Help Is Here for Green Voters Making Last-Minute Decisions

election.jpgStill undecided about how you’ll vote on Super Duper Woozy Tuesday? If you live in one of the 20+ states holding presidential primaries or caucuses on Feb. 5, you’ve had a long primary season to settle on a candidate. Nonetheless, a lot of us find ourselves with our minds not yet made up about which of the remaining contenders should get our support. Whether it’s because our first choice has dropped out of the race, or the similarities in the remaining candidates’ platforms, voters can be forgiven for feeling like they won’t be able to enter the voting booth with rock-solid conviction this week.

But the 2008 presidential election is too momentous to simply throw up your hands and flip a coin — or to allow yourself to be swayed by a strictly emotional reaction to the candidates. The next president’s administration will have to deal with a slew of problems facing the country, and global climate change is just one of them. If you care about environmental issues and want your political leaders to take the lead on addressing the root causes of environmental degradation that have gone unmitigated during the last several years, you’re going to want to vote for a candidate who puts the environment at the top of his or her agenda — right up there with the Iraq war, the economy, health care, and immigration reform.

So how do you find out which candidates support the environmental issues that matter to you? It’s hasn’t been easy to tell from mainstream press coverage because the environment has gotten pushed to the back burner by more hot-button issues during the campaign. But a number of online sources have done the homework for us, and offer helpful side-by-side comparisons of the environmental platforms on offer.

The team at Grist has created an easy-to-navigate comparison chart of all the candidates’ stances on renewable energy and other climate issues, like coal-fired and nuclear power plants. The page includes plenty of links for further exploration of the issues, so you can get as detailed as you like with your research.

On his blog ecopolitology, Green Options writer Tim Hurst highlights a handy environmental scorecard of the remaining presidential candidates produced by EnviroWonk, a new spin-off blog from the stalwart EcoGeek. Click to find out who passed and who failed.

And don’t forget to support the greenest political candidates in state and local races. The folks at the League of Conservation Voters do great work advocating for sound environmental policies and tracking the voting records of lawmakers at all levels of government. As their website states:

  • Through our National Environmental Scorecard and Presidential Report Card we inform the public about the most important environmental legislation of the past Congressional session and show them how their own and other representatives voted.
  • We run tough and effective campaigns to defeat anti-environment candidates, and support those leaders who stand up for a clean, healthy future for America.
  • We educate the public, build coalitions, promote grassroots power, and train the next generation of environmental leaders as part of our grassroots efforts.
  • The LCV bases its endorsements on incumbents’ scorecards (gleaned from their environmental voting records) and candidates’ responses to an extensive eco-issues questionnaire. Click here to search for the scorecards for your representatives.

    Voters can also check out their state chapters of LCV to find out more about local races where candidates are receiving major endorsement from the League:

    Whatever you do — Democrat or GOPster — get out and vote. Your planet is depending on you.

    Photo credit: jimmckay.blogspot.com

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