Next week's elections might affect climate and energy conservation less than you might think. Although politico says that it will be difficult for GOP candidates to succeed unless they are climate change deniers, evidence suggests that stance may not be so important in terms of protecting the environment if you approach it for the right reasons. It does not necessarily matter what people believe causes environmental changes, as long as we address them as best we can.
Even though states' energy efficiency and policies seem to reflect their political stances, there is a lot more to it than what we see on the surface, according to a recent study. Though the top ten best and worst states in terms of efficiency and policy may have been mostly "blue" and "red" respectively, there are a number of reasons states focus on energy efficiency. Maggie Molina of the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy told the New York Times that those reasons include supply and infrastructure concerns, as well as economic development and job creation.
Many churches have taken a completely apolitical stance to protecting the environment, calling it "creation care". Nancy Jackson, chair of the Climate and Energy Project, told the New York Times that you can avoid the climate debate and still reduce environmental impact by targeting key areas such as cost-reduction, job creation in "green" fields, and "creation care".
Despite the environmental debate becoming highly politicized, especially in recent months, you can still have a big environmental impact regardless of the side of the aisle on which you land, and there is legislation on the ballot next week to reflects this. In Washington State, Referendum 52 proposes $505 million to invest in public schools to improve energy efficiency and usage. This legislation is much more about saving money and investing in education than reducing carbon emissions.
Do politics play a big role in energy usage? Does the need for efficiency really go beyond political beliefs? Can you really be against climate change and in favor of climate preservation? Does it matter if you believe in climate change as long as you are taking steps towards efficiency and energy reduction? Share your thoughts below...