A diverse group of young women hold up signs about climate justice.
A diverse group of young women hold up signs about climate justice.
Photo courtesy of Lisa Weatherbee for The Luupe, the luupe.com

On Wednesday, we learned that Jon Ossoff and Reverend Raphael Warnock had won their Senate races, clinching Democratic control of the House, Senate, and presidency. After months of intense work to elect climate champions up and down the ballot, we finally have leaders committed to climate action in the White House and both houses of Congress. Now, President-elect Biden can carry out the big promises he made during his campaign to supercharge our clean energy economy, green our infrastructure, clean up environmental injustices, address racial inequities, repair our democracy, and ensure a just and equitable recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

These victories in Georgia, and across the country, would not have been possible without years of hard work and organizing by women of color–led grassroots groups like Fair Fight Georgia and the New Georgia Project, as well as the efforts of Sierra Club members and supporters. …


Don’t let the Trump administration turn it into a vast copper mine.

A large snowy cliff hangs over the Oak Flat campground.
A large snowy cliff hangs over the Oak Flat campground.
Photo courtesy of the US Department of Agriculture

In its waning days, the Trump administration is rushing to transfer thousands of acres of Arizona public lands that are holy to the Apache and other Tribes so a copper company can develop a vast, Earth-scarring mine. And not just any copper company: One of Resolution Copper’s parent companies, Rio Tinto, is responsible for the destruction of a 46,000-year-old Aboriginal site in Australia.

Rio Tinto promised to change its ways. But the Apache, along with their Native and non-Native allies, have serious doubts that this project can be done in a way that respects their cultural and religious heritage or the ecology of the site. …


Dawn over the Washington DC’s landmarks.
Dawn over the Washington DC’s landmarks.
Photo by iStockphoto.com/Ultima_Gaina

The climate crisis isn’t a single issue: It’s an everything issue. To solve it, we’ll have to change how we get around, how we grow food, how we heat and cool our homes, how we create electricity, and much else. We’ll need an economy-wide, and society-wide, transformation that will create millions of family-sustaining jobs in clean energy, energy efficiency, and more.

To achieve that economy-wide transformation, we need every part of our government working toward it, as well as a powerful movement pushing officials to be even more ambitious and inclusive. …


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Alexis Bonogofsky / Alaska Region US FWS

Donald Trump hasn’t attended a COVID briefing session in five months, but he’s gone golfing at least five or six times since the election. And as the pandemic rages uncontrolled, with thousands of Americans dying every day, his administration somehow finds the time to do dozens of final favors for the fossil fuel industry — at the expense, of course, of our biodiversity, our public lands, and our public health.

Last week, the Trump administration began the formal process of selling leases to drill for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. The refuge is one of our last remaining truly wild places, home to caribou, polar bears, Arctic foxes, and hundreds of other species. …


Activists stand behind a fiery-red banner that reads, “Our house is on fire.” They hold up signs about the Line 3 pipeline.
Activists stand behind a fiery-red banner that reads, “Our house is on fire.” They hold up signs about the Line 3 pipeline.
Photo courtesy of Natalie Cook

Minnesota governor Tim Walz portrays himself as a fighter for clean air, clean water, and a clean energy future. He even wrote an op-ed promising that “Minnesota will lead on climate change if Washington won’t.” He cultivates a public image as one of the good guys who listens to the science.

Yet last week, he chose to issue a series of key permits for Enbridge’s Line 3 pipeline, which would carry millions of barrels of the world’s dirtiest crude through the pristine lake country of northern Minnesota — producing emissions equivalent to 50 new coal-fired power plants.

And we know he could have done otherwise. He could have shown the leadership and courage demonstrated that same week by his fellow Midwestern governor, Gretchen Whitmer, who revoked Enbridge’s authorization to transport oil through its Line 5 pipeline effective May 2021. …


At a climate protest, a girl holds up a sign that reads, “Make Earth Great Again.”
At a climate protest, a girl holds up a sign that reads, “Make Earth Great Again.”
Svetlana Jovanovic for The Luupe, theluupe.com

We did it. Together, we elected a president who ran on the strongest climate and environmental justice platform ever advanced by a presidential ticket. The Sierra Club’s largest-ever political mobilization helped President-Elect Joe Biden beat Donald Trump. The popular-vote percentage margin of victory was the biggest against an incumbent president since Franklin Delano Roosevelt walloped Herbert Hoover in 1932. And Kamala Harris will become the first woman, the first Black person, and the first Indian American to hold the office of vice president.

We deserve to celebrate the hard work that made this victory possible. Once again, we have proved that we are stronger together. With our movement partners, we’ve sent Joe Biden to the White House with a decisive mandate to address the climate crisis, build an inclusive economy, and repair our democracy so that everyone’s vote is counted — because everyone counts. …


A gray-haired woman holds up a sticker that reads, “I voted.”
A gray-haired woman holds up a sticker that reads, “I voted.”
Photo by iStockphoto.com/adamkaz

Joe Biden ran on the strongest climate and environmental-justice platform of any major party nominee in history. And climate played a historically large role in his campaign: Biden brought up climate in debate after debate, and closed out his campaign with climate-focused ads.

But the presidential race was far from the only one where climate was at play. Across the country, voters weighed in on environmental propositions and environmentally focused candidates. They expressed record levels of concern over the climate crisis: According to the Pew Research Center, 60 percent of adults now view climate change as a major threat to the country’s well-being. …


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iStockphoto/richjem

I remember earlier this spring, getting ready for one of our first big volunteer events. We originally planned to do an in-person kickoff but had to cancel due to COVID-19. This meant suddenly changing everything. When I’d usually be heading to rallies or meetings across the country, I instead found myself at home with my wife and children writing letters to voters. We faced a new reality, but we adjusted.

Now, as I write this, the seven states that will decide the presidential race are still too close to call. And that’s OK. …


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Photo by iStockphoto.com/RONSAN4D

Alaska’s Tongass National Forest has been protected from most commercial logging since the Clinton administration — and with good reason. As one of the largest temperate rainforests in the world, it’s an ecological treasure, an important carbon sink, and essential to the livelihood of Alaska Native communities who rely on hunting, fishing, and wild harvest as a matter of survival.

As of yesterday, though, it is now legal for logging companies to build roads in the Tongass that will enable them to clear-cut old-growth trees. Technically, this is a new federal policy. In reality, like virtually all Trump administration rollbacks, it’s senseless, autocratic vandalism. …


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Photo courtesy of NASA

Orange skies. Hazardous air. Homes and livelihoods destroyed. Loved ones lost. The toll of this year’s dangerously unusual fire season — which is not even halfway over — is staggering.

California was meant to burn; fire is a natural part of our forests’ lifecycles. But climate change has made blazes across the West bigger, hotter, and much more damaging. With record heat and drought turning trees into tinder, our state has experienced six of the largest wildfires in modern history this year alone. Smoke from the wildfires in the West has made it as far as New York and Hawaii. …

About

Michael Brune

Dad, husband, executive director of the @sierraclub, writer, Jersey Shore native, Little League coach, #Yankees fan, climate hawk. Optimist. Love the Bay Area.

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