Help economy AND climate recover

Parkersburg News & Sentinel Letter to the Editor Nov 14, 2020

by Aaron Dunbar

It’s safe to say that a lot of interesting things happened on Nov. 3. But chief among them to me was a segment during Fox News’ election night coverage, during which hosts examined a voter analysis of average Americans’ opinions on a range of various issues.

Now, bear in mind, this is Fox News being discussed. Not CNN or MSNBC.

According to Fox News’ analysis, a combined 70 percent of Americans either somewhat or strongly favor increasing our government’s spending on renewable energy.

Just think about that for a moment. This is the same network that once featured Laura Ingraham trying to drink a steak stuffed with incandescent lightbulbs through a plastic straw in order to “trigger” liberals (to be honest most of us were far more baffled than triggered.)

So how do you explain such an unexpected development?

As a member of the nonpartisan organization Mid-Ohio Valley Climate Action, I’ve spent the past year working with a great group of folks to reach out and engage with members of our community. Chief among our efforts has been to distribute campaign yard signs to voters throughout the Mid-Ohio Valley, not endorsing any particular candidate or party, but simply encouraging people to vote for candidates who prioritize climate change and a shift toward renewable energy.

I’ll never forget the moment when, toward the end of our first public event since the start of the pandemic, a gentleman came up to where we were assembled, and asked for one of our yard signs.

“I’m a Republican,” he said, “but I agree we really need to start doing something about this.”

I happen to believe that certain modes of political thought are more equipped to tackle the existential threat of climate change than others. But at the end of the day, this is an issue that affects all of us, whether left, right, or center. And average Americans realize that fact, no matter how loudly an extremely vocal minority may try to insist otherwise.

That’s why Mid-Ohio Valley Climate Action supports bold action on climate such as the THRIVE Agenda, a powerful framework for economic recovery that will create new jobs and opportunities for working Americans, as well as offering up bipartisan solutions to lead us toward a brighter, cleaner future.

Climate change is a universal issue, and it’s time to begin uniting around solutions that work for all of us.