With the dawn of the new political environment, the first duty of the green movement is to design a comprehensive strategy to ensure that its voice will be heard in the anticipated dialogue on climate change and global warming. The primary focus must be on advocacy with the goal of keeping the problems associated with climate change in the national spotlight.
A preliminary and ongoing requirement of the roadmap to a green path remains the removal of obstacles from this pathway. A successful model to accomplish this task can be found in the work of the League of Conservation Voters (LCV). Since 1996, this organization has worked hard to expose and defeat elected officials and candidates (regardless of party affiliation) who deny the realities of climate change and consistently vote against legislation for clean energy and conservation. Prior to every election, this group identifies opponents of green initiatives through voting scorecards and targets them for defeat. In the 2012 election, the LCV played a vital in the defeat of Mitt Romney. Additionally, it was instrumental in the defeat of the following elected officials, dubbed the “Dirty Dozen“:
- U.S. House of Representatives: Ann Marie Buerkle (NY), Joe Walsh (IL), Tim Holden (PA) and Frank Conseco (TX).
- U.S. Senate: Dennis Rehberg (MT), George Allen (VA), Heather Wilson (NM), Josh Mandel (OH) and Linda McMahon (CT).
Hopefully, members of the green movement will remain vigilant of local, state and federal activities regarding green initiatives, making it a priority to contact representatives to voice support or opposition to any proposed legislation. Of course, this will require research and fact-finding in order to understand the issues at hand. This action, however, will serve notice to representatives of their responsibility and accountability to their constituents.
Finally, it is mandatory that supporters of green initiatives use the power of the dollar to get the change they want and need to protect the environment. Consider supporting local farmers, who provide fresh fruits and vegetables that are healthier for you. Check out local businesses who do contract with local artisans and who sell organic and/or fair trade products. Avoid doing business with companies who incorporate business practices that pollute the environment, destroy the land or treat employees unfairly.
The pathway to a green life begins with small, but consistent and determined steps. Try to do something each day to make your pathway greener. Let’s live green, be green!