The people of the House of Commons know how to save the world

To the House of Commons:

We are all weary. Us. You.

As you resume winter business, we know that you have your eyes fixed on midterm elections as your last public act before the one on Dec. 11. We can agree on nothing else. You voted down health reform. We don’t dare.

For most of you, this is probably the first time you have engaged with a discussion of our concerns. In an era when Trump and Brexit throw facts and reality into the gutter, the enormity of yours is overwhelming.

Our position may feel out of place, but since all of you represent great cities and great counties, you have a vital position to play. When can we tell you that we are your best chance to save the planet?

You all have power to improve the trajectory of the next decade and beyond. We’re not asking you to betray American voters who favor cap-and-trade or carry out a socialist socialist agenda. We’re simply asking you to use it.

You have more constitutional authority than you know. You can join forces with pro-science majorities in the United States Congress. You can do a deal that destroys or postpones Keystone XL or replaces it with a carbon-pricing road to a more sustainable economy. You can build the green belt of pipelines and highways that would connect the United States and Canada. Or you can choose to reward your fossil-fuel allies with continued support for any projects that pollute our land.

This kind of power is rare in our current political environment. The Republicans, with the help of the Congress-hating Russia Deep State, prevented the strongest climate bill from even coming to a vote. It’s just not part of their usual game of politics and fossil-fuel buying. The Democrats made a serious play for the climate issue this summer, but when something wasn’t perfect, you threw them out and reigned in the clean energy vote. You pretended to back the Clean Power Plan, but really you opposed it, allowing Trump to renege on his promise. You allowed transportation inaction to become a party priority. No wonder the young are fed up.

In spite of all your sweeping defeats, you have some formidable tools. You can pass climate bills that actually control energy usage and carbon output — if only you actually feel like it. You could use your now-remained authority to provide funds to nearly every community that wants it, because you still have land that you own and can legislate. You have hundreds of millions of dollars in your treasury through Parliament actions. And one way or another, there are hundreds of thousands of your fellow citizens who are devotedly asking for you to act, and if you could try to take action in tandem with countries in our shared area, we could show the world that we can be partners for the good of the planet.

We’re asking you for a modest boost. Pass climate bills that do no harm. Act as a citizen parliament. Decide for yourself. Speak for those without a voice. Take risks for the good of our world.

It’s not easy. Politics has taken a back seat to business, to connecting with your communities, and to politics of fear, anger and xenophobia. If any legislator could get you to the American House of Commons, it’s you.

Leave a Comment