Let’s look for ‘far middle’ solutions

Thursday, May 19, 2022

It seems like everything is politicized these days.

Many folks make quick judgments about others with an opposing view. How many of us pledge unyielding allegiance to the talking points of either the staunch left or right? Isn’t it more accurate that many of us reside somewhere in the far middle, a political persuasion occupied by a quieter crowd? We consider that issues (and people) are nuanced and we can choose to pause and listen.

I know some folks share my views and others don’t, but I still want to know my neighbors and embrace the things we have in common. My neighbor who votes differently from me experiences the same delight listening to the robin’s morning song. We agree clean water is essential for ranching, and that we all need clean air.

Yet, as a Montanan determined to preserve our state with “in-the-middle” advocacy, it can feel lonely. During my years volunteering with the grassroots, nonpartisan organization Citizens’ Climate Lobby, some on the political right mischaracterize me as wanting punitive solutions. I don’t want to ban burgers, flights, air conditioning, or live in a cave! Others on the political left disagree with my approach of praising GOP members of Congress for taking positive environmental steps. I’m eager for us all to work together and build more common ground to solve our common problems, especially climate change.

Some disagree about reducing the fossil fuel emissions polluting our air and causing our world to warm. But I know I’m on the same page as many conservatives in believing we have a duty to care for creation.

Recent polling shows that the majority of Montanans (67%) believe global warming is happening and 66% are concerned it will harm future generations.

Let’s unite in finding solutions. It’s a source of great pride that President Reagan, with bipartisan support, led the charge to pass a landmark multilateral environmental agreement to stop the depletion of the ozone layer. Thirty-five years later, the protocol is still ratified by every country on Earth.

Any solution to slow the harmful emissions changing our climate should shore up the economy, help out hardworking Americans, and ensure that high-polluting countries also do their part.

The American Petroleum Institute, the Business Roundtable, Electric Power Supply Association, and Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget all support carbon pricing to mitigate climate change. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce also supports market-based solutions to mitigate climate change and says “Inaction is not an option!”

I hope you’ll join me in the far middle and respectfully ask all our elected representatives to act now and support pricing carbon! To learn more, see citizensclimatelobby.org. Thank you, neighbor!


Alexandra Amonette

Big Timber