Back to School: Planning for Climate Change Activism Success

[NB: Check the byline. /~Rayne]

Remember this? It’s still a pretty snappy little tune which handily teaches the barest essentials of the legislative process. My kids watched frequently when they were in K-2 grades so they could understand discussions at home about bills and legislation.

Unfortunately, it’s not enough to know that an idea begins the legislative process and it ends (some of the time) as a law. The stuff that happens in between these points is more complex than depicted in this cute little animated film. But young kids can understand far more.

I hope that whomever is coaching kids to lobby members of Congress explains more than what’s in this School House Rock video; the children who met with Senator Feinstein didn’t appear prepared. As a parent I think those kids had been manipulated as weapons against an ally.

I don’t care what your position is on Feinstein’s reaction or the kids’ presentation. Both sides were set up for failure.

I care that the effort ended up dividing the party most likely to take action on the Green New Deal.

I care that the effort was wasted and should have been directed at the true bottlenecks to dealing with climate change and the environment.

The truth — which most of you know already if you’re a regular reader or politically awake — is that the GOP majority in the Senate is the obstruction.

The truth is that the GOP as a whole has an abominable track record on environmental protection, from green energy to toxic waste and now on climate change.

Republican president Richard Nixon may be responsible for the Environmental Protection Agency’s inception, but for the last couple decades the GOP abandoned any claim to conserving the environment, preferring instead to suck up to fossil fuel producers. They’ve actively undermined the EPA, going so far as to submit a bill to end it, albeit unsuccessfully (and for this act, Matt Gaetz FL-1 should already have been removed by voters – what the heck is wrong with you Floridians?).

Could Democratic Senators improve their efforts? Certainly; there are a few whose record is below 70% on the League of Conservation Voters’ scoreboard for all environmental legislation, like Joe Manchin (WV) at 45%. With her 90% overall score, Dianne Feinstein is not among them.

But the Republicans clearly have plenty of room for improvement; only one GOP senator scores above 21% on all environmental issues including climate change. The worst GOP senators are:

Strange, Luther (AL)
Perdue, David (GA)
Ernst, Joni (IA)
Kennedy, John (LA)
Sasse, Ben (NE)

All five of these senators had lifetime scores of a staggering 0% according to the League of Conservation Voters. Chances are slim they will change their voting habits much since they appear firmly against any and all pro-environment legislation.

However the following Class II GOP senators are vulnerable on the environment and climate change issues because they are up for re-election in 2020:



2017 Score

Lifetime Score

Ernst Joni




Perdue David




Sasse Ben




Cotton Tom




Daines Steve




Rounds Mike




Cornyn John




Enzi Mike




Inhofe James




Cassidy Bill




McConnell Mitch




Risch Jim




Sullivan Dan




Tillis Thom




Gardner Cory




Graham Lindsey




Capito Shelley Moore




Collins Susan




Hyde-Smith Cindy


McSally Martha


Roberts Pat




Alexander Lamar




Note three of the absolute worst GOP senators on the environment and climate change are up for re-election. All of these Class II senators should be hammered for their performance to date, primary candidates who promise to vote with an eye to the environment should be encouraged to run against them, and their Democratic opponents aided (assuming they will promise to vote along party lines on the environment).

And yes, children should absolutely show up at their door steps and demand to know why these senators are selling out their futures, condemning children like them. Kids can easily understand that elected officials’ jobs are on the line in less than two years; they can tell these senators what they think of the job they’ve done so far and demand better.

The last four senators in the table above are special cases. Two are retiring, both Roberts (KS) and Alexander (TN); they have an opportunity to vote between now and the end of their term to favor the environment and to deter climate change. They should be pressed to do so. Their seats are open for the 2020 race and only candidates promising to vote for the environment should be supported.

McSally and Hyde-Smith don’t have scores at LCV yet. If they vote in line with their party, they need to go. Their Democratic opponents should be supported.

One last point: any entity filing paperwork to avoid paying taxes on revenues should be accountable to the public. That goes for environmental and climate change activism organizations filing as 501c3, 501c4, and PACs. They should have privacy policies and terms of service clearly posted on their websites if they are collecting email addresses and taking donations.

And if these activist groups are shepherding children anywhere, they had better have their organizational structure and team members listed on their site.

I certainly wouldn’t let any group I couldn’t identify fully use my children for their aims — especially if they aren’t doing a good job educating children on effective activism. I’d rather my family contacted its members of Congress directly and bypass any nonprofit organization which isn’t more transparent.

Congressional switchboard: (202) 224-3121

This is an open thread.

UPDATE — 12:15 P.M. ET —

Because apparently there are adults who need a goddamn picture to understand the problem:

The blue and pink parts of the Senate pie are willing to vote for climate change legislation. They have been friendly to the environment.

The red part of the Senate pie isn’t willing to vote for climate change, but it controls whether any legislation passes.

If you have a goddamn emergency needing legislation passed, there is NO WAY TO PASS IT unless you win over some of the red part of the Senate pie. By win over I mean persuade them now to vote on legislation, or vote them out and replace them with a climate-friendly candidate in 2020.

Further more, passing climate change legislation means not losing any of the blue or pink part of the pie.

A five-year old can understand this. So can a 16-year-old who will be 18 and eligible to vote in November 2020.

(Image source: Teen Vogue which is a damned fine media outlet.)

62 replies
  1. Rayne says:

    Still fuming about the episode this past week. Too many things were off about it. And I’d be furious if somebody used my kids like that, like a hostage or human shield just to embarrass a senior senator. Nobody won anything out of it except people who don’t care about climate change.

    • Drew says:

      But what is possible changes over time, and sometimes quite dramatically. A change in public perception of what is possible, necessary and desirable with regard to climate change (for instance) can drive electoral changes, those can change personnel in Congress, and what appeared impossible a few years, or even a few months previous now seems inevitable. [BTW I lived through the transition from the post-New Deal consensus through the Reagan Revolution-what seemed inevitable & essential in 1975 were gone and what seemed impossible then were implemented, to our detriment by the end of Reagan’s first term–as was the Prop 13 property tax cap in CA, etc. I also went to training at the New York State Department of Education in 1989, and the program officer assured us that the dynamics of state funding, etc. assured that a certain program & certain jobs would continue no matter what, no matter which party was in power, and they were gone, completely by 1992].

      The art, in the art of the possible, is envisioning possibilities with concrete ways of making those happen. Compromise is much misunderstood in this process by most people. It is never about regarding your opponents’ position as a given that must be accommodated, but about changing the realities so that there will be movement toward something compelling and workable.

      There is work to be done before the Green New Deal will be fully workable and compelling to enough of a consensus to make it become an institutional reality. However, that could be said of the New Deal or any of the major changes that have ever happened.

  2. cfost says:

    This is an important post. Your point about GOP obstruction (and, I would add, obfuscation) is key. Here, the topic is climate change. Elsewhere, the topics have included tobacco use, DDT (pesticides), opioids and addiction, and more. In each case there is a GOP/big business connection. In each case, there has been lying, disinformation, obfuscation, obstruction, etc. In each case there were significant corporate profits at stake.

    Facts and truth seem to pushed aside in the service of political expediency and corporate profits. (And lets be clear: most corporations have perhaps two or three majority stockholders.) Today Marcy retweeted Q. Jurecic’s article from 2017 wherein she asks what I think is one of the most important questions of our time: “Whom should we believe?” Because for the PR/propaganda/religion crowd, belief is far more fundamental than facts or truth.

    • Rayne says:

      This is another reason I am furious with how the children’s meetup with Feinstein was handled. If someone wanted to completely screw with kids’ perception of their ability to make change or to trust allies, they did a damned good job of it.

      • cfost says:

        I think the adults who were manipulating the kids were trying to frame the optics. (Optics before ethics; party before country; win the argument at all costs: sounds like R. Stone.) Feinstein saw it and was angry.
        On the optimistic side, my sense is that today’s kids, out of necessity, have very finely tuned BS detectors.

        • Jockobadger says:

          @cfost – You are absolutely right about kids and young adults these days having “very finely-tuned BS detectors.” I am the Dad of two boys, now 20 and 18 and in college. From the time they were toddlers, they amazed me at how remarkably tuned-in they were to their environment and goings-on around them (including occasional tension between their parents!) Both are now majoring in physical sciences and they are gravely concerned about climate change – they both hope to contribute to physical (and political) amelioration. Their friends are studying and working on environmental issues as well. None of them are fools and they recognize how daunting the problem is. I’m proud of all of them.

          On another note, are we expecting some sort of big US military response to the aid blockade in Venezuela? Something to distract from Cohen’s day in the sun? A bit of Regime Change? I hope it’s not hugely bloody. Anyway, thanks Rayne, et. al. JHC

        • JamesJoyce says:

          “…my sense is that today’s kids, out of necessity, have very finely tuned BS detectors.”

          No doubt; and as financial considerations become and more relevant and conditioned behaviors more entrenched the innate BS detectors stop working when learned behaviors trump logic and decency.

        • Jockobadger says:

          We’ll see. I’m more optimistic about them than you appear to be, but I love them and guess I’m biased. These guys seem to have different motivation(s) than I did at that age. Yep, I’m optimistic and biased.

          Enjoy the circus tomorrow.

  3. Patrick says:

    Climate change is a god damn emergency and these kids were not used. Feinstein is exactly what is wrong with the Democratic Party.  We don’t have 30 more years of incremental, bipartisan change to get a solution; that should have started when Feinstein first got into office. Her time is up and the childrens’ time is now.  What a ridiculous post.

    • Rayne says:

      Hahahahahaha yeah, let’s attack a senator with a 90% pro-environment score while 50 senators have always and continue to vote against anything to do with the environment.

      Why not beat on Collins who’s got a 63% score and is ripe for removal after her Kavanaugh vote?

      Perfect example. Thanks for making my point.

      • Geoff says:

        I feel like you are both right on this, as is Feinstein, sort of. From a practical perspective, Rayne is absolutely right, in that you have to play the hand you are chosen, get the obstructionists out of the way ASAP, so that means focus energies on booting those people up for immediate election. That is the short-term strategy. But I can also see how Patrick is right, because Feinstein’s message to those kids was a bit too practical and somewhat condescending and harsh, and could have been delivered much differently, without changing the message. The thing to say would be, look, here is what Ive done, and it is a lot more than others, but the next part should have been that she agrees that we must do something, and then should have made Rayne’s point, that you have to vote out the people that most strongly oppose any efforts to deal with this, and focus on the ones you can get out in the next vote. The part I disagree with is that Feinstein is an example of “everything wrong” – incrementalism in retrospect looks wrong, but you have to ask yourself how you got to that. And if incrementalism is the best you can get, well, then you get incrementalism. The point is, you have to do better in each increment!

        My apologies in advance if I misinterpreted anyone. (ducks)

        • Rayne says:

          It looks like incrementalism if every time you try for big you get slapped back and are forced to settle. Could even happen within her own party during times when the margin rested on coal-serving Manchin or back during the Bush years, vacillating Lieberman.

        • Geoff says:

          Yup, that is my point. Looking back it may appear to simply be the intention, baby steps, but that says nothing about what was desired or attempted, and then blocked. Which is why we need to get rid of the roadblocks so that those that want more than incrementalism can make some progress. Dont get me started on Lieberman. Ugh…

    • P J Evans says:

      How about beating up on the congresscritters who refuse even to think about it, or who, like Inhofe, refuse to see it at all? Feinstein is most likely in her last term, so I’m not going to try to get her out – she was just re-elected, so that’s five more years – I’d rather focus on those runnign NEXT year.

    • BillHicks says:

      “We don’t have 30 more years of incremental, bipartisan change”

      If we don’t have 30 years, then I suggest we make good use of the time and attack the GOP that denies the problem, not Democrats trying to solve it.

      Or do you suggest the problem can’t be handled by Democracy?

  4. Sandwichman says:

    This sorry episode speaks to your previous “All the news fit to treat badly” post. If it didn’t trend on Twitter; it didn’t happen (or even “if it didn’t trend for two days”). When the click-cycle drives the news, it also drives the forms of activism and political expression.

  5. cfost says:

    Part of every high school curriculum should include classes on a) the tactics of lobbyists, propagandists, advertisers and preachers, and b) how to do due diligence.
    To wit: Who/what is the “Sunrise Movement?” Whence their funds? Who is the woman seen in the video with the children? What is her relationship with those children? What is her relationship with Sunrise? Why were they visiting Senate offices, and why Feinstein in particular? Why did they publish the video, and how did they go about getting it widely disseminated? As you note, there is precious little on their website. While their ideals sound good, their tactics are quite fishy, and less than honest.

  6. fpo says:

    As a kid I remember skipping school to attend the 1st Earth Day gathering my home town. It’s been painful to witness the dismantling of much of what has been accomplished since those early days, and the lies and manipulation that have been fostered to rationalize it along the way. What a disgrace.

    Unfortunately, until positive environmental stewardship can be effectively linked with long-term, positive economic impact in the hearts and minds of the public, deniers/opponents will continue to have an easy time marginalizing the issue.

    A concise statement of what/why/how re the GND by the Dems is critical. The goal of national industrial/economic mobilization keyed to the environment, renewable energy sources, etc., – and confronting climate change as the real emergency that it is – shouldn’t be a threat to anyone. Especially when real jobs and opportunities come along with it. And yes, the time in now people. Take ten or fifteen minutes, get the facts and call/write/e-mail – whatever.

    A bit OT but, if I recall, Feinstein was one of the few that hit the Acosta/Epstein nail on the head when given the opportunity. Where the hell was the GOP herd on that one?

    • Eureka says:

      Re “A concise statement of what/why/how re the GND by the Dems is critical.”

      I think of:

      What do you want your American life to be?

      Also, invoking- or evoking- the idea of Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness works as a concise yet variably, positively, and infinitely-fillable concept.

      The difference is extensionalizing- listing all of the specific elements or traits of the GND (for example), or intensionalizing- defining with a concept or idea.

      Intensions like these could work in ads, maybe, with images of e.g. a large family/friends gathering outdoors in a park: human relationships, clean air and water, leisure time vs working to the bone, etc. Etc.

      *adding: I want to correct myself with the word ‘leisure’ which has been coopted WASP-work-ethic-style to contrast with work to mean something lesser. Can’t think of a better word in this edit window but having human relationships is obviously a crucial matter.

    • BillHicks says:

      One way to drive home the costs is to say you want to insure your coastal home against all Climate Change damages for next 20 years, and call for a quote.

      Flood Insurance premiums alone are heading for $20,000/year ($400K for 20 years) & I doubt you could insure a $500k home for under $1million.

      Everyone knows these risks.

  7. Pajaro says:

    Scene: School children enter the meeting (maybe even a full session of congress?) with assistants carrying several large water jugs filled with pennys (on dolly?). Stuffy congress critters smile awkwardly for the camera.

    School children: “Honorable Ms. Speaker, we learned that in Washington money speaks louder than words. We started a campaign in schools across the nation to gather pennies so that we may be heard. After all, it is we who will inherit the worst of the on-going disaster of Climate Disruption. So here, from millions of school children in America, is our collective voice: Congress, get busy and address this most important issue!”

    Murmur and few gasps from the assembled press, staff….

  8. silcominc says:

    Rayne, I keep thinking a massive weather event will occur that will change perceptions but your right – it is time to remove the fossils from the Senate who refuse to acknowledge reality. It is quite damning to see that the GOP is not only low scores but zero scores – are they getting paid that much from the merchants of death to deny reality? I guess so.

    • Tom says:

      We’re already having major upheavals in established weather patterns. The record breaking sub-zero temperatures across the Midwest this winter will no doubt be followed by record breaking heat waves this summer. How many Americans died from the heat last summer? The thing to do is keep hammering away at the reasons why this is happening and demand action from politicians.

    • Rayne says:

      Any chance you looked at a map of Hurricane Michael’s path this past autumn and compared it to Matt Gaetz’ district FL-1?

      He’s now in a climate caucus, but as far as I can tell this is a head fake to fool his district.

      Even a hurricane that wiped a big chunk of neighboring Florida clean wasn’t enough to persuade the moron.

    • Eureka says:

      According to a spot on ‘the “Koch-powered”* The Hill TV’ that I saw sometime this summer (maybe fall), republicans in areas affected by disastrous weather events are more likely to ‘believe in’ climate change, or however they had put it.

      *It might be “Powered by Koch” instead. Whatever, the sponsorship made me wonder how many ways they are on to try to convince people otherwise (tho as per the theme of this post, perhaps they just have to control the Rep$/Senator$ instead of the people and what they believe on this one).

  9. Bruce Stewart says:

    Just a minor quibble with what appears on the home page (while acknowledging that I did not see anything like it in the post itself): the EPA was first proposed by Richard Nixon and created by his executive order. The GOP was not always a subsidiary of Koch Industries on this, as it is today. I share your pain at the loss of what was. One small consolation is the overwhelming incompetence of the current EPA which is crippling much of what they are trying to do. This however is little or no help on the issue of climate.

  10. JamesJoyce says:

    Seems the very concept of representative government is again at stake. What Slave had the opportunity to ask a House member to present a bill on Capital Hill in 1857? Bill Browder sure got the Magnitsky Act going…

    “Browder brought the case to Senators Benjamin Cardin and John McCain, who proceeded to propose legislation.[6]”

    Maybe we should name any new deal energy bill “Anti-Going-Clovis Act,” akin to a Magnitsky Act? Same thing? Protecting the next life from murder?

    Of course with the “old energy monopoly” we can understand how judicial rulings have specific intent. The great Dred Scott was intentionally deprived protection of law to protect monopoly. A white man’s monopoly..

    An Antebellum Senate was more concerned with protecting certain rights while denying others any rights at all.

    The modern day energy monopoly, well entrenched; has its own “Oilbellum Senate.”

    This Senate leveraged by the “undue influence of money” will again protect certain rights while denying others any rights at all. Meanwhile all the climate risks is past on, like debt to future generations or 1000’s of dead Americans lying dead in American corn fields. Americans Impaled on Vlad Owned Russian Oil Rig is the vision.. Magnitsky stands in the way…

    This is gross negligence, by design again. Americans are being forced fed garbage to protect monopoly, again

    This guy below dealt with a lot of mud and death. He was flawed but human. Maybe we should listen to him and tell Trump to simply STFU…

    “It is the task of statesmanship to mold, to balance, and to integrate these and other forces, new and old, within the principles of our democratic system – ever aiming toward the supreme goals of our free society.”

    “Another factor in maintaining balance involves the element of time. As we peer into society’s future, we – you and I, and our government – must avoid the impulse to live only for today, plundering for, for our own ease and convenience, the precious resources of tomorrow. We cannot mortgage the material assets of our grandchildren without asking the loss also of their political and spiritual heritage. We want democracy to survive for all generations to come, not to become the insolvent phantom of tomorrow.”


    Looks like a faceplant to me Donald Trump. “Never mind the man behind the curtain.” said the all knowing Oz

    Repeated Face plants in historical pig’s shit are avoidable. Just got to know the history first I guess.

    Rayne Rules…

  11. DrFunguy says:

    h/t Charles Pierce.
    What do you all make of ruling a legislatures actions invalid because it was gerrymandered?
    Pierce says he expects it to be overturned fwiw.
    “NC judge throws out voter ID and income tax constitutional amendments…
    The North Carolina General Assembly is so gerrymandered that its members don’t truly represent the people of the state and thus should never have proposed constitutional amendments in the first place, Wake County Superior Court Judge G. Bryan Collins wrote in his ruling that was issued late Friday afternoon.”
    Ruling here:

    • Tracy Lynn says:

      @RWood the link you posted is missing a suffix, but I searched the Politico website and found it. (I wasn’t sure if I should post the link owing to tracking code considerations.)

  12. Andy Olsen says:

    Children should in no way be discouraged from asking a Member of Congress to act on public policy. The anger heaped upon these kids for having done so is fully wrong-headed. They did nothing wrong, nor the adults guiding them.

    Republicans are not the only ones who bear responsibility for our situation in the climate crisis, though they tend to be the worst actors. Democrats have, also, not done enough. Especially those who made their mark being a “moderate” who avoids bold policy. 30 years ago we knew climate change for the existential problem it is but too little has been done.

    All politicians need to feel pressure on climate. Half measures are not enough to deal with the physics of the situation. To paraphrase Dr Jim Hansen, we cannot negotiate with physics. We need bold measures.

  13. fpo says:

    Oh yeah – awesomeness from MW on the tele – well done!

    Only to be followed by – ‘…there’s good science on both sides…’ from the new nominee for UN ambassador, Kelly Craft. Well now, there’s a compelling argument.

    But I do like the ‘fill-in-the-blank’ talking points. Stick with those please.

  14. Cathy says:

    OT – Looks like the House is voting on H.R. 8 Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019 tomorrow (Wednesday).

    Reach out to your house reps – especially the Republicans…one of the best ways to combat NRA influence is by voicing support for such measures directly to congresscritters!

    Google “HR 8 2019” and notice the number of entries with headlines against the measure. The NRA fundraising may be in a trough, but still they never sleep…

    For some pointers on talking to Republican lawmakers:

  15. Cathy says:

    Another O/T for those who brought up in previous open thread concerns for kids separated from their parents at the border…

    “Thousands of allegations of sexual abuse against unaccompanied minors (UAC) in the custody of the U.S. government have been reported over the past 4 years, according to Department of Health and Human Services documents given to Axios by Rep. Ted Deutch’s office.”

    Further: “One of the documents given to Axios, embedded below, gives some detail about the allegations, although it only includes descriptions of the incidences for fiscal years 2015 and 2016. We also don’t know what happened to the accused staffers in fiscal years 2017 and 2018.”

    Grrr…Family Separation is, at very least, a twisted act

    • Cathy says:

      …and a child doesn’t need to be trafficked to be vulnerable. Given the imperfection of the existing infrastructure for unaccompanied minors, the idea of using separation as a deterrent for asylum-seekers has been akin to negligent-child-abuse.

      it’s quite in keeping with the Trump Administration’s approach to ACA – the solution to them was to make dealing with health care so horrific that voters would welcome repeal of existing law with relief.

      They’re hostage-takers by preference.

      OK, end of rant.

    • BillHicks says:

      Family separation is evil. Toddlers often forget their mother within 6 months of seperation, while older kids lack the ability forget the trauma and often view extended separation as either abandonment by mother or fault of the kid.
      I recall being taunted in school after admitting that I had not seen my mother and sister my parents divorced.
      “Sorry, kid but you must have been too ugly to keep. Most mothers don’t abandon their kids after two years, so there must have been something really bad about you”

      After about 50 years, I found that my father had deliberately kept me from my mother & sister.

      • Cathy says:

        One of the knock-on effects of the opioid crisis has amounted to an assault on families with kids – so many kids who have lost one or both parents to the addiction, even without becoming literal orphans. That stark reality is apparently responsible for “the most extensive overhaul of foster care in nearly four decades.”

        According to a Pew Trust write-up on The Family First Prevention Services Act, signed into law Feb 2018 and due to take effect this year,

        “[Family First] prioritizes keeping families together and puts more money toward at-home parenting classes, mental health counseling and substance abuse treatment — and puts limits on placing children in institutional settings such as group homes…


        Before the enactment of Family First, states got reimbursed for foster care through funding provided by Title IV-E of the Social Security Act — and that money could be used only for foster care, adoption or family reunification.”

        The article goes on to note that implementing the law at the state level will be challenging and there are concerns that not all kids will see their conditions improve.

        But at least Family First attempts an intervention before the family falls apart, instead of just trying to sweep up pieces afterward.

        • Cathy says:

          So the mention in the previous thread was a prescient observation by @Peacerme, February 24, 2019 at 5:55 am, that the apparently slapdash system by which the US maintains custody of immigrant children “is ripe for exploitation” by human traffickers. @Rayne responded with an observation that the children were at risk for exploitation even if no sexual abuse were involved.

          According the Pew Trust article, The Family First Act does *NOT* eliminate foster care. It does attempt to limit group home stays by providing federal funding for no more than two weeks…

          “The group home provision comes after the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issued a 2015 report showing that 40 percent of teens in foster care group homes had no clinical reason, such as a mental health diagnosis, for being there rather than in a family setting. Child welfare experts saw this as more evidence that group homes were being overused. Children’s average stay in a group home is eight months, the report found.”

          Link to previous thread:

      • P J Evans says:

        Friend’s mother’s parents went through a really ugly divorce, back in, AIUI, the 1920s. Both sides were forbidden to communicate with the other, so she never met her brothers after that time. (IMO, friend’s mother had problems dating back to her childhood and things her mother did.)

      • Cathy says:

        Even those classmates recognized the vulnerability of kids in divorce – in that brutal way that kids can deal with a peer’s vulnerability.

        It’s shameful the Trump Admin thought it was ok to induce that sort of vulnerability wholesale. Especially as another part of the government was acknowledging the need to shore up families under stress.

  16. Silence Hand says:

    In my experience the only thing that seems to get sustained attention, and occasional legislative progress, is charismatic fauna keeling over and disappearing. The odd hurricane, drought, fire, well…whatever. They come, they go! But things like elk, butterflies, etc – potent symbols, and ones that the kids of all people get into thinking about.

  17. Cathy says:

    Today the Bipartisan Background Check Act of 2019 (H.R. 8) passed the House 240-190.

    Per (

    “‘We proved that gun safety is no longer a third rail of American politics—it’s a winning issue,’ Everytown [for Gun Safety (] said Wednesday following the bill’s passage.

    Everytown for Gun Safety Victory Fund spent $30 million on *local*, *state* and federal races in 2018. It spent a majority of its $5.1 million in outside spending backing the successful campaign of Rep.Lucy McBath (D-Ga.), a former national spokesperson for the group who lost her son to an act of gun violence.

    The group reportedly spent $400,000 in advertising and sponsorships *asking people to contact their representative* about the bill.


    This time around, the bill actually got support from *eight Republicans* — Reps. Vernon Buchanan (R-Fla.), Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.), Brian Mast (R-Fla.), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.), Will Hurd (R-Texas), Peter King (R-N.Y.), Chris Smith (R-N.J.) and Fred Upton (R-Mich.). [*my highlights*]”

    Enhanced Background Checks Act of 2019 (H.R. 1112) floor vote scheduled for tomorrow (Thurs).

    • Cathy says:

      Thursday the Enhanced Background Checks Act of 2019 (H.R. 1112) passed the House 228-198.

      Republicans voting for:
      Chris Smith (NJ-4)
      Peter King (NY-2)
      Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-1)

      Democrats voting against:
      Jared Golden (ME-2)
      Xochitl Torres Small (NM-2)
      Anthony Brindisi (NY-22)
      Kendra Horn (OK-5)
      Ben McAdams (UT-4)
      Ron Kind (WI-3)

  18. Michael Keenan says:

    Have your kids walk out of school March 15th with Greta. Based on this poll the youth 18-30 say that not enough is being done.
    27. Do you think California is doing enough to address climate change, doing too much, or
    do you think more needs to be done to address climate change?

    Also It appears that Feinstein’s climate draft did not respond to latest IPCC’s special report thus giving short thrift to kids future.

    I have dreaded the thought of witnessing this catastrophe since I first helped to get the first Earth Day off the ground. I would rather spend the remaining days with my children than send them to school. No future belies the need for school. I Stand With Greta.

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