Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Warming Wednesdays: the Presidential campaign



Out of my (limited) concern for fairness, I decided I'd hit the web sites of the contenders and see what they have to say -- not about each other -- but about human-generated climate change. I've ventured into the sewers, so you don't have to.

First up, Governor Romney: well, hmmm … that was difficult because his site doesn't seem to have a search function. I emailed them and asked where it was. Now I'll be getting email all campaign season … just so you get this post.

I poked around -- and found the following which seem somewhat relevant under "Energy:"

  • Ensure that environmental laws properly account for cost in regulatory process
  • Amend Clean Air Act to exclude carbon dioxide from its purview
  • Expand NRC capabilities for approval of additional nuclear reactor design

Really that was the closest to a mention of the most significant threat facing the country and species I could find on the site -- proposals that amount to letting energy producers do any damn thing they please in order to boost their profits.

As expected, President Obama does better. Yes, there's a search function and it returns lots of entries for climate. Here's part of one from last Earth Day:

But time and again, we've seen that our opponents are willing to play politics with the health of our natural resources—and the American people—just to protect the bottom line of their special-interest allies.

If it was up to them, we'd have no EPA working to protect our kids from harmful air pollution or make sure our water is safe to drink—polluters would once again have a free pass. And I probably don't need to remind you of their views on climate change.

...We simply can't afford a White House that is skeptical about the human impact on climate change and continues to give Big Oil taxpayer giveaways at a time of record profits.

Not very specific, but the right sort of words. Now I don't trust Obama on this. I've lived through his equivocations over the last four years too. But progress begins when politicians know they have to say the right thing, even if they don't yet do it. We have to re-elect this guy in order to have a chance to live to fight another day.
***
According to Anthony Leiserowitz, the director of the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication, the candidates would not suffer with the voters if they talked forthrightly about the dangers of the global warming. Majorities know climate change is happening. Candidates might however suffer with the energy interests who fund campaigns and political parties.

Warming Wednesdays will go on break for the rest of the election season. I have meant to use these posts to stretch myself -- to push me to sites and reading material that changes and deepens how I understand the science, politics and the culture of global warming and those who reject action to respond to it. But as we work to win the Yes on Prop. 34 effort, I'm not going to have the mental space to be stretched.

Warming Wednesdays will be back; global climate change is the most pressing threat to human well-being.

1 comment:

Damon said...

I still have a hard time with the "saying" vs. the "doing" with Obama. There is no way I'd support the lunatics on the other side, but Obama remains a major disappointment to me. My father, whose entire worldview is defined by Fox, thinks I'm insane when I say Obama is a centrist, rather than a liberal or socialist.

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