OK. Deep breath for me, because I take great pride in the fact that readers from across the political divide come to this blog and I don't rock that boat easily.
I believe firmly that the time for solving things through divisive party politics has passed. I believe that Republican and Democratic voters have many more commonalities than differences: the desire to by happy, the want to do the right thing for one's neighbor, worry about our children and families and on and on.
I believe, further, that it is the leaders of the ideological organizations to which individuals gravitate who have the most to gain from keeping us separate. It is the political institutions, not the people, that benefit from division.
What the people of these United States would benefit from is talking--and more importantly, listening--to each other. We need to listen to each others' concerns and come up with meaningful ways to move forward, instead of lurching back and forth around the same place, as we have done for decades.
The problem with our compromising and negotiating, I believe, is that it would put the power back in the hands of the people. And there are many moneyed institutions and businesses that prefer we continue to bicker while they make agreements behind the scenes that let them get their way.
So here on this blog, I welcome and encourage all comers, all political persuasions. We need, as I've said, to talk. More importantly, we need to listen.
But now we have an election coming and we have to face some hard truths. That one Presidential candidate is more likely to act aggressively on the climate crisis than the other. And also, that certain candidates for the House and Senate are more prepared to solve our climate crisis than others.
Before I go on, I want to recall the biblical story of King Solomon and the baby (1 Kings 3: 16-28).
As you know, two recent mothers go to Solomon with a baby. One says to the King, "That other woman's baby died and now she is trying to say my baby is hers."
The other woman says, "No, this is my baby and it is her baby that died."
One woman is the real mother, full of love and wanting the very best for the baby. The other mother, understandably, is distraught and bitter over the death of her lovely child. She acts from many strong and valid human emotions, but not out of love for the baby now before the king.
Solomon, who was known for his great wisdom, called for his sword. "We will solve this problem," he said. "Cut the child in two and give one half to each woman."
One of the woman instantly cried, "No, the baby is hers. Spare its life and give it to her."
At this point, of course, King Solomon knew which woman really loved the baby.
Why am I telling this story?
Because I think the entire population of our planet is on a dangerous precipice. We have very little time to make very great change. Solomon's sword hangs over all our babies.
We are challenged to act with love. We are challenged not necessarily to grab the baby for ourselves but to act as though we love the baby and want to do what's in the best interests of the baby whether we can have it or not.
Each of us must ask what role we want to play in King Solomon's story. Are we willing to kill what we love in order to have it? Or we willing to let go of what we love in order for it to live?
Though I put it starkly here, this is not an easy challenge. If we care about the environment and worry about the climate crisis, some of us will be asked by our consciences to break long, family and community loyalties to our political parties.
I will not pretend that I can tell anyone else what to do. I only offer the story, as humbly as I can, in the hope that some time in the future, I too will choose to act like the mother who loves her baby more than herself. Because that is what I'm asking of you.
And now to the candidates:
I will not argue for them here. I will leave that to the League of Conservation Voters, who track and analyze candidates' policies and voting records according to environmental concerns.
You can look at the list of Presidential, Senate and House candidates endorsed by the LCV here.
You can look at scorecards prepared from the voting records of the 110th Congress here.
But without your having to click through at all--and asking for understanding from my loyal Republican readers--I'll tell you that there is one Presidential candidate who is prepared to do much more to make safe the habitat we all depend upon for our health, happiness and security. At least in the view of the League of Conservation Voters and indeed in the view of me, No Impact Man.
That candidate is Barack Obama. Wherever you lie on the politcal spectrum, if the climate crisis concerns you, please vote for him.
Colin Beavan (that's me!) is now leading a conversation about finding a happy, helpful life at Colinbeavan.com. If you want to know how people are breaking out and and finding authentic, meaningful lives that help our world, check it out the blog here and sign up to join the conversation here.