Retired union members have spent their lives uniting our country’s multi-ethnic, multi-racial working class to fight their bosses and to work with their allies for broader social justice. We want to bring that experience and those skills to the struggles around the two great existential issues of our time–democracy and climate change.

We don’t have the time.

In our working lives as trade unionists we organized, bargained contracts, fought employers, elected officials, lobbied for and passed legislation. Every struggle takes time, compromise, and a continuing agenda–la lucha continua.

The simple physics of climate is different.. Science tells us we have to stop burning fossil fuels and cut emissions by 50% in the next 7 years or face climate disasters far worse than we are already experiencing. We can’t bargain and compromise with and ask physics to slow down.

We don’t have the time. We now know that the fossil fuel industry knew from its scientists 50 years ago that burning their product would destroy life as we know it. There is no debate about climate change; there never was. There was just denial, deceit and disinformation by these corporations–a policy we know only too well. They cost us 30 years. Saving the planet isn’t a matter of winning an argument. It’s about what trade unionists know only too well: power and money. And we know how to fight power and money.

We have to threaten the profits of these 4 dirty banks–Citi, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, and Chase– so they stop investing in future extraction and infrastructure and instead invest in renewable energy–and do it now.

As retirees, we all have amazingly full plates. But leaving a legacy of a cleaner planet for our children and grandchildren isn’t an item for our bucket list. Physics doesn’t have time, and we don’t have time. We have to join this fight now.