Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Push or Pull

I watched the Frontline film 'Hot Politics' and I can say with near certainty that something will be done to help the environment based on what I saw. Despite what others may think, I feel as if the political system is working exactly the way it is supposed to and this is why something will happen. In the early nineties people cared about their jobs being shipped overseas and other economic concerns, much as they do today. The difference is that climate change was not as large of a priority. Because of this, no legislation was able to be enacted and no change was able to be made. The government was trying to pull us into a direction that people did not think was necessary and frankly did not want to go in. People were not willing to pay a tax as Clinton had proposed because climate change was not affecting anyone and no other nations were really going to do anything about it. But today, the tides have seemed to turn. People are willing to pay more for renewable energy, pay more for hybrid cars, and President Bush has acknowledged that global warming exists and we need to stop it. The people in California were fed up with the speed at which the federal government was enacting climate change so they pushed the state government to do something about it. Now, industry is scared about state regulations that differ and is pushing the federal government to step in, with the help of the states and the people. Everyone seems to be frustrated that we have to push the government to do something but this is the point of a democracy. Our elected leaders do what the people tell them to, and if they don't, we vote for someone else. If people are not ready for a change but the government tries to pull us into one, it will not work. Politicians did not go along with the previous attempts at climate change because they were scared of losing their constituents. Now, that the people are pushing the government to do something, the politicians will be scared to do nothing. This is why a change is going to come.


ashlynn said...

I hope you're correct that the federal government is going to take action regarding climate change.

The program 'Hot Politics' was one of the best organized overviews of the global warming debate I've seen recently. Though climate change or global warming is based on science and society, taking action to combat the human influence is a matter of policy, politics, and partisan government. As was discussed in many of the interviews, global warming was more politics than policy. As evidenced here, sometimes what you say in Washington is not nearly as important as how you say it.

I hope that we as Americans finally realize that we need to own up to our past and present actions. What is important to us as a nation? Do we favor the economy or the environment? Are the two mutually exclusive? (Apparently they are, if you ask former President George H.W. Bush)

With primary elections coming up, each of us should figure out what is important regarding energy policy and climate change. And then vote accordingly.

PS: Did anyone catch President Bush's word slip in his campaign speech about Texas? Apparently we're reducing "admissions" instead of "emissions" from power plants here in Texas. Way to go, W...

Candide said...


I think you left out that politicians also did not go along with the previous attempts because they were in the pockets of many large companies who donate generously to their campaigns and did not want a carbon tax or cap-and-trade system. Many large companies (including oil, coal, gas, and automobile industries) have had a major influence for the past 20 years with regards to preventing climate change legislation, and bear a great deal of the responsibility for delaying public opinion and preventing political action.