Guest post by Matthew 7:1
We all have those friends and acquaintances that like to say, “It doesn’t matter who you vote for, because the system is all screwed up. Politicians are all corrupt, regardless of their party affiliation.” Ok maybe not exactly in those words, but you get the drift. They like to persuade you and others that inaction, or that your choices of who to vote for, are essentially redundant -that you are wasting your time to even bother – that you are even foolish for thinking that you can make a difference by going out and taking the time at the voting booths.
Let me counter all that apathy with an adamant rebuttal: Never has it mattered that you vote, and vote Democrat, more than it does this year, in 2016! Now by now you have likely heard that the Supreme Court Justices are aging fast, with four of them already 80 or fast approaching it. The next President will be in position to place people who will share their ideology on major issues. Those Justices currently don’t have term limits, which means we would be stuck with the likes of another Scalia for the rest of our lives if we don’t vote Democrat. That alone is cause enough to get off your butt and vote.
But let’s look at something that you might not have considered, until you glanced at the Title of this article. With none of the GOP candidates currently hoping to run our country believing in climate change, that equates to this: None of them will work toward countering the imminent doom of the human race. I won’t even pretend that the earth itself cares one tiny bit about whether we go extinct or not. It’s us who must care, and it’s us who are responsible for taking action, if it’s not already too late. Educated people, religious or otherwise, must take responsibility for the earth.
Those of us who definitely care about the future of our own species, our children, and grandchildren, can’t possibly comprehend how people who call themselves ‘conservatives’ somehow manage to leave conserving the earth’s environment off the list of things to worry about. They would rather worry about exploiting the remaining resources, capitalizing on anything they can, and disregard and distract from the scientific consensus that climate change is caused by human activities. That’s not acceptable by any stretch of the imagination, for one of the most powerful countries on earth to voluntarily elect a person who trashes the educated and informed concerns of the scientific community worldwide. To do so wastes precious time, and we have wasted far too much time already.
I won’t even bother to foray into other alarmingly important topics, such as losing the Civil Rights the LGBT community has gained thanks to Obama, or our access to more affordable health care. Those are topics that are extremely worthy, but when you come down to it, the largest and most important distinguishing reason to vote for a Democrat in the White House, is that not doing so may well allow the time we need to turn climate change around to slip away. Our Civil Rights and health care will mean nothing if our climate is uninhabitable. With the earth’s oceans turning so acidic, that corals may dissolve by 2050, we are facing an extreme set of circumstances to say the least. We simply can’t afford to sit idly by and ignore the facts for one more month, let alone one more year.
I consider that many liberals are good at abstract thinking, but for many people, they just can’t comprehend that human activity can cause such a large problem for our species. To make it a bit more concrete, consider the American Bison or Buffalo, which numbered 30 to 60 million in the 1500’s. By 1884, only a few hundred thankfully remained. There is no doubt that was due to the exploitation and reckless disregard of American immigrants, otherwise known as “settlers.”
Two years ago also marked the 100th anniversary of the extinction of the once most numerous bird in North America, if not the world. This bird accounted for 40 percent of all avian life on the continent, and yet largely because of public disregard, and the thinking that we couldn’t possibly have an effect on the seemingly limitless and bountiful populations of those animals, Americans decimated and drove them completely to extinction by 1914. Human activity, and apathy toward the environment, and the preciousness of our fellow animal species, resulted in extinction. Granted, many people many not see the value of a bird, and how can we expect them to if they don’t even care about their own species?
Geneticists may bring the passenger pigeon back to life in a way, but who will bring our own species back when there aren’t any of us left to care? The time to care is now, and as Bernie Sanders said, we have a moral obligation to confront climate change. Those in the GOP who would rather turn away from this issue are simply unfit for the office of the President.