We must let our representatives know we want action--for polar bears and people too!

© Daniel J. Cox/naturalexposures.com

4/4/2017 10:59:16 AM

It's Time to Speak Up!

Town hall meetings and phone calls have proven to be remarkably effective in gaining the attention of elected officials and making our voices heard.

As Congress heads off on recess, and as we build up to the People's Climate March on April 29th, we're inviting U.S. citizens to join us in letting their representatives know they strongly support climate action—and that they oppose the Trump administration's recent steps to block climate progress, including devastating cuts to the EPA and a rollback of the Clean Power Plan.

Can we count on you to make a pledge to speak up?

Here's how to help:

First, call your members of Congress and express your views (find phone numbers here and see talking points below). Be sure to let them know that you will not vote for someone who does not support action on climate.

Next, check out this helpful map from the Town Hall Project to find a town hall happening in your district. If there isn’t one listed, call your members of Congress to see if they plan to host a meeting.

  • If they are, please show up ready to ask questions about climate change and the EPA budget cuts. You’ll find talking points and questions below.
  • If they are not planning a town hall meeting, let your members of Congress know you expect them to hold public events with their constituents. Invite your friends and others in your community to place similar calls.
  • Once you’ve made your call (and have asked your friends to do the same), inform your local press.
  • If your representative still isn’t hosting an event, you can hold an “Empty Chair” town hall.

Talking points on the need for climate action:

  • There is no uncertainty about climate change. The laws of physics dictate that our planet's temperatures must increase as long as we continue to add CO2 to our atmosphere—just as the law of gravity dictates that when you drop a ball it will hit the floor.
  • Last year was the hottest since global record-keeping began in 1880. It was the third record-breaking year in a row. Of the 17 hottest years on record, 16 have occurred in this 17-year-old century.
  • Climate warming brings with it an increase in extreme weather events, from droughts and floods to severe storms, including massive snowfalls. Scientists have been predicting this for decades, and it is coming to pass all over the world. 
  • We are already experiencing climate impacts here in [name your state] including [fill in local information].
  • Climate change threatens our national security. The U.S. military is worried about instability and conflicts due to droughts, famines, and water shortages.
  • Climate change threatens our health. Officials warn of increased asthma and other respiratory diseases, longer allergy seasons, more cases of heat stroke and other heat-related illnesses, and increased risks of insect- and waterborne diseases.
  • Climate change threatens our economy. The financial sector warns of costly damage from climate change, such as lower crop yields in the Midwest and massive property losses from rising sea levels on the East and Gulf Coasts.
  • We owe it to our children and grandchildren to be good stewards of our environment and leave behind a legacy of protecting our natural resources. Because many climate change effects caused by global warming may not stabilize for decades after we halt the growth in greenhouse gas levels, assuring the best possible future world for our children requires we act now.  
  • Action on climate is good for jobs, the economy, our health, our crops, and our nation’s stability. It will help us avoid an increase in costly extreme weather events and the impacts of rising seas.
  • Polls show that Americans in both parties want action! A recent Gallup Poll found concern about climate change this year at an eight-year high, with 64% of Americans greatly concerned. Republicans and Democrats alike are expressing higher concern.

Question(s) for your representatives:

  • Do you support taking action to address climate change, which has already brought [fill in local impact] impact(s) to our community? What are you going to do to address this issue? 
  • Will you stand up for the health and safety of our community and oppose cuts to the EPA’s budget? Do you plan to support keeping our air and water safe?
  • Do you support keeping the Clean Power Plan, which will help the U.S. cut emissions and provide us with clean air and a stable climate? How are you going to address this? 
  • With each question, be sure to let the official know that you will not vote for them if they don't action on climate.

IF your representatives state that they do not believe climate change is human-caused, ask them this:

  • With near consensus from climate scientists that human activity is causing the warming, and with the serious threats predicted if we don't take action, what if you are wrong?

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