We stand on the brink of the collapse of civilization. The United States is hurtling into an era of crisis as deep as the Great Depression and World War II. Our coastal cities are facing devastation, and urban and rural communities are being divided into islands of partisanship and poverty. California and the Amazon Rainforest are on fire, the Caribbean is besieged, and the permafrost is melting down. Entire continents are combusting. The rule of law is under attack. Wealth inequality has never been higher, demagogues are commandeering governments across the world, and millions of people are fleeing collapsing societies in search of safety. Every day, we are inching closer to points of no return for our democracy, our civilization, and the biosphere that sustains all life. The stakes could not be higher.
Protecting humanity and the living world from the climate emergency would be an extremely tall order in a society that was functioning well. But the American political system today is barely functioning at all. The foundations of our democracy are crumbling. Donald J. Trump is our president, and Congress is paralyzed by a nihilistic Republican Party and hijacked by corporate interests that have infiltrated both parties.
We, the people, need to take power back. We need an unprecedented grassroots movement—one that is now beginning to rise across the world—to demand and to win the emergency mobilization we need to save our future. But we also need a deeply principled and courageous leader who can motivate millions and millions of Americans to do whatever it takes to prevent the collapse of civilization and rebuild our economy and democracy. We need a leader that can support and inspire this movement in the U.S. and around the world.
The only candidate running for President this year who has earned our trust as well as the trust of the Climate Emergency Movement—the only candidate with the moral courage to lead the United States, and the world, through the era of the climate and ecological emergency—is Senator Bernie Sanders. We are proud to endorse him.
"Bernie understands that we need transformative, not incremental, change."
Bernie understands that we need transformative, not incremental, change. He has repeatedly shown that he has the courage to stand up to the fossil fuel and other special interests and entrenched power structures. During the 2016 presidential primary, Bernie was ahead of the times in criticizing the severe inadequacies of the Paris Climate Agreement and speaking out about the need for a World War II-scale climate mobilization. He has since stated unequivocally that “climate change is a global emergency.” He has pledged to declare climate change a national emergency and do “whatever it takes” to ensure a habitable planet. That is precisely the mindset we need—and it is a mindset that has been badly missing from climate politics for decades. The Congressional Climate Emergency Declaration and the fracking ban bill (which would completely phase out fracking by 2025) that he has recently sponsored, as well as his Green New Deal plan, all indicate this stance is not idle rhetoric.
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Bernie’s $16.3 trillion Green New Deal plan is by far the strongest plan offered by any presidential candidate, ever. However, it is not the total mobilization of national resources we believe is now necessary to save our future. In our new Climate Reality Check scorecard, Bernie’s plan receives a B+. (Meanwhile, Tom Steyer and Elizabeth Warren’s plans receive a C+, while Mike Bloomberg’s so-called “doable” climate plan receives a D-). But the truth is that Bernie’s plan will not restore safe climate conditions or fully address the broader ecological emergency. If strengthened to match the standard outlined in our Victory Plan, however, Bernie’s Green New Deal could become the first phase of the emergency response that saves life on earth.
The movement—all of us who are working for emergency climate action—must make the climate and ecological emergency the #1 voting issue in both the primary and the general election and sweep in a wave of climate emergency leaders at all levels of government.
This is our chance, our moment, and our president. Onward!
*Written with the input and help of the whole Climate Mobilization team.