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Hunters, fishers press for climate change bill

This isn’t exactly a new trend — I remember writing about it several years ago — but it seems to be picking up some steam:

> More than 13,000 hunters and anglers from across the country joined a “virtual town hall” teleconference on Tuesday to hear a discussion of the impact of climate change on fish and wildlife populations, and to voice their support for federal action to limit carbon emissions.

Recently I whined about how environmentalists are a perennial whipping boy. Part of the issue, I think, is that most people view environmental issues as interest group politics. Where topics like employment or security are seen as matters of national importance, environmental issues — even transcendent ones like climate change — remain stuck in the green ghetto.

So I’m always a little bit heartened when I see these issues getting picked up in other venues. Evangelical Christians have likewise become increasingly vocal in their support for climate change legislation:

> Remember the Christian Coalition of America?

> Under the political operative Ralph Reed in the 1990s it was an electoral force to be reckoned with as it mobilized millions of conservative Christians to vote for mostly Republican Party candidates and causes.

> It has since lost influence and political ground to other “religious right” groups such as the Family Research Council. But it remains a sizeable grassroots organization and is still unflinchingly conservative.

> So it will no doubt surprise some to see that this week it has joined with the National Wildlife Federation – whose 4 million members and supporters includes 420,000 sportsmen and women – to run an ad urging the U.S. Senate to pass legislation that among other things addresses the pressing problem of climate change.

Good. This is how you know that progress is inevitable.

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