On November 8, you can vote to stop climate change. Will you?
On Friday, November 4, the Paris Agreement on climate change is set to formally go into effect. It aims to stop climate change in its tracks by significantly reducing the emissions that cause global warming while increasing the amount of energy we get from clean solar and wind power.
Whether those goals are achieved depends on who the people of the United States elect to be their next president four days later.
Hillary Clinton favors the Paris Agreement and will help America lead the effort to replace climate changing coal and oil with clean, healthy, jobs-producing renewable fuels.
Donald Trump wants to reopen coal mines and actually increase America’s use of the fossil fuels that pollute our air, make us and our kids sick, and perpetuate the natural disasters climate change has been fueling since Hurricane Katrina.
There is no doubt in my mind that all the progress we’ve made on climate change over the last eight years will come to a screeching halt if Trump prevails.
But he won’t – not if we all get out and vote, and get our friends, family and neighbors to do the same.
Facts to Keep In Mind
√ We just wrapped up the hottest summer since global record-keeping began in 1880.
√ Arctic sea ice, a key indicator of long-term climate change, fell to 28 percent below the 40-year average in September, tying 2007 figures for the lowest levels in the 47-year satellite record, reports the Natural Resources Defense Council.
√ Last year was the hottest year ever recorded. The first nine months of this year have been even hotter, a record 1.6 degrees Fahrenheit above the 20th Century average.
√ Nineteen of the hottest years on record have all occurred in the past 20 years.
How does that actually affect us?
⇒ Sea level is rising, swamping our homes and neighborhoods and threatening hundreds of billions of dollars worth of property, roads and favorite vacation spots, from New Orleans to Boston, from Florida to Texas, and even along the Great Lakes
⇒ Storms are drenching us. Flooded communities in North and South Carolina are still trying to recover from Hurricane Mathew, even while neighborhoods in Louisiana still struggle from the effects of Hurricane Katrina
⇒ Drought is stretching our drinking water supplies to the limit and creating so much parched land that some of our most beautiful heritage forests are catching fire and going up in smoke.
⇒ Poison ivy is getting worse as it thrives in the hothouse conditions that global warming is causing.
⇒ Mosquitoes are posting a bigger threat, too, as they spread farther north, live longer as the seasons extend, and spread diseases that used to be restricted to a narrow band in the tropics.
The threat is clear. So is our choice on Election Day.
Vote to Stop Climate Change
Hillary Clinton has been a strong proponent of stopping climate change since the first day of her campaign.
She has vowed to clean up dirty power plants and switch to solar and wind.
She supports building the next generation of energy-efficient cars, homes and workplaces.
And she knows that we can create millions of good-paying American jobs by becoming the clean energy superpower of the 21st Century.
Donald Trump is one of those people who has been discredited by over 99% of the scientific community: a climate “denier.”
He’s called climate change a “hoax” and is eager to roll back decades’ worth of climate progress.
He would squash President Obama’s signature climate change program, the 2015 Clean Power Plan. The Plan will reduce the carbon pollution from the dirty power plants that account for 40 percent of our nation’s carbon footprint.
He wants to “cancel” the Paris climate accord, which would not only be a set back for our own country, but would seriously tarnish our standing on the world stage, too.
He would actually try to accelerate how much coal and oil we burn. It would be HUUUUUGE.
You can stop climate change – by stopping Trump.
If you can still vote early, do it (here I am about 5 minutes after I voted!)
If you can volunteer, sign up here. You can help by canvassing, phone banking, and otherwise working to get people to the polls.
If you plan to vote on election day, know where your polling place is. You can plug in your zip code here to find the right location.
If you have friends, neighbors or family who need help getting to the polls, offer to drive them or get them a ride.
If you’re a lawyer, get trained in voter protection and staff a polling place to prevent voter intimidation.
If you’re active on Facebook and Twitter, encourage your communities to vote.
In other words, whatever you can do, do it.
But first and foremost, vote.