Why Don’t Enviros Vote? Kids Sue Canada, Town of Asbestos Gets New Name, H2O Moves Mtns.

by | Jan 19, 2021 | Podcasts, The Climate Daily

Turns out environmentalists are lousy voters. Four Canadian youth sue Canada for failing to protect them and their environment. The town of Asbestos changes its name, finally. And turns out rain CAN move mountains.


The election is over, and hopefully you voted. If you’re an environmentalist, though, chances are good you didn’t. That’s a new finding from the Environmental Voter Project. It’s founder and executive director, Nathaniel Stinnett, spoke about this problem at a recent online discussion called, “Mobilizing the Environmental Vote: Report from the Front Lines.” The event was co-sponsored by Harvard Alumni for Climate and the Environment, Harvard University’s Ash Center, Institute of Politics, and the Office for Sustainability. In his presentation, Stinnett pointed out the number of registered voters who say climate and the environment is their top priority in 2016 was 2%. Two years later, it was over 7%. That’s a tripling of people in just two years. That’s a big jump.

The problem, says Stinnett, is “Environmentalists are awful voters. There are four times as many of us as there are members of the NRA,” he said. “But we just don’t vote.” That’s why he founded the Environmental Voter Project. He’s compiled a three-step plan to increasing environmental voter turnout: identifying voters, mobilizing them, and then reinforcing the habit to turn them into “super voters,” who can be relied upon to turn out for every election, including those for local and state positions.

Stinnett gave his audience two key takeaways. The first, it’s not that your vote doesn’t matter, it’s that your vote is the only thing that matters, and the second, “Remember, real environmentalists vote.”

DEEPER DIVE: The Harvard Gazette, Environmental Voter Project



Across the world, young people have fueled climate change activism and transformed the ways in which governments address the existential crisis. In British Columbia, the young climate change activists have escalated the push for government leaders to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and invest in green energy. Reported by The Narwhal, among a group of fifteen young climate leaders, four British Columbia youths have filed a lawsuit against the Canadian government, citing a lack of action to mitigate the effects of climate change.

At 18-years-old, Sierra Robinson is one of the four young climate leaders pushing the Canadian government for change. “It’s scary to see people in these positions of power not utilizing those spaces to actually support people and communities that are being impacted by these issues,” said Robinson. “I really think that it’s important that we invest in clean energy and a clean future, which is totally possible and could create more jobs for people in an industry that is better for us.”

While many of these youths are too young to vote, their activism has served as an outlet to make their voices heard and drive change.

DEEPER DIVE: The Narwhal


There once was a town called Asbestos, whose residents thought it’d be best, if, it might be arranged that its name, could be changed as Asbestos is no longer what’s best for us. The town, formerly known as Asbestos, is home to the Jeffrey Mine, once the largest chrysotile asbestos mine in the world. It sits about 80 miles east of Montreal in the French-Canadian province of Quebec. According to historian Jessica Van Horssen, the town got its name when the Canadian Royal Mail simply started calling it after the mineral. Asbestos is naturally occurring and was once widely used for insulation. But the fibers can be toxic if inhaled, increasing the risk of lung disease. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has banned certain uses of asbestos since 1973.A ban on asbestos-containing products went into effect in Canada in 2018.

“Once upon a time, we were very proud of that name, but now it’s very difficult because asbestos means a fiber that people are afraid of,” Louise Moisan-Coulombe, the town’s former mayor, told the CBC. “Every time you say, especially in the United States, that you are coming from Asbestos, or they read Asbestos on a package, they are always afraid that it will be poison.”

The new name of the town was decided by a town-wide vote. 51.5% of its citizens chose the name Val-des-Sources, “Valley of the Springs.” as its new name.  “This is truly a historic moment we are living. I thank the people for voting in large numbers,” Mayor Hugues Grimard said in a statement. “The council and I are proud to see that the process was able to rally the citizens. We can thus affirm that the name Val-des-Sources is one to which citizens adhere.”




Ground-breaking discoveries can move mountains – literally! Reported by Science Daily, new research conducted by the University of Bristol and published in Science Advances studies the impact rainfall has on the evolution of mountainous landscapes. Focused on Himalaya mountain ranges, the research increases scientific understandings of how mountains and valleys have changed over millions of years.

“It may seem intuitive that more rain can shape mountains by making rivers cut down into rocks faster. But scientists have also believed rain can erode a landscape quickly enough to essentially ‘suck’ the rocks out of the Earth, effectively pulling mountains up very quickly,” said Dr Byron Adams, lead author of the research. This research also opens the door for forecasting possible impacts of climate change on landscapes, and subsequently, the impacts on society. Researchers are already building on this new discovery and The Climate Daily will be sure to keep you up-to-date on any new findings. 

DEEPER DIVE: Science Daily