Sometimes caring about an issue isn’t enough. You have to do something. It’s time to turn our concern about climate change — and yours — into action. Give A Flake mobilizes citizens to push hard for climate action. We've given our guests and industry magazine readers around the country a voice to speak up and reach out to elected officials that can spark real change on climate. We chose three particular Senators—Robert Portman (R-OH), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), and Susan Collins (R-ME). Why them?
Without saying much, this quote from the staff of a “climate denier” we spoke to in congress says it all —“You know, our boss isn’t stupid…” His point: “Look, we get that climate change is real. But there are some also some political realities around representing a district dominated by coal mining…”
The challenge in American politics is that the influence of fossil fuel money has tipped the scales so greatly that virtually no Republicans can acknowledge climate change. To do so is to forgo huge campaign dollars and possibly lose the next election (likely to someone even further to the right.) Most of these elected officials (even the radically anti-climate ones) know we’ve got a problem. But they are stuck.

Senator Lisa Murkowski is a great example. She has said that it’s time for her party to take climate seriously. She is not a science denier. And she has supported some clean energy legislation. But at the same time, she backed Scott Pruitt’s nomination, likely the worst possible thing that has happened to the climate in the last year. She voted to weaken the BLM methane rule, which fortunately survived her attack. She endorsed expanded oil drilling in the state, and in the Arctic Refuge. She’s got a 17% lifetime rating on environmental issues from the League of Conservation Voters. Climate is now such a big problem that little measures no longer count. But little measures are all Murkowski has supported.

Mailing letters to senate
Mailing letters to senate

The bottom line is that we won’t see climate progress in America unless more Republicans stand up and lead. Forward-thinking solutions are in the best interest of business and are a bipartisan topic. In virtually all cases, climate solutions prevent huge future expense from flood, fire, drought, heat, and save money in real time by replacing costly fuels with free ones. Indeed, it was just this sort of research that just won conservative economist William Nordhaus the Nobel prize.
Mailing letters to senate
Mailing letters to senate

So Give A Flake has targeted three Republican senators who have shown promise, but either haven’t started running with the torch, or need some support to do more.

Senator Susan Collins is the best—she’s been outspoken and even supported legislation around climate. We want to thank her for her leadership, but we’d like her to make climate a top priority, and urge her to bring others from her party on board.

Senator Rob Portman is the worst, having acknowledged climate science but niggled over whether the human impact has been “significant” or not. He needs to do a little more than nothing.

Senator Lisa Murkowski falls somewhere in the middle: she’s from a ski and snowboard state. Her nephew makes ski films. But she’s been nowhere near a leader on climate legislation.

These elected officials need a nudge from their constituents, and they need to feel political pressure to do more. And you, we, are the right people to give that nudge, or better yet a big push. The Federal Government calculates that the outdoor industry contributes $373 billion to the U.S. economy. That’s fully 2% of GDP, more than the oil and mining industries, and puts us in the same league as other big business, like pharmaceuticals. We have power. We just have to wield it. It's time to Give A Flake.
Published October 2018

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