August 11, 2022

Holy Sh*t, the U.S. Just Got Serious About Climate Change!

by How to Save a Planet

Background show artwork for How to Save a Planet

Well, wow. Congress is on the verge of passing the most ambitious climate legislation in U.S. history! Don’t be fooled by its name: the Inflation Reduction Act is a massive investment in clean energy and climate initiatives, aimed at boosting the transition to a low-carbon economy. It also includes some profound compromises. So we called up the smartest climate experts and activists we know to break down this plan – what’s good, what’s not and what’s next? 


  • Dr. Leah Stokes, Professor of Environmental Politics, UC Santa Barbara
  • Rhiana Gunn-Wright, Director of Climate Policy, The Roosevelt Institute
  • John Paul Mejia, National Spokesperson, the Sunrise Movement

Calls to Action:

  • If you’re listening to this before the House of Representatives has passed the Inflation Reduction Act - call your member of Congress! You can find information on how to call and sample scripts at
  • Interested in the Sunrise Movement? You can check them out at They’re training organizers this fall for two new campaigns: The Green New Deal for Communities, and the Green New Deal for Schools.
  • If your politics lean more conservative and you’re thinking, “Hang on, why did zero Republicans vote for major climate action?” check out the American Conservation Coalition. They’re focused on convincing Republican office-holders to take climate change seriously.
  • A little older? Maybe headed towards retirement? Check out the new group Third Act started by the journalist and activist Bill McKibben. 
  • Look around in your community! Who’s running for town council or the state legislature – or the public utility commission? Ask them where they stand on climate. And if you like what they stand for – get involved! 

Further Reading & Listening:

Check out our Calls to Action archive for all of the actions we've recommended on the show. Send us your ideas or feedback with our Listener Mail Form. Sign up for our newsletter here. And follow us on Twitter and Instagram.

This episode of How to Save a Planet was produced by Rachel Waldholz. The rest of our reporting and producing team includes Kendra Pierre-Louis, Anna Ladd and Daniel Ackerman. Our supervising producer is Matt Shilts. Our editor is Caitlin Kenney. Our intern is Janae Morris. Sound design and mixing by Hansdale Hsu and Peter Leonard with original music by Peter Leonard, Catherine Anderson, and Emma Munger. Our fact checker this episode is Claudia Geib. 

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