Why A Growing Grassroots Movement is Demanding More Action on Climate
Together, over the last four presidential administrations we have been demanding federal action on climate change. Time and time again, big corporations and partisan politics derailed every effort to address this growing threat to our planet. And now, finally, thanks to people power and persistence, the movement has grown strong enough to make climate a top tier issue. This has created the space to pass major climate legislation in the US – the Inflation Reduction Act.
We can celebrate our movement and the passage of the first piece of federal climate legislation in the US while also recognizing that it is deeply flawed.
We can acknowledge that significant investments in renewable energy and funding for some communities that pollution harms are steps in the right direction. At the same time, this legislation exposes our Southern communities from the Gulf South to Appalachia and the Atlantic Coastal Plain to more harm because it includes more subsidies and regulation rollbacks for the expansion of the gas, oil, and bioenergy industries.
Communities that have been fighting for years on the frontlines of this expansion will continue to bear the brunt of the pollution and ecological destruction. The lives of Black, Brown, Indigenous, and those living at or near poverty have once again been sacrificed to placate the financial interests of the industries responsible for climate change.
The legislation will lead to more forests logged on public and private lands for bioenergy.
It continues to enable the expansion of logging and wood markets in conflict with scientific warnings that logging and wood production are contributing to climate disruption and are polluting environmental justice communities.
It will make it easier to greenlight the Mountain Valley Pipeline, which citizens have pushed back after years of tireless organizing. The Inflation Reduction Act will accomplish some positive things, but the fight for climate justice in the US is far from over.
People power created the foundation for the passage of this bill. People power is the only hope we have for ending a cycle of exploiting the most vulnerable for the economic benefit of a few. Dogwood Alliance will continue to focus on building the people power to mobilize action for bigger change at the international, federal, state, and local levels.
As long as there are acceptable human and ecosystem sacrifice zones, we will not solve the climate crisis.
We believe in a vision where major investments in climate solutions are made in communities that have suffered the most from climate destroying industries. Those impacted need to be at the table, and their solutions need to be part of the democratic process in designing climate policy. We believe in a future where every community can breathe clean air, drink clean water, and have the resources necessary to adapt and survive through a changing climate. We believe that real climate solutions must work with nature and not against it. The only way to get there is expanding the power of people through grassroots mobilization.