This is the climate election of our lives

by Randy MacDonald

Last November 4th, Donald Trump gave formal notice of his intent to withdraw the United States from the Paris Climate Accord.  Under that agreement’s rules, Trump’s notice triggered a year-long countdown before the US could actually leave the Accord.

That countdown will end on the day after the 2020 General Election, when Trump will then have the authority to remove the US from the historic 2012 agreement among all countries to limit global warming as an international effort.

The Accord is not a perfect agreement.  Nations will need to do much more on climate than they committed to in Paris, but unless the world’s countries take effective, concerted action on climate, our planet will become increasingly unlivable in the decades ahead.  And without US involvement, other nations will be less likely to be able to restore climate stability.

This is just one reason why the stakes in this Climate Election could not be higher as our planet pushes up against multiple climactic tipping points.  Nothing less than the future of life on earth will be on this November’s ballot.  So, the question is what are you and I going to do about it?

Casting your own vote is necessary but not sufficient.  We must extend our influence beyond our own ballot to convince as many people as possible to vote for a livable future.  For those with the means, making donations to effective political organizations pursuing strong climate agendas is important.  And all of us, regardless of our financial status, can get active in worthy campaigns for candidates who support real climate action.  From local government races to the US presidency, campaigns are looking for volunteers right now.  Just call the HQ of your favorite candidate’s campaign, they’ll be glad for the help.

The Sierra Club itself is mounting the largest political mobilization in the Club’s history through the Sierra Club Independent Action “Plan To Win” campaign.  Thousands of volunteers have already signed up to send text messages, write letters and make calls to voters in Arizona, Florida, Michigan and Pennsylvania — four must-win battleground states that the Plan To Win campaign is strategically focusing upon this election cycle.

To learn more and get involved, visit

The appalling truth is that environmentally-concerned citizens tend to vote less often than many other groups of voters, according to the Environmental Voter Project (visit to learn more).  In this epochal election, with so much on the line, those of us who care about the health of our planet have a responsibility to make sure that we show up at the polls and ensure that our like-minded brothers and sisters do the same.  This is the Climate Election of our lifetime.  Let’s make sure we do all that we can so we will have no regrets on the day after the election when Donald Trump will most likely withdraw the United States from the Paris Climate Accord.  If we are successful, that will only be a temporary action which the next Administration will reverse.

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