It’s almost Election Day—vote! I can’t recommend a candidate. This isn’t that kind of column, but if you’re reading it then it’s likely that you’re interested in the environment. This is a really important election for many reasons and our planet’s environmental health is high among them.
When looking at the candidates—not only for President but also your state and local officials—choose those who most closely match your views and principles. To find clarification, read, or reread, Tom Friedman’s article, “The Power of Green” from The New York Times Magazine. Though published eons ago, or so it seems, his assertions remain as true today on the brink of this election as they were back in the opening months of the primaries.
Friedman wants to rename “green” because, as he says, “a new green ideology, properly defined, has the power to mobilize liberals and conservatives, evangelicals and atheists, big business and environmentalists around an agenda that can both pull us together and propel us forward. That’s why I say we don’t just need the first black president. We need the first green president. We don’t just need the first woman president. We need the first environmental president. We don’t just need a president who has been toughened by years as a prisoner of war but a president who is tough enough to level with the American people about the profound economic, geopolitical and climate threats posed by our addiction to oil—and to offer a real plan to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels.
When you go into that voting booth, think about which candidates will legislate the proper regulations to preserve our hard-fought achievements and protect the land, seas, and air against those who would weaken them for financial gain. Which will aggressively attack the causes of climate change, maintain strict drinking water standards, promote alternative energy development, invest in infrastructure projects such as light rail systems, fight for higher fuel efficiency standards, and make appointments based on qualifications rather than cronyism?
Burst with patriotism on November 4th. It’s our planet to save.