Climate change politics

The World

Global warming was not an issue at the respective national conventions. In fact it wasn’t an issue at all. In his 42 minute speech, Obama mentioned global warming one time, while McCain didn’t mention it at all. That’s not to say the candidates are ignoring the topic, and both candidates have aggressive plans on the topic. This analyst says there’s a reason the issue fades away when the candidates take the stage: there is not a great deal of space between the candidates. McCain favors a 60% cut on greenhouse gasses by mid-century, Obama wants an 80% cut. Both candidates favor a cap and trade system to curb emissions. Both candidates also say they’ll engage in talks through the U.N. on the issue, unlike President Bush. So at their conventions, the candidates spoke about cleaner forms of energy instead of talking about global warming. And when you combine all these new forms of new energy, you get claims of energy independence, like Palin’s last night. Both candidates promise they’ll help wean the U.S. off foreign oil. But how realistic is that? This analyst says energy independence is not a good goal, and that the global economy prevents independence on any necessity. Right now both campaigns are linking energy proposals with national security�a concept Americans can get behind. McCain’s recent calls for more oil drilling has gotten him attention and irked environmentalists. This analyst says more drilling won’t mean cheaper gas. Still the patriotic surge for American energy is bringing climate change to the forefront, and that’s a good thing according to this analyst. He says we now need to hear a long term commitment to alternative energy. He says the U.S. could become the world leader in reducing greenhouse gas emissions in five years if the next president is committed enough.

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