Climate Mobilization: The First Since Trump’s Election

Climate change is fueling extremism, raising tempers along with temperatures

By Kate O’Rourke

The United States is experiencing an unprecedented level of climate change. As the effects of climate change extend across the country, climate activists have been reacting. Activists have set up camp in state capitols, at the state capitol in Madison, Wisconsin, and in the White House Rose Garden.

Their activism has been fueled by two things: political anger over President Donald Trump’s environmental policies—especially his threats to withdraw from the Paris Agreement—and the Trump administration’s use of the EPA as a means to implement its own political agenda. The White House also has taken advantage of the confusion in the scientific literature—misdirection that some climate scientists call “denialism”—by distorting the scientific record, promoting outright lies, and fabricating evidence of climate change.

As the climate situation and the related political crisis become even more intense, some climate scientists want to understand the forces that are propelling climate change and the environmental movement. That process is called “climate mobilization.”

The first big wave of climate mobilization began with the 2013–17 Green River coalitions and ended with the 2017 Climate Mobilization to Save the Planet to End the Trump Presidency. That is the current climate mobilization—the first since Donald Trump’s election. This mobilization was driven in large part by the United States Climate Action Network (USCAN) and a number of other climate-oriented groups.

Climate mobilization can also be categorized by the type of organization that participates in it. The United States Climate Action Network (USCAN), for example, is a membership-based organization with the goal of mobilizing the public to understand the science behind climate change. Its members, which include the Sierra Club, the ACLU, the Wilderness Society, the Sierra Club Legal Defense Fund, the Sierra Club, the National Wildlife Federation, the Institute for Policy Innovation, and the National Council for Science and the Environment, are primarily climate scientists and engineers, but they have also drawn from the ranks of the American public, environmentalists, and policy experts.

The Climate Mobilization is a global social movement, with many organizations participating in it, such as the World Bank and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). But in most countries, the organizing is led and directed by the United Nations.

In other countries, climate mobilization often goes through a long process of political debate, with different actors and agendas dominating

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