January 30, 2020
Your monthly dose of good news
about climate change.
This is a pivotal year for the climate crisis. We need ambitious climate policies, regulations, and international commitments to ensure a healthy future. Our first issue this year is a rallying cry to do something big even though it feels small: Vote. It may be the most consequential climate action you can take in 2020.
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Your Voting Checklist
Primary research. We recommend reading Everything You Need to Know for the 2020 Primaries . To find out where both Democratic and Republican candidates stand on the issues, check out this candidate issue tracker on CNN

Register to vote in time for the primaries. The Iowa caucuses kick off the primary voting season for both parties next week and extend through early June. Each state has different deadlines and rules for how to register, so check this handy chart for the last days you can register to vote in the 2020 primary elections in every state and how to do it

Get up to speed on your state and local elections. We can’t overstate how important down-ballot elections are. Since our federal government took a big ol’ snooze on climate action, cities and states have made great strides to implement solutions. This is your opportunity to choose candidates who will support a healthy, sustainable, and just future in your community.  State elections | Local elections | Look up your sample ballot
Democracy Can Free Us From Our Climate Change Groundhog Day
If you feel like we're caught in a recurring nightmare of bad climate decisions, you're not alone. This month we learned that 58% of Americans are either “alarmed” or “concerned” about climate change, and the “alarmed” cohort nearly tripled since 2014. Can you imagine if they all voted for candidates who would implement smart climate policies?
That, dear optimist, is why we’ve devoted this issue to democracy and also why we support creating a culture of participation, which you can read about here and here .

What does a culture of civic participation look like? 

  • High schools make registration a graduation requirement
  • Colleges and universities commit to registering and turning out 80-90% of students
  • All NPOs, schools, and businesses give paid time off to vote. 
  • Agencies that provide social services offer voter registration assistance
  • Mayors offer free public transportation on election day

And once we've nailed voting as a celebration, it's Democracy Sausages for everyone!
A Special Role For Health Professionals
Want to know what makes an office full of climate nerds yell “Boo-Yeah!” and pump the air with their fists? It’s this article by Harvard Chan School's Nancy Krieger , which calls on all health experts and organizations to encourage colleagues, staff, and study participants—basically everyone—to engage in civic participation.
We’re not saying it was our office of climate nerds cheering, but if it were, it's because it reads, “An extremely wealthy and powerful political minority has been spending lavishly to change the rules of the game to undermine the democratic majority, thereby making it increasingly difficult to protect people’s health and have a thriving democracy.” Mic drop.

Here are the practical steps you can take: 

  • Provide voter registration info 
  • Promote an accurate Census 2020 count
  • Prevent voter suppression 
  • Counter partisan gerrymandering
  • Create awareness of the health impacts of climate change 

What's at Stake for Climate This Year
Gina McCarthy, our Board Chair, shared what international mobilization on climate looks like. Every country must:
  • Take action and coordinate with all other countries
  • Develop individual plans for what they’re going to do, and how quickly they can do it
  • Measure accountability to make sure promises are kept
  • Coordinate investment strategies for new innovation
  • Work together for climate adaptation

Our job is to elect people who are up to this challenge.
Climate Stories to Help You Sleep at Night
We Interrupt This Issue to Bring You These Important Messages from Harvard C-CHANGE
Welcome to our new Advisory Board Members
 Led by Gina McCarthy, we welcome:

  • John Kerry, Former U.S. Secretary of State
  • Mary T. Bassett, Director, FXB Center for Health and Human Rights
  • Howie Frumkin, Former Dean U of Washington School of Public Health
  • Jeff Nesbit, Executive Director, Climate Nexus

Feb. 13: The Climate Crisis and Clinical Practice Symposium
Are you a healthcare provider? Be part of the first-ever symposium to bring together the leading health institutions around Greater Boston to tackle the effects of the climate crisis on clinical practice. 1:00 - 5:00 pm, Boston.

Call for Papers: Health Affairs Journal Special Issue on Climate and Health
Health Affairs is planning a climate-themed issue for December 2020 and is seeking policy-focused articles including original research, systematic reviews, and well-designed case studies that presents evidence and analysis.