Shock and disappointment. Like you, that's how all of us here at NRDC are feeling after witnessing Tuesday’s election results.
Hillary Clinton, a climate champion, lost. Donald Trump, who embraces fossil fuels, has vowed to roll back the Paris accord, and calls climate change a hoax, has won. Feeling shell-shocked is an appropriate response.
But we will not let that shock linger or, worse yet, turn to despair. We are going to transform it into concrete, planet-affirming action. Know this: NRDC will fight for our environment, for our climate, and for our shared clean energy future—harder than we ever have fought before.
Donald Trump ran on one of the most stridently anti-environment platforms of any recent major-party nominee, but now he is the president-elect. Analysts will sort out why people pulled the lever for this man. However, this much is equally clear. Whatever Americans voted for, it was not to turn back the clock on the environmental progress we've achieved over the last eight years under President Barack Obama.
It was not to continue allowing big polluters and their climate-denying allies in Congress to pillage our natural heritage and our planet for profit. It was not to walk away from the Paris climate agreement, the promise of clean energy and desperately needed progress on fighting climate change here at home. And it certainly was not to deny our fellow Americans their basic right to safe drinking water, clean air, and healthy communities simply because of their income or skin color.
So it's time for every American—Republican, Democrat, and Independent alike—to stand and defend our environment and health.
Yes, right now, shock will prevail. But prepare yourself, because tomorrow the battle for all the environmental values we hold dear will begin. And we must be ready.
You can take heart from this: Over the past 45 years, thanks to your support, we have fought—and won—uphill battles before. We succeeded in stalling, blocking, or sinking the worst attempts by past presidents like George W. Bush and Ronald Reagan, senators like Mitch McConnell and congressmen like Newt Gingrich to dismantle some of our nation's most cherished environmental laws, to privatize our public lands, to open our treasured wild places to destruction at the hands of the oil, mining, and logging industries.
And let me tell you, the Trump administration will have to contend with an NRDC that wields a far more potent combination of grassroots activism, courtroom power, lobbying expertise, and media outreach than we ever have had before. Donald Trump will also have to contend with the more than 2.4 million NRDC members and activists who will not tolerate selling out our environment, our health, our natural resources, and our children's future for profit and extreme ideology. And on the issue of catastrophic climate change—the defining challenge of our generation—failure is not an option.
In the meantime, we must ensure that President Obama—who has become an inspired and inspiring climate champion—does whatever he can in the remaining days of his presidency to put in place even tougher safeguards for our climate, our public lands, and our wildlife.
In the weeks ahead, I will report back to you in more detail on NRDC's action plan for defending our environment during the first 100 days of Donald Trump's presidency—and beyond.
But I can share one key element of that plan right now: You. We're counting on you to stay the course with NRDC. We need your outrage. We need your focus. We need your activism. We need your support. Are you in?