Guest essay by Eric Worrall
According to The Guardian, the climate revolution is suffering from a lack of green supporters who manage to make it to the polling booth on the right day.
‘We need some fire’: climate change activists issue call to arms for voters
Campaigners say more than 15m people who care about the environment did not vote in the 2014 midterms – can they create a ‘green wave’ this November?
Among the motivating issues for voters in US elections, the environment is typically eclipsed by topics such as healthcare, the economy and guns. But the upcoming midterms could, belatedly, see a stirring of a slumbering green giant.
“The environmental movement doesn’t have a persuasion problem, it has a turnout problem,” said Nathaniel Stinnett, founder of the Environmental Voter Project, which is aiming to spur people who care about the natural world and climate change to the ballot box. “This group has more power than it realizes. In the midterms we want to flood the zone with environmentalists.”
Any such voting surge would go some way to heeding the increasingly urgent warnings from scientists about climate change. A major UN climate report released this week said the world risks worsening floods, droughts, species loss and poverty without “rapid and far-reaching transitions” to energy, transport and land use.
“We show it can be done within laws of physics and chemistry,” said Jim Skea, a co-author of the exhaustive report. “The final tick box is political will. We cannot answer that.”
An obstacle in the US is the large pool of environmental voters who don’t actually vote, according to public records and polls analyzed by the Environmental Voter Project. It estimates more than 15 million people who rank the environment as a top tier issue didn’t vote in the 2014 midterms. Since its creation in 2015, the voter project claims it has increased turnout of target voters by as much as 4.5% in elections.
To help inspire any greens who may be having difficulty organising their diaries, below is an interview with a high profile green candidate on Watters World.