Greens Urge People to Vote On Global Warming Issues
Polls typically show that global warming is one of the last things on peoples’ minds in a lagging economy with foreign conflicts brewing. But environmental groups are making one last push to encourage people to vote in favor of candidates who support policies to fight global warming.
Greens took to social media to convince followers to get out to the polls Tuesday with some using the hashtag #climatevoter in an attempt to make their message go viral.
Today is election day in the U.S., and climate is *actually an issue* in many races. If you can, GO VOTE. It counts. #climatevoter
— 350 dot org (@350) November 4, 2014
— NRDC (@NRDC) November 4, 2014
RT @JClarkprez: Wildlife can’t vote, but you can. Get out there & vote!!! Our wildlife and wildlands are depending on us!!
— Defenders Wildlife (@Defenders) November 4, 2014
Environmental groups have spent at least $85 million this election, according to The Washington Post’s Chris Mooney. Most of that money has come from one man — San Francisco billionaire Tom Steyer.
Steyer’s activist group NextGen Climate Action has spent a whopping $57 million on election activities, including media blitzes, backing Democratic candidates and promoting global warming policies this cycle. Steyer’s money has made environmental groups a major funding force this election.
The League of Conservation Voters has also unleashed a torrent of funding this election cycle, spending $30 million to help keep Democrats in office and push environmental policies.
LCV dedicated $19 million in election funding to federal races, including backing Democrats in tough races. The group has even backed Democrats like Sen. Kay Hagan of North Carolina and Sen. Mark Begich of Alaska, who support the Keystone XL pipeline and oil and natural gas drilling.
NextGen and LCV together spent $87 million this election cycle alone. This is just the tip of the iceberg since there are other major environmental groups like the Sierra Club and the Natural Resources Defense Council that have also ponied up this election.
The problem all of these groups face is that voters give fighting global warming a very low priority despite maybe even agreeing that warming is an issue that needs to be addressed.
A Pew Research Center study from September found that 48 percent of Americans believe global global warming is an issue, but rank it below other problems like fighting ISIS and dealing with Iran’s nuclear program. A recent survey by Gallup didn’t even show global warming or environmental issues as a top concern for Americans — but the Ebola virus was.
A Huffington Post/YouGov survey claims that voters want policies to fight global warming even if the issue is not a top focus of this election. But even this poll found that under half of voters (49 percent) want stricter climate policies, while more than a third oppose such policies.
“Forty-four percent of respondents said they believe human activity is driving climate change, and 33 percent said they believe the climate is changing but not because of human activity,” HuffPo reported. “Just 12 percent said the climate is not, in fact, changing.”
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