I’m a 17-year-old singer-songwriter and climate justice activist from Los Angeles, California. So far, I haven’t had a say in who’s creating the policies that will affect my future, and because of the climate crisis, I may not even have a future. The current administration is doing nothing to prevent it from worsening, and some even deny that climate change exists. Long story short, I’m pissed.
But I’m on a mission to change things. In 2020, I will be able to vote in an election for the very first time. I’ve been following the presidential candidates closely, and I know that I’m going to vote for someone who makes fighting climate change their top priority.
At this point in the race, most of the presidential candidates are still trying to hone in on what issues are most important to the American people. It’s too soon to say which candidates will emerge with a winning strategy to combat climate change, but it’s encouraging to see the promise that 2020 could finally become the climate election. Several of the candidates have addressed the issue, and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee has made it the core platform of his campaign.
Scientists have known about climate change for several decades. It’s crazy that the current administration is actually moving backwards on the issue. Millions of people around the world are dying due to severe, more frequent natural disasters, rising temperatures that affect health and agriculture, and water and air pollution. If we postpone our actions any further, climate change will become irreversible, and we might not have a livable future. Up until this point, most of our elected officials have had a business-as-usual attitude about it. We must now vote as if our lives depend on it, because they do.
Up until this point, most of our elected officials have had a business-as-usual attitude about climate change. We must now vote as if our lives depend on it, because they do.
Climate change isn’t a standalone issue. It intersects with nearly all the major issues concerning the average American voter today.
For example, healthcare is a pressing topic for many of the candidates. No matter where you stand on the issue, everyone deserves to live a healthy life. However, the fossil fuel industry is contributing to the poor health of millions of people around the world. 2.4 million deaths a year worldwide can be traced to oil pollution. Also, according to a study by the Clean Air Task Force, extraction from urban oil fields exposes people to toxic and carcinogenic chemicals like formaldehyde and benzene. These people are predominantly people of color and lower income citizens who also bear a higher burden of the dysfunctional healthcare system.
Another hot button topic in the U.S. right now is immigration, as millions of people throughout the world are migrating from their homes in search of asylum. Climate change is one cause of this as well. According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, the recent increase …read more