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Let The Sun Shine In

Updated: Dec 24, 2019

This past Friday, the annual UN Climate Summit, or COP25, drew to a close. Going into the conference, world leaders, environmental scientists, and activists all stressed the critical nature of these talks, and how essential commitments to meaningful GHG reductions were to preventing climate catastrophe and and immense human deprivation. By this measure, and many others, the COP25 ended in absolute failure.

The problems at the COP25 were legion: from changing the location to avoid confronting human rights violations in Chile, to ignoring protestors and environmental activists in favor of fossil fuel industry lobbyists. Most fundamentally, though, the COP25 was a failure, because rich, developed countries refused to agree to mandatory GHG emissions cuts commensurate with the size of the crisis before us. Politicians are rarely leaders, but this intransigence seems wildly out of step with the people begging for action on the streets outside these conferences. Perhaps, these leaders think that mandating new standards would be political suicide. They are afraid of repeating the disaster of the fuel tax in France, which helped spark the massive "yellow-vest" protests. Not all mandates are equal, however, and as time passes, the enthusiasm for greater government action to prevent disaster has grown among the people. Even in America, led by a climate-denying mad-man the clamoring for such sweeping change should make leaders take note.

How much do you support or oppose a nationwide solar mandate? Strongly support: 32% Somewhat support: 38% Somewhat oppose: 16% Strongly oppose: 14%


That's right, 70% of Americans would support a mandate to put solar panels on all new housing built across the country! Americans know we need transformative change in our infrastructure and electricity generation and they want our government to lead the way. Our politicians should take head of this enthusiasm and realize the safest move politically is also the wisest for the future of our planet. The problem of course is that these politicians are listening to the wrong voices, it's fossil fuel companies and big finance that are in the rooms at COP25, not scientists and environmentalists. So, despite the deep popularity, of policies like a solar mandate on new buildings, strong policy remains UN-adopted. We know that these politicians are bought off by the very businesses, who are dragging their proverbial feet on this issue. If we are to bring democratic representation back to America, it will take a broad and enduring movement of people, demanding change and putting pressure on the powerful. We must do this for the sake of not just ourselves but all future generations! Join us every Tuesday, in growing solidarity and power until we take back our democracy from amoral special interests, and greedy politicians: Don't Shop on Tuesdays!

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