Which President for Climate Change?

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Offline DaveReay

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Which President for Climate Change?
« on: 05/09/2006 13:47:02 »
Not being a US citizen, but being very interested in climate change mitigation, I'd like to know what people think to the relative merits of the likely contenders for the next US Presidency. On the Republican side, I know that John McCain has been outspoken in his belief that more action should to be taken to cut greenhouse gas emissions in the US, but haven't read what Condoleezza Rice's position is. For the Democrats, I believe Hilary Clinton has a good knowledge of climate change issues, but of course Al Gore may still run and his understanding comes across as more solid and in-depth.

Obviously, this question is based on a single issue and ignores the reality of what wins and loses elections at the current time but, if tackling climate change were top of the agenda, who would make the most effective post-George W President?


Offline VAlibrarian

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Re: Which President for Climate Change?
« Reply #1 on: 06/09/2006 19:00:30 »
Mr. Reay-
Your question is interesting and important. In the USA, we are currently in a political situation in which we will not get a national action plan to combat global warming for at least two years. That is because GW Bush has shown himself to be a friend to the petroleum industry. Even if the Democrats are able to gain a majority in Congress in the November 2006 elections (unlikely), Bush would certainly veto any legislation that he would perceive as unfriendly to his backers.
You are correct to point out that McCain has been an outspoken critic of American over-reliance on petroleum and our unwillingness to deal with global warming as scientific reality. The unfortunate thing is that a large wing of the Republican Party is very unwilling to face up to global warming (they consider it "imaginary"). As President, McCain would be forced to seek support from Democrats and fight against his own party to get meaningful action on global warming. I personally do not believe that Condi Rice or Bill Frist have a realistic shot at becoming President, but I could be wrong. After all, I never thought we would elect someone like GW Bush.

On the Democrat side, yes, I think Senator Clinton would be willing to propose action on global warming. Al Gore certainly would, but I do not believe that he is interested in running for President again. I believe that Governor Mark Warner of my home state of Virginia would advocate action against global warming also, and I hope that he would have a chance to gain the Democratic nomination despite Clinton's financial advantages. Warner in my view is able to take a long term view and make decisions based on our children's needs more than our own.
The reality here is that many Americans are very concerned about global warming, but at the same time they believe that inexpensive gasoline is a God-given right. Yes, I know, it is not possible to believe both these things at the same time, but they do anyway. It will take time to change attitudes, time that we do not have. Every time that gasoline prices go down, as they have been recently, people get excited, not realizing that it is making it harder for them to make changes that they must undertake.

chris wiegard
chris wiegard