“Make Every Election A Climate Crisis Election”
Al Gore, September 30, 2015
The below is my reaction to Al Gore’s comment. By Craig Wolfe
I need to take an idea and move it up stream. Al Gore said at the September, 2015, Leadership Core training that I participated in for the Climate Reality Project, “Make every election a climate crisis election.”
All well and good. But that is either only rhetoric, or it is the inspiration for action and for creating a plan to implement. I choose the latter.
So, below is my most current summary of my “Make Every Election a climate crisis election” plan. However, this plan requires help from a strong national player, such as Independence USA PAC, or Next Gen, or Climate Reality Project, WITH National Sierra Club (I am Communications Director for the Sierra Club – Kansas Chapter). The Sierra Club is best placed for on-the-ground grassroots to make it happen. Can you help get this to folks who can decide that we actually do need to make every election a climate crisis election?
How this came about.
I was asking myself, “How can we ever get the Neanderthals out of government?” And, I was also asking myself, “How can we ever make progress on the climate crisis?” Then it became clear…. put the two together… two birds, one stone. Since the Neanderthals are the major obstacle to accomplishing ANYTHING in the climate crisis fight, it is imperative that a concerted and unifying national action be undertaken to remove deniers from government
10 years ago, no one would have predicted that same-sex marriage would become the law of the land via a Supreme Court ruling to that effect. How did this happen? Public opinion made it happen. TV sitcoms made it happen. Movies made it happen. Families with open LGBT members made it happen.
Now, for the climate crisis, it is Pope Francis, President Obama, business leaders, insurance companies, banking institutions, extreme weather, and innovative nations that are all moving the climate crisis towards acceptability. We are seeing the beginnings of a groundswell… a groundswell that is absolutely necessary if we are to move the needle on the climate crisis. We need to push the groundswell. NOW. We cannot wait for a gradual shift. This plan is not a single election strategy. It is an aggressive 3-election cycle campaign taking us through the 2020 election. But we must start NOW, 2016. (read on)
What is needed?
- We need to get a national entity along with rich billionaires to create and promote 30 second and 60 second spots. These spots emotionally address the dangers of doing nothing about the climate crisis, and the opportunities of creating a clean, safe, renewable energy future. The spots would also provide a link to a centralized database of the climate crisis positions of every federal and state candidate running for office. So far this is all C3 dollars. Sierra Club state Chapter activists would help determining candidates’ positions. Chapter websites would point to this national website (The Climate Mobilization – TCM?). All of this is providing straight information-only data to the public. Thus, these spots would be C3 eligible so that fundraisers can ask for C3 dollars to promote these spots along with our climate crisis billionaires.
- Sierra Club state and local Directors of Development would fundraise C3 dollars to help pay for air-time for these climate infomercials. This is Sierra Club’s Beyond Denial Campaign!!
- Sierra Club activists across the country need to place these infomercial ads, paid for by C3 fundraising and major national donors.
- Sierra Club Political Committees need to create independent expenditure campaigns to address campaigns using the climate change theme and work with candidates to generate well thought out climate crisis messages. Climate Reality Project Leadership Corps speakers need to be activated to speak around the state to all manner of organizations.
- We need to get smarter about more sophisticated campaigning, like using databases with voter voting information that tells us who votes and where they are on the liberal-conservative spectrum to be used in door-to-door campaigns.
- We need to find an election consultant who can keep us from doing the ineffective.
- Again, this is not a single election year campaign and strategy. This would be a 3 election cycle campaign, hopefully reaching success by the 2020 election cycle.
Kansas Sierra Club Communications Director