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Mobilizing for the climate emergency

An idea can be a powerful thing


Margaret Klein Salamon with her book, Facing the Climate Emergency

An idea can be a powerful thing.

In 2014, psychologist Margaret Klein Salamon founded the Climate Mobilization, recognizing the United States needed a World-War-II-scale mobilization to fight the climate emergency. Unlike existing climate organizations at the time, she welcomed volunteers who could make full-time commitments to the cause, aligning expectations with the claimed urgency so many profess. In the years since, Climate Mobilization activists have propelled hundreds of localities around the world to make climate emergency declarations.

In 2016, Climate Mobilization supporter and Bernie Sanders representative Russell Greene succeeded in getting the Democratic Party platform to call for a “national mobilization” to address the “global climate emergency.”

In 2019, Sanders and Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and Earl Blumenauer led the introduction of a climate emergency resolution, and in 2021 they introduced the Climate Emergency Act, which would require the president to declare a state of national emergency.

Now, with the fossil-funded Republican Party and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) blocking climate legislation (using the Senate for its designed purpose) even as triple-digit heat bakes the country from California to South Dakota to Texas, President Joe Biden is “considering declaring a national climate emergency as soon as this week.”

Two of the individuals with knowledge of the discussions said also they expect the president to announce a slew of additional actions aimed at curbing planet-warming emissions. The exact scope and timing of any announcements remain in flux.

Rep. Val Demings (D-Fla.) receives testimony today on improving emergency management for underserved communities — and the Center for American Progress’ Justin Dorazio has written a timely report on how FEMA can improve equity in its disaster response.

Our friend Manchin is chairing a hearing with oil and gas lawyer Richard Powers, fracking executive Chad Zamarin, and fossil-funded academic Dr. Holly Krutka on hydrogen pipelines.

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg testifies on the implementation of Biden’s infrastructure act.

Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) chairs a hearing on regenerative agriculture versus corporate agribusiness, and Rep. Alan Lowenthal (D-Calif.) chairs a legislative hearing to discuss bills that would support geothermal production, map sinkholes, and develop a cadastre of federal land assets.

JERBS: The League of Conservation Voters is hiring field organizers in ten states from now to November (about $4K per month). NPR News is looking for a senior climate editor ($120K-$150K, DC). The sustainable-investment firm RockCreek Group is hiring a climate and sustainability associate to support the CEO Afsaneh Beschloss (salary not given, DC).

Hearings on the Hill:

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