Our Part Foundation focuses on initiatives that protect climate and democracy. Engaging with other donors, we support organizations best poised to drive rapid change, largely via movement building and advocacy.
It is up to those of us most privileged to make sure that our way of life doesn’t destroy the lives of others, nor the planet itself. The changing climate is driven by the greenhouse gas emissions that our country has benefited from the most.
In today’s global economy, goods, communication and people flow smoothly and quickly throughout the world. Much of this has raised the standard of living for so many. We make our goods in faraway countries, exporting jobs and also pollution. Many live near rising and warming oceans that they depend on for food. They suffer extreme drought and harsh hurricanes, changes driven by our way of life. Their ancestral homes are now unlivable, or soon will be so.
Paradoxically, the climate crisis has the potential to be the greatest gift to all. We can fight to reclaim the sanctity of our shared earth and all the sentient beings on it, and acknowledge the rights of all humanity. If we work together, imaginary barriers melt away. We can, at long last, see each other for what we really are, travelers on the same planet.
The Climate Crisis + Our Energy Future
The 2018 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report detailed how global temperatures are rising at an unprecedented rate, with startling consequences. Catastrophic weather events like floods, fires and storms are hitting us faster, harder and more frequently.
The build-out of new fossil fuel infrastructure - fracking wells, pipelines, new gas plants, LNG export terminals, petrochemicals, and plastics - would lock us into a fossil fuel world for 40 more years. This will preclude our ability to keep global temperature increase below 1.5c (2.7 f). At this time, we have a critical window of only ten years to pivot away from fossil fuels and decarbonize our grid.
The fight over our energy future in the next three years decides whether we will literally save the planet and build a clean energy economy, or not.
While more groups have gotten the right to vote in the past 243 years, the process of voting is grossly inhibited in many parts of the country.
In many states, voter suppression - dressed up as voting ID laws, gerrymandering, inaccess to voting polls, and criminal injustice, has silenced the vote of many. These groups: communities of color, poor, Tribes and youth will bear the greatest burden of the climate crisis.
All of those affected by the climate crisis must have their voices heard, so they can also do their part.
Role of Philanthropy
Philanthropy can act quickly to fund new and aggressive solutions.
Writing just before the November 2020 election, we have hope that the new Administration and Congress will act quickly on the climate crisis. Even so, policies take time to be written, marked up, questioned, strengthened and watered down before they are signed. Industry, key lobbyists and political funders all will have their say. New laws will be challenged in court. We don’t have that time.
6 billion a year is spent globally on climate denial and disinformation campaigns and much of this is in “philanthropic and educational” spending by conservative foundations and think tanks, in turn funded by fossil fuel industries.These campaigns are designed to confuse people and lull them into complacency. They tell us that the science is “undecided” or that climate change isn’t human-caused, or that it will cost too many jobs to fix, or too much money, or that “technology” will save us, so we can keep burning fossil fuels. Even more insidious, they direct us to feel guilty about our personal carbon footprint, directing the blame onto everyone except themselves.
With well- targeted investments, meaningful philanthropy can fight back and foster solutions effectively.
Our Part never solicits or accepts funding for its own work.