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Letter: Reader urges vote for climate candidates


“Unprecedented” is word of the month for August 2020. It has been applied to the record-breaking heatwaves and fires ravaging California, the twin tropical storms threatening to strike the Gulf Coast in rapid succession, and the derecho, or “inland hurricane,” that left hundreds of thousands without power in the Midwest. These events were all made more probable and more intense by the warming of our planet, and they show that the effects of climate change are here.

Also unprecedented is the number of people who care deeply about the issue. New polling from Stanford and Resources for the Future indicate that the “issue public” — the people personally committed to an issue enough to take political action — for climate change has risen from 13% to 25% of the population over the past five years, making it the second-largest group the researchers had ever seen. This gives me hope that we can, together, tackle this massive challenge.

I urge readers to join the climate “issue public.” Vote for climate candidates. Contact your representatives ( If you are looking for ways to get more involved, consider joining me in Citizens’ Climate Lobby ( There are chapters in nearly every Congressional district across the nation.

John Smillie



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