Amongst the focuses of the candidates campaigns and the most prominent concerns of the American public including the economy, jobs, and education, the conversation on climate has, to say the least taken a backseat. I’ll admit it, amongst the whirlwind of topics being debated and discussed, projected and promised, the issue of our environment had, in retrospect disturbingly, drifted from the forefront of my mind, and I’m sure I’m not the only one. It’s clear, and understandable that in our economic crisis with the unemployment rate so high, the American public has greater priorities. However we must reminded, perhaps by the hurricane that has wreaked havoc on the east coast, that this is not an issue that can be ignored! Temperatures continue to increase and decrease to record highs and lows, glaciers are melting at speedier rates, and the number of natural disasters has quadrupled in the last twenty years. Scientific data proves that this is an issue that is escalating, and the American people are directly feeling its affects.
Both Obama and Romney have made it clear that they have acknowledged and agree on the fact that the climate is changing, the earth is warming, and humans are at least partially responsible for speeding the process, however what they plan on specifically doing about it is more ambiguous. The fact that the issue was not brought up by any of the moderators during the debates has not helped to inform Americans about what the future President has planned for the environment. This was a potentially critical opportunity to validate the issue in the eyes of the American people and it seems to have been passed up. The candidates acknowledgement of climate change, though better than denying it exists as some do, does not change the science, nor does it stop the increasing temperatures and increasingly severe storms, and it most certainly does not create policies. Policy change is dramatic and requires sacrifices to be made, and whole-hearted commitment from the American public to make them, including and especially the high and mighty who are used to cutting corners and getting away with doing what they want. The list of reasons why policy change is not ideal is long and daunting, however I’d like to think that the future President will acknowledge the fact that our world is in need of some solution to decrease resource exploitation and greenhouse gas emission, and that it is need of it now.