Every week, Playboy, with journalist Lilly Dancyger and Creatives for Progressive Action—a national community of artists, filmmakers, writers and activists using their influence and voices to pursue meaningful and measurable progressive action—will deliver a timely overview of global and domestic political events, controversial policy changes, elections, campaigns and government happenings that deserve our attention and citizen action. From bite-size activism to in-person engagement, our goal is activate the marginalized, make our voices heard and ultimately win the fight for social justice for all. From protecting free speech and freedom of identity to safeguarding freedom of (and from) religion and a free press, both here at home and around the world, we will promote the ideas and values that support equal representation for all under the law. Now get out there and make a difference.
THIS WEEK: Hug a Tree or Two, Because Climate Change is Real
Climate change experts will tell you we’re at a tipping point. If we don’t stop destroying the environment now, this planet will be screwed—and so will human beings and everything else that lives here. Unfortunately, there are still people out there who don’t believe that climate change is a thing. (Or at least, don’t believe that it’s a problem, or that we’re causing it.) Our current president is in this woefully misguided camp.
There’s been a lot of talk about how unsuccessful President Donald Trump’s first 100 days have been, but if his goal is to completely cripple environmental projections and ensure humanity’s firey doom, then his presidency has been a smashing success. In the past few months, Trump, who once referred to climate change as “a hoax from China,” has picked a climate-change denier to helm the EPA, promised to dismantle Barack Obama’s climate regulations, ordered a review of regulations on auto-emissions and announced that he’ll sign yet another executive order a White House official told Reuters “builds on previous executive actions that have cleared the way for job-creating pipelines, innovations in energy production and reduced unnecessary burden on energy producers.“
If any of those actions stress you out, you’re not alone. In fact, you can join thousands of like-minded people at the People’s Climate March this weekend. For information about the People’s Climate March in Washington, D.C. this Saturday, April 29—as well as sister marches around the country—check out this website. Then show up, and make it undeniable that the majority of Americans believe in climate change and want to stop it, because, as Neil deGrasse Tyson said, “The good thing about science is that it’s true whether or not you believe in it.”
Last week, thousands marched around the world urging the embrace of science. This coming weekend, protesters have a more specific version of a similar plea: Believe in climate change. And do something about it.
If you can’t make it to any of the marches, or even if you can and you still want to do a little more, here are a few more ways you can help stabilize the climate and protect the environment this week:
Tell the EPA to fight to keep air quality legislation in place. Trump has argued that air quality legislation is harmful to businesses because it requires them to take costly measures to avoid destroying the environment. The EPA is asking for public feedback on whether or not air quality legislation is important, and we need to make sure they receive more comments from people who understand that pumping CO2 into the air will choke this planet to death than from people who have bought into Trump’s Business First agenda.
Plant some flowers that bees love, to help keep the population of honeybees from dwindling further. Without bees, human beings will starve. They pollinate 71 of the 100 crops that make up 90 percent of the food we eat, and they’re dying out at really alarming rates thanks, in large part, to pesticides from companies like Monsanto. The Honeybee Conservancy has great tips and info on growing “bee gardens.”
Join the #RefusetheStraw movement by avoiding plastic straws, which take 200 years to break down (and remain toxic even then). We all know by now that we shouldn’t be using plastic water bottles, but even something as simple as sipping your iced coffee or vodka soda straight from the cup can make a difference.
Trump stayed firm in his position that the environment is less important than short-term financial benefits for big businesses. So we need to stay firm in ours, that the environment is worth protecting, that humans are causing climate change, and that we have the power to stop.
Have an issue you’re particularly passionate about? Maybe it’s anti-racism, or LGBT rights, or the environment, or women’s issues? Email Kristen Murtha, firstname.lastname@example.org, to get involved in this organization and to have it featured in this series.