By: Jason Librock
With over twenty presidential candidates confirmed, some Americans may already be fed up with the media speculation for the 2020 election, which is still over a year away. Yet when it’s time to cast a ballot, a significant number of people stay home because they do not feel as if they can actually cause change in the country. This could very well be the reason why the US has consistently fallen behind other democratic countries in the last century with its voter turnout.
The same feeling that disenfranchised voters experience is identical to the way that most people feel about the current environmental situation. With a myriad of gigantic problems that don’t have solid solutions, it’s hard for someone to believe that they could have any positive impact in stopping climate change. However, the ability to vote on environmental issues such as climate change is the most effective way for one person to assert change in the world. While many reading this may be skeptical, a quick look around any building on campus can identify a recycling bin. Its impact might be regretfully small, but recycling is a great example of how voters used their power in order to positively impact the environment around them. Without voters electing politicians that then enforce environmental programs such as recycling, then any environmental do-gooder’s progress is hindered by someone who may not be as environmentally thoughtful. But the issue of climate change is a “hyperobject.” That is, it is so big and encompasses a lot of other problems without any clear solutions.
So how can someone hope to effect climate change, let alone truly understand all of its inner workings? Just like other issues, environmental solutions are complicated and may have great debate until one answer might be found, and even then that one answer will not fix it all. However environmental issues have always been put on the metaphorical back burner when it comes to politics, forced to make way for “hot button” issues such as immigration, taxes, and which drugs should be deemed legal. While all of these issues have a home in the hearts of Americans, the environmental issues that the world is facing should trump all others, since they are the only proven issue that has the ability to globally end the human race. So if you want to help the environment, voting is the best possible option to pursue this change.