President Obama, Leave a Climate and Clean Energy Legacy

© Sierra Club
Sierra Club Inner City Outings kids hit the beach.

Listening to Sierra Club Inner City Outings leader Elizabeth Neat talk about showing kids the wonders of the outdoors is inspiring. Take, for example, this experience of hers: "We take kids to the beach who have never seen the ocean. It's so exciting to see them jumping the waves. They just love it. One time on a hike, this one girl got ahead of the leaders and called back to us, 'Come quick, come quick! You can see the whole world from here!'"

It's sad to think that there are many young people out there who don't get to enjoy the outdoors -- but just as exciting to think of people like Elizabeth and so many others who dedicate themselves to showing a new generation how great nature is.

Unfortunately, right now our beaches, our forests, our oceans that these kids and millions of other Americans enjoy are threatened by climate disruption. Even worse -- climate disruption threatens our homes, our businesses, our livelihoods. This generation that Elizabeth and many more are teaching is facing a drastically different future because of climate disruption.

© Sierra Club
Protesters at the November 2012 rally against Keystone XL.

Today the Sierra Club is launching a historic effort, demanding that the President of the United States tackle the climate crisis head-on and quickly move the nation to clean energy. The Obama Climate and Clean Energy Legacy Campaign is a joint effort across all the Sierra Club's campaigns to demand that the President tackle climate disruption now.

Pollution from fossil fuels like coal, oil, natural gas, and tar sands makes our children sick, disrupts the global climate and damages our environment, our economy, and our families. Global climate disruption causes more extreme weather patterns, with the latest examples being Superstorm Sandy, droughts in America's Heartland, and wildfires in Colorado and Texas.

It's time for bold action from President Obama and his Administration. They must:

1. Hold fossil fuel corporations accountable for their pollution.
2. Reject proposals to import dirty fuels and stop the rush of fossil fuel exports.
3. Double down on clean energy.
4. Protect communities from future climate disasters and ready a robust and just response.
5. Protect America's lands, air, water, and wildlife from fossil fuel development.

As part of our Obama Climate and Clean Energy Legacy Campaign, we are launching 100 Days of Action, during which the Sierra Club and our allies will host events across the country calling on the President to be a leader in the climate fight. From local town halls, to national rallies, these events will showcase the broad support from Americans for addressing the climate crisis.

We encourage you to join us at these events, as well as at one of the biggest actions, the Forward On Climate Rally -- a partnership among the Sierra Club, 350.org, and others to host an event in Washington D.C. on February 17th that is shaping up to be the largest climate rally in American history.

We must push President Obama to make America a leader on climate and clean energy and to secure his climate and clean energy legacy in 2013. This climate chaos is happening on President Obama's watch. Now is the time for President Obama to take a stand and make tackling climate disruption a top priority of his second term. But we need your help to take delivery on this goal.

We can create an American climate legacy -- keeping our country's land, water, air, and natural resources intact and free from fossil fuel pollution so our children will have a safer, healthier planet.

Sarah Hodgdon is the Sierra Club Director of Conservation and a guest contributor to TreeHugger.

Tags: Clean Energy | Global Climate Change