Politalks: Welcome to the greenhouse
I profess that the change of ideas is inevitable, but not to the extent we are seeing now. Politically, we have taken a one-hundred-and-eighty degree turn on our green initiative.
This is alarming because climate change is real.
Recent studies conducted by the National Snow and Ice Center show that the ice cap has hit record lows, covering only 24 % of the surface of the Arctic, lower than the previous set record of 29% in 2007. This is not only big news for climatologists, but also for the world at large.
The data compiled in these studies indicate that our oceans are getting warmer, resulting in smaller areas of ice each year. Acting like a modern day refrigerator, our ice caps play a critical role in keeping the earth cool. They reflect the sun’s rays that would otherwise be absorbed by the earth.
Today, there is a power struggle influencing the course of our energy future. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, the coal mining, oil and gas industries have given an estimated $ 44 million to the GOP in this year’s election. Comparatively, the Obama Campaign has received millions less.
In the midst of this ethos, the American Petroleum Industry enacted a campaign targeted at Obama and his reluctance to open up land for drilling. The “Vote 4 Energy” campaign pushes the case forward for clean coal, restating that if we were to ‘unleash’ our energy sector we would create thousands of jobs, revitalizing American greatness.
In normal speak, to ‘unleash’ our energy sector translates into less environmental regulation. Evidently, these companies don’t want to take responsibility for the dirty loose ends of their operations.
When fracking — the process of shaking sediment to get access to petroleum — was introduced, it was nothing less than controversial. Environmentalists sited contamination of groundwater and air quality as their main concerns.
Back in 2008, Obama was the centerpiece of a new energy movement that favored wind, solar and other renewables. In his campaign trail to the White House, the Alliance for Climate Protection, an environmental group founded by Al Gore, spent an estimated $ 32 million on advertisements. This year the same group has spent nothing, instead focusing its efforts on social media.
The shift from past presidential elections in 2008 is evident. The petroleum industry is outspending, and frankly outdoing, organizations that promote alternative energy solutions.
Petroleum, gas and coal there are always going to raise concerns about the damage it is inflicting on our environment.
But forget about carbon emissions for a one second and look around you. The fruits of earth, the natural beauty, the privilege of clean air. All of this is worth protecting.
Maybe we can re-spark the green movement. Maybe we can make it cool again.