Elections happen every year in the U.S., but this year is a big one. In 2020, we will elect 435 representatives, 44 state legislators, 35 senators, 11 governors, 1 president and many other state and local public offices. Science is a key issue and plays an essential role in society. We want you to use your voice to ensure science is on the ballot in 2020 and in future elections. We have developed:
- Talking points for several key science issues for you to share with your candidates and elected officials.
- Ideas on how to engage with candidates and your local community.
- Tools to help get you to the polls.
Science is essential to understand and craft solutions for today’s urgent societal challenges. Give your candidates the science-based facts and ask them how they will ensure science helps find answers for our future.
- Economic Impacts
- Climate change has led to a growing number of extreme weather events that are even more likely to occur in the future. According to the NOAA State of Climate Report, in 2019, there were 14 weather and climate disaster events with losses exceeding $1 billion each across the United States. These events included 3 flooding events, 8 severe storm events, 2 tropical cyclone events, and 1 wildfire event.
- Security Threats
- Climate change poses a threat to our national security and military readiness. According to the Department of Defense’s 2019 Climate Change Report, 53 military installations are currently vulnerable due to recurrent flooding from sea level rise and storm surge, and 36 installations are currently vulnerable due to wildfires.
- The Department of Defense describes climate change as a “threat-multiplier”, and integrates the implications of climate change that could cause changes in food supplies, water, energy resources, and other disasters into its decision-making and operations around the globe.
- The Value of Investment in Science
- Destructive consequences of global climate change can be moderated by taking prompt actions to: use energy more efficiently; transition to energy sources and products and services that reduce or eliminate greenhouse gas emissions; implement existing and novel technologies and practices to remove and store CO2 from the atmosphere; and innovative solutions to help adapt to unavoidable changes. Effective climate policies will rely on novel and responsive science and engineering to inform and weigh response options.
Use your voice to engage with your candidates and community. Follow our monthly action plans for ideas on how to engage and get science on the ballot.
- Share your science. Most Americans cannot name a living scientist. You can change that by talking to your friends and neighbors about what you do and why it’s important to society. Look for opportunities in your community to share your science and raise awareness about the role of science in ensuring your community’s prosperity.
- Write an opinion/editorial (“op-ed”) piece or letter to the editor to demonstrate the pivotal role the Earth and space sciences will play in addressing your community/state/America’s greatest challenges.
An op-ed allows you to draw attention to an issue in your community that may not have already been covered. A letter to the editor allows you to respond to an article that you’ve just read—either supporting or countering it.
Your vote matters. In the 2018 election, only 34% of STEM students voted. Pledge to vote in the 2020 Election and get text reminders for your state and national primary. Check your registration status to ensure you’re registered to vote.
In 2020, the U.S. will elect 435 representatives, 44 state legislatures, 35 senators, 11 governors, and 1 president. The decisions our elected officials make determine the future. Shape the future by pledging to vote in 2020.