If you think climate change is an important issue (like I do), and you’re wondering who to vote for in the upcoming U.S. election, who should get your vote? Which politicians should you vote against?
The easy answer is: vote for democrats, against republicans. That’s actualy a excellent way to choose, but there’s one even better: look at your individual politicians and see what their record is on the climate change issue.
Fortunately, there are organizations that have done just that. One is the League of Conservation Voters, who record every environmental vote in the U.S. House and Senate and issue a “score” (on a scale of 0 to 100) for each member. They also score each one on separate issues, including climate change. They score both their performance in the most recent full year (2017) and their lifetime record.
Naturally, I retrieved their scorecard on global warming to have a closer look. I’ll focus on the lifetime scores.
First let’s look at the democrat/republican divide. It’s huge. Here are how many from each party fall into each score range in the House (democrats in blue, republicans in red):
Only 2% of republicans have a score of 50 or higher, while 99% of democrats do. The median score for republicans is 2 (on a scale of 0 to 100), median for democrats is 95. Yes, this is one of the most partisan issues in the U.S. today.
But there are exceptions, republicans scoring 50 or higher and democrats scoring below 50. Here are the five republicans with good scores, with their party (all republicans of course), the district they represent, and their lifetime scores:
Note that two of them have a lifetime rating of 100! Let’s keep those people in congress. Extra note: Carlos Curbelo has a lifetime score of 75 but only got a 50 for the year 2017, while Elise Stefanik has a lifetime 50 but scored 100 in the year 2017.
Here are the democrats with bad score:
Yes they’re better than most republicans (which is setting the bar way too low), but they’re just not up to par. Let’s get rid of them — unless the opponent (check your local list) is even worse. Extra note: they both have a year-2017 score of a lowly 17.
As for the Senate,
Notice that there are two senators shown in brown rather than red or blue — those are the two independents. Both independents (Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Angus King of Maine) have good scores.
Democrats have a median score of 90, independents 84.5, republicans only 5.
Only one republican has a good score: Susan Collins of Maine at 61 (but for year 2017 she barely squeaked by at 50).
Two democrats have bad scores:
For democrats, that’s pathetic. Get rid of them unless the opponent is even worse.
The upcoming mid-term elections in the U.S. are crucial for many reasons. I’m here to tell you that one of those crucial reasons is climate change. You should consider all the issues, but please make climate change your #1 issue.
As for the good republicans on this issue, yes I think we should keep them. If we don’t reward good behavior, instead just voting on party lines, we can’t expect more good behavior. Let them know that a good record on climate change issues helps them get re-elected, a bad record means we’ll show you the door.
An important thing to remember is that state legislatures matter. Find out how your state reps stand, and how they voted, and make climate change your #1 issue.
An extremely important thing to remember is that this is based on their voting record, not on their stump speeches or rhetoric. This is crucial! Any minute now I expect Marco Rubio (R-FL) to declare that he’s serious about climate change (Florida being one of the most hard-hit states), maybe even claim he’s been serious about it all along. His voting record says otherwise, so if he starts making claims like that, call him the liar that he is.
Most important of all: VOTE.
This blog is made possible by readers like you; join others by donating at My Wee Dragon.