Monday, December 3, 2007

Why Is Global Warming and Energy Independence a Political Issue?

Maybe I'm biased because I love the outdoors, but I don't understand the arguments against protecting the environment and becoming energy independent. I understand that people will have different opinions about how to address the issue, but ignoring it seems rediculous. While I think the arguments that climate change doesn't exist are weak, even if that is ones belief there are still plenty of good reasons for protecting the environment and becoming energy independent. Lets start with energy independence. As a country we are injecting huge sums of money into the most volatile regions of the world because of our dependence on foreign oil. Becoming energy independent may not solve our foreign policy problems, but it would certainly make them less complicated. Second, there is no 'do over' on this issue. If we don't take care of the planet now we have the potential to create a situation that is irreversible. This seems to be the quintessential issue where one should err the side of caution. Future generations won't complain if their air and water is too clean, or that forests and other wild areas have been preserved.

The Democrats have accepted that this is a serious issue, but the Republicans have lagged behind. Senator McCain and Governor Huckabee are the only two Republican candidates to seriously address this issue. Governor Huckabee makes a compelling argument that as stewards of this earth we have a responsibility to address environmental issues. Senator McCain has been a leader on climate change and has promoted the idea of a cap and trade policy that reduces carbon emmisions through business incentives, thus keeping the economy strong and protecting the environment simultaneously. Hopefully Republicans will catch up with Senator McCain and Governor Huckabee and realize that this doesn't need to be an issue of politics, this can be a win win situation if addressed by both sides in a serious manner.

3 comments:

ElectionNightHQ.com Publisher said...

Hi, Kathy-

Some thoughts:

1) On your accurate point as to why only Senator McCain and Huck have focused any attention on the environment...

A couple of theories:

a) The strong identification of the environmental issue with Al Gore, by definition, makes it something which GOP primary voters make less than a high priority. Of course, the issue (like all issues) runs far more deeply than that, and whether or note Al Gore supports something really doesn't have any bearing on whether it's wise or unwise...

b) Traditionally, the GOP has been aligned w/ business interests, and they have not been traditionally friendly to tighter environmental controls.

However, I also agree with your basic point that:

"Maybe I'm biased because I love the outdoors, but I don't understand the arguments against protecting the environment and becoming energy independent."

It's a logical conclusion, because we as a society all agree that protecting the environment and becoming energy independent are good and desirable things.

This distinguishes the green issue from other issues (i.e., wars or gun control or abortion), where by definition, there are two camps of voters and politicians (by and large). Nobody, in contrast, takes stands AGAINST the environment... as well they shouldn't...

(Finally - thanks for your comment on Election Night HQ, earlier)...

Steve Nizer said...

Kathy,

I'm afraid that the GOP hasn't really been green since the Nixon years. He created the EPA and signed various laws. Reagan was terrible on the environment and the current President isn't much better.

McCain by State said...

It's disappointing GOP doesn't rethink this issue. Going green doesn't have to be done in a way that hurts business.