With an issue this big, we need people. POW is all about rallying what we call the ‘outdoor state’.’ That’s anyone who interacts with the outdoors and feels a connection to it. We want to be an outlet for those people to come together for the climate and demand policy change. If we can collectively come together and say, “We want leaders who are serious about climate action,” we can incentivize climate action and foster the energy that the issue demands.
Not everything we’re doing is glamorous, but it’s what it takes to create change. We’re phone banking, canvassing, writing letters and calling our elected officials because some of their biggest donors are still the fossil fuel industry. We’re working on Capitol Hill to bring the POW bill—what we internally call the ‘Outdoor State Bill’—to Congress. It focuses on reaching our clean energy goals through the responsible development of transmission to deploy affordable energy across the country and ensure benefits to host communities at no additional cost to the federal government.
If I could get on a bullhorn and send a message to every person, it would be this: Don’t let the fear win. Mobilize. Find a climate activism group that you relate to. There are tons of different ones out there. For example, my daughter and a couple of her friends started the first-ever voter registration group at their high school. In the US, traditionally, under-29 voters don’t show up to vote as much as the over-60 voters—but it’s worth noting that early midterm reports show that youth voters have recently turned out in record numbers. So we have to continue to mobilize and make it clear that we want elected officials who are all in on climate policy and totally embracing this transition to clean energy. Don’t let the fear get the best of you. Just take it one step at a time.
As told to Lauren Steele
The theme for Earth Day 2023 is ‘Invest in Our Planet.’ Find out more about how you can take action for Earth on the Earth Day website.