Sunrise Movement: Fight misinformation and push for the Civilian Climate Corps (Column)

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Note: The Lawrence Times is offering some space for area organizations and organizers to express their views, provide updates and attempt to reach other folks who might share their mission. This post is contributed content (i.e., not produced by the Times staff). See more in our Community Voices section, or see how to submit your own piece.

We are the Lawrence hub of the Sunrise Movement, a national movement to stop climate change and create millions of good-paying jobs in the process.

We are a grassroots environmental movement made up of many hubs across the United States that fight for change at both a local and national level. For instance, our hub empowered community members to successfully push the Lawrence City Commission to adopt the five principles of the Green New Deal last spring.

Over the past week, the Sunrise Movement has been staging protests all across the nation, and we will be doing the same at the Kansas Capitol building from 4-5 p.m. this Tuesday, July 20. These protests have been to promote the creation of a Civilian Climate Corps and to prevent the watering down of Biden’s infrastructure bill by big oil companies (like Exxon) who are trying to protect their profits and bottom line. The Civilian Climate Corps is a government jobs program putting a new generation of Americans to work combatting the climate crisis. It would provide millions of Americans with well-paid jobs in our growing renewable energy industry, and move our country toward net-zero carbon emissions. 

Science tells us that we have less than a decade to take action on eliminating carbon emissions, but ask any Kansas farmer and they will tell you about rainfall inconsistencies and the degradation of the health of our soils they’re already experiencing. The data we have has predicted their struggle, and things will only get worse from here.

Kansas is one of the best places in the country for both solar and wind energy (we have more sunny days than Florida!), and it only makes sense to capitalize on it. Improving our renewable energy industry will better our public health and stimulate the economy, creating a better future for everyone.

Recently, ads opposing the infrastructure bill have played around the Topeka and Wichita area. These ads claim that the IRS will use the new money from the bill to “take every dime they can grab.” This is provably false, as the IRS’ budget hasn’t been increased in more than a decade, and the new increase will update the IRS to match the times. They will be able to more effectively crack down on those who would avoid paying their fair share, like big fossil fuel corporations that created this crisis. Our main objectives are to engage with and educate the public, and to fight misinformation like this.

We ask the Times’ audience to come engage with us, learn more about the Civilian Climate Corps, and be active agents in making a better future for all. 

— Learn more about the Sunrise Movement on the national organization’s website at this link. Find the local hub on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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