It is November 7, 2016, just hours before the polls open for the most bitter election in American history. Polls (if you put any faith in them) show Hillary Clinton with a slim lead over Donald Trump. Significant numbers of Americans strongly dislike both candidates but this election is not about either one of them. It is about whether we will elect leaders in the House and Senate and in our state legislatures who will vigorously support efforts to address climate change by dramatically reducing carbon dioxide pollution. It is no exaggeration to say that the earth hangs in the balance on the eve of this election.
That is certainly the view of Bill McKibben, founder of 350.org and one of the committed climate activists on the planet. He told Think Progress today, “Bernie [Sanders] said very wisely that the most vulnerable people in the country have the most at stake here. I think one could add to that the most vulnerable people in the world — who are never going to get to vote in this thing, but many of whom are going to get die in a Donald Trump world from drought, flood, war, pestilence and the seven or eight Horsemen of the Trump Apocalypse.”
McKibben believes the United States is the key to responding appropriately to climate change. In a Trump administration, he fears America will default on its leadership role, exacerbating the problem rather than helping to find solutions. Trump is a firm supporter of the “Drill, baby, drill” policies espoused by Sarah Palin and others.
Considering the US Congress is chock full of climate deniers like Senator James Inhofe — the jackass who brought a snowball into the Senate last winter to prove climate change is a hoax — it is critical tomorrow to only vote for people who will protect the earth and everyone on it rather than kowtow to wealthy fossil fuel interests.
McKibben spelled out some of his views on the election last month in an article published by The Nation entitled, “The Climate Movement Has to Elect Hillary Clinton — and Then Give Her Hell.” His key point is that whatever you may think about Hillary Clinton, “she can be pressured.” Trump on the other hand is “an ecological and moral disaster.”
It is important not to elect a woman-groping, narcissistic, pathological liar to be our president, but it is also important to not vote for idiots who will work to undermine every effort to realistically address the problem of climate change. Whether you are voting for Congress or for leaders in your home state, please vote wisely. There are a lot of angry people in America today but anger is not a plan. We need effective leaders, not certified dunces.
If you are still not sure this whole climate change thing is real, watch Leonardo DiCaprio’s amazing Before The Flood. It may help you change your mind. On November 8, please vote responsibly.
Photo credit: 350.org