Are you paying close attention to the New Hampshire primaries? Are you concerned about global warming and environmental issues? If so, read on.
The National Wildlife Federation has several staff on the ground in New Hampshire blogging about campaign events through an environmental lens.
Here are some highlights.
Three out of four winters, NH hardly has a pulse in January. Everyone's either trying to ice fish or cuddle with a wood stove. This year "Live Free or Die" Land is throbbing palpably. The state is about to blow its cerebral cortex picking the next President.
The streets are crawling with media interviewing undecided voters and campaign supporters looking to change just one more person's mind. The Carbon Coalition - including staff from NWF, LCV, & the Granite State Conservation Voters Alliance and many volunteers - is working the streets as well, placing signs around the various media headquarters and trying to get our message into stories about this primary that is being so closely watched around the country.
Romney actually spoke about energy independence in his speech, but surprisingly John McCain - the most outspoken advocate for action on global warming on the Republican side - did not. I attended a brief rally in Exeter on the steps of the town hall this afternoon - and the message was all about the war on terror. McCain was running really late (another consistent theme of the day!) and again I found myself waiting for the candidate to arrive among a - mostly - patient crowd.
I just left a crowded Hillary rally in Dover, where about 500 people filled a community center (apparently over a hundred people were shut out, as is happening at both Clinton and Obama events across the state). Boy did Hillary come out swinging! She clearly understands that Obama is gaining momentum here, having already bypassed her in local polls by a sizable margin. She railed against his record on change, talked about the importance of experience in this unstable world, and again used the term "false hope" to undermine his message. This drew lots of cheers from the older voters in the audience, but clearly turned off the youth who were already thin in numbers to begin with. This was a stark contrast to the Obama events I have attended, and more and more it appears that the younger vote is going to make a significant difference in this election. If they actually show up to vote tomorrow, that is. It is supposed to be 50 degrees, though, so all voters are going to have to wade through what is sure to be a deluge of melting snow!
Of all the events we have attended thus far, without a doubt the most inspiring for me was a rally we organized outside the Manchester debate last night. Well over 100 people donned global warming shirts, signs, buttons, and costumes (I’m not kidding, there were 2 polar bears, a snowman, Santa, and even a CFL lightbulb!!) and rallied outside the debate site. We outnumbered all the campaigns! People of all ages (including a bus of 30 that came up from New Bedford, MA to join us) cheered and chanted various "STOP GLOBAL WARMING" messages in front of the circus of media and campaign staff that filtered by. Cool stuff. Maybe NH Public Radio was onto something today when they called energy policy one of the "hip issues of this year's primary"!
More updates on the way at Wildlife Promise.