As President Biden’s Build Back Better Act, which contains a landmark $555 billion investment in clean energy, stalls in Congress, climate advocates are preparing to act in an unconventional approach.
“I am convinced that the only way to achieve this level of policy change is through collective awakening,” Margaret Klein Salamon, executive director of the Climate Emergency Fund, told Warren Olney.
“Let’s build a disciplined, unyielding nonviolent movement that is ultra-ambitious, demands transformation, not reform.”
That’s because, she says, this model of market-based solutions pursued over the past 30 years to slowly shift away from fossil fuels has failed. In fact, fossil fuels are still extended.
“We’re too late for anything, but [a] abrupt transition to zero emissions.
Salamon encourages people to engage in high-stakes tactics to exert strong pressure on elected officials. This includes waking up politicians in their homes early in the morning by “making their lives as difficult as possible in a non-violent way”.
Salamonenvir also claims that the Climate Emergency Fund is trying to mobilize 1,000 scientists to commit nonviolent civil disobedience and potentially risk arrest.
Its insurgency strategies may be promising because some Data suggests that peaceful protests, like boycotts and sit-ins, might not be enough to get those in power to take the climate crisis more seriously.
“Unless there is some level of critical mass or some level of disruption, institutional political actors tend to make some sort of weak concessions and then carry on as if nothing had happened,” explains Dana Fisher, sociology professor and program director. for Society and the Environment at the University of Maryland.
Also in this episode, coronavirus vaccines and treatment options created optimism that there might be light at the end of the tunnel. But the deadly virus isn’t going away, according to Dr. Ezekial Emanual, who was a member of the COVID-19 advisory board for the Biden-Harris transition.
“We eliminated smallpox, [but] we will not eliminate COVID.
Even as the current push for the Omicron variant began to to diminish in the United States, some 2,000 people still die every day, which is in addition to almost 900,000 Americans who have lost their lives to this virus in the past two years.
Emanual believes the coronavirus should be faced as a war.
“[We must] bring together the resources that this country has to really solve the problem.
Emanual and three other veterans of Biden’s transition team wrote a series of articles describing the strategies which include more scientists sequencing positive cases and uploading the data to a common platform to predict how things will develop. They also recommend improving ventilation and air filtration systems in public buildings, commercial buildings, schools and other places.
However, the continued spread of misinformation has undermined this fight against COVID, Emanual says. Spotify, for example, which sided with Joe Rogan’s podcast that provided false claims about COVID and vaccines, was part of the problem.
“Just put a caution is inadequate,” says Emanual. “Spotify lost $2 billion because of this situation, and maybe if they can’t be persuaded by moral arguments, financial arguments will change them.”