Phone numbers: ✅ Script: ✅ Here’s all the info you need to call your elected officials and demand they protect our planet.
Happy Earth Day! Do we say that? Is this a celebration? I mean, kind of… It’s a day about Earth, and our planet should always be celebrated. But Earth Day was established in 1970 after senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin saw the damage caused by 1969’s massive Santa Barbara Oil Spill, which was, at the time, the largest such disaster in American history. Senator Nelson, a Democrat, joined forces with Pete McCloskey, then a Republican congressman from California, and they proposed a day of awareness and learning. After a few twists and turns and collaborations, that event became Earth Day.
Earth Day accomplished a lot in its inaugural year: It got the environment on the front page of the New York Times for the first time ever, and it led to the establishment of the EPA just four months later. But Earth Day was always an acknowledgement of the harm we do to our world, which is kind of a bummer reason for a throw down.
I guess we could celebrate the progress we’ve made since then. Actually, wait, no—let’s make a pact instead: We will celebrate a victory on Earth Day in the near future. What victory? If the global community takes the steps outlined in the most recent report from Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, I will throw the best goddamn party you’ve ever been to. Every single person here will be invited.
I’m serious. I’ll export one5c’s subscriber list at midnight tonight, and every email address on it will get an invite to a massive event when governments around the world step into line. That means every nation stops burning coal, cuts oil use by 60 percent, and gas consumption by 45. This all has to happen by 2050.
Hell, we’ll have a party if the 10 top carbon emitters make this commitment; that’s (in order) China, the U.S., India, Russia, Japan, Germany, Iran, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, and Indonesia. (Sponsors, HMU!) I know emissions are only one part of the environmental picture, but we’ll never get to hang out if we don’t pick a focused goal. Get as many of your friends as you can to sign up now, so you have people to party with. There will be a keg. (Please bring your own cup.)
This may sound like a party promise I’ll never have to keep, but I believe we can do it. This is not some abstract, there are steps we can take as a society! moment; YOU are going to make this happen. I’m proud to say that thousands of you read one5c every week. That’s a few short of the million-person force I often invoke in my math-action scenarios, but it’s still a sizable crew. It’s enough people to raise eyebrows in Washington, and you don’t even need to leave your WFH Cave.
Most of the activism we talk about here is personal: change your diet, shop local, curb your consumption of single-use plastics. But if we want to survive the climate crisis, our elected representatives need to quit servicing Big Oil and start working for the good of the planet. So, for this Earth Day, and for the Climate Kegger, I’m asking you to call your senators and your congressperson. It takes a total of 10 minutes, tops.
A quick note about politics: one5c is neither Democrat nor Republican. This is an apolitical space, but every single elected official is on notice for not doing enough to preserve our world. Democrat readers: your loser representatives are scared shitless of fumbling both houses of Congress this November. Make sure they know that keeping their promises about the environment is how they keep their seats. Republican readers: If you’re reading this, you’d probably like the creeps in your tent to quit blocking crucial climate change legislation solely in the name of political gamesmanship. Did I offend everyone equally? Good, that’s what I was going for.
If we are going to get out of this mess, we need to take a note from Nelson and McCloskey, and work across party lines.
Here’s the playbook:
Do not send a letter. You write it on tree-flesh. You burn oil to get it to Washington, and then, let’s be honest: Nobody reads letters.
Email might be a waste of time. If messages from one5c’s lawyer keep ending up in my spam folder, our notes of protest probably land in our elected officials’ digital junk drawers too. Still, I am a fan of trying everything, so I use Democracy.io, a tool that lets you ping all your congressfolk at once. It was built by the EFF, whom I trust in all things online-privacy-related. I hit it up a couple times a month. It’s so quick.
I prefer to call. I believe that if someone takes the time to talk to me, they’re more likely to tell their boss about it than if they just came across my email in an overflowing inbox. So, before you call, make sure you have something to say. Then it’s game on. Pick up the phone.
Ask the person who answers what their name is, and then tell them yours and say how nice it is to meet them. Ask them if they would mind taking a brief but detailed message. Do they have a pen handy? You’re happy to wait for them to grab one.
Then say some version of the following:
Thanks, [Staffer NAME].
Please tell [Senator/Representative NAME] that I expect my elected officials to pass legislation that gets the U.S. on track to meet or exceed the goals outlined in the sixth IPCC Assessment Report. I will not vote to re-elect anyone who does not. No issue is more important, and money shouldn’t even be part a conversation about curbing our country’s greenhouse gas emissions. This is something we urgently need to do, at any cost. The Earth is literally priceless and we should spend whatever we need to and do whatever it takes to save it.
This is everyone’s responsibility, but it is [Senator/Representative NAME] job.
Thanks again, [Staffer NAME]. I really appreciate your time and your service to our country.
Being nice to people gets more shit done than being an asshole. It’s a fact. Also, those staffers probably talk to jerks all day; being respectful and kind will make you memorable.
That’s all you have to say to each of your reps. If you’re willing to do five minutes of research, you can peruse this list or this list and find bills that are specific to your state or district’s environmental efforts. Mention those, too, and show that you’re the most dangerous animal in America: an informed voter. Look out, though, because some “environmental protection” bills are not about protecting the environment. Joe Manchin, for example, has three pieces of pending “environmental” legislation, and they all look pretty lame to me.
When you’re on with your Senator’s people, urge them to do anything possible to get the Build Back Better plan passed. It’s written, paid for, and ready to go; it would funnel $555 Billion to really important initiatives, including tax credits and subsidies for clean energy and electric vehicles. It would be the largest climate change investment in history, helping us make good progress towards meeting those IPCC goals (and our party).
When you call, you might get a voicemail. I’ve never reached a human being at Chuck Schumer’s office, but I always leave a message. (I call a lot. It’s a productive way to procrastinate.) Meanwhile, Abby at Congressman Antonio Delgado’s shop picks up on the first ring, and you can hear Jessica at Senator Kirsten Gillibrand’s scribbling notes as you speak.
I also call Joe Manchin’s line every now and then, and urge him to get on the damn BBBbus. Sometimes I point out that he’s going to have to explain to his grandchildren that if their kids can’t survive outdoors during the summertime, it’s because he sold the planet out for some coal-industry crumb-cash and a shitty Maserati. I’m always polite about it, though.
You don’t need to save this kind of action for Earth Day. Take ten minutes out of your weekly Instagram allowance and make it a regular thing. Learn the staffers’ names. Get it so they expect your call on whatever day and mention to their boss that, you know what, so-and-so called again about the environment. Imagine the impact thousands of people calling every week about the same issue could have.
I have this fantasy of being referenced in a Senate-floor debate: [Chuck Schumer voice] “I have a constituent, Joe from Columbia County, who calls me every week imploring that this body take bold action on climate change…” I challenge you to get mentioned in a Senate-floor anecdote before me.
This action may seem small and frivolous, but it’s not. Our elected officials need to know how important this is to the people they represent. We should overwhelm them. We should make it an obvious fact to anyone who would hold office that, when it comes to motivating voters, it’s environment, stupid.
When I originally wrote this email, I included the name and phone number of all 100 senators and each of the 435 U.S. representatives. I made it so you could, without leaving this note, scroll until you found your congresspeople and grab their numbers. Script: provided. Phone calls: enabled. Unfortunately, that email was 49 pages long. I figured you’d probably be pissed if I dropped that anvil on your inbox.
So here’s my compromise: The House of Representatives website is very good. It makes phone numbers dead-simple to find. Click here to search your rep’s name. The Senate, perhaps unsurprisingly, shunts you to a damn PDF that only shows each member’s extension. It’s stupid and passive-aggressive. So I listed every senator below and got you their full number. Scroll to your state, grab the digits, and say your piece.
Oh, and no matter where you live, maybe call Joe Manchin, too. He still doesn’t seem to get it.
Take care of yourselves—and each other. I will see you at the party.
(I hope you like this list, because it was a pain in the ass to format.)
SHELBY, Richard C. (R) 202-224-5744
TUBERVILLE, Tommy (R) 202-224-4124
MURKOWSKI, Lisa (R) 202-224-6665
SULLIVAN, Dan (R) 202-224-3004
KELLY, Mark (D) 202-224-2235
SINEMA, Kyrsten (D) 202-224-4521
BOOZMAN, John (R) 202-224-4843
COTTON, Tom (R) 202-224-2353
PADILLA, Alex (D) 202-224-3553
FEINSTEIN, Dianne (D) 202-224-3841
BENNET, Michael F. (D) 202-224-5852
HICKENLOOPER, John W. (D) 202-224-5941
BLUMENTHAL, Richard (D) 202-224-2823
MURPHY, Christopher (D) 202-224-4041
COONS, Christopher A. (D) 202-224-5042
CARPER, Thomas R. (D) 202-224-2441
RUBIO, Marco (R) 202-224-3041
SCOTT, Rick (R) 202-224-5274
OSSOFF, Jon (D) 202-224-3521
WARNOCK, Raphael G. (D) 202-224-3643
HIRONO, Mazie K. (D) 202-224-6361
SCHATZ, Brian (D) 202-224-3934
CRAPO, Mike (R) 202-224-6142
RISCH, James E. (R) 202-224-2752
DUCKWORTH, Tammy (D) 202-224-2854
DURBIN, Richard J. (D) 202-224-2152
BRAUN, Mike (R) 202-224-4814
YOUNG, Todd (R) 202-224-5623
ERNST, Joni (R) 202-224-3254
GRASSLEY, Chuck (R) 202-224-3744
MARSHALL, Roger (R) 202-224-4774
MORAN, Jerry (R) 202-224-6521
McCONNELL, Mitch (R) 202-224-2541
PAUL, Rand (R) 202-224-4343
CASSIDY, Bill (R) 202-224-5824
KENNEDY, John (R) 202-224-4623
COLLINS, Susan M. (R) 202-224-2523
KING, Jr., Angus S. (I) 202-224-5344
CARDIN, Benjamin L. (D) 202-224-4524
VAN HOLLEN, Chris (D) 202-224-4654
MARKEY, Edward J. (D) 202-224-2742
WARREN, Elizabeth (D) 202-224-4543
PETERS, Gary C. (D) 202-224-6221
STABENOW, Debbie (D) 202-224-4822
KLOBUCHAR, Amy (D) 202-224-3244
SMITH, Tina (D) 202-224-5641
HYDE-SMITH, Cindy (R) 202-224-5054
WICKER, Roger F. (R) 202-224-6253
BLUNT, Roy (R) 202-224-5721
HAWLEY, Josh (R-MO) SR-115 202-224-6154
DAINES, Steve (R) 202-224-2651
TESTER, Jon (D) 202-224-2644
FISCHER, Deb (R) 202-224-6551
SASSE, Ben (R) 202-224-4224
CORTEZ MASTO, Catherine (D) 202-224-3542
ROSEN, Jacky (D) 202-224-6244
HASSAN, Maggie (D) 202-224-3324
SHAHEEN, Jeanne (D) 202-224-2841
BOOKER, Cory A. (D) 202-224-3224
MENENDEZ, Robert (D) 202-224-4744
HEINRICH, Martin (D) 202-224-5521
LUJAN, Ben Ray (D) 202-224-6621
GILLIBRAND, Kirsten E. (D) 202-224-4451
SCHUMER, Charles E. (D) 202-224-6542
BURR, Richard (R) 202-224-3154
TILLIS, Thom (R) 202-224-6342
CRAMER, Kevin (R) 202-224-2043
HOEVEN, John (R) 202-224-2551
BROWN, Sherrod (D) 202-224-2315
PORTMAN, Rob (R) 202-224-3353
INHOFE, James M. (R) 202-224-4721
LANKFORD, James (R) 202-224-5754
MERKLEY, Jeff (D) 202-224-3753
WYDEN, Ron (D) 202-224-5244
CASEY, Jr., Robert P. (D) 202-224-6324
TOOMEY, Patrick J. (R) 202-224-4254
REED, Jack (D) 202-224-4642
WHITEHOUSE, Sheldon (D) 202-224-2921
GRAHAM, Lindsey (R) 202-224-5972
SCOTT, Tim (R) 202-224-6121
ROUNDS, Mike (R) 202-224-5842
THUNE, John (R) 202-224-2321
BLACKBURN, Marsha (R) 202-224-3344
HAGERTY, Bill (R) 202-224-4944
CORNYN, John (R) 202-224-2934
CRUZ, Ted (R) 202-224-5922
LEE, Mike (R) 202-224-5444
ROMNEY, Mitt (R) 202-224-5251
LEAHY, Patrick (D) 202-224-4242
SANDERS, Bernard (I) 202-224-5141
KAINE, Tim (D) 202-224-4024
WARNER, Mark R. (D) 202-224-2023
CANTWELL, Maria (D) 202-224-3441
MURRAY, Patty (D) 202-224-2621
CAPITO, Shelley Moore (R) 202-224-6472
MANCHIN III, Joe (D) 202-224-3954
BALDWIN, Tammy (D) 202-224-5653
JOHNSON, Ron (R) 202-224-5323
BARRASSO, John (R) 202-224-6441
LUMMIS, Cynthia M. (R) 202-224-3424