Voting for Two

by Lisa Pike Sheehy
Vote The Environment 2008

As an environmentalist, I have long thought of future generations – what the consequences of our actions or inactions will be for those who come after us. I am inspired by the Iroquois principle that we must consider how our actions will impact the next seven generations who follow us on this earth. Sustainability is grounded in this idea. With the birth of my daughter Alice this past year, my perspective went from the large and abstract, to the small (5 pounds 6 ounces) and tangible.

As this election approaches, it’s with this new responsibility that I am evaluating the candidates and exercising my right to vote.

Alice will be able to register to vote and participate in her first national elections in 2028. Without a serious new approach to managing our finite natural resources, the world in which Alice will cast her first ballot will no doubt be very different than the one she lives in today. Changes are needed to prevent further losses of native forests, species, and habitat and better policies are required to stop pushing our natural resources beyond their regenerative limits. If not, the polar bears Alice sees in her picture books will become just that, only pictures. There is a small window of time, rapidly closing, that will enable us to change the path we are on; November 4th gives me the opportunity to elect environmentally aware candidates at a local, state and national level who will act with this foresight.

This Nov. 4th, with future generations in mind, I am voting for two.

About the Author

Lisa Pike Sheehy is Director of Environmental Programs at Patagonia.