The 2012 US election was supposed to be all about the economy. But in state and federal races, candidates targeted by environmentalists for their positions on climate and energy lost in large numbers November 6, 2012.
"It was a very big night for the environmental community," said League of Conservation spokesman Jeff Gohringer on Wednesday. "Our goal from the outset was to change the politics on climate change. We sent a message that it's not acceptable to be a member of Congress and turn your back on scientific fact."
Four of the "Flat Earth Five" – Republican House members identified by the League of Conservation Voters for their anti-science stance on climate change – lost their races.
Eleven of the League's "dirty dozen" candidates – targeted for "consistently voting against clean energy and conservation" – lost their bids for public office, including Republican Presidential Candidate Mitt Romeny.
Meanwhile candidates identified as "climate heroes" by a coalition led by author, environmentalist, and founder of the climate-action group 350.org Bill McKibben mostly prevailed in the polls.
President Obama was re-elected for a second four-year term. The re-election of Barack Obama has increased hope that an international deal to combat global warming might be achieved, because a second-term President is unencumbered by the need to seek re-election, meaning, in theory, he is free to be bold.
“We want our children to live in an America … that isn't threatened by the destructive power of a warming planet,” said President Obama during his victory speech.
Bill McKibben suggested a true test of Obama’s conviction to tackling climate change will be whether he grants approval for the contentious Keystone XL oil pipeline, which would deliver corrosive bitumen oil from Canada’s oil sands in northern Alberta to the Texas Gulf Coast.
"We'll see if Obama has it in him to actually keep some carbon in the ground," said McKibben.
View November 9, 2012 Guardian coverage
View November 8, 2012 Mother Jones coverage
View November 8, 2012 Independent Online coverage
View November 7, 2012 The Daily Climate coverage
View November 7, 2012 Hufington Post coverage
View November 7, 2012 Guardian blog
View November 7, 2012 Union of Concerned Scientists blog
View November 7, 2012 Ceres press release
View November 1, 2012 Greenpeace blog post
View League of Conservation Voters website
The Daily Climate, Huffington Post, The Guardian, and Mother Jones