World leaders are in New York signing the Paris Climate Agreement. Our movement is in the street, alive with the possibility of this moment. Because our movement is not made up of days - it's made of people. So as you take this Earth Day to honor our planet, please consider supporting Environmental Action and all we're doing for this movement.
Forty six years ago, millions of Americans took to the streets at the first Earth Day and affirmed our unalienable right to clean water, clean air and a sustainable planet to live on. That simple idea is alive today in our movement to save the planet and all of us who just live on it.
I've seen it in the wave of protests we're planning next month to break free from fossil fuels and #KeepItIntheGround. I've met this movement in the streets of New York, New Orleans, Chicago, Los Angeles, Portland, Miami and dozens of other cities. Our movement is powerful, and that power threatens politicians and polluters. That's why I've seen members of it get arrested on the Steps of the U.S. Capitol, in the streets of the our financial districts and in a dozen cities and towns where people refuse to be silent in the face of injustice, oppression and pollution.
But our movement is also hopeful - I've literally danced with it in the streets of Paris, and the Earth Day events and parties happening in hundreds of cities and towns today are a testament to our achievements. I've also prayed for our movement along with leaders of dozens of faiths, many of whom have opened their doors to us so we could meet in their pews, sleep in their basements and share their peace regardless of what gods we do or do not believe in.
It's not always easy. There is no permanent progress for our planet. Even as hundreds of world leaders meet to ratify the Paris climate agreement this Earth Day, the United States Senate celebrated by passing a dirty energy bill that will subsidize fossil fuels - especially fracked gas - and expedite the construction of new pipelines from coast to coast. And that Paris agreement - as historic as it is, and despite the fact that it's being ratified faster than any similar international agreement in history - doesn't do enough to protect our climate. Exxon and their Big Oil Allies, meanwhile, are celebrating this Earth Day in court by filing lawsuits to block the investigations by State Attorneys General who want to know what #ExxonKnew about climate change, when they knew about it, and whether their decision to lie and cover up that knowledge, when lives and livelihoods were on the line, was illegal or 'only' immoral.
I don't worry about Exxon and corporations like them though. They'll get their due in time - just like the coal industry is getting theirs as their once-mighty companies go bankrupt one by one, and their once untouchable CEOs are sent to jail. I worry more about the people our movement leaves out or leaves behind. The student so frustrated by their university's refusal to consider divestment they drop out or tune out. The homeowner who gets an eminent domain letter saying the pipeline company is taking their land, and gives up instead of organizing with their neighbors to fight back, protest and demand a new energy policy. The young African American or Native American or Latino voter who looks at the environmental movement and says "why would I want to ally with those people?" Earth Day means as much to these folks as it does to you and I, and could mean even more if our movement was more inclsuive and diverse.
We can't expect the polluters and the politicians in their pockets to change. But our movement can generate effective and lasting change. I genuinely believe we live in amazing, important, and changing times. World action on climate and environmental issues has never been more possible. And I keep running into our movement everywhere I go - in the streets, in the jails, at concerts and parties and wherever we worship.
And that's why I'm asking for your help. Yes, I know, everybody is emailing you today to ask you to help with an environmental cause. It's Earth Day, and we all SHOULD go plant a tree, visit a rally, take a hike and chip in a few bucks to support the causes and organizations we care about.
But Environmental Action is different because we're not building a day, an action, or even a group. We're building a movement, and movements are made of people. But it takes money to organize people, especially a lot of people. If you're one of the nearly 1 million people who've taken action with us online, and are therefore getting this email, I'm asking you to donate today to help us build a bigger, better, more inclusive movement with the guts and honesty to do what it takes to protect our planet.
Drew and the crew at Environmental Action
PS - Our small but mighty staff are spread all over the country today at events in DC, Texas and beyond. If you can't donate (or even if you do) check out our website, visit our Facebook page or Tweet us @enviroaction to connect with us and be in touch.