Two of the Nation's Biggest Climate Action Groups Unite


Photo credit: 350.org via Flickr/CC-BY-NC-SA
Bill McKibben is right: If we're going see any significant progress made in addressing climate change here in the US, it's going to be driven by a major grassroots movement. The ordinary political channels -- the one crammed with special interests, lobbyists, and other defenders of the status quo -- have failed. Relying on the goodwill of corporations to reduce emissions by their own accord isn't so much of a joke as it is an absurdist fantasy. Which is why 350.org and 1Sky, two of the biggest climate action advocacy groups, are joining forces -- to begin to coordinate and grow a movement that could build a populist base big enough to tilt the scales away from big oil, the coal industry, and polluting industries everywhere. Betsy Taylor, the head of 1Sky, and McKibben released the announcement of the union today. The manifesto explains why both parties decided to consolidate their efforts:

there are moments when unity is essential -- and this is one of them. We're up against the most sustained assault on the environment ever: In the last few weeks, our oldest environmental groups have had to play nonstop defense just to keep Congress from gutting the Clean Air Act. A president elected on the promise of transformational energy change has reverted to opening vast tracts of Wyoming to new coal mining. A Tea Party House has actually voted to deny the science of global warming.

Behind all this is a very unified fossil-fuel industry. Working through the Koch brothers, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and a couple of other fronts, they're busy buying votes and supplying disinformation. And they're winning ... To fight back effectively, we need a much louder voice. That's why this week we're joining together two of the big mass movements around climate change: 1Sky and 350.org. 1Sky has been coordinating efforts on the ground across the United States; 350.org has been at work in 188 countries around the world. We'll now all operate under the 350 banner, in an effort to put forward a unified message on every front.

This is, in my estimation, some very good news -- climate needs a loud, unified, articulate, and populist voice more than anything. Both groups still need to find ways to make deeper inroads into so-called middle America, where the majority of folks still aren't too concerned about climate change, if they believe in it all. I think hitting on anti-corporatist themes (which are more than justified), making more allegiances with the embattled labor sector, and reaching out to pollution-afflicted minority groups will all play a role in the growing climate movement. Here's to hoping this is announcement marks the beginning of some newfound momentum.

Read the whole announcement at 350.org.

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Tags: Activism | United States

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