Our Tactics

Our Strategies

WildEarth Guardians believes that to solve the climate crisis, a diversity of strategies need to be utilized and supported. We recognize that all efforts to confront climate change—from small personal choices to broadscale lobbying of elected officials to sweeping litigation—are complementary efforts that aim to achieve a singular vision.

Our engagement is calculated to achieve the greatest success possible with all the resources, the experience, and the knowledge we can muster. We act creatively, we act aggressively, and most importantly, we ensure our strategies and tactics reflect the urgent need to successfully transition away from fossil fuels as quickly as possible.

The work of our Climate and Energy Program typically focuses on five key, yet related, areas of engagement:

Litigation

Our country is based on three branches of government and we believe that the fight against global warming will be most successful if we engage all three of these branches. That includes the judicial branch.

Here in the United States, we have fought hard, sometimes tragic, battles to secure passage of some of the most powerful and inspiring environmental laws that have ever existed, including the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, and Endangered Species Act. Unfortunately, in some cases these landmark environmental laws are not enforced.

When our environmental laws aren’t enforced we believe it is our role to intervene and seek remedy from the courts.

Our Climate and Energy Program prioritizes litigation as a means to ensure the fossil fuel industry is held accountable for its impacts to our air quality, our clean water, our wildlife, our wild lands, and to our health and well-being. Our efforts include filing lawsuits to hold states and the federal government accountable to protecting the environment, enforcing federal laws directly against polluters, and in filing “friend of the court” briefs to ensure courts take note of our views.

We view litigation as an important catalyst for securing policy changes, increasing the cost of coal which results in shuttering plants, raising public awareness, empowering communities and in ensuring our environmental laws are upheld as they were intended. The value of our work is underscored by our track record: WildEarth Guardians’ Climate and Energy Program has not lost a single lawsuit.

Science

Our Climate and Energy Program is firmly rooted in science. Whether it’s calling attention to the works of others or preparing our own reports to illustrate the threats and solutions we face, we recognize that success demands credible data.

On this front, WildEarth Guardians focuses on bringing science to the attention of policymakers, the public, our allies, as well as to our opposition. Our efforts include preparing reports on the impacts of coal mining and coal-fired power plants, working with experts to expose the true cost of natural gas drilling, partnering with experts to combat industry attempts to undermine environmental protections, detailing the renewable energy potential of the West, and ensuring that important research is made public.

Public Outreach and Organizing

The environmental movement’s greatest power to effect long-term change is through people. Our power and our promise is fundamentally created from the active participation of the public.

To this end, WildEarth Guardians focuses on directly engaging individuals, communities, and other organizations, and on mobilizing supporters to engage at key moments. Our aim is to educate, empower, and, ultimately, to activate.

We connect with the public through presentations, publications, networking, and one-on-one interaction. Whether it’s discussing the impacts of coal or learning more about the potential for renewable energy, our outreach seeks to establish a rapport and ultimately to inspire.

Our organizing leverages the power of the collective and most importantly, gives people a chance to participate in our shared vision for change. Whether it’s turning out concerned community members to a local rally, giving people a chance to weigh in on a national policy, or mounting pressure to defeat or support state legislation, our goal is not only to confront the climate crisis at hand, but to build and sustain a stronger environmental movement.

Media

As a nonprofit environmental advocacy group our ability to get the word out about our issues and our work to the news media is our greatest strength. As a general rule we do not invest resources in paid media campaigns, whether through newspapers, magazines, radio or on TV.

Our work is often newsworthy because it is directly relevant to the lives of millions. We work to ensure that he news media is made aware of our work, its implications, and our opinions. The news media is critical for communicating climate and energy issues to the public, to policymakers, and many more. We reach out to news media of all types on local, regional, and national levels.

The importance of our media outreach cannot be overstated. Whether it’s drawing attention to corrupt government officials, uncovering environmental violations, or highlighting innovative solutions, the news media helps expose people to information that they would not normally be exposed; nor would WildEarth Guardians be able to reach so wide of an audience without the news media.

Lobbying

At times we lobby elected officials and officials within government agencies to advance our vision and to ensure the success of particular strategies. Though we are not high-powered lobbyists prowling the halls of Congress, engaging decision makers at critical times is part of our recipe for success.

Whether it’s to confront misguided policies or proposed legislation, to support good ideas, or just to educate and inform, lobbying is a critical part of confronting the climate crisis. Our work involves meeting with agency officials or legislators and, where necessary, weighing in on specific policies or pieces of legislation. We lobby on local, state, and federal levels. We make an annual trip to Washington, DC to engage Obama Administration officials and to communicate with selected members of Congress.

We are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit group, so we do not endorse candidates or engage in elections.