Published On: Wed, Aug 18th, 2021

How to Make Leaders Do More to Protect the Environment

As individuals, we have the responsibility to protect the environment. We must be part of the change if we want to prevent more disasters from happening. Unfortunately, our efforts can quickly get trashed when we don’t have the right people in office. They have influence and power. It’s easy for them to enact laws that could harm the environment. Others might believe in the science of climate change, but they’re apathetic. Since these are elected officials, you can do more to make them accountable. 

Call the offices

Public officials should answer to the public. They also need lines for people to call, and they should listen. They don’t have to follow everything, but they need to answer these calls. If you organize and encourage others to ring the phones, it sends a strong signal. They must heed the call of their constituents. You may also write an email or use social media platforms.

photo/ H. Hach

Join town hall meetings

Another strategy is to take part in town hall meetings. You have the opportunity to meet these officials in person. Ask questions related to environmental concerns. You might not like the answer, but you can put these people on record. Remember that not all of them ran on platforms related to environmental protection. These meetings will offer you a glimpse of where they are regarding these issues. You can even raise other issues like metal recycling. These meetings are also for brainstorming ideas to help improve the community. 

Organize against climate change deniers

If you can’t make these officials do something to save the environment, make them accountable for it. Organize against them and try to elect people who will pursue your advocacy. Climate change deniers don’t deserve the elected post. Their presence in the government will only derail the steps to save the environment. You can convince others to help you organize and make this issue front and center. 

Back then, many people don’t care about the environment. However, with the effects of global warming, everyone feels concerned. It includes younger people. They will join you in the effort to replace these officials. If not, you can at least make them change their views. 

Present a plan

Not all leaders who have no plans for environmental protection are against it. They might have other priorities. They also don’t know where to begin. If you already have ideas, let them know about your plan. Who knows? These leaders might be receptive. If not, they will at least consider the ideas for review. They might even thank you in the future for presenting these plans. 

The goal is to make your elected officials accountable. If natural disasters adversely affect the community because of the inaction, it’s their fault. Make sure they listen to you and the people they serve. Not everyone will believe in you, but you can’t give up. You understand how important environmental issues are. You also know how essential it is to have influential leaders who believe in science.

Author: Mildred Austria

photo/ Pete Linforth

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