Global Warming and the Presidential Candidates

Wow …  

The candidates for the Democratic nomination to be the next President of the United States joined the second (and last) Yearly Kos.

Wow …

Yet …

Well …

Hold on …

Were they asked the right questions?  Did we, the community, ask them driving questions on the core issues facing the United States and the Globe?  

From my perspective, sadly, no …

Where was the question on energy policy?


That little thing called Global Warming?

The League of Conservation Voters has a campaign that we should all pay attention to that, sadly, we seem not to have had enough focus at Yearly Kos.  

The Heat is On calls on citizens to challenge Presidential candidates when it comes to Global Warming.  A key player of that organization was at the Yearly Kos panel on Global Warming just a few hours before that Presidential Candidates Forum.

Yet … well … Global Warming did not make the general discussion.

What are the questions The Heat is On seeks voters to ask candidates as they travel across the nation seeking votes?

  1. Scientists say that if we don’t make significant reductions in our global warming emissions within the next decade, the impacts will be catastrophic and irreversible. How much of a priority is global warming in your campaign?
  1. In order to address the growing threat of global warming, scientists tell us that we need to reduce global warming emissions by an average of two percent each year through the middle of the century – achieving 80 percent reductions by 2050. Do you have a plan to meet these or other targets?
  1. The new energy economy is already emerging globally, but the U.S. is outsourcing many of these opportunities to other countries. For example, the U.S. currently imports 60-70 percent of the wind turbines operating in the country. What will you do to make the U.S. a leader in developing the new energy economy?
  1. Ten of the biggest corporations, including BP, Duke Energy and GE, have endorsed establishing a national cap on carbon emissions, which they believe will provide industry the long-term certainty that they need to develop new technologies. What is your position on a national cap?
  1. Studies have shown that increasing fuel efficiency to 40 mpg would save three million barrels per day-the single biggest step to reducing our dependence on oil. What is your plan to boost the fuel efficiency of America’s vehicles?
  1. More than 20 states have passed renewable electricity standards requiring that a certain percentage of their electricity is generated from renewables. Several have set a standard of 20 percent by 2020. What, if any, target do you support for a national renewable electricity standard?
  1. Utilities currently planning to build 150 new conventional coal-fired power plants. Studies show that if these plants are built, they would significantly increase global warming emissions. What is your plan to limit emissions from new coal plants?
  1. With growing concern about global warming, the nuclear power industry is looking to build new plants. developing new plants will add to our existing nuclear waste problem. do you believe that nuclear power should be a part of addressing global warming and how would you propose to deal with the waste issue?
  1. Studies show that using coal as a fuel (liquid coal) in our cars will double global warming emissions. Do you believe that developing liquid coal is consistent with a commitment to solving global warming?
  1. If you were elected President, what would you plan to accomplish on this issue by the end of your first term?

As I’ve written before (also discussing Climate Voters),

Now those are serious questions … meriting serious answer … and the answers merit attention before putting the vote into the ballot box.

Sadly, before all Kossacks and a national audience, none of these questions were asked … nor answered.

We could have … We should have done better.

But, in the future, opportunities will emerge to ask these questions.  


As Climate Voters call on us to pledge that “This election, I am a climate voter.”  Quite simply, as they accurately put it:

The Future is at Stake-Put Your Vote On the Line!

In terms of the breakout sessions, were Global Warming questions asked? And, well, were they answered?  I attended the Obama breakout.  There, Laughing Liberally great Baratunde Thurstonasked a serious question about Obama’s support of coal.  Well, a great question asked and, in my mind, not really answered.

If I’d had the chance, my question might have been along the lines of:

Senator, I am A Siegel of Energize America and The Energy Smart Alliance.  I am up in the middle of the night, working on Global Warming issues. Sometimes I find myself crying when when hugging my children, fearful of the disastrous future that we are creating for them.

Just Friday, Daily Kos had a front page diary Edwards, Obama, Richardson and Clinton on Energy comparing your energy plans.  It also had a straw poll as to had the best plan when it comes to Energy and Global Warming.  Your plan ended up a distant third behind Governor Richardson and Senator Edwards (in that order) as to the “best plan”. And, well, that was a generous distant third, certainly votes by supporters rather than realistic comparisons of the plan.
Senator Obama, are you ready to revisit your plan so that, if you are the nominee, I will want to work 24/7 on your behalf with the confidence that you are committed to an energy and Global Warming plan that can give me confidence about my and your children’s future?

That is a question that I would still like to hear answered …

From Senator Obama … from Senator Clinton … from all the candidates in various forms.

  • Consider joining the new, improved Daily Kos Environmentalists community / listserve.
  • Sunday morning, at Yearly Kos, four Kossack trainees of The Climate Project gave a live, updated presentation of An Inconvenient Truth.  With about 20 people there, the about 90 minute presentation showcased how each person brings their own style, own perspective to the presentation.  One of us will, I expect, diary the experience.
  • When it comes to Global Warming, we must … and we must get the leadership … think in terms of Seven Generations … not Seven Years!

One response to “Global Warming and the Presidential Candidates

  1. I am a regular reader of your article. And I am very impress with your blog upon Global Warming. Now I am also write a blog upon effects and causes of Global Warming. This blog is collection of news & reviews like the study found that global warming since 1985 has been caused neither by an increase in solar radiation nor by a decrease in the flux of galactic cosmic rays. Some researchers had also suggested that the latter might influence global warming because the rays trigger cloud formation.

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