Friday, November 11, 2016

Trump's Victory Must Not Cause us to Lose Hope We Must Continue to Fight for the Health of our Planet

In the wake of the electoral victory of Donald Trump we must not lose hope nor can we afford to abandon the fight for climate action, clean air and clean water. We owe this to future generations. Although Trump managed to win the presidency due to the archaic collegiate system, it is important to remember that the majority of Americans stand with us. The majority voted for the most progressive environment and climate agenda ever in the US. Now more than ever we must find the courage to fight on. Those of us who took up the fight during the Bush administration remember what it was like to be an advocate under a less than receptive presidential administration.

Bill McKibben, the founder of 350.org, had this to say: "If Trump wins, it savages the planet's chances of dealing with climate change. In the (very) long run, the biggest result of a hideous night."  Climate scientist Michael Mann's Tweet sums it up perfectly: "When nightmare becomes reality." Following Trump's win there were protest marches in a number of cities including New York, Chicago, Boston, Berkeley, Portland, Austin and Los Angeles. We are not alone, the majority stands with us and we hope that we can peacefully make our voices heard.

We are entering an incredibly dark time but we must continue to fight the good fight. This is the message from a host of environmental advocacy groups. Here are some words of encouragement from environmental leaders and others.

350.org said:

"[O]ur work just became more important than ever...The hardest thing to do right now is to hold on to hope, but it’s what we must do. We should feel our anger, mourn, pray, and then do everything we can to fight...If you’re not ready, know that we’re here, this movement is here, we have your back and we’re going to fight like hell."

May Boeve, 350 Action's executive director said:

"Trump's election is a disaster, but we must channel our anger and fear into hope and resolve.Our work becomes much harder now, but it's not impossible, and we refuse to give up. Together, we will put everything on the line to protect the progress we've made and continue to push for bold action. We refuse to leave the future of our climate in Trump's hands. Now is the time to take a deep breath and fight like never before."

Heather Shelby, EDF's Action Network Manager called it accurately when she said:

"We wallowed. But now I'm done with that. I woke up yesterday despondent, but I woke today determined. Because I will stand and fight—and I hope you will, too. Here's the thing: It's not hopeless. We have made improbable progress before and we will do it again. In my eight years at EDF, I have seen amazing things...Join me today in thanking Obama for all we have accomplished—and pledging to defend his impressive environmental legacy. This week was hard. Days ahead might be worse. But I promise you—I am not going anywhere. EDF is not going anywhere. And I know I can count on you to do the same."

Emily Stevenson, EDF Manager of Online Membership said:

"Although 2017 is now looking quite different under President Trump, one thing that hasn't changed is our mission. We are about to face huge challenges ahead. The next few years will bring some of the fiercest fights we've ever seen....Since EDF was founded nearly half a century ago, we've seen our share of hard times. Then and now, just because it gets hard does not mean we back down...EDF is not backing down, and neither should you. We will never relent in defending America's bedrock environmental protections."

Fred Krupp the President of EDF said:

"With your continued support, we will ferociously defend America's bedrock environmental protections, in Congress, in the courts, and throughout the country. Our team is strong, creative, and determined...we will continue to stand up for scientific reality, including the reality of climate change. And by using the insights of economics, we create solutions that help people and nature to prosper — an approach that becomes all the more important with so many Americans on the left and right crying out for a brighter economic future. Finally, let me say how important it is for all of us to come together with passion and firm resolve. We are a powerful force of more than 1.5 million members, and we will never back down from the fight for cleaner air, cleaner water, cleaner energy, and a safer climate future for our kids and grandkids."

NRDC's Rhea Suh said:

"[W]e will not let that shock linger or, worse yet, turn to despair. We are going to transform it into concrete, planet-affirming action. Know this: NRDC will fight for our environment, for our climate, and for our shared clean energy future — harder than we ever have fought before...So it's time for every American — Republican, Democrat and Independent alike — to stand and defend our environment and health...prepare yourself, because tomorrow the battle for all the environmental values we hold dear will begin. And we must be ready...on the issue of catastrophic climate change — the defining challenge of our generation — failure is not an option. We're counting on you to stay the course with NRDC. We need your outrage. We need your focus. We need your activism. We need your support."

Greenpeace Canada said:

"[W]e need to pull together now more than ever. I am choosing to stay hopeful today. Hopeful because I know that people power will inevitably bring about the positive change and justice the world needs. But hope alone isn’t going to cut it — we need to act...Together, we are a creative, powerful and inspiring movement. Let’s continue to fight for justice in the face of one of its biggest challenges yet."

The Climate Mobilization said:

"When the future of all life on earth is at stake, it's not enough to be a good, law-abiding individual. Our moral duty is to respond and to rescue as much precious life as humanly possible. We must challenge ourselves to find the most effective course of action to protecting civilization and the natural world, and then to devote as much of our time, energy, and resources to this cause as we can. It’s up to all of us to remain vigilant in this time. To guard against complacency, denial or despair, but also against the temptations of succumbing to hatred and blame. To make it absolutely clear from the beginning of this presidency that we are not passive subjects; but fully active and engaged in the most important issues of all time. To stand up and declare that we are more than self-interested individuals: that, collectively, we are protectors — of our climate, of the millions of species and billions of people whose lives are hanging in the balance, of the rights of unborn generations, and of the safety and civil liberties of everyone living in this nation, whatever their race or creed. The Climate Mobilization is committed to doing this work. We hope you join us...Never forget the feeling you have today. Let it redouble your resolve to rescue our democracy and our world. But remember that service needs more than grief, outrage or anger to sustain it. Rather, as Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “to serve you need only a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.”

Leadnow said:

"There is another kind of politics that is growing around the world: a politics that sees the crises we face, and places its faith in the collective action of many people, not the strong arm tactics of one man. Trump’s election means new fears and new uncertainties that can only be countered by reaching out, digging deep, and finding new hope. As one of our American friends has said: "We are going to fight. We are going to get through this, come what may. Today we despair, tomorrow we organize.”

Michael Brune, executive director of the Sierra Club, offered this tweet:

"Take care of each other, everyone. We're going to need to be at our best starting tomorrow morning."

Friends of the Earth said:

"We will have to harness our new energy, join together and use every strategy possible to fight against hate and greed and environmental destruction. While I wish we had a different fight before us, we must fight the one presented to us. The future of our country and planet depends on it."

Jordan Weissmann, Slate’s senior business and economics correspondent wrote:

"If you feel stuck in a state of mourning this pitch-black day-after-the-election, if the words 'President-elect Donald Trump' fill you with anger and sadness and profound dread, I’d like to make a suggestion. Pick a charity, preferably after a little research. Then go volunteer or make a donation. Find a Charity and Help It Now...small, individual acts of charity are going to be more necessary than ever."

Oscar-winning screenwriter of The Social Network and mastermind behind The West Wing wrote in a letter to his daughter in which he said:

"[I]t wasn’t just Donald Trump who won last night—it was his supporters too. The Klan won last night. White nationalists. Sexists, racists and buffoons." However, he also said "we’ll fucking fight...We’re not powerless and we’re not voiceless."

Finally, here is a message of hope from Thomas Schueneman writer for Triple Pundit, owner of TDS Environmental Media and my publisher at Global Warming is Real:

"To each one of you I want to say one more thing about where we all are the morning after. For most of us, not where we wanted to be. We can take time to mourn the loss, feel the fear for what lay ahead. Last night when it was apparent that Trump is our next president, I cried. But I’m done with that. Now I plan my next steps. I will not be cowed. I am ready to fight for what I believe in. Anyone who knows me knows my passion is fighting for an environmentally and socially sustainable future for this planet. Trump’s presidency casts a long, dark shadow over the promise of the Paris Agreement and the goals of entrepreneurs, advocates, scientists, thinkers and people for all walks of life and from all political persuasions who understand what is at stake. The fight just got harder. I am more determined than ever to push ahead. I encourage all of you, whom I admire and love, to do the same. We all have gifts, talents, and strengths inside us to make the world a better place. We need each other to remain strong and determined to fight back against hate, greed, intolerance, and ignorance. I am 58. Most of my years are behind me. But by God, the best are yet to come. Let’s fight the good fight. With love and gratitude, Tom."

No comments: