This piece originally appeared in our Summer 2021 newsletter, “Wild at Heart.” Read the entire newsletter here.
There’s a question taped to the wall in my office that I refer to every morning. It reads: Each of us must experience one of two pains—the pain of discipline or the pain of regret. Which pain will you choose? In running WildEarth Guardians, I aim to choose the disciplined path, prioritizing the most difficult, important, and impactful work every day.
As a nation, we face the same pain point decision in addressing the climate crisis. Either we must choose the heroic path—transforming our economy to decarbonize—or we must face the grim realities of a world destabilized by our worsening climate emergency.
When President Biden issued the Executive Order enacting a moratorium on the sale of oil and gas underneath America’s public lands, he said we need to raise our “climate ambition.”
For more than a decade, WildEarth Guardians’ bold position on keeping fossil fuels in the ground has defined ambitious, supply-side climate policy. Now comes the choice point for leaders at the state and federal level. Will our leaders embrace the hard realities of this moment, or will they ignore the climate emergency?
I used to say the crisis would be faced by generations ahead. Then I said decades ahead. Today, because the climate emergency is here, I say the time is now. The latest evidence is the heat dome in the Pacific Northwest.
With this urgent reality, Guardians is applying relentless pressure in the courts and on elected officials in the American West—including especially the Governors of Colorado and New Mexico—to increase their climate ambition and aggressively oppose the powerful oil & gas industry. We believe a good place to start is a call for an end to the further sale of oil & gas leasing from public lands.
WildEarth Guardians will continue to push industry, the Biden administration, Congress, and state officials to ensure the pain of decarbonization comes now rather than the pain of a worsening climate emergency in the years ahead.
Please do your part for climate action: Urge President Biden to keep dirty fossil fuels in the ground on public lands and ask your members of Congress to co-sponsor and pass the Keep It In The Ground Act.