Affecting real change takes action that goes beyond the home, the shopping, the transportation, and the food we eat. It takes real political action. In this final segment focusing on Columbia Climate School's 37 Easiest Ways to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint, the last one is the key: getting politically active.
• Vote, and join community groups that push for change at the local, state, and federal levels. The most effective solutions to climate change require governmental action.
Did you know that in the 2022 midterms, only 50% of eligible voters showed up to the polls or mailed in their ballots? Did you know that for those under 30 - the ones who should be the LOUDEST - only 30% voted? The media portrayed the latter's turnout as 'responsible' for the election results and to be quite frank, that was a load of horse shit. The 'surge' in turnout of our youth went from 25 to 30%, thankyouverymuch, and I have found it so disheartening as someone who was Thrilled to be able to vote at the age of 18 way back in the early 1990s to see how few of those who have the MOST to lose are staying silent and letting others make their decisions, and take away their rights. Yep, even here on the West Coast where ballots are hand-delivered and include a postage-paid envelope, the turnout was the same. Even more offensive, when we moved here in fall 2021, we made sure our voter registration was updated since the Mayoral election was in November...only to find out afterwards that ~35% of Seattleites voted, with the lowest numbers in the most diverse neighborhood of all - my ZIP code.
Folks, every single election is important. Local government is the breeding ground for state government, which in turn is where we get the majority of our folks in DC. Obama was a community organizer turned State Senator turned US Senator turned President. And that demon Kevin McCarthy started small as well - from a small community college elected position to the California State Assembly to the US House and now as Speaker is just behind VP Kamala Harris in line for the Presidency.
Y'all out there ignoring your local and state elections as if the Presidency was a dictatorship? Oh hell no. Y'all ignoring voting altogether because you think your vote doesn't make a difference - did you know that in 2016, Trump won in six states with LESS THAN 2% margin? As the Washington Post reported, "This election was effectively decided by 107,000 people in these three states (Michigan, Pennsylvania & Wisconsin). Trump won the popular vote there by that combined amount."
And we all know that, sadly, the GOP is not the party of legendary Oregon governor, environmentalist (and Republican) Tom McCall, and their demonization of the EPA which their party's leader, Nixon, founded in
the 1970s hasn't boded well for our planet. We even have weather forecasters getting death threats for simply discussing the impact of climate change on our temperatures and storm systems!
You can't tweet or Tiktok or recycle your way out of this folks. You gotta vote, and if you have the right and choose not to use it, you are complicit with all of the damage happening to not only the environment, but to Women's, LGBTQ, and BIPOC rights and treatment. YOU are part of the problem if you refuse to vote. Period.
"Bad politicians are sent to Washington by good people who don't vote." ~ William E. Simon (63rd U.S. Secretary of Treasury)