Strategy Blog

  • Clean Energy Standard

    Two-Big Months 4 Earth: “Clean” Energy Mandate In Play!  But what version?

    It doesn’t get any hotter than this for an idea in Congress!  We have a big moment for a CES – that may hinge on our ability to unite…   

    Here’s my take on this situation:  

    The President’s plan is to include a “Clean Energy” Standard in the American Jobs Bill, and climate coalitions are in motion to support that, with a House version due by July 4th..  

    That makes May-June – two big months for Earth!

    The thing is, there are different proposals for how a CES should work, 4-5 at least. Below’s an article on some of the debate. 

    I think we need to analyze these plans with science, not politics.  We need data to know if it’ll work in time!   

    We’re in two coalitions working on various CESs.  If you know experts in this arena, let me know and let’s have them come present.

    The approach in The EARTH BILL is for a “renewable electricity” standard  defined as “wind, solar, geothermal, tidal, wave and existing hydropower.”  Other approaches include Emission Measures of CO2-Equivalent per Kilowatt hour that are “technology neutral”, and others with carbon market schemes.  

    The answer to this policy decision will determine the future of our planet. So it’s important to get it right.   

    The basic question is how best to get utility companies to segue from buying fossil fuels to using “non-polluting” sources on a timeline. 

    This is the question we need to answer.  And we need all the best minds working on it – like we just did on covid.  

    This is the fate of the planet and many more diseases at stake here.   

    What do the SCIENTISTS SAY?   

    We also can’t wait to know the policy answer before we start pushing Congress NOW for a CES or RES (renewable energy standard).  

    We are told the FF opposition is lobbying hard, yet Congress is not hearing from our side.

    Note, all the groups – despite policy differences – are pulling together on this.  We’ll work out the details together.  

    So for now, the agreed-upon approach is for everyone to forge ahead with your ideas, just keep pushing in the same direction!

    If you like The Earth Bill approach, go ahead and send this letter to your Congressperson today!   Join the Monday night EARTH CORE 8 pm ET to go all-in!  Take the Group Pledge. Or Citizen Pledge.

    It’s showtime folks!  Let’s get smart on “clean energy standards”.  Nothing’s more important.   TF

  • Tribute To David Buckle

    EARTH DAY 2021:  Mandates Bad?  Mass Extinction Okay? 
    In Tribute To David Buckle.
    For Earth Day 2021 let’s demand that we outlaw our pollution! 
    This solution is staring us in the face.  We need to stop the pollution we cause by producing electricity, driving cars, and growing our food.   These are 80% of the pollution solution.  And most importantly are 100% of the political solution.
    I call these mandates but am told we can’t use that word.  Meanwhile, folks seem fine with the word mass extinction.  That’s how powerful the oil lobby is.  They took mandates on polluting industries so far off the agenda we can’t even say the word.
    It’s time to put them back on the agenda and THE EARTH BILL is that demand.
    The demand in a movement is everything.  It has to be a real solution to the problem.  It has to call the political question.  It has to be understandable, relatable, and have a catchy name.  
    We know we need to stop our pollution.  But no bill and no politician is planning to do this in law.  And it has to be in law.  Reversible regulations are too unstable to secure private financing to build 100% renewables at the scale and timeline required.  Only a law can do this.  Or the utility will not be required to buy clean energy and it will not be built.
    This is obvious.  The problem is political.  If we require utilities to buy 100% renewables, this means they will stop buying oil and gas.  The corporations that sell oil and gas have ultimate power in Congress and U.S. politics.  So, what happens?  For 40 years, not a single law has been passed to stop our pollution, when all we need to do is make the utility companies go green.
    The Biden Administration is not looking for a fight on anything. Instead, they astutely ride the political currents, offering trillions for new projects that avoid confronting the pollution pumping now.  This would be a savvy way to turn the ship if we had more time, which we don’t.  The cliff is imminent, and this is an abdication of responsibility to save our children’s future while we have both Houses and the White House, which may not happen again for some time.
    Due to our inaction, we now have under 7 years more of our pollution before we reach 1.5 and the zone of tipping points, like ocean currents that stop flowing and ice-sheets melting, ensue that will mean disaster on this miraculous planet of abundance.  
    We can not allow the politics of now to stop us from saving life on Earth.  We have big momentum on our side and the time is ripe for a real demand.
    Republicans on the U.S. House Climate Crisis Committee are not even really mounting a defense, so now’s the time to surge forward.  In Rep. Castor’s recent hearing focusing on the urgency (Making the Case For Climate Action.  The Growing Risks and Costs of Inaction), calm scientists explained how Florida will disappear under sea-level rise.  Rep. Castor is from Tampa, so she understands the problem.
    But still, no one in Congress or in the White House is willing to confront the problem head-on.  No one wants to ban fossil fuels or chemical-laden agriculture.  They don’t want to piss off the corporate bossman.
    They can’t even define “renewable energy” without reverting to fantasy technologies, which are like grasping for delusional straws.  Everyone knows we’re not acting to avert the disaster, so we create pretend-hope that theoretical technologies might fix it later.  It’s their escape hatch for culpability for inaction today. 
    “Oh, new technology will fix it later, so let’s keep polluting.” This is worst than a head in the sand.  It is an intentional deflection to avoid confronting the political truth that they are afraid of Big Oil and selling out humanity’s future to stay in office.
    The large climate institutions are also avoiding this.  As with other movements, the insider experts are tight with the Democratic Party, and they provide staff and technical advice, including external political cover.  They too are more worried about the next election – and their relationships with the DNC – than the next generation.  
    It’s a political pragmatism of the status quo, which is an equal threat to our ability to change course in time.  Civil society is often the first line of defense for the politicians against the grassroots, even the youth crying for action.  History will note this in more detail.
    This leaves the activists.  The 16-year-old organizing a protest in-between classes while babysitting their siblings.  The 86 year old at every meeting in a basement.  The parents quitting their jobs to fight for their children’s future.  This has come down to you.  The system has not saved us.  But we might if we’re able to unite.
    The hardest part of fighting the system is uniting among activists with a strategic focused demand that inspires relentless determination.  Without a clear path, despair sets in.  One activist – David Buckel – a husband and father – a beloved gay rights attorney – set himself on fire with gasoline in Prospect Park NYC out of desperation in the face of the institutional failure for Earth.   Here is an artistic rendition for this “Climate Martyr”. 


    This desperation is understandable.  We have so many groups in every state working on climate but they are not working together.  There is no common rallying cry.  And as such, there are no results and no real power.
    We are losing this race against time.  We zoom and email constantly.  We have deep contacts used for sign-on letters and marches.  We all dance around the topic when the solution is right in front of us.
    We need to make our governments outlaw our pollution.  
    This means mandating that the utility company switch to renewables.  It means we stop making combustion engines.  It means mandating that big agriculture companies stop using chemicals that destroy the soil’s ability to absorb our pollution.  And it means enforcement with personal liability.
    These three industries – working for us – are killing our planet with our own money.  Your electric, gas and food bills all support this system.  And only you have the power – the possibility of enough power – to stop it.
    THE EARTH BILL is a grassroots-driven demand for 100% renewable electricity, electric vehicles, and regenerative agriculture.  It puts the responsibility on Congress to make utility, car and food corporations change their inputs from dirty to clean.  It’s that simple.  Mandates on three industries can save us all.
    We consumers will still have these products but without the pollution destroying Earth.  It’s targeted and fast – by 2030 – to match the carbon clock –  and has measurable results. It’ll also test in real-time our ability to actually do this before it’s too late.
    Everyone wins with this.  The clean way is better, cheaper and healthier.  But the polluting companies have no intention of stopping and they are the power ruling the day still.   
    We’re here to change that and we need everyone, every group, every leader to unite to make this demand together in unison without compromise.  This starts with you.  
    For Earth Day 2021 let’s demand it!  Stop our Pollution. In the 117th Congress and Biden Presidency.  If not now, when?
    Humanity has thrived because of our ability to work together.  This is that test.  Will 100 corporations destroy Earth?  Or will the People of Earth prevail?
    Let’s get to work!  Unity is our only hope!

  • Todd Fernandez On The Earth Bill
  • The Earth Bill: A 2030 Moonshot for Earth
  • Climate Convergence Flyer
  • A Climate Convergence! Uniting for Victory 2021

    Join us for a high-level symposium to discuss federal legislative plans for 2021!

    Register for the symposium

    Dec. 9 & 10, 2020. Six Sessions & Climate Cabaret!

    Congress is gearing up to take real action on Climate in 2021. And it is strategically vital that civil society be prepared to work together to secure meaningful legislative victories. There are thousands of climate groups and millions of activists waiting for coordinated leadership and direction. This symposium will delve into the 2021 Action Plans from leading coalitions and organizations to guide the way. Let’s unite the vast climate movement for real political power!

    Event Schedule

    Wed. Dec. 9
    1. Noon – 2pm EST: Congress
    2. 3 – 5pm EST: Major Environmental Organizations
    3. 6 – 8pm EST: National Climate Coalitions
    Thu. Dec. 10
    1. Noon – 2pm EST: Policy Sector Coalitions
    2. 3 – 5pm EST: Faith. Legal. Scientists. Health. Environmental Justice.
    3. 6 – 8pm EST: Direct Action. Mass Mobilization. Youth. Grassroots.
    4. CLOSING: Climate Cabaret, featuring NYC Artists, 8 – 9pm EST

    Keynote Speakers

    • Senator Jeff Merkley (OR)
    • Congressman Andy Levin (MI)
    • Rep. Rashida Tlaib (MI)

    Session Panelists

    Wed. Dec. 9

    Noon – 2pm EST: Session 1: Open Plenary: Legislation & Congress

    • Todd Fernandez, Executive & Legislative Director, Climate Crisis Policy
    • Clyde Hall, Director, Naraya Cultural Preservation Council
    • Adam Zipkin, Senior Advisor, Office of Senator Cory Booker
    • Michelle Deatrick, Chair, DNC Council on the Environment & Climate Crisis
    • Rania Batrice, Executive Director, March for Science
    • Susan Hendershot, President, Interfaith Power & Light
    • Demond Drummer, Co-founder and Executive Director, New Consensus

    3 – 5pm EST: Session 2: Major Environmental Organizations

    • Sascha von Bismarck, Executive Director, Environmental Investigation Agency
    • Chad Frishmann, Vice-President & Director of Research, Project Drawdown
    • Kieran Suckling, Executive Director, Center for Biological Diversity
    • Emily Southard, US Campaign Manager, 350.org
    • John Fernandez, Director, Environmental Solutions Initiative, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    • Ramon Cruz, President, Sierra Club
    • Janet Redman, Climate Campaign Director, Greenpeace
    • Felice Stadler, Vice President, Environmental Defense Fund

    6 – 8pm EST: Session 3: Nationwide Coalitions

    • Navina Khanna, Director, HEAL Food Alliance
    • Niaz Dorry, Executive Director, National Family Farm Coalition
    • Jacqui Patterson, Sr. Director, Environmental and Climate Justice Program, NAACP
    • Randi Weingarten, President, American Federation of Teachers
    • Bob Perkowitz, Founder & President, EcoAmerica
    • Jim Walsh, Senior Energy Policy Analyst, Food & Water Action
    • Osprey Orielle Lake, Founder & Executive Director, Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network (WECAN) & Executive Committee, Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature
    Thu. Dec. 10

    Noon – 2pm EST: Session 4: Policy Sector Coalitions

    • Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis, Director, Kairos Center for Religions, Rights and Social Justice at Union Theological Seminary, & Co-Chair, Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival
    • Mark Reynolds, Executive Director, Citizens Climate Lobby
    • Ken Berlin, President and CEO, Climate Reality Project
    • Cornelius Blanding, Executive Director, Federation of Southern Coops
    • Peggy M. Shepard, Executive Director, WE ACT for Environmental Justice
    • Lise Van Sustren, Steering Committee, Climate Psychiatry Alliance
    • Jake Davis, Senior Policy Advisor, Family Farm Action Alliance

    3 – 5pm EST: Session 5: Faith & Indigenous

    • Nigel S. Savage, President & CEO, Hazon
    • Rev. Michael Malcom, Founder and Executive Director, The People’s Justice Council
    • The Rev. Fletcher Harper, Executive Director, GreenFaith
    • Shantha Ready Alonso, Executive Director, Creation Justice Ministries
    • Kyle Meyaard-Schaap, Young Evangelicals for Climate Action
    • Roberto Mukaro Borrero, President, United Confederation of Taíno People (UCTP)
    • Jose Aguto, Associate Director, Catholic Climate Covenant

    6 – 8pm EST: Session 6: Direct Action & Grassroots

    • Jonathan Walker, Rise & Resist
    • Laurie Cotter, Rise & Resist
    • Christina See, Extinction Rebellion
    • Tia Nelson, Managing Director, Climate, Outrider
    • Leslie Cagan, Coordinator, Peoples Climate Movement NYC
    • Roger Hallam, Co-Founder, Extinction Rebellion UK

    8 – 9pm EST: Closing: Climate Cabaret

    • Climate Crisis Policy
    • Climate Reality NYC
    • Drawdown NYC
    • Organic Consumers Association
    • Family Farm Action
    • 350 Kishwaukee
    • Hazon
    • Tennessee Interfaith Power and Light
    • Mighty Earth
    • Climate Nashville
    • Climate Chattanooga
    • Climate Reality Project Peconic Region
    • Climate Reality Project Suffolk County
    • Students for Climate Action
    • Climate Reality Project Capital Region
    • Climate Reality Project Westchester
    • Climate Reality Project Rockland
    • Climate Reality Project Finger Lakes
    • Climate Reality Project Chautauqua County
    • Climate Reality Project Hudson Valley & Cattskills
    • Protect All Children’s Environment
    • Center for Biological Diversity
    • Laurie M. Tisch Center for Food, Education & Policy
    • 350 Central Massachusetts
    • Pesticide Action Network
    • 350 Chicago
    • Earth Day Initiative
    • Unitarian Universalists for a Just Economic Community
    • Hugelrado Farms
    • Climate Action Iowa
    • Climate Reality Project: Greater NJ Gateway Chapter
    • United Confederation of Taíno People
    • The Sustainable Living Coalition
    • Santa Cruz Climate Action Network
    • Rise & Resist
    • Unitarian Universalists for Social Justice
    • Community for Earth Committee, First Unitarian Church of Portland, OR
    • Metro NY Catholic Climate Movement
    • Climate Reality Project Southwestern Oregon
    • Global Catholic Climate Movement
    • The Sustainable Living Coalition

    All welcome! Email ClimateCrisisPolicy@gmail.com
    Register now & let’s unite for victory!

  • July 1 Webinar: Urgent Federal Bills & Strategy for 2021

    We had an incredible turnout of over 600 registered environmental organizations and citizen activists for our July 1st webinar. If you weren’t able to attend, please check out the video above to hear from our great guest speakers and listen in on our open discussions.

  • What Is The “Demand” To Save Our Planet?

    By J. Todd Fernandez, Esquire

    What is the demand of Congress to save the planet?  The plan to eliminate pollution?  It’s time to figure this out.

    Comprehensive Immigration Reform.   The DREAM Act.  Medicare for All Act.  The Equality Act.  These are the demands of the LGBTQ, immigration and health care movements.
    The Civil Rights Act.  The Equal Rights Amendment.  These are the branded solutions around which movements are built.

    What is the name of the bill to solve the climate crisis?   

    The Green New Deal comes to mind – thankfully.  But not so fast, because it’s not a bill with policy fixes.  It is a wonderful rallying cry to an ideal – that Congress must pass omnibus legislation to stop this crisis in time.  But what legislation?  Whose legislation?

    The good news is that in 2021 we’ll likely have an opportunity to pass planet-saving legislation.  But we must figure out what that entails now in 2020, and get broad buy-in so that we are ready for the ultimate showdown in 2021.

    Many segmented climate-related bills have been filed recently.  There are bills on topics like fracking, plastics, agriculture, and carbon fees.
    But the scientists say there are 100 top greenhouse gas sources and solution areas.  We need the bills to match.  The demands.

    Democrats in Congress are also drafting legislation.  The U.S. House Climate Crisis Select Committee will issue a report soon outlining a cross-committee approach.  And the House Energy & Commerce Climate Sub-Committee has a draft bill, as does the Senate, covering various pieces but not comprehensive.

    Civil society experts and issue advocates also have strong opinions and many reports, now collected on one website with over 130 documents digested into 700+ policy ideas.  This shows the overlap of opinion on big solutions, and a litany of details honed from deep experience.  These are the elements of legislation to be drafted.

    Fortunately, as mentioned, the scientists have clearly laid out the top 100 greenhouse gas sources and solutions.  This list of topics requiring new policy is the scope for our demands.

    Also working on this front, a team of lawyers led by the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia University is collecting and drafting policy language to match the various solutions.   This is the draft bill language that can be a starting point for bill drafting.

    Now we need to put the pieces together – the scientists, civil society and legal – and draft and file legislation tackling all 100 solutions: A Climate Bill Package.

    That’s the hard part.  But it is absolutely core to having a demand.

    The demand in a movement is the foundation.  All action stems from the demand, the goal.  The petitions, phone banking, voting, coalitions and direct action all start with a demand.

    What is our demand of Congress to save our planet?  What do we want to collectively manifest?

    We have 6 months to figure this out.  And it’s time to get specific because time has run out.  After bills are passed, we still have to build out the solutions, and this will take years we can’t afford.  Entering the climate policy debate in 2021 without clear previous agreement on what is needed to really solve the problems could mean a nightmare of infighting and lost opportunity.

    On July 1, 2020, representatives from academia and science, lawyers and organizers are starting this conversation and all are welcome.

    The intention is to make this effort transparent so that more of society can be involved in the writing, filing and pushing for a package of climate bills that would truly reverse the horrifying trajectory.

    Our strategy – as a people – to stop ecological disaster needs to be transparent.  The people deserve to be involved.  The problem is not being solved.  And the cause needs much broader engagement to have more power in Congress.  

    We also can not entrust this process to any political party.  Civil society should lead, not follow, the legislative process.

    The quest to save Earth as we know it can not be an insider secret.  We must have a public-facing campaign and inclusive process to generate the missing political will.

    The current alignment and capacity of climate-active organizations is not powerful enough to defeat the opposition.  Once we file bills with teeth and real solutions, the resistance will be even stronger.  No insider strategy will overcome this global power without a convergence of massive outside pressure.

    We need all the universities, the legal associations, the scientists and organizers making the same demands.  We need them involved in drafting the bills and filing the bills.  And we need the institutes themselves leading the charge. The Earth needs all nonprofits to maximize their allowable lobbying activities and join the fight to pass legislation to prevent the unthinkable.

    There are a million points of light in the climate cause seeking direction.  United in shared demands, we can be a laser that rewrites the future.

    Join the conversation July 1, 2020 at Noon for URGENT: Federal Climate Bills & StrategyRegister today.

  • Earth Day Webinar: Overview of Digest and Federal Action Plans

    VIEW ON YouTube.


    Join our list for action updates and discussion on these federal bills.
    None are perfect. But let’s work together and see where it goes!
    Alone, we can’t win planet-saving legislative fast enough. We must unite.