Elizabeth Warren on the Importance of Renewable Energy

Elizabeth Warren inspires me and gives me hope, each time I hear her speak.  This time Elizabeth Warren spoke passionately about the importance of caring for the environment and the development of renewable energy at an Earth Day event on Sunday.

It was my second opportunity to hear her speak at a small event and it reinforced for me how personable she is.  She shook hands before the event started and was joking with people about the drizzly, damp weather.  She clearly speaks from the heart. The first time I heard her speak it was about  how Washington works for Washington, not for the American middle class.  There are some great videos from that event on the Medford Patch.

Elizabeth Warren speaking with Senator Jehlen, Rep Sciortino
Elizabeth Warren, Senator Jehlen, Rep Sciortino
Photo Credit: Katie Wallace

Elizabeth Warren is running for the US Senate seat representing Massachusetts that was formerly held by the late Senator Ted Kennedy.  She has never run for office before and is mostly known for acumen in economics and her proposal and support of the Consumer Protection Bureau.

On Sunday she spoke at an Earth Day gathering in Somerville, MA that was followed by canvassing.  (Canvassing is where volunteers go door-to-door to talk to voters and find out who supports their candidate, and ask if they want to volunteer to help the camapaign.)  Elizabeth Warren was introduced by State Representative Carl Sciortino and State Senator Pat Jehlen who both spoke highly of her.

Most of the information available about Elizabeth Warren is about her knowledge of economics and her background as a Harvard Law Professor.  What really struck me at this event – and made me want to write this post on a green living blog – was what she said about the environment and renewable energy, and in particular its role in our economic recovery.
Elizabeth told us that she and her husband Bruce have been members of the Sierra Club for more than 30 years.  They love to hike and spend time in the outdoors.  She explained that it is important to her that we preserve this environment for our grandchildren.  She also explained how the environment is an important part of all aspects of the government, the economy, health and even national defense. She said: “If we care about our economy we have to move to renewable energy, to the things that will create for us over the long run a sustainable economy.” She mentioned studies showing that asthma is directly linked to the air we breathe, and is particularly of concern for our most vulnerable citizens.

Many people don’t realize that our troops in the field use renewable energy, particularly solar energy, so that they rely less on supply convoys, a regular target of insurgents.  This is an important National Defense concept, and Elizabeth not only understands this, she mentioned it on Earth Day.

Crowd watching Elizabeth Warren speak at Earth Day Event
Crowd at Earth Day Event – Photo Credit: Katie Wallace

She also talked about the style of her campaign, which I recommend for everyone, a style that we are seeing play out every day: “What do you do when everyone is against you?  How do you get something done?  You organize!”   This is how she got the Consumer Protection Agency formed, not by getting big business on board, but rather by getting individual people to support it and reach out to government and tell them so.  This is how Obama got elected, not by having millionaires and large corporations support him, but by having lots of individuals doing what they can to help.  Some people gave $5.  Elderly people made phone calls.  The unemployed showed up at his local campaign headquarters and did whatever needed doing (I was one of those unemployed volunteering in 2008).  Individuals with no prior election experience helped out by attending a phone bank, or a canvassing event and realizing that it didn’t take special skills to be important to a campaign.

This is how we make change in the environment too, by everyone doing each little bit they can.  You don’t have to be a millionaire, a corporate leader or have lots of degrees.  You just have to do the little bit that you can do to help the cause.  Take the first step to living greener.  This idea is so powerful that there are several petition sites set up now that are using the power of individuals to change the world for better.  To see examples of where regular people have made big change, check out the Victories Page on Change.org.

So what can you do?  What is your issue and what is your passion?  Is there a political candidate in your area with whom you wish to you support their causes?  Do you live in one of the states where there are people representing you in office that you wish were not there?  Volunteer for a campaign.  Find out what you can do from home, or once a week, or once a month when you can get a babysitter – or swap babysitting with a like-minded friend – and volunteer and help their campaign.

“This is a moral question, what kind of world will we give to our children?  Nothing makes that clearer than the kinds of environmental issues that bring us together on Earth Day.” 
— Elizabeth Warren, Earth Day 2012, Somerville, MA

Happy Greening,

  • If you want to volunteer for the Elizabeth Warren campaign, you can find an opportunity near you at http://action.elizabethwarren.com/
  • If you want to volunteer for the Obama Campaign check out his volunteer site.
  • You can find just about any campaign’s office that you want to volunteer for by googling “candidates name campaign.”

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  1. I always with green living… There are environmental benefits from renewables other than reduction of greenhouse gas and other air emissions. For example, hydroelectric schemes can improve water supplies and facilitate reclamation of degraded land and habitat.

  2. I’m happy to see posts about local/state elections! I think there is so much focus on the presidential election that we forget how important the state and local elections are as well! My husband and I are making it a point to be involved in our local elections this year instead of focusing solely on the presidential election.

    It’s great that Elizabeth Warren is pointing out the health risks/benefits associated with making changes to our energy (in)dependence. I think that’s something that the media doesn’t typically bring attention to, and I really feel that a lot of people (parents especially) would see things differently if they realized how it affected their health.

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