It is an unavoidable fact of life that politicians are influenced by those individuals and businesses that support their efforts to attain and then remain in office. Building a support base of voters is an increasingly expensive business, and even a local election can cost millions of dollars in fees for advertising and promotion.
When it comes to national elections, the gloves come off and the electioneering which can start years in advance of the election itself can cost billions.
Unfortunately, donors come from large companies which pours billions into the coffers of those politicians who will later be in control of legislation.
Once elected a politician who wants to remain relevant and in the seat of power must return the support of big business – and this is where the conflict between environmental concerns and politics is at its most fierce.
The companies with the deepest pockets are unfortunately those with a vested interest in seeing any environmentally friendly legislation defeated before it interferes with their business model.
Organizations like those in the wood and pulp industry, oil and gas and even agriculture, as well as power (among others) have little interest in seeing legislation pass which would have a direct impact on their bottom line either by raising costs or preventing the expansion of their business.
The voter is left with the choice to use their vote to put pressure on those politicians who attain high office to live up to the promises that they made on the election trail as regards environmental concerns.
Unfortunately, in the real world of politics, promises are often sacrificed on the altar of expediency. Movements throughout college and prior, such as young republicans/democrats, are trying to educate a bit sooner. For older voters, it is important to have long memories about promises – and vote their conscience if environmental concerns are to at the top of the political agenda.