girl on rock overlooking a wide valley with farm land

A new day for climate action

Coming into the election, my biggest questions were these – would the system of checks and balances our republic is built on hold firm under such intense pressure? Would the will of the people be heard and respected?

In the end, this election showed how the heart of America beats and that we understand the immense challenges before us, including and especially the climate crisis. Citizens voted in record numbers, many enduring long lines in cold weather to cast their votes.

Secretaries of State, poll workers, and ballot counters showed up – regardless of political persuasion – and did their patriotic duty to protect the sanctity of the vote. Despite the disruptions we are experiencing on so many levels, Americans chose hope over fear and love over hate.  

The Paris Climate Accord

One of the news pieces that flew under the radar this past week was the United States’ official exit from the Paris Agreement. It took effect on November 4, the day after the election.  

But now we have a President-elect who understands the seriousness of the climate crisis and the need to take smart, aggressive, and urgent action. Soon we will rejoin our international partners to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and build climate resilience across the country. What a beautiful day it is! 

Geos Institute is Ready

Here at the Geos Institute, we have been planning for this day for four years. Just prior to the last election, we began developing our Climate Ready Communities program to help small to mid-sized and under-resourced communities with an “assisted do-it-yourself" climate resilience planning process. We built this program, tucking it in around funded work and paying for it with donations from individuals. 

Moving Forward

  • President-elect Biden’s team is using the plan developed by the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis as an anchor for its climate program. This plan includes much of what we put forward after co-leading a group with the American Society of Adaptation Professionals. 
  • I have advised staff members from the House Science Committee about how the federal government can provide climate data to local leaders and support groups like ours that are working directly with communities.  
  • We joined other climate groups across the state for a discussion about next steps for moving climate policy forward in this positive new environment.
  • In our Climate Ready Communities program, we are expanding our nationwide consulting network and broadening the scope to also help communities reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. Our goal is for Climate Ready Communities to be a full-service climate resilience program, accessible to everyone across the country. 

In short, we have been working to position ourselves for opportunities we see coming from the incoming Biden administration and are ready to do our part. 

Your support has made it possible for us to prepare for this historic moment. Thank you for all you have done and continue to do to help the Geos Institute move this important work forward. There is much work to do, but we are ready. 

-Tonya Graham