Vote for the environment
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I am an eternal optimist. I have to be. Every day, Friends of the Earth confronts some of the largest national and global environmental problems. Our game plan typically strikes at the heart of the problem: Pesticides are killing bees and pollinators – so we go directly to the big agro-chemical companies like Bayer and Syngenta to put a stop to it. Palm oil producers are destroying tropical rainforests and hurting communities – so we go after the Big Banks and investment firms that are invested in companies destroying the rainforests. United Nations scientists say we need to keep 80 percent of all our fossil fuels in the ground to avoid the worst impacts of climate change – so we take on a very popular president with a radical ask to “Keep Fossil Fuels in the Ground.”
A little optimism helps when you take on such challenging campaigns — optimism and the support of more than 750,000 members, activists and followers. Our collective action has created victory out of certain defeat. Just look at the Keystone XL fight for one game-changing example, or the recent victory to close down the Diablo Canyon nuclear reactors.
Now, I am asking you to do something very personal: please vote. Vote for elected officials who share your values, from the president to your city or county council members. You know why an environmental majority matters, but I’ll give you several examples of the impact it could have.
We currently have one Supreme Court vacancy. An appointee nominated by a president who shares our values and who is vetted by an environmental majority in the Senate could help reverse the damaging Citizens United decision and begin reforming campaign finance laws. This justice could rule in support of continuing the Clean Power Plan, which regulates greenhouse gas emissions.
An environmental majority in the Senate and House of Representatives could help pass laws to empower the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and other federal agencies to protect monarch butterflies and other pollinators from chemicals, or outright ban those chemicals. An environmental majority in Congress could finally repeal all those fossil fuel and nuclear power subsidies that Friends of the Earth has campaigned to end.
Now I may be an optimist, but I am not naïve. Even if we elect an environmental majority, we must still push these officials beyond their political comfort zones to stand up to moneyed interests and fight political and environmental malaise.
Voting is our sacred right and necessary for us to win. Without the enactment of strong laws and policies, many of our campaign victories could very well be temporary. Just look at how Congress voted to repeal Vermont’s GMO labeling law.
Friends of the Earth will continue to champion a healthy and just world, and we will continue to marshal our collective action to win, but we need all 750,000 allies to vote for the candidates they believe will work the hardest to protect our precious environment.
Please vote on Tuesday, November 8.