Climate Emergency Day: July 22, 2023

Jul 22, 2023 | PDA Blog

Global Day of Climate Action and Focus as Climate Clock Shows Humanity Now Has Less than Six Years to Stay Under 1.5°C

By Russell Greene

Dear PDA Family —

As the clock strikes 12 p.m. eastern today, Saturday, July 22, 2023, the countdown of the Climate Clock will fall below six years. Meaning, climate science tells us we now have less than six years to dramatically reduce fossil fuel emissions to stay below 1.5C degrees warming.

Even though this is not nearly news to me, it still somehow took the breath out of me. I expect you feel similarly.

Perhaps it is because it has always been so solvable. It just never occurred to me that we wouldn’t respond. The consequences of inaction – so obvious – so irresponsible- so inhuman. I remember the hope I felt as a boy when President Carter installed solar panels on the White House roof. (And the rage I felt when Reagan took them down.) The certainty that we would take action after Jim Hansen testified to congress in 1988 that the climate was in fact changing. The hope of Al Gore. The determination I felt to get the Climate Emergency Mobilization commitment into the 2016 Democratic Platform. The remarkable effort PDA and our climate emergency allies made to reach 103 Co-Sponsors on the Climate Emergency Resolution before the pandemic forced us to stop.

I am proud of the work we have done together at PDA to sound the Climate Emergency Alarm from the inside and outside – at the national, state and city level. I am grateful to each of you for the part you have played. To me, today’s Climate Emergency Day offers us a solemn opportunity to pause and reflect upon the work before us. I am hopeful that we can recommit our organizational wisdom and strength to once again set our eyes on not what is politically possible- but instead to push with all of our strength and influence and speak out loudly on the reality of what is necessary- reasserting our demand for a global whole of society mobilization to hold off the tipping points of the unfolding tragedy still before us. To commit ourselves to standing with, protecting and defending our sisters and brothers on the frontlines of this crisis, and all of the living things in harm’s way, as we ourselves prepare for this new reality of life in this new changed climate.

In addition to reflection, there are many ways you could participate in today’s Climate Emergency Day actions. People around the world will mark this moment with synchronized actions, bringing clocks from climate impact zones to the halls of power, demanding that governments and corporations #ActInTime to meet our climate deadline, and enact the real, system-wide solutions we need, with the future in mind.

A recent video recording of my poem Epitaph.