Friday, September 28, 2012

Climate Change at the presidential debates


debatesThe schedule for the presidential debates beginning on October 3rd does not include a section on Climate Change. Domestic and foreign policy rule the debates, though it’s odd to think that any of these topics could be discussed with any relevancy without talking about Climate Change. Having a presidential debate without Climate Change is like dickering with a drug dealer when you don’t have any money. What’s the point?

If you take the time to read the “THE NATIONAL GLOBAL CHANGE RESEARCH PLAN: 2012-2021” that was released in April of this year by President Obama, you will see that the US government has no intention of avoiding Climate Change with 13 departments of government spelling out how their departments have planned to deal with this planetary crisis.

“The Obama Administration today released a 10-year strategic plan for research related to global change, identifying priorities that will help state and local governments, businesses, and communities prepare for anticipated changes in the global environment, including climate change, in the decades ahead.” Administration Releases 10-Year Global Change Strategic Plan

Everything the next president of the United States will do in the next few years will have to be orchestrated through the lens of Climate Change. Domestic issues that include energy, jobs, federal insurance coverage for natural disasters, policies on public health as heatwaves increase, protection for our forests because of an increase in wildfires, Fracking for gas under our feet as water issues intensify because of droughts, subsidies for farmers as climate jeopardizes traditional agriculture, and transportation issues will occupy the next occupant of the White House as greenhouse gases continue warm up the planet. Even social justice issues will intensify in the coming years as millions yearn to keep cool without the money for AC’s or the ability to pay higher electric bills.

On foreign policies too, the next president will have to consider how Climate Change will impact his decisions. The increase in wars due to the lack of water because of Climate Change will drive our military to be forever vigilant—which will cost a lot of money. Expected oil spills from the melting of the Arctic and ramped-up shipping and oil drilling will involve international concern when this pristine environment gets compromised. Our economic markets will fall as more countries out-compete the US in renewable energy options and the American public, desperate for jobs, will blame a president not on the ball.

Many Americans believe that the presidential debates coming up should include Climate Change. Many Americans believe that Climate Change is not a part of the debates because the media, drunk from billions from a disastrous Supreme Court decision (Read: Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission), don’t want to kill the golden goose of fossil fuel money.

Billions upon billions of dollars from the fossil fuel industry, which get billions in US subsidies, is manufacturing doubt amongst the American public about the validity of Climate Change—and the fact that the rest of the world does not dwell in such paralyzing doubt.

Climate Change denial is an American problem fueled by the fossil fuel industry and it threatens our future. Go to the League of Conservation voters and send a message to debate moderator Jim Lehre to SIGN OUR PETITION TO ASK OBAMA AND ROMNEY AT THE PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE: "HOW DO YOU PLAN TO ADDRESS THE CLIMATE CRISIS?"

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