How Important Is the Environment to Your Vote?

How Important Is the Environment to Your Vote?

It’s funny, but here we are facing the most existential threat to the human race since Britney Spears skinny jeans



It’s funny, but here we are facing the most existential threat to the human race since Britney Spears skinny jeans hipsters the Cuban missile crisis, and neither of the presidential candidates has addressed climate change in a substantive way. Actually, that’s not funny, that’s sad.

Obama did talk about global warming in a recent interview with Rolling Stone, and later today we’ll post a short interview he did with MTV about climate change. Governor Romney, not so much.

Of course, although none may be greater than global warming, but there are far more issues facing the environment than just that. Ocean acidification. The commercialization of the Arctic as we head to ice-free summers. The collapse of fisheries. Dying reefs. Bark beetles. Wildfires and fire suppression. The challenges of renewal energy, from fights over where to put solar farms to the difficulty keeping birds safe around wind turbines. The true costs of fracking. Assaults on the EPA.

The list goes on. There’s the new sagebrush rebellion, with states like Utah and Arizona trying to grab federal lands for themselves (in AZ’s case, the Grand Canyon). Onshore and offshore drilling. Dam removal. Water use in an increasingly arid Southwest. Human-wildlife interaction.

Seriously, the issues affected by your choice of president are legion — and that extends to the House and Senate, plus your local reps, too. It is the nature of political campaigns to be simplistic, reductionist, and emotional, but to ignore these more earthy challenges seems to be cynical and irresponsible — at best. Or maybe it really is all about “jobs.”

Now, I know I’m opening a can of worms by asking a political question, but please let’s keep your commentary to the query at hands — the importance of environment to your vote. If you want to throw mud at the other guy, there’s another place for that. It’s called Facebook.


WIN SMITH SUNGLASSES JUST BY VOTING!

This week, one poll participant will receive Smith Optic’s Serpico sunglasses. We’ll pick the winner via random number generator (and announce it here) — all you have to do to enter is vote and leave a comment so we have your email to contact you. Must have a U.S. or Canadian address. Contest ends Sunday, November 4, at midnight PST.


Steve Casimiro is the editor of Adventure Journal.
Showing 48 comments
  • Santiago
    Reply

    clearly AJ, you’re preaching to the choir with this one

    • steve casimiro
      Reply

      @Santiago, I wouldn’t assume that.

  • Michael
    Reply

    First one! – I like the environment, and its very important. Some other issues usually take precedent as the MOST important factors, however.

  • Dan
    Reply

    I have a job so the economy is whatever. We have to wake up and think long term, I would rather save the world than create a job for someone today. This should be the #1 issue world wide from what we have seen with climate change over the last 10 years. It is just ignorant that the canidates do not even touch on the subject. And a poll on this site I assume we will all agree if not #1 it is top 3

  • Hillary
    Reply

    Not MOST IMPORTANT for me either.

  • Andy
    Reply

    It’s pretty important, but there are a lot of important issues out there. It’s tough to rate issues against each other.

  • Hannah
    Reply

    I don’t think it’s as important as getting the economy back to where it should be but I think that it also play’s a factor into that with green jobs and everything. It’s of medium importants to me because of all the things that it effects.

  • Robby
    Reply

    Environmental issues are a huge task at hand, and sadly I don’t think there is a clear cut answer on which candidates support the environment.

  • Abbie
    Reply

    The environment and foreign policy. Difficult when those two subjects are paid lip service and there’s no real focus on actual improvements.

  • Matt
    Reply

    very to most

  • Lee
    Reply

    I went with medium important. I’m somewhat conservative on the fiscal side so I’m having a hard time falling into a “platform”. Envioment is a huge reason I’m still undecided.

  • whispering
    Reply

    It is very important, however it is also a function of a lot of the other factors our world is dealing with right now … it just needs to become a more important function of those.

  • Matthew Halip
    Reply

    Very important. I mean, can it afford not to be?

  • Nik
    Reply

    I went with medium important. While the environment is very important to me, it’s not getting that level of attention from the candidates, nor do I believe it will from whomever wins. So other issues are a bigger factor in my vote.

  • Craig Rowe
    Reply

    I’m with Lee. There are some scary movements out there, primarily those in UT and AZ. I have long just voted issues, regardless of party. This year, I’m still on the fence.

    Although can we have a sound political talkback without Idaho Roper?

  • ben
    Reply

    Its up there, but definitely not the only deciding factor for me.

  • Corbin
    Reply

    The thing that most bothers me is that environmental issues are always put on a back burner to the economy and foreign policy. Both of those things are very important, but if we can’t protect what we rely on for life, how can we really care about all the other stuff?

  • KatieSue
    Reply

    I rate it way up at the top with the thinking that economy and all that stuff always changes, can be suffered through, or just plain fixed later…though don’t get me wrong, I know it is important. In comparison to the environment, if we ruin it or destroy it, it cannot be fixed or put back together. The damage there can rarely be undone, at least not in a lifetime and definitely not in one presidential term.
    Also, aren’t the dam removals they’re doing good? I’m totally for them yet they are listed with the sagebrush rebellion oil drilling bad stuff list. No so.

  • twoeightnine
    Reply

    Very very very.

  • jared
    Reply

    It is worthwhile to think about what a president can or cannot do with regard to a particular issue.
    Foreign policy – a lot.
    Abortion – almost nothing.
    Environment – I think a fair amount, right? Between agency staffing, executive orders, and DoJ litigation I would assume a President can get some stuff done, but I would love the opinion of someone smarter than me on this.

    My hope is that a 2nd term Obama can be more forceful on the environment.

  • Adam K
    Reply

    Very important.

  • MarkG2
    Reply

    Not at all important to my National level vote since none of the parties actually do anything about it except give lip service. Locally on the other hand it does matter since thing can be accimplished to protect what we have a little bit at a time.

  • Matt
    Reply

    We only get one playground (planet)…I hope future generations see some of the wild places that get me so hot and bothered! 😉

  • Bwdiles
    Reply

    Save the trees!

  • Scott
    Reply

    Voted! Definitely a big issue.

  • Ryan
    Reply

    I have a good job, so the environment was number 1 for me.

  • Leigh
    Reply

    Very important to me.

  • Tina
    Reply

    If we’re thinking about the future vs. the present… one of the most important things on the list.

  • EdL
    Reply

    Very important, especially since the issue is so broadly ignored by the major party candidates.

  • d
    Reply

    Very Important

  • Claire
    Reply

    if we dont have the environment, everything else is irrelevant.

  • Ben P
    Reply

    This is by no means a single issue election. But to me, the environment matters. Sadly it doesn’t matter much to the majority of the voting population.

  • Kaytee
    Reply

    I don’t understand how the environment can not be the most important issue to everyone. Without clean air to breath, clean water to drink, and clean soil to grow our food we will not survive.

  • Hayden Beck
    Reply

    Ryan has a good point….Economy and environment for sure…but I dont think any issue should be MOST important. We might loose focus on other major issues.

  • AJ
    Reply

    Without an environment, what good would jobs be?

  • Anthony
    Reply

    I just couldn’t fathom what the R would do with free reign, voting D just to keep the environment in play a little.

  • Max
    Reply

    I use my job mainly to fund outdoor activities. What’s the point in the former without the latter? Health care? I guess I’d need it once I lose all incentive to train.

  • Jeremy
    Reply

    It’s very important, but it’s become the third rail. The environment will get the back seat until the economy fully recovers.

  • Donald
    Reply

    Its very important to me. It really is sad that they haven’t addressed this huge issue.

  • Chris
    Reply

    Very important, but I still need a government who can run the country …

    What a shame that Obama came into the economic crash, and couldnt do much for the environment when the country was hurting so much. If he’d come in in 2004, then perhaps we’d be further down the road to sorting things out a littke.

  • Jody Kaufman
    Reply

    Jeremy makes a valid point. I think the sustainable position here is for folks to take individual responsibility for the environment. You and I can’t control what persons x,y or z do – but we do have 100% control over what we do or don’t do. Actions speak louder than words. Make a personal plan and move ahead.

    I’m not naive, I ‘get it’ that individuals are not an equal match for large corporations and government – but part of this is a cultural disconnect. so, in the interim, let’s connect more people through action – small, big and other. It’s a ‘show me don’t tell me’ world out there.

  • Chris
    Reply

    I don’t think you can separate the economy from the environment – not without consequences. It has to be a wholistic approach – without an economy we can’t afford to protect, nurture, and sustain the environment; and without a viable environment we can’t have an economy.

  • Jon
    Reply

    All of what Chris just said.

  • Susie
    Reply

    Very important

  • Paul Scoggan
    Reply

    I have a bad feeling that improving the economy and making responsible decisions related to the environment are at odds with one another. Building more homes and making more stuff to sell can improve the economy, but at what cost?

  • Brett
    Reply

    Most Important!

  • jim gray
    Reply

    most important for me. the rest matters but without clean air and water who cares if i have a job.

  • colb
    Reply

    most important for sure

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