By Thais Lopez Vogel
The recent passage of the Inflation Reduction Act contains the largest contributions to fight climate change ever made by the U.S. government.
This confirms that things can change for the better thanks to our vote.
As we count down to the midterm elections, our task is quite simple: go out and vote.
Recent polls agree that climate is a crucial issue for all Florida voters, regardless of their political preference. We are experiencing climate change in our everyday lives and that is a very powerful reason to vote.
According to a recent statewide poll by Fabrizio Lee & Associates, 63% of Floridians say it matters that policymakers take action to address climate change.
“Floridians want state policymakers to act to address climate change in the upcoming legislative session,” Environmental Defense Fund Florida Director Dawn Shirreffs said of this poll.
Climate is the No. 4 topic for our voters; but other issues that concern them, such as high prices or affordable housing, are also climate-related.
For example, electricity costs are persistently climbing in the state, and it is one of the biggest concerns for families. This is because the increasingly intense heat is pushing up the use of air conditioning.
Homeowner’s insurance is also rising steadily, due to the increasing risks of hurricanes and floods.
Awareness of the problem has soared in the wake of the recent passage of Hurricane Ian and its devastating consequences for the state. Many of our neighbors have realized that things could actually get worse with each passing day.
All of this makes it less affordable to continue living in Florida.
Health is also being affected. Asthma is getting worse with pollution and the extreme heat is devastating for those who work outdoors.
If we want to do something to make a difference, we can do it now: VOTE
First, mark your calendar. It’s Tuesday, November 8th, don’t forget. You still have time to research the candidates, seek information from reliable sources and review their position on the climate crisis, as well as what they want to do in terms of legislation on the subject.
Make a real plan to vote and help your friends and family to do so. This increases turnout by more than 9%, making a big difference. It is our chance to have real representation in positions of power.
Ask yourself how you are going to get to the place, who is going to accompany you, if you are going to drive someone or someone is going to drive you. Are you voting by mail, is your vote early? Then take your time to do these tasks within the dates designated for that.
Especially don’t forget that your vote does matter. Never say “My vote won’t change anything”. For example, Jose Javier Rodriguez lost his Florida Senate seat by just 34 votes in the 2020 election. And unfortunately, he was someone eager to support climate action.
Your vote is safe if you follow the proper protocols for casting it. If you vote, your vote will be counted. The United States has one of the most secure election systems in the world and we can be proud of that.
Remember that there are crucial issues, which are above candidates or parties. Democracy is not for spectators, you have to participate. And above all, let your vote be green, like the planet we want to leave to our children and the next generations.