I was downtown today. I saw an older pickup truck, jacked up, off-road tires. Its exactly the kind of truck I would have loved to own back in the day; the kind of truck nostalgic country singers croon about. I used to have a truck like it, actually. I would wash it, just to run it through puddles and get “good mud” on it. The kind of truck that I DON’T own now, and probably will not ever again. Not because big trucks and jacked up tires aren’t fun or useful. But they guzzle gas and combust fossil fuels and the climate activist in me can’t wrap my head around using one to putz around town in.
Now I know many people need trucks and use them appropriately. This post isn’t a dis on trucks in general. There is a complete void of readily available and affordable electric or alternative fuel alternative on the market… for now. I don’t expect my contractor to haul concrete and lumber in a LEAF, or a gardener to pack a mower in a Tesla.
In the back of this Chevy was a large political sign… the kind of visual pollution you see at every major intersection a month before an election. It happened to be for the opponent of the candidate I support. “Support” to the point of actively volunteering for the campaign, making calls and writing postcards and emails for.
It made me ill to see this sign in the back of this gas-guzzling older pickup… older meaning really inefficient with a gas tank that still allows for gasoline to vaporize into the atmosphere. It wasn’t being used for a job other than promoting a candidate. This method of advertising had a paradoxical effect, entrenching me even more in support of the incumbent this truck as trying to unseat.
Have you heard about the Dear Tomorrow nonprofit? DearTomorrow is a digital platform and archive project where people share letters, photos, and videos to their children, family, or future self about their promise to take action on climate change.
I first heard about Dear Tomorrow at Climate Reality training. Pittsburgh, PA mayor Bill Peduto spoke the 1,300 climate activists about why we resisted Trump’s message to focus on “Pittsburgh, not Paris” when stating he was pulling the United States out of the Paris Climate accord. I visited Dear Tomorrow’s website and saw Mr. Peduto’s picture and connected the two. Anyway, I thought it was cool at the time. And maybe a little self serving, since this elected person was talking about electing people based on his own platform. Nonetheless, its awesome that a climate activist like Peduto would be mayor of a city with a history mired in coal and steel and building America and all of the pollution that comes with it… and is actually making a difference by what you can not see in the river and not smell in the air!
So when I logged onto social media and find the opponent of my local county board of supervisor race taking a break from her mercedes SUV and driving a pickup with a huge sign promoting herself, I was irritated. And then there was the chevy I had also seen, confirming that this was not an isolated incident, but an actual campaign tactic. I couldn’t help but think of Mr. Peduto’s Dear Tomorrow and adopt it as my own war cry.
I PROMISE TO VOTE FOR CANDIDATES THAT MAKE CLIMATE CHANGE A PRIORITY!
Tonight I went to phone bank on my candidate’s behalf. She was there, making calls, too. I parked my zero-emissions vehicle next to hers. And that felt right!
There are a lot of important issues out there. But what will it all matter if we don’t have a habitable planet to live on? Thats why the issue of climate change is the priority in all of my votes. Click Here for more information on Dear Tomorrow and how to become an environmental voter.