Vote for the Planet

Oct. 28, 2018

During this voting season, I decided to discuss voting for the planet and for politicians who will let the preponderance and convergence of evidence guide policies regarding climate change and the effects of chemicals on our environment. Look at the candidate’s websites to see where they stand on environmental policies and regulations. Look over party platforms and voting records to see who stands with you when it comes to your values and beliefs regarding the environment. Although I know there are conservative climate change groups in the GOP, the majority of their candidates tend to disseminate the petrol-chemical and fossil fuel industries’ denial line when it comes to climate change and environmental regulations. Candidates from both the Green Party and the Democratic Party are the candidates to look at if voting for the planet is a priority for you.

A friend recently posted a study on Facebook that claimed the United States had become an oligarchy- that the U.S. government does not represent the interests of the majority of the country's citizens, but is instead ruled by those of the rich and powerful. The study from Princeton and Northwestern universities can be found at: https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/perspectives-on-politics/article/testing-theories-of-american-politics-elites-interest-groups-and-average-citizens/62327F513959D0A304D4893B382B992B

Another study on political views of Americans on the environment show that nearly ¾’s of Americans have concerns regarding climate change, It found that even 47% of conservatives have concerns about climate change, yet the conservative politicians in congress are still questioning the science. The study on political views by The Yale Program on Climate Change Communication found at:

http://www.eenews.net/assets/2016/04/27/document_cw_01.pdf

It seems to me that these two studies show that congressmen are not representing their constituents. They are representing the corporations and campaign contributors. This is why those of us who put a priority on environmental policies need to get out and vote in these mid-terms. There are many candidates this year who are less entrenched in political machines and who are not taking pac monies. They are promising to actually meet the needs of their districts and states. There are many women and scientists running for office. In addition to pro-environmental policies, Democrat candidates are running on health care, retirement security, raising the minimum wage, allowing Dreamers a path to citizenship, not separating families from their children at the border, gun safety, education, and civility and compromise in government. So, if the environment is not your only issue, do you share values with Democratic candidates on these other issues?

There is a lot of opposition propaganda claiming that being for Dreamers means the candidate wants open borders. Democratic candidates are being associated with Pelosi or Sanders and are being called socialists. The fear-mongering from the right is rampant and it works on low information voters. Don’t be a uniformed voter. Check out candidates’ websites and see their policy recommendations or voting record on issues you hold near and dear to your heart. Think about the future and the kind of world you want to leave to your children, grandchildren and the several generations that will follow. Remember, ecology relates to economy and natural resources. Environmental regulations relate to the health of the environment and also the health of our bodies. I would think that because health is highly related to quality of life, it would be a priority in the voting booth. Whoever you decide to vote for, get out and do it. Take the time to take part in the right that many Americans such as women and minorities have fought to exercise. Isn’t it a requirement of citizenship in a democracy to PARTICIPATE IN THE PROCESS!

I voted this week for the midterm elections as I hope all Americans do. I was actually held up because of a problem with my identification. Apparently DPS merged my identity with another person with my same first and last name and I was dropped from the voting rolls. There were many people at the election judge table with me. In an effort to assure voter ID, some of us had to persist. Afterwards, I had to pick up some items and stopped in a store. The clerk noted my voter sticker and claimed they wanted to go and vote to be sure and offset the illegals who are voting. I was so surprised by this statement considering the trouble I went through to prove who I am. I also recalled getting my grandfather’s ID to vote- several trips to DPS while this WWII vet with an arthritic body had to endure standing in lines. All so he could vote. I just don’t think some illegal person could waltz in the polls and easily vote. Voter apathy is the bigger problem, only 55% of people in my state voted in the last presidential election.