Now that you’re all caught up, let’s go on to letter C–Call your reps!
As many people have mentioned, smaller personal actions have much less impact than governmental or corporate actions. That’s not an excuse to opt out of personal responsibility, but it IS a good reason to bother your elected officials about climate change! I’d say it’s the most important issue you can call them about. I’m hugely concerned about gun violence, particularly in our schools. However, I know that unless we get the climate under control. we’re running out of time to discuss that issue! The clock is so seriously ticking on climate change, and unless we act soon, we will miss our window to avert catastrophic loss of human life. I’m not going to harp on how bad it will be–you’ve all seen the headlines. But please know it’s way worse than starving polar bears. Entire cities will disappear underwater as the oceans rise. Island nations will cease to exist. Yes, rich people will be able to move, as one Congressman suggested. But the vast majority of people affected will not be so lucky. The rich (us, the United States) are causing the bulk of this problem, yet others will be the ones to bear a disproprortionate amount of the cost. I don’t want the blood of millions of people (that’s not an exaggeration) on my hands, do you? Okay! So let’s make some phone calls.
First off, how do you find your reps? That’s easy!! Use the internet! If you google “find my reps” you will find many different tools to use. I like this one because it lists federal, state, and local reps as well. Remember, states can move on climate change too! Many states have, in fact, frustrated with the lack of federal work on this. So you can (and should) call your senators and representative, but also call your governor and local legislator. The state level folks get fewer calls and you’re more likely to talk to a real person and get a real response.
So now you know who to call–great! What to say? This is the part that trips people up. Now, I’m a talker. Anyone who’s ever met me knows this. So I have no problem unloading my feelings on the poor kid who answers Lankford’s phone. But many people are not so loquacious as I. So what do you do if you care, you want to tell someone you care, but you just don’t have the words? I have an answer for that, too!! Many organizations have sample scripts online. Here’s one from Citizen’s Climate Lobby (it also handily gives you your reps’ numbers if you put in your zip code).
Here’s another one from Protect Our Winters–a good one if you’re from a state that gets tourism dollars from winter sports.
You can also mention the latest article/headline you’ve seen. “Hi, I’m calling about the latest USA Today article that mentioned the XYZ Scientist Report. I’m concerned that…..” Sometimes I find it helpful to have the article in question open in front of me when I call so I can easily reference the title and date.
But you don’t need an article, or a bill in front on Congress, to tell them you’re worried about climate change!!! Just call and ask what your rep is doing to combat climate change. Here are some talking points that I borrowed from Jennifer Hodgdon’s blog:
- We need to protect the environment that we all live in, and preserve it for future generations.
- We need to base our policy decisions on science and facts.
- It is a fact that storms and extreme weather have a large adverse effect on people, plants, and animals (including agricultural plants and animals).
- It is a fact that pollution has many health effects and economic impacts.
- The Defense department has concluded that climate change impacts worldwide political stability.
- Therefore, we need to take action to mitigate climate change and pollution.
- What is Rep. XYZ doing to help combat climate change???
Don’t just vent–request info. Politely ask for a response from the Congressperson. Keep asking until you get an answer. I call once a week–Thursday afternoons. Set an alarm on your phone! Put aside a time to do it so you know you will get it done. You’ll feel so good when you do it! Even if your reps, like mine, don’t care about climate change and are doing jack squat to fix it. I get joy in knowing that I’m forcing them to think about it and hear about it, and know that they’re not getting away with it.
Which brings me to my last point–VOTE THESE JERKS OUT WHO DON’T BELIEVE IN CLIMATE CHANGE!!! According to a Yale/George Mason study, 69% of all Americans believe in climate change. (Why? Because it is a SCIENTIFIC FACT.) Your elected representatives should be among that number!! We don’t need any flat-earthers running our country–too many lives depend on it. So if your rep doesn’t care, show them the door. Press all candidates on this issue–find out where they stand and hold them accountable. It’s too dangerous just to vote along party lines here. Hurricanes and wildfires don’t care who’s Republican or Democrat when they start wreaking deadly damage. Our planet is in dire danger, and we must do everything we can to halt to procession of death. That means voting for people who can pass the laws that will make the difference. Ireland and the UK have already declared a climate emergency and are acting to mitigate the damage already done. We need to do the same, and it won’t happen unless we have smart, science-motivated people in the government. ‘Nuff said.
If you’d like to make a call but still aren’t sure how to get started–reach out to me! I would be thrilled to help you come up with the words that are right for you. I know it’s not easy to do–sometimes I’m still nervous to make calls, and I do it weekly!! But I know how important it is. Congress has too much to do to focus on each and every issue–they focus on what their constituents bother them about. So let’s make sure they’re out of excuses when it comes to climate change, okay? People want change–let’s keep demanding it until we get it.
See you next week for D–ditch plastic!!