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Taking Action for Our Planet

This year marks the 50th anniversary of Earth Day — 50 years rallying to protect the planet, 50 years fighting for environmental justice and political action, 50 years uncovering the devastating truth of climate change and the solutions to address it. This year’s celebration comes as we are all grappling with the profound impact of the coronavirus pandemic, which has taken so many lives and livelihoods, and has forced us to recalibrate our fight for the environment in this new world.

As we commemorate this anniversary, we are also looking 50 years into the future. What will Earth look like in 2070? The actions we take today — or fail to take — will determine whether we will continue to recognize the planet we were born into and whether future generations will inherit a livable, sustainable future or not.

Right now, this government is not just doing nothing — it’s making matters worse. The Trump administration is using the coronavirus pandemic to hide their systematic dismantling of environmental protections and strip back any progress made towards addressing the climate crisis. We don’t have to wait until 2070 to see the consequences of this inaction — they’re happening right now.

Over the last ten years, Tom Steyer has worked with and organized communities to fight and win environmental battles. He has championed racial and economic justice while working with climate leaders to determine how best to tackle the crisis our planet is facing. We know what we need to do. We have to do it.

“If we're going to have a chance at slowing down the damage that's already being done, we need to act now.”
─ Tom Steyer

Human Impact

If we take action

  • Communities will have equal access to clean air and safe drinking water.
  • People will have greater access to resources and greater say in government.
  • Younger generations will enjoy the same opportunities afforded their predecessors.
  • Low-income communities and communities of color will build prosperity.
  • Americans will have financial stability and improved well-being as new green jobs provide livable wages, union protections, and health care.

If we do nothing

  • Significant loss of life will occur as the result of intensified natural disasters.
  • Global pandemics will happen more regularly as disease-carrying insects proliferate and habitat destruction forces species interaction.
  • Low-income communities and communities of color, where corporations have chosen to concentrate pollution, will face higher mortality rates due to prolonged exposure, which creates pre-existing health conditions and reduces chances of survival.
  • Poisoned water from an unregulated industry will expand cancer clusters; these communities will be hit hardest when droughts increase food and water scarcity.
  • Millions of people could lose their homes and livelihoods when natural disasters and sea level rise wipe out neighborhoods and island nations.
  • Younger generations will harbor unusual stress throughout their lives due to climate uncertainty.

Economic Impact

If we take action

  • Investments in sustainable infrastructure will create jobs and drive down unemployment — rural development will expand economic opportunities across the country.
  • Government costs will drop as people are healthier and less is spent on disaster relief.
  • The regenerative economy built on renewable resources will bolster GDP growth.
  • Fossil fuel companies will leverage existing infrastructure and extensive research capabilities to transition to green energy.

If we do nothing

  • Wealth inequality will grow, and the true cost of extractive industries will be passed along to the lower class while rich corporations pad their profit margins.
  • With population growth and more frequent natural disasters and pandemics, the demand for essential services — food production, medical care, supply chains, financial services — will increase while the workforce will face greater risks. Communities will suffer shortages and long wait times.
  • Governments will pile on debt to address natural disaster relief, increased health care costs, and military spending.
  • The costs of environmental degradation will depress economic growth, and many jobs will be lost to natural disasters.

Environmental Impact

If we take action

  • Forests will recover and provide safe habitat for endangered species to repopulate.
  • Biodiversity will bolster ecosystems against changes in climate, and plants will absorb air pollutants.
  • Natural disasters will be more manageable and predictable, allowing for proactive emergency response.
  • Natural spaces will be preserved for posterity and expanded to increase access.
  • Oceans and fisheries will replenish, securing food sources and livelihoods for the world.

If we do nothing

  • The rise in global temperatures will intensify natural disasters and increase their frequency — wildfires will become a normal yearly season, hurricanes will become more vicious and inevitable, and droughts will be measured in lifetimes, not years.
  • A third of all plant and animal species will be lost by 2070 due to mass extinction.
  • Sea level rise will rewrite coastlines, and ocean warming will throw fisheries and underwater ecosystems into collapse.

Global Impact

If we take action

  • Investment in research and development will propel U.S. green technology to aid in the global transformation and solidify America’s leadership.
  • The United States will build global partnerships to coordinate international efforts and encourage progressive causes around the world.
  • Global investment in sustainable infrastructure will elevate the worldwide standard of living, allowing other nations to build prosperity.

If we do nothing

  • Climate change will make areas around the globe uninhabitable, forcing people to migrate from their homes.
  • Famines caused by drought will build regional conflict and escalate to war over resources. Military activities will expand commensurately with increased conflict and resource scarcity.
  • The United States will lose standing as a technological leader with inadequate investment in green technology and will retreat from political prominence.
  • The global economy will retract when the U.S. can no longer afford to pay off U.S. treasuries.

Become a climate voter

There are so many ways to join the fight for our planet, but one of the most important actions you can take is showing up on Election Day. Add your name if you’re ready to go green at the ballot box.

Climate voters are pushing climate action and environmental justice to the top of the progressive agenda and top of mind for our leaders. We’ll give you the information you need to vote — and turn out the vote — this November, along with other opportunities to get involved in the months leading up to Election Day.