One positive to climate change: Warmer weather might encourage more Americans to vote
Climate change is one of many issues that’s contributed to our insanely polarized political scene in America. There’s Democrats (and between 97 and 99 percent of scientists) who acknowledge it’s happening, humans are contributing to it, and we need to do something about it, like, ASAP, and then there are many Republicans and their pockets full of fossil fuel industry bribes who just aren’t feeling it. But this Election Day, climate change could actually help in a big way. Almost makes you want to forgive it for exacerbating natural disasters and displacing and disrupting people of color globally!
2016 will be the hottest year on record, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), surpassing the previous record set in 2015, which surpassed the previous record from 2014. And over the next five to nine days during which millions of Americans will set out either to vote early or on Nov. 8, NOAA says we can expect even more temperature records to be shattered (as of Oct. 29, the year 2016 has already had more than 53,000 daily temperature records broken across America).
Obviously, none of this is good news for the long-term well-being of our planet or parts of the world that suffer disproportionately from climate change and are forced to radically adapt to survive. But this one time, if nothing else, it’s helping our political process by potentially getting more Americans to leave the shelter of their homes to rock the vote since it won’t be freezing cold.
Good weather might seem like a petty reason to go out and vote, but for relatively apolitical Americans (or those who resent their choices this year and would rather stay indoors sipping hot chocolate instead of standing outside polling places), don’t underestimate the difference moderate weather could make. November is typically a far colder time of the year, and cold temperatures are notorious for putting off “fair weather voters” who, like fair weather friends, are only around to participate in democracy when the weather conditions are favorable.
And if Americans who are mobilized to brave long lines by warm weather happen to vote for leaders who believe in fighting climate change, then maybe this one time climate change will have at least on some level heeded a long-term benefit. Global warming is considered the gravest preventable threat to Americans’ well-being, but this Election Day, it might be the reason more Americans feel up to going out and voting against it.