The Politics of Environmental Responsibility  

You value nature, quality of life, and your own health. When you're in the wild you practice the "take only pictures, leave only footprints" ethic. When you're at home you practice the "three Rs" by reducing what you buy and use, reusing what you can, and recycling what you can't. You handle household chemicals responsibly so they won't contaminate our shared environment. Doing things like those I've described means you are environmentally responsible, right? Not quite. With the stroke of a pen, a single politician in Washington can open 58 million acres of federally owned wilderness to logging, mining, oil exploration, and the whims of individual state governors. That's far more than you'd save in a million lifetimes of practicing the three Rs. The same politician can extend billions in corporate welfare subsidies to polluting industries and dismantle long standing safeguards for clean air, clean water, and endangered wildlife. All this and more has happened in the past few years. That's right, environmental responsibility means knowing the environmental record and stance of the candidates and voting accordingly.

Many who would not dream of setting a forest fire, dumping used motor oil into a lake, or throwing garbage into the street, vote for irresponsible public officials who enact laws that are far more destructive. By a gigantic margin, voting for people who are champions of the environment makes more difference than anything else you can possibly do. Make a difference and vote.

Additional Resource: League of Conservation Voters

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  Copyright 2008 Dean M. Chriss
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