A week ago, Joyce posted about who she was voting for and why, which led to a very interesting discussion on her blog.
And it got me thinking.
You see, Joyce and I are voting for two different people. And that's okay. There are a lot of reasons I am voting for my guy, and there are a lot of reasons Joyce is voting for hers. Our candidates differ on a lot of issues, and that's also important and healthy in a democracy.
But climate change need not be an area where they disagree.
When I first started writing this blog, I assumed most of the people reading it would be like me. Liberals from the coasts, or big cities. What I found though, is that the environment isn't an issue upon which liberals have a monopoly. (As well it shouldn't.) Now I am happy to count atheists and evangelicals alike among my blog friends. Conservatives, liberals, and moderates. And my readers came from all over the world. Europe, Asia, Oklahoma, Washington, Virginia, California.
I want Obama to win. I'll make no bones about that. The second my absentee ballot gets here, that's whose name I'll be ticking.
We can't afford to waste four more years dawdling over climate change. If McCain wins, we liberals cannot afford to write him off and wait four years until we may or may not get someone more to our liking in the White House.
That's why I believe the politicization of environmental issues is dangerous. We simply cannot afford climate change to be seen as a left-wing issue. And the truth is, it shouldn't be. I now know many evangelicals and/or conservatives who care deeply and passionately about the environment. If we all work together, I believe that we can make climate change a bipartisan issue. We can make change if we ignore our blue/red divisions, and roll up our sleeves to work together.
No matter which candidate wins, we will still need to keep an eye on him. There are a lot of other issues that are going to draw attention away from climate change, and there are a lot of special interests that are going to do their darndest to keep any president, Democrat or Republican, from making much needed changes.
We need to remind McCain and Obama constantly that they do not answer to special interests. They answer to us.
So here's my proposal/challenge to you all. Until the election in November, email your candidate(s) once a week regarding an environmental issue. Keep it constructive. If Obama's health care policy gets you going, but his lukewarm statements on coal leave you cold, tell him so. If you love Palin's family values, but hate her position on polar bears, tell her so. Remind your candidate that you WANT to vote for them, but that they need to EARN your vote. If you don't know who you are going to vote for, so much the better. Write to BOTH Obama and McCain, and tell them what they need to do to swing your vote their way.
And you can write whatever you want, so if plastic is your big issue, talk about that. If peak oil is your issue, you can write about that. If you have no idea what to talk about, I'll be sharing my letters here, and you can use mine as a template. And if you're not an American citizen, you can still take part in the election madness by writing to your elected officials.
Climate change has been too much of a non-issue in this election. Let's make sure our voices are heard. If you want to participate in my Armchair Activism For All challenge, please leave a comment and I'll add your name to my side-bar. (And if anyone with any spare time wants to make a cute doohickey for graphically challenged me, I'd be much obliged.)
It's hard to believe that one vote, or one e-mail can make a difference, but remember, the past few elections have been decided by very small numbers of votes, and it doesn't appear like this election will be any different. If we all make our voices heard, we can change the world.
4 days ago