Monday, October 22, 2012

Still Time Left to Talk about ‘Climate Change’ in US Elections

Still Time Left to Talk about ‘Climate Change’ in US Elections

In spite of an obvious reluctance for President Obama to discuss Climate Change, I hold the strong belief that he must, at the very least, mention the issue during the remaining weeks of his campaign. Not doing so is morally irresponsible and disappointing.
President Barack Obama in Second debate
President Obama during Second Debate
During the second Presidential debate, we heard all the confusing rhetoric about the middle class, tax cuts & plugging tax loopholes, Obamacare, job creation, the economy, restoring America’s glory, Libya, military spending, etc. These are important issues but little has been said about Climate Change – the mother-load of all crises facing America and humanity. And yet not a single reference to ‘Climate Change’.
Tackling the Climate Crisis is a moral imperative. It’s the right thing to do. Period! There is a huge divide between Obama and Romney on Climate Change. Voters who believe that the environment and the future of their children and grandchildren is at stake have nowhere to go but to Obama.
Could it be that the Obama Campaign Team is waiting for just the right moment to capitalize on the climate change gap between Obama and Romney? Is it not time to use the climate issue to their political advantage? In a recent article “Is Climate Change the Sleeper Issue of the 2012 Election?, some organizers and strategists believe that they:
could be using the climate issue to their political advantage, especially after a summer of drought, wildfires, and record heat. Ever since the collapse of cap and trade, it’s been “strong conventional wisdom, even within major environmental organizations, that it can hurt us to talk about climate change,” explains climate strategist Betsy Taylor, whose consulting firm Breakthrough Strategies and Solutions just released a new report on the subject. “And I think that was a mistake.”
Climate Change in the American Mind
Climate Change Communication
A report by Yale University, Climate Change in the American Mind deals with the potential impact of global warming on the presidential election and highlights the following:
A new national survey finds that 11% of likely voters remain undecided about whom they will vote for President. The majority of these undecided voters say the Presidential candidates’ positions on global warming will be one of several important factors determining how they cast their vote.
The survey found that Undecideds are much more similar to likely Obama voters than likely Romney voters across a range of climate change and energy-related beliefs, attitudes, and policy preferences.
Another report on - Climate change a ghost issue in U.S. Election - states that:
Four years ago climate change was a dominant campaign issue for Obama who promised leadership and immediate action on an international scale, but never delivered…now it is a mere phantom of that time. A ghost issue that hovers in the background of a campaign
most voters agree that the government should take steps to reduce carbon emissions…one independent poll this week found that 85 per cent of Obama voters, 83 per cent of undecided voters and 73 per cent of Romney voters believe more clean energy should be used. Four separate polls indicate that about 72 per cent support federal regulations to curb greenhouse gases from power plants, cars and factories to reduce global warming. That included 61 per cent of Republicans.
More recent polls show the climate change concern continues to be rising. People are starting to fear their future and fear is a great motivator.
Hundreds of initiatives started by ordinary Americans and organizations have failed to generate much discussion by candidates about climate change (with the exception of the Green Party candidate, Jill Stein).
One such group – Friends of the Earth – is advocating
for voters to break the silence and “take a stand to ensure that climate change is addressed. This year, extreme weather causing unprecedented Arctic melting and widespread drought and wildfires has shown the dire need for action. The longer the candidates refuse to take a direct, vocal stance on the issue, the more our world is endangered”

Friends of the Earth, Break the Silence

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