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People protesting against the global climate crisis on September 20, 2019 in New York City. Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

More than 170 of the world's most esteemed environmental activists signed on to an open letter on Monday urging their supporters to vote for Joe Biden rather than vote for the Green Party or sit out the election, The Daily Beast reports.

The big picture: The group says "progressives who vote for the Green Party candidate, or write in Henry David Thoreau, or refuse to vote at all" will help win the election for Trump, whom they excoriated for his "unprecedented malignancy, fear mongering, pathological lying, and atrocious policymaking."

  • Flashback: Trump won in Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania in 2016 by smaller margins than the total votes cast for Green Party nominee Jill Stein in each state, The Daily Beast notes.
  • Signatories to the letter include the likes of Earth Day founder Denis Hayes and Environmental Action coordinator Peter Harnick.

What they're saying: “Angry right-wing voters and liberal absentees put Trump in the White House in 2016. In 2020 the same unholy team could keep him there," the letter reads.

"Sure, [Biden] isn’t perfect. Which of us is? But in the 2020 election, the most crucial since 1865, we have only two meaningful options. We can make a lifetime humanitarian our president, backed by an able cabinet and a progressive Congress; or expand the strongman rule of Donald Trump, who desecrates his office every day, spreads racism and a fatal virus for political gain, ignores environmental justice, embraces the fossil fuel industry, and calls the climate crisis a hoax."

Read the full letter.

Go deeper: Why Biden and the Democrats went big on climate

Go deeper

Dec 17, 2020 - Energy & Environment

Biden picks North Carolina environmental regulator Michael Regan to lead EPA

Biden delivering a speech on climate change in September. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

President-elect Joe Biden will nominate Michael Regan, the top environmental regulator in North Carolina, to lead the Environmental Protection Agency, a source familiar with the decision confirmed to Axios.

Why it matters: If confirmed by the Senate, Regan would be the first Black man to head the agency, which will be tasked with strengthening environmental standards after four years of the Trump administration's aggressive efforts to undo Obama-era protections.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Dec 18, 2020 - Energy & Environment

What to make of the last members of Biden's historic energy team

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The last big names of nominees for Joe Biden's energy and environment team have arrived: Rep. Deb Haaland is the pick for Interior secretary, North Carolina environmental regulator Michael Regan is up for EPA, and Brenda Mallory's the choice to head the White House Council on Environmental Quality.

The big picture: They're first-of-a-kind picks. Haaland is the first Native American person tapped to run a cabinet agency, while Regan would be the first Black man to lead EPA, and Mallory would be the first Black person to head CEQ.

Caitlin Owens, author of Vitals
4 hours ago - Health

Biden taps ex-FDA chief to lead Operation Warp Speed amid rollout of COVID plan

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

President-elect Joe Biden has picked former FDA chief David Kessler to lead Operation Warp Speed, a day after unveiling a nearly $2 trillion pandemic relief plan that includes $400 billion for directly combatting the virus.

Why it matters: Biden's transition team said Kessler has been advising the president-elect since the beginning of the pandemic, and hopes his involvement will help accelerate vaccination, the New York Times reports. Operation Warp Speed's current director, Moncef Slaoui, will stay on as a consultant.