It seems like political divisions in our country are becoming more and more polarized as time goes by. We’ve divided ourselves into right and left on almost every possible topic - from healthcare, to security, to finances. And yet, we still like to believe that there's more that unites us than divides us.
The Environment & Politics
It’s fair to say that many or most people on both sides of the political divide want what’s best for our country, though they have different ideas about how to get there. Both want access to opportunities and resources. Both want better lives for themselves and their fellow Americans. And, of course, both sides want a better future for our kids and future generations.
It’s curious, then, that the cause of protecting our environment has largely been framed as a left of center concern.
Clean Energy Unites Us
A recent poll found that three quarters of Americans are pro-solar energy. This included registered voters from both political parties, as well as independents. It additionally found that 71% of us are pro-wind power. In fact, the state that holds the title as the number one producer of wind power is right leaning Texas. Clearly there is some common ground to be found here...
These clean energy options are an excellent example of the ways that environmental concerns should unite, rather than divide us. Clean energy is good for the environment, of course. It’s also been proven good for our health. And with the increasing availability of solar and wind power technologies, it’s unquestionably good for our wallets.
Likewise, the conservative/libertarian principles of fiscal conservation and less dependence on government services are well suited to off-the-grid living. Remember that meme about George W. Bush’s eco-friendly home in Crawford? Living green is not a leftist concept.
We’re All in This Together
At the end of the day, the environment should be a concern for all of us. Whether you live in a densely-packed city where smog has become a constant concern, or out in the country where you’re surrounded by the natural beauty we should all be working to protect, this is an issue that affects us all.
If we want to move forward with important Earth-friendly initiatives, it’s time that we stop looking at this as a right or left issue. By engaging with those on the other side of the political spectrum, we can make progress and make a difference.