Month 2, Day 14: John Kerry Gets a Valentine

It’s getting easier to dash these off. As I predicted, I now have a stock of rhetorical devices and constructions that can be strung together to set off whatever new material I’m including. Here, for example, I’m asking Kerry to co-sponsor Bernie Sanders’ wonderful “10 Million Solar Roofs & 10 Million Gallons of Solar Hot Water Act,” and calling his attention to Bill Gates’ recent statements on energy. These two nuggets are set in a nest of apocalyptic boilerplate.

Dear Senator Kerry —

Thank you for all your efforts in advancing the cause of meaningful legislation on climate change. This issue is without doubt the most important existential threat humanity has ever faced. Yet a significant proportion of the American public doesn’t believe it’s happening.

Our population’s tragic indifference to the fate of the planet is partly the fault of the media, which is obsessed with short-term phenomena, and partly the fault of our corrupt political system. When the time lag between climate action and climate effect is five or six times longer than the electoral cycle that rules the life of a U.S. Senator, we can see why it’s always “never the right time” to deal head-on with the issue of global warming.

And when Washington is under many feet of snow and the Republicans are mocking Al Gore on the Capitol lawn? It must be incredibly frustrating.

Please don’t give up. Keep speaking out. Keep working to educate your constituents and audiences around the country. We need to have advocates for even stronger climate measures than are presently on the table; our goal should be atmospheric CO2 in the 350 ppm range. Bill Gates just stated that we should stop all CO2 emissions by 2050, and this is a laudable goal. There is no greater threat to all of us than runaway climate change; Dr. James Hansen’s worst-case scenario can be summed up in one word: Venus.

I urge you to co-sponsor Senator Sanders’ proposed “10 Million Solar Roofs & 10 Million Gallons of Solar Hot Water Act” legislation. That’s a great place to begin: by putting people to work and transforming our country’s energy equation.

Thank you again for your commitment to confronting climate-change issues. It is crucial for our children’s children and their children’s children in turn that we take effective action now. There will not be an opportunity to try again if we screw it up.

Yours Sincerely,

Warren Senders

Year 1, Month 1, Day 12 (a): a Quick Fax to Senators Kerry and Kirk

There’s some excitement about Lisa Murkowski’s proposed amendment to an upcoming bill dealing with raising the national debt ceiling, and CREDO sent out an email blast asking us to tell our Senators to oppose it. Her amendment will weaken the enforcement abilities of the EPA, making the Clean Air Act a hollow shell of its former self. Needless to say, that’s a bad thing, and Murkowski’s a bad influence.

This came concurrently with 1Sky’s “Day to Call the Senate” or whatever it was they called it, so I dashed off a quick fax covering both issues to my Senators, Kerry and Kirk.

Dear Senators Kerry and Kirk,

Please vote against the Murkowski amendment on the debt ceiling bill scheduled to come to the floor on January 20th. We need robust enforcement of the Clean Air Act!

Also, now is the time to move forward on meaningful environmental legislation to deal with the threat of global climate change. Kerry-Boxer and Waxman-Markey are good starts, but we need to reduce atmospheric CO2 to 350 ppm, not 450 as these bills stipulate.

Thank you,

Warren Senders

Not eloquent, but it said what needed to be said. Faxed to both of Kirk’s offices and all of Kerry’s, with the exception of the Springfield office, which appears to have been decommissioned.

Oh, and I also called Kerry’s offices and basically read this to his staffers over the phone.

Need I say that it is a terrifying thought that Republican buffoon Scott Brown is as close as he is to gaining control of Ted Kennedy’s old Senate seat? WTF?

Year 1, Month 1, Day 5: A Fax to John Kerry

Dear Senator Kerry,

I’ve lived in Massachusetts all my life, and I’m proud to have you as my senator. Thank you for your efforts in the area of global climate change, which is surely the most important issue facing America and the world. I wish I could say that America’s response to the climate crisis has been adequate and admirable; alas, that is not the case. We need to have administrative and political recognition that a meaningful policy on atmospheric CO2 is one that reduces atmospheric ppm to 350 or below; it is my understanding that both Kerry-Boxer and Waxman-Markey set a target of 450 ppm. Not enough; not enough; not enough. I am sufficiently cynical that the debacle in Copenhagen did not surprise me; I am sufficiently naive that I continue to believe that our system of government may be able to address this terrifying problem competently in the years to come. It had better; time is running out for all of us.

Yours Sincerely,

Warren Senders

I write my faxes out longhand, on the back of previously used paper. Fortunately I developed legible handwriting many years ago.

After I finish typing out the text for this post, I’ll copy it into Kerry’s email form, so he’ll get it digitally…and of course I’ll put the original hard copy in the mail to him. I got through to fax machines in all his offices except for Springfield, where it just rang and rang.

Kerry’s Fax numbers:

Washington D.C.:(202) 224-8525
Boston: (617) 248-3870
Springfield: (413) 736-1049
Fall River: (508) 677-0275

Why don’t you write to your senator?