The Climate Movement and the 2014 Elections

Here’s a thought: hundreds of local climate activists around the country running for federal, state and local offices in 2014, doing so in a connected way and with solutions to the climate crisis at the top of the list of issues they consistently talk about. 

mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman";mso-bidi-font-family:Arial”>An initiative like this should in no way be seen as an alternative to the absolutely essential work of grassroots organizing and the organization of visible, demonstrative actions. All of these different tactics, if done well, are complementary and mutually reinforcing. 

mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman";mso-bidi-font-family:Arial”>There is also some support for Green Party or other independent candidates who have very progressive positions on the climate issue and have won local elections in a number of places but have had few victories on state or federal levels. 

mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman";mso-bidi-font-family:Arial”>My expectation is that most of the people who would run for office as climate candidates would do so as part of a Democratic Party primary election, with perhaps a much smaller number doing so within a Republican Party primary. This would be the case since the main purpose of this electoral project would be to raise up and educate broadly about the climate crisis and the need to rapidly move from fossil fuels to renewables and efficiency. This would both build the movement and lead to more people elected to office with strong climate action positions, either because climate candidates win or because their running and the support they build pushes the eventual winners to be stronger than they would have been otherwise. 

mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman";mso-bidi-font-family:Arial”>Electoral victories in 2014 by climate candidates would likely be minimal, but I don’t consider this to be a problem. What would be a problem would be if the climate candidates, overall, did a poor job of campaigning. They would need to do a good job talking about the issues, explaining how action on climate is connected to other major issues like job creation, economic development, clean air and water and healthier communities, especially for low-income and people of color communities most often impacted by the polluting ways of the fossil fuel industry. 

"Times New Roman";mso-bidi-font-family:Arial”>Ted Glick has been a climate activist and organizer since 2003 and a progressive activist and organizer since 1968. Past writings and other information can be found at