening sponsored by People Demanding Action:
- How do we reach the political “critical mass'” to stop climate chaos, and simultaneously tackle poverty and its accompanying social inequities?
- The social ills that create poverty and accompanying social inequalities are created by the same mechanisms which thwart the proper response to climate change. How can we change them all together?
The objective of this convening is to build a movement of solidarity which includes climate crisis action and reestablishment of justice.
Many in the climate movement will agree that these questions must be answered, but will also wonder silently, why stop and deal with this question of building an inclusive climate movement now, when we are starting to win on so many fronts?