The 2020 Climate Election, Jay Inslee & Me

Felix Kramer
Jun 5 · 12 min read
Climate candidate Jay Inslee says our campaign for plug-in cars gave him inspiring visions of what’s possible.

Wow! We’re having a climate election!

A 10-minute tale: how we got here & how far we could go…

What if climate advocates support Jay Inslee’s campaign now?

Even if I didn’t have a personal story to share, would you consider pausing right now, contributing to the Jay Inslee for President Campaign, then resuming reading? Your even small donation, and your asking others to join you, can help ensure that 2020 is a Climate Election. It will give Inslee the donors tally and the resources to get so people everywhere talk more and more about acting and voting on climate.

The Inslee Campaign story so far

In December, Inslee showed where he might head, telling Rolling Stone, “It’s about talking about the level of our ambition, and the level of our commitment to our kids, and the level of our sense of optimism. We have to have a vision of the future rather than just a concern about the future. We’ve got to have a positive statement of a way forward rather than just a warning sign.”

The Evergreen Economy’s impact

Now Jay Inslee is positioned to have a monumental impact on the 2020 campaign. He and his team, with their decades of experience and accomplishments in Congress and state government, paint pictures full of specifics. They’re jump-starting the climate conversations we need to have: What’s possible? And what public and private institutions and resources do we have or can create? How can it spark a true economic recovery that addresses inequality and increases prosperity broadly?

Yay! Evergreen looks beyond “fossil-free”

Though Evergreen focuses on reducing current emissions, it contains glimpses of climate restoration goals. Language about “cleaning the atmosphere” opens the question: how much that’s up there needs to be cleaned? In proposing an ARPA-Ag(riculture) equivalent to ARPA-E(nergy), it hints at storing carbon in soil via regenerative agriculture. It proposes that federal programs factor in energy- and carbon-intensity in building materials.

My “Jay Inslee & Me” story

The book Rep. Jay Inslee co-authored in 2007 featured the CalCars campaign for plug-in hybrids.
Jay Inslee’s inscriptions from 2012 and 2019 on Felix’s copy of Apollo’s Fire.

Jay Inslee on inspiration and visions

This is an inspirational group and I have been inspired by some of the people in this room already. I want to tell you a little story. In 2007, I thought that the nation needed a vision statement of how to defeat climate change and build a clean energy economy. So I decided with a friend named Bracken Hendricks to write a book about how we create a vision for clean energy job expansion while we defeat climate change. The reason I co-authored this book is I wanted you people to have confidence in our ability to do this. I did not want the Donald Trumps of the world who want to make us fearful and pessimistic to win this battle. Because the people in this room understand we’re a can-do people in America, we need a can-do President who says we can defeat climate change, and I intend to be that president. So I decided we need a vision statement. I had to make that come to pass.

The Q & A and what’s next

In a public question, I asked, now that all candidates agree we need to go zero-carbon, if he’d consider raising his ambitions beyond trying to avoid the worst consequences of climate change. And might his next plan talk about reversing global warming and restoring our climate?

Background & bonus links: How did we get here?

How much the world has changed in a year! Last fall’s “countdown reports” about climate urgency have awakened millions. Greta Thunberg inspires the young and old everywhere. In the U.S. the Green New Deal continues to gain attention and support. (If you missed it, join the over five million who’ve watched Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez narrate the artistic, beautiful, moving and fun 7-minute video A Message from the Future. (We hope her Decade of The Green New Deal will morph into The Decade of Climate Restoration.)

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Felix Kramer

Written by

Ex-entrepreneur & writer. Full-time volunteer on climate change awareness and solutions. We can actually restore our climate! ClimateChangesEverything.org