"Ordinary people with extraordinary vision can redeem the soul of America by getting in what I call good trouble, necessary trouble. Voting and participating in the democratic process are the key".
-John Lewis, US House of Representatives
"It is easy to believe we the people have no say; that the powers in Washington will roll over our local concerns with their corporate energy ties and thumper trucks. It is easy to believe that the American will is only focused on how to get rich, how to be entertained, and how to distract itself from the hard choices we have before us as a nation..... I refuse to believe this. The only space I see truly capable of being closed is not the land or our civil liberties but our own hearts."
VOTE!! VOTE SMART! TALK TO YOUR CANDIDATES! We asked many scientists the question "what is the most important thing people can do about climate change?" The same answer was repeated: "Ask good questions of our elected officials." Get smart about what matters to you and then press candidates for concrete answers to substantial questions. For example:
What matters to you about the health of the ocean?
What have YOU done politically to address this issue? In your personal life?
What are you going to do about this issue if you are elected?
MOST IMPORTANT: Do you endorse government policies that support science?
Attend a candidate event and ask a climate change questions. Hearing a chorus of questions about climate change makes them pay attention this important and should be a plank in their platform.
Prepare good questions: brief, specific, fact-based, jargon-free, direct and not a "yes or no" question
Begin all questions with "how" or "what"
Tie your question to a local or regional issue that you connect to your own experience with climate change.
Be brief and practice your question before hand.
Have a 2nd question ready in case someone asks yours before you get a chance.
Bring a friend who is also willing to ask a climate change question, increasing the odds that one of you will be called on.
Don't ask if the candidate "believes in" human-caused climate change. INSTEAD, ask them how they will respond to it.
Have the courage to listen to your own heart about what you know is important.
GETTING SMART ABOUT YOUR VOTE:
The League of Conservation Voters works to turn environmental values into national, state and local priorities. Their priorities include working to elect environmentally friendly candidates and promote tax incentives and legislation that moves us toward sustainability. LCV, in collaboration with their state LCV partners, advocates for sound environmental laws and policies, holds elected officials accountable for their votes and actions, and elects pro-environment candidates who will champion our priority issues. They work to educate the public, lobby Congress and the administration, build coalitions, promote grassroots power, and train the next generation of environmental leaders as part of their grassroots efforts. You can support them and/or participate in their online campaigns.