I always swell up with emotion at rallies. The idea that people would take time out of their busy day to speak up is a beautiful thing to be a part of, and I always feel fortunate that my job allows me the privilege of joining their chorus.
This morning was no different. I joined with about 150 people who braved the rain today in Boston to deliver Mitt Romney a simple message at his campaign HQ: climate change is no joke, and you should do something about it.
I had called the evening before to warn the Romney office that we were coming but received no response. While I waited for the crowd to arrive I chatted with a few self-described "policy advisors" who were outside smoking.
Staffer 1 was puffing on his second of two cigarettes when he told me to "take our petition and deliver it to China." When I told him why we were concerned about the lack of US leadership on climate change he just smirked. I asked him why the campaign wouldn't send someone to meet concerned voters. He told me that "there's no way these people will vote for us. You're not recording this are you?" I guess climate climate activists are now part of the 47%.
Staffer 2 was much nicer and thanked me for helping to organize the rally. But he was ushered inside right when the rally was about to start.
I guess the Romney's campaign failure to engage with us is to be expected. In recent months Gov. Romney has done much to fuel speculation that he does not take climate change very seriously.
--He released a 21-page energy plan that contains no references to climate change while promising increased natural gas development, oil drilling, and rollback of environmental safeguards.
--During his Republican National Convention speech he joked about climate change, and repeated the joke on NBC's "Meet the Press."
--He calls cap and trade, a Republican creation, a "radical feel-good" policy that would have "devastating results for people across the planet."
--He has said that on Day 1 of his administration he would approve the Keystone XL pipeline, which would bring 900,000 barrels of the world's dirtiest oil, tar sands crude from Canada, down through the US for export.
Despite the lack of attention from the Romney camp, I'm still feeling fired up after this morning's rally. I left wondering why they wouldn't engage with concerned citizens, and then I looked at the latest polls and remembered why they might be losing.