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Here's a little script for you:

Hey, I just wanted to call and say how important it is to me that YOUR REPRESENTATIVE OR SENATOR is taking climate change seriously. I know we've got a chance right now to set targets, like getting an 80% decrease in emissions by 2030 and investing a lot in new and existing technologies.

Anything that YOUR SENATOR OR REPRESENTATIVE can do to make this a reality really matters so much, and I appreciate it.

IF THEY ASK FOR MORE INFORMATION (sometimes you get a real person)

I just know that the budget reconciliation bill is one of our last chances to pass meaningful laws that will affect our impact on the climate. Anything to spur investment in clean energy, carbon capture, or energy storage is really important. But most importantly, we need to see real, ambitious targets for decreasing carbon emissions.
Alright, so I just made this 16 minute long video on vlogbrothers but I--there's something important to talk about here that I didn't want to have inside that frame, which was like, here's this--here's like, the tools.  That's the only thing I wanted that video to do, and I wanted it to be largely useful for an international audience, because something like 40% of the viewers of vlogbrothers are not from America, but for us American citizens, this is a kind of important moment.   So here's what--here's the thing to understand.  The number one thing to understand is like, probably Democrats won't control the Presidency, the House, and the Senate in--after the midterm elections.  Like, it's very likely that we--that there will not be Democratic control of the House and so it will just be harder to get anything done, and then, you know, oftentimes those--these like, sort of like waves of transitions last a pretty long time, and so it may be that there will be another decade before we have this level of consolidation of Democratic control in Congress and that is the thing, at the moment at least, that it feels like is necessary for climate change legislation, like, legislation focused on really decreasing the amount of carbon in the atmo--that the US releases into the atmosphere.  It seems very necessary, given the state--This doesn't have to be the case, there are lots of conservative cases for climate plans.  That's just not the situation we are in.   It's become very partisan.  It's become really cultural rather than anything to do with reality.  There's like--it sucks.  So if that doesn't change, and it--maybe it will and there will be conservatives who are like, oh fuck, like, we need to do something, and it makes sense that there would be because oh fuck, right?  But, that's not where we're at right now, it doesn't seem like, but maybe we will--but if that doesn't happen, then it might be like a decade.  If we don't do this right now, if we don't get it done now, it might be a decade before there's another chance and that's a decade literally that takes us to 2030, which is too long.  It is much too long. So that's the situation we're in.  We kind of have to do it now.  Here's how we're trying to do it, and it's really the only way that it can happen.  So there--traditional law at the moment in the US requires 60 votes in Congress to overcome what's called the filibuster.  It would normally be 50-50, but then there's this thing called the filibuster where people can just stand up on a stage and talk until the bill doesn't go through, unless you can override the filibuster with an extra 10 votes.  So we're--we've done that, it looks like, though there's still like, process involved, with the infrastructure bill.  We've overcome that threshold.  This is a $1.2 trillion bill and it's a normal bill that requires you to get over that threshold, and it has some climate provisions in it.  It has some investment in it, but it's not like a climate bill.

So there's that big thing, that's happened, but then there's this other kind of bill, it's not even a bill, it's budget reconciliation, but it is a way that you can pass--there are laws in it, and bucket-- I mean, I don't know, I don't understand this that much, but here's like the basics of how I understand it.  Budget reconciliation is basically how are we going to make and spend money, it's just like--and so, when you're like, oh, here's some ways we can make money and spend money.  One way is that we could create basically a set of fines that prevent fossil fuel companies from releasing or like prevent the releasing of greenhouse gases. In various ways. And like that's just like if you go over a limit, you get fined, and the plan in the current budget reconciliation bill is I think 80% less carbon being released by 2030.

Which is a great plan-- it's aggressive, it's achievable, it's great. And so like there's that portion of it in the budget reconciliation bill, and because it raises money through these fines, then it counts as budget reconciliation. Which you can't-- there's a number of other things you can't do on budget reconciliation.

But you can do that.  My screen's just turned off, which changes my lighting. So I need to turn them back on. It doesn't matter, this is a hankschannel video.

I, yes, I do use my computer screens as a light. Not efficient.  Then there's another portion of this which is investment. So there's like, spending money on investing in solar and energy storage and carbon capture and etc.

So, that's all in the budget reconciliation, and that can pass with 50 votes. 50 democratic senators and that includes Kyrsten Sinema and Joe Manchin, who are these sort of like-- oh god I really would rather not be the people who are on the line here, and especially Joe Manchin, who is from West Virginia, which is a very fossil fuel dependent state. So like, you gotta get the-- it's coal country, if you're not from the US. Or is you are, and you don't know about West Virginia.

So this is rough, this is hard, and like Joe Manchin would like to get reelected, and we would like for him to get reelected, we would love for Joe Manchin to get reelected, but we would also love for him to vote for a budget reconciliation bill that includes a dramatic, rapid-- god, as much as I am frustrated by Joe Manchin, I would not wanna be in his position right now. 'Cause that dude needs to vote for this. We also need to twist every arm we can though. Like, the thing is, we're not gonna get any fucking Republican senators to vote for this thing.

But you can get Democratic senators who are already going to vote for it to be more enthusiastic about it, to put more pressure on their colleagues, to do more dealing, to give up other things for Joe and Kyrsten maybe? 'Cause there's gonna be -- this isn't the only thing in the budget reconciliation bill. There's other stuff that maybe you can sorta trade around. And maybe that makes it worth it for them.

So basically what I'm saying is you might have a senator or representative who is gonna vote in favor of these things, but you should call them anyway to let them know how important it is. And to thank them specifically for climate, any climate legislation that includes a target of reduced emissions by 2030, you can say 80% reduced emissions by 2030, like just write this down.  I am really grateful and thankful that I know that my representative or senator can-- I can rely on them to want -- I'll write it in the description, I'll give you a little script in the description. I'm gonna write it in the description, you can just call your representative or senator, and you can read them that little script, and you can zhuzh it up in your own way, of course.

But it's just a little guide. 'Cause I know calling people on the phone is no fun. But this is like, this has to get done. It has to get done now.

It's really important for YOU, for the country, for the world. And this is kinda like unless there is a conservative change of heart, which I'm not ruling out, because there are traditional conservative cases for all this stuff, but unless there is a conservative change of heart, I don't really see it happening. For kind of too long.

Now, there are ways that other countries could kind of strong arm us into this, but like, really depending on who the president is, and how leadership goes, it's gonna be rough. I'm long term optimistic, but it's gonna be very frustrating if we don't get strong climate provisions in the budget reconciliation bill. It's gonna be like, it may be for most people, that that sort of passes and doesn't seem like a big deal, but for people who pay attention to this stuff, that's gonna be a really big hurt.

And really scary. Because we've put it off a long time already. So if you could take the chance to call, I'm gonna call John Tester, who will be voting for this, but maybe needs to know how important that part is to me.

And to people in Montana. But I am not going to be calling anybody else. Cause they're not-- cause fuck 'em, they're not gonna vote for this stuff.  And if you live in West Virginia, if you could jut go ahead and do whatever you can to Joe Manchin (chuckles).

Just tell him how much you love him but how much you really need him to do this one thing. [end]