Torchlight

Where’d it Go?
by Kevin He -- October 25th, 2012

If you only paid attention to the messages of the two primary (Democratic and Republican) presidential campaigns and ignored other outlets of information, you’d probably think increased coal production and domestic oil drilling are the solutions to this nation’s problems. More importantly, “climate change” wouldn’t even be a phrase you’d recognize, much less understand the implications of it. Sure, “clean energy” may be something you’re familiar with, but why “go clean” when you don’t understand the dangers of going dirty?

To be entirely honest, if the lack of coverage of climate change in this election cycle reflected reality, I’d be perfectly fine with that. Unfortunately, that isn’t the case. In fact, the lack of dialogue on environmental issues, with climate change beyond the foremost currently, is well documented (click here for a neat infographic on it). If you tinker with that infographic, “climate change” is mentioned once, and the “environment” as a general concept? Only three times total.

Luckily, the American public (or at least some sectors of it) doesn’t seem to be quite so narrow-minded. If you Google the terms “climate change” and “presidential election” together, you’ll notice a whole host of articles dedicated to it. Importantly, these articles, opinions, blogs, etc. aren’t only coming from environmentally-focused organizations like 350.org, which have utilized clever photos like this (below) to show the absurdity of it.

Courtesy of 350.org

 

Just today, NYTimes posted this article, titled “Climate Change Nearly Absent in the Campaign“. Here’s a short quote:

Even after a year of record-smashing temperatures, drought and Arctic ice melt, none of the moderators of the four general-election debates asked about climate change, nor did any of the candidates broach the topic.

Time Magazine posted this, titled “Why Climate Change has become the Missing Issue in the Presidential Campaign” a few days ago along much the same vein in content as the NYTimes article.

And so, despite the ridiculous taboo of climate change in the current election cycle rhetoric, I still have hope, and perhaps even a little faith. If you take a bit of time to follow the dialogue in the comments of these articles (dangerous places, I know), you’ll realize that people do know. And in these discussions, they’re bringing out the science and helping it to be digestible in small amounts. The American people are starting to get it. So, if the public starts to understand how absurd it is to ignore one of the most pressing economic, national security, and humanitarian problems of the modern age, then maybe, just maybe, these people we call our “representatives” will too. Eventually, at least.

 

P.S. as a side note, I realized recently that I could never quite figure out where to go for environmental news. For world news, politics, etc. I always resorted to NYTimes or CNN or the like, but where was I to go to understand what is going on in the environmental world today? If you’ve had the same problem, here are two suggestions: http://www.enn.com/ and http://www.npr.org/sections/environment/

1 Comment

  1. Christine Chen
    Oct 29, 2012

    Nice collection of pieces of news on the same topic!

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