“The most powerful mechanism of change is our right to vote”

Apollo Alliance President Jerome Ringo is featured in Newsweek’s special issue on the environment. The following is his contribution to “16 Ideas for the Planet.”

Today the environment is at the forefront of everyone’s thoughts, not only in this country but also worldwide. I haven’t seen an issue with such a magnetic capacity to bring people together since the Civil Rights movement.

Excessive temperatures have a greater impact on the poor who have less access to air conditioning and proper heating. Poor people have less access to health care to deal with climate-related medical problems. Water is a major problem worldwide, either because there’s too much of it—the poor tend to live in flood zones—or not enough that’s safe to drink.

The most powerful mechanism of change is our right to vote.

We have the ability to elect officials who are going to focus on and be champions for a clean environment for clean energy. We must encourage elected officials to make energy more affordable for the poor. Oil companies need to reinvest in America and fund the research and development of new alternative fuels.

The Apollo Alliance is focused on building clean energy as a solution. We’ve received commitments from the states of Pennsylvania, Washington and California to request that a certain percentage of the energy produced there will come from alternative sources.

Those alternatives will reduce our dependence on foreign oil and on fossil fuels and reduce the amount of carbon dioxide going into the atmosphere. There’s as much energy on top of the ground as in it. We’ve been too dependent on drilling for energy.

We have a very narrow window to fix the problem. Our earth is in critical condition and we are the life support. It’s going to require a diverse coalition of people and businesses and organizations to come together with one goal: to save the earth, and to save humanity.


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