Today’s Solutions: February 08, 2023

Like anything else in a democratic country, making decisions on climate change doesn’t depend just on the sitting president. There needs to be a majority of elected representatives acting concertedly in the interest of the people and the planet. The November elections are as important as the presidential race two years from now as the issue of climate change has never been more critical. When electing representatives who will act in the planet’s best interest, it is important to keep these things in mind. 

What’s a candidate saying? 

Promising to act on climate change could simply be a note that a candidate knows they need to hit in a speech to appeal to the majority of voters who want climate action. It does, however, pay to listen to candidates and rank what and how much they say about climate change about their other campaign promises. 

Advocates like Karyn Strickler, founder and president of the Vote Climate U.S. political action committee, place a lot of value on what candidates do and don’t say about climate change. “You have to make public statements that show it is a top priority,” said Strickler. “What bills do you co-sponsor? Are you writing op-eds? What do you say in your speeches?”

What is their track record? 

While candidates need to express themselves and their agenda to the voters, speeches and campaign promises can often be fluid. Looking into a candidate’s history and track record gives a voter a much better impression of how they will act when elected or reelected. We can do this by looking into their voting record, but to save some time on the issue of climate change we can look at the League of Conservation Voters’ scorecard. This resource is a record of how each member of Congress votes on bills and climate-relevant amendments and cloture motions.

Who is funding them? 

In the American election system, voters need to consider where a candidate’s campaign financing comes from, as this is generally the strongest indicator of how they will vote, regardless of party. The good news is that how much money and where it comes from is open to the public and easy to find. We can look at this site to see who receives campaign financing from the alternative energy sector, and alternatively who receives money from oil and gas. 

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