Month 9, Day 12: In Some Parallel Universe, We Got Off Fossil Fuels in 1935.

Well, there are small mutterings that the Senate might try to pass a drastically stripped-down version of climate legislation in the lame duck session post-November. To wit, a Renewable Energy Standard, which would provide specific targets for alternatives to fossil fuels, and encourage them with tax credits.

Sometimes I think that writing to Harry Reid will actually put a jinx on it. Then I remember two things. First: I’m not superstitious. Second: Harry Reid has been wimping out on legislation for far longer than I’ve been writing letters.

Sorry, kids. It’s been fun.

Dear Senator Reid,

Environmentally aware citizens have had a steady diet of disappointment over the course of the past eighteen months. We knew that nothing would happen under a Bush presidency, but we did have hopes that the Obama administration would be able to muster the energy and political momentum to get wide support for meaningful climate legislation. Instead, we have witnessed failures of will from Democrats, exacerbated by failures of conscience and intellect from Republicans.

Now we are simply hoping that a single small crumb remains of what could have been a nourishing meal. What’s left of our aspirations for climate legislation? A Renewable Energy Standard.

Such a standard would be America’s first long-term policy supporting clean energy. Without such a policy, investors cannot plan for the long term; infrastructure cannot be developed; markets cannot be nurtured. When we do finally decide to get serious about climate change, we’re going to need those long-term plans, that infrastructure, those markets.

While we dither, China has left us behind; a recent study confirms that China is now the world leader for clean energy investment — a position that once was ours.

An R.E.S. would trigger investments and create jobs — not just jobs rebuilding older infrastructure, but jobs and opportunities for our country’s workers that will keep growing in the decades to come. We need a clear and unambiguous policy signal from our government: clean and renewable energy is the future of America, and we believe in our country’s future.

Please ensure that a Renewable Energy Standard comes to the floor of the Senate. It’s not what we were hoping for, a year and a half ago. But we’ll take it gladly.

Yours Sincerely,

Warren Senders

Month 8, Day 25: Hey, Exxon! I’m Talkin’ to YOU!

Abandoning world peace for the moment, I return to admonishing our Corporate Overlords. This one went to the NYT in response to a very good (read: very depressing) op-ed by Thomas Homer-Dixon.

The corporate sector’s inability to acknowledge the urgency of addressing the climate crisis may well doom them in the long term. While strong climate legislation may bring a dip in quarterly profits for a few of the world’s largest companies, failure will ensure that the only corporate entities remaining will be those whose profitability springs from worldwide disasters and misery. Any business serving healthy humans and healthy societies is destined to fare poorly in a world buffeted by unpredictable weather catastrophes.

Conservative politicians and their media enablers have expended extraordinary amounts of energy in obscuring the simple facts of global climate change. A social movement this dedicated to ignoring reality does not bode well for the rest of the world. It’s a pity we can’t run generators on obfuscation, misdirection and mendacity.

Warren Senders

Month 6, Day 25: Okay, I’m In.

Well, I just read this story by RL Miller at DK. She shows signs of optimism that Harry Reid will be able to pull something off. I sure hope so. Friday and this weekend I’m going to try to send this as a fax to every senator. All 100 of ’em. If Harry’s ready to gamble, so am I.

UPDATE, FRIDAY 3 PM: I’ve faxed forty (40) senators so far. Looks like I’ll be done by tomorrow. Yay me.

Dear Senator — I sent a fax earlier this week, urging your support for a genuinely robust bill that addresses the terrible threat of climate change. This fax is going both to members of the Democratic and Republican caucus. I will address each party separately.

Republicans: Now is not the time to play politics. Now is the time to be attentive to a genuine threat to our nation’s security. The U.S. Military and the C.I.A. both recognize the potential dangers of a world transformed by catastrophic global warming — why doesn’t the Republican Party? I know Rush Limbaugh doesn’t believe it, and I know James Inhofe doesn’t believe it. The thing is, they’re wrong. Climate change is real, it is caused by human behavior, and the question our country faces is whether to address it now, or wait for it to reach horrifying extremes. Do we deal with it when it shows, or when it blows? Please support a strong climate bill.

Democrats: A climate bill is a jobs bill. The technologies needed to get the American people and the world off fossil fuels once and for all can be developed here in the U.S.A. Where is our faith in American initiative, innovation and inspiration? When did we go from being a “can do” society to being one that complains, “it’s too hard”? A powerful climate bill will effect an economic transformation. Please support such a bill.

Whether we pass this bill or not, “Business As Usual” is no longer an option. Our ways of energy consumption are going to change. The only question is whether we change them voluntarily, with enthusiasm and a spirit of national unity and optimism — or whether they’re changed for us, by an out-of-control climate and a poisoned ocean. The choice is yours.

Yours Sincerely,

Warren Senders