The end of October is a crucial time in the fight to steer humanity off a path of self-destruction.
- Humanity’s current course will soon lock in at least 3 degrees Celsius of climate warming (about 5 and half degrees Fahrenheit). One study calculates economic impacts of $551 trillion if the world warms by 3.7C. That is more money than exists on earth. By taking dramatic action to tackle the problem, we may still be able to limit warming to 1.5C. The damages are calculated to be 10x less at that level but still cost $54 trillion. (reference)
- These dollar amounts alone do not convey the devastating impacts ahead for humanity if we do not take immediate, disruptive action.The difference between 1.5C and 3C of warming will determine whether an additional 300 million people living in coastal regions are displaced from their homes, and whether some cities are merely damaged or lost completely, including New York and Miami (reference). Those numbers determine how we will all be impacted by fires, flooding, storms, and food and supply chain disruption no matter where we live.
- To meet the magnitude of this crisis, the Build Back Better bill under negotiation in Congress originally proposed critical policy changes and spending (merely!) $3.5T (over 10 years, or $350B/year), paid for completely by taxes on corporations and the wealthy. The subset of changes dedicated specifically to climate action are widely supported and may be enough to put us on the path to 1.5C. $350 billion a year would be a small amount to pay for an enormous boost to the viability of our civilization, alongside other changes with broad appeal to the public. (reference)
- Whatever that top-line number ends up being after negotiations are complete, the critical factor is that a focus on climate action remains central, and that our strongest policy changes start NOW… Despite the popular desire for this plan to succeed, the entire bill is under threat by the 52 Senators who are refusing to take the action needed, including two Democrats and all Republicans.
There are elements here that are touchstones of Jewish history: Refugees. Social justice. Tikkun olam… The climate crisis needs every Jewish voice speaking out and demanding a commitment to action. We have three calls to action for TVCJ members today:
- Please make one call to Congress: https://call4climate.com/
It doesn’t matter that we live in a blue state with Democratic Senators. They must hear our voices to know how strongly they must fight against those who would stop, delay, or water down climate action. Senator Diane Feinstein in particular has been cavalier about climate action, and claims it’s because she never hears from her constituents about it. We must change that!
- Please consider the Youth vs Apocalypse Climate Event on Friday, October 29th, and future events.
Our kids have the most to gain or lose in the climate fight, and it’s not too early for them to get involved in demanding a better future. Talk to your kids about the youth-led movement, and support them if they want to participate. If you’d like to coordinate with other people from TVCJ who will attend the mural-painting and march in San Francisco on October 29th, mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Please consider “liking” the Facebook profile for Dayenu.
The TVCJ Board is working to coordinate more closely with other Jewish organizations for climate action through Dayenu. Increasing their Facebook presence helps further that goal.