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Why People Like You Are Voting for the Climate on November 8

by Claire Wang

November 7, 2016

Last week, I got a rush of adrenaline as I cast my vote for the climate in my first ever election. Our democracy, our planet, and our future are all on the line — so I hope you will join me and head to the polls on November 8 to cast YOUR vote.

I'm a Climate Voter

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Not long after I became a student at Duke University in North Carolina, I found out about a new natural gas power plant that was going to be built on my campus. Since then, I’ve been organizing students, faculty, and community members against the project.

Every day, I work to ensure that my institution commits to bold, forward-thinking action for climate, not reliance on dirty fossil fuels. Over the next three years, I plan to continue organizing so that my school — and the rest of the country — will make the transition to renewable energy. But that work will be a whole lot harder if we elect leaders who aren’t committed to acting on climate.

So much progress has already been made for our planet — and yet one of the candidates in this presidential election refuses to “believe” the science of climate change.

Casting my vote for the first time felt powerful, especially knowing that thousands of you were voting with me. My vote doesn’t just represent me. It represents a movement of people fighting for a future we can believe in. I voted for the climate because this is a critical time for our country and our planet. Tomorrow is our chance to make sure we hold our politicians accountable.

In the chaotic weeks leading up to this election, it was sometimes hard for me to get excited about voting. Maybe some of you have been there too, or are even there now. But I’m here to tell you: your voice matters. Your vote matters. You are powerful. Tomorrow, we have the chance to choose the future we want for our country: a future we create moving forward together or a future shaped by bigotry, greed, and climate denial.

Last week, I emailed other Greenpeace supporters like you to ask why you were voting for the climate. Your responses blew me away, and I wanted to share some of them back with you.

Here’s why Greenpeace supporters like you are voting for the climate this year.

  • “I see communities in my state dangerously impacted by climate change and fossil fuel pollution. It’s my responsibility as a voter to fight for them.” — Kyli, Texas
  • “Because it is so incredibly critical. I have an 11-month old daughter, and I’m voting for her future.”— Anna, California
  • “As a responsible human being, there is no more urgent a crisis facing humanity than climate change. It is an existential question on whether we, as a species, can come together enough, grow up enough, and take responsibility enough to save ourselves.” — Christine, North Carolina
  • “Moving to Mars seems out of the question.” — Cheryl, Michigan
  • “Because it matters.” — Patrick, Maryland

It’s all on the line tomorrow.

To me, voting is an essential part of my activism. I work every day to fight the influence of the fossil fuel industry, and we are all fighting to break down oppressive power systems in America. Part of that fight is making sure we have the right leaders — leaders we can work with, put pressure on, and hold accountable to their promises.

Whether those officials are presidents, members of Congress, or on our city councils, it’s up to everyone to make sure they’re fighting for us.

Don’t know how to vote in your state? Find your polling place here!

Not registered? Guess what! If you live in one of these states, you can register on Election Day: Colorado, Connecticut, Washington DC, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, Wisconsin, Wyoming.

We’re all powerful when we vote. So whether you’re looking for a way to avoid moving to Mars, to make your community safer, or to protect our future, there’s one thing you have to do on Election Day — show up and vote for the climate.

Claire Wang

By Claire Wang

Claire is a Duke University Student Organizer based in North Carolina. She works to fight the power of the fossil fuel industry on her campus by organizing students, faculty, and community members.

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