A Critical Challenge to Protect Our Nation and Our Planet

August 31st, 2020 - by Bernie Sanders / Reader Supported News & Robert Reich / Robert Reich's Facebook Page

More Drought, More Famine, More Floods, More Ocean Acidification, More Extreme Weather Disturbances, More Disease and More Human Suffering

Bernie Sanders / Reader Supported News

 (August 27, 2020) — Sometimes, when you hear a speech, what is NOT said is more important than what is said. 

You wouldn’t know it if you watched the first night of the Republican National Convention, but we are in the middle of a climate emergency with scientists telling us we have just a few years to act in order to save our planet for future generations.

Just look around our country:

The second and third largest fires in the history of the state of California have burned more than 1.2 million acres in just a month, thousands of homes and businesses have been lost to the blaze, and tens of thousands of people have been forced to flee.

But that is not at all.

In the Gulf Coast, a pair of hurricanes threaten to strike within miles of each other and within a 48-hour period this week, a meteorological event unlike any in modern history.

But that too, is not all.

Earlier this month in the Midwest, an 800-mile wide derecho with winds the equivalent of a Category 4 hurricane swept through Iowa and Illinois, causing absolutely catastrophic damage. Homes and businesses were lost. Some estimates say 35 percent of Iowa’s corn was destroyed along with “100 million bushels worth of grain storage and processing infrastructure as well,” according to Iowa’s Secretary of Agriculture. 

There’s more: 

  • July 2020 was the second-hottest month ever recorded on Earth.
  • June 2020 was the second-hottest June of all time.
  • May 2020 was the hottest May of all time.
  • April 2020 was the second-hottest April of all time.
  • March 2020 was the second-hottest March of all time.
  • February 2020 was the second-hottest February of all time.
  • January 2020 was the hottest January of all time.

But was any of this discussed during last night’s Republican National Convention? 

Of course it wasn’t. 

There wasn’t a word about climate change, other than to play a video calling me and our ideas “RADICAL.” 

But don’t tell me the Green New Deal is radical. 

What is radical is doing nothing to take on the existential threat of climate change while the world burns.

What is radical is the Trump administration opening up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to drilling at a time when the arctic is on fire and we face a serious climate emergency in this country and around the world. 

What is radical is doing nothing while scientists tell us very clearly that if we do not act boldly within the next few years in transforming our energy systems away from fossil fuel and into energy efficiency and sustainable energy, the planet we leave our kids and future generations will be increasingly unhealthy and uninhabitable. 

What is radical is making the decision to accept more drought, more famine, more floods, more ocean acidification, more extreme weather disturbances, more disease and more human suffering simply to line the pockets of a few greedy fossil fuel executives. 

Here is the truth: in the midst of everything going on right now, a global pandemic, an economic meltdown, a struggle for racial justice and more, we simply cannot lose sight of the existential threat of climate change which puts at risk the very survival of this planet.

We cannot go far enough or be too aggressive on this issue.

We are living in absolutely unprecedented times that require us to bring forward an unprecedented response. 

I wish I could say we could address our climate crisis with a few tweaks at the edges. But I cannot say that. Now more than ever, we need a Green New Deal to effectively address the existential threat of climate change. So, in my view there are two things we need to do:

Step 1: We must defeat Donald Trump. There is simply no way around just how important it is that we beat him this November and beat him badly.

Step 2: At the same time, we must elect as many progressive candidates as we possibly can who will fight to pass a Green New Deal. 

Now, I cannot do that alone. And over the course of the next few months, our supporters are going to be doing everything possible to generate the largest voter turnout in American history, reaching out to people who might otherwise not be voting. We’re going to be doing virtual rallies and town halls in every battleground state. We’ll be making phone calls, sending text messages, and safely distributing literature throughout communities across this country.

That takes resources, but it is important work that must be done. So today, I am asking:

Can you make a contribution to help? This is important.

We are custodians of the earth. All of us. And it would be a moral disgrace if we left to future generations a planet and that was unhealthy, unsafe, and uninhabitable. 

So thank you for making your voice heard.

In solidarity,  Bernie Sanders

The Soul of Our Country Is Being Fought for in the Streets and Cities Across America Right Now

Robert Reich / Robert Reich’s Facebook Page

 (August 30, 2020) — Even at the end of a summer marked by historic protests against racial injustice and police killings, officer shootings of unarmed Black people are still occurring at a devastating frequency.

This time it happened in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Rusten Sheskey of the Kenosha Police Department shot an unarmed Black man, Jacob Blake, seven times in the back as his three children watched. He is now paralyzed from the waist down, and doctors say it will take a miracle for him to ever walk again.

I won’t pretend to understand what it’s like to be terrorized, brutalized, or murdered for the color of my skin, or to feel unsafe simply by existing. What I do understand is that there are serious, systemic disparities between how I am treated as a white man and how those in the Black community are treated.

I am committed to using my privilege and platform to participate actively in upending systems of control, like police and prisons, that have perpetuated white supremacist violence and the oppression of Black people for centuries.

That’s why I am asking you to use the below link to make a donation to the Movement for Black Lives — a collective of 150 organizations representing Black people from across the country — to help build a world free of police killings and systemic oppression, in which the full humanity and dignity of Black people is recognized.

The Movement for Black Lives supports the local protests at the forefront of the Black Lives Matter movement, and is mobilizing to create a shared vision and policy agenda to win rights, recognition, and resources for Black people through grassroots organizing and legislative action.

Tomorrow, they’re holding a Black National Convention to present the Democratic National Committee with a shared policy agenda, including restoration of the Voting Rights Act, immediate demilitarization of police and an end to private prisons, abolishing the Electoral College, breaking up Big Banks, and guaranteeing universal health care.

You can tune in to the convention here: https://m4bl.org/events/the-black-national-convention/

The soul of our country is being fought for in the streets of Kenosha, Louisville, Oakland, and cities across America right now. The stakes could not be higher, and we must all come together to support the movement.

So please, use the link below to stand with the Black Lives Matter movement and the protestors literally risking their lives in Kenosha by making a donation to the Movement for Black Lives Fund today. And, if you can, set up a recurring donation to sustain the work.

In solidarity, Robert Reich

Posted in accordance with Title 17, Section 107, US Code, for noncommercial, educational purposes.