Wed Sep 26, 2012, 09:25 AM
hatrack (33,154 posts)
Climate A "Ghost Issue" In US Election Campaigns
Four years ago climate change was a dominant campaign issue for Obama who promised leadership and immediate action on an international scale, but never delivered. Now it is a mere phantom of that time. A ghost issue that hovers in the background of a campaign where the words of former president George H. W. Bush at the Rio summit on sustainable development in 1992 still echo: "The American way of life is not negotiable."
Now Obama tiptoes through the pitfalls of appeasing his environmental constituency while trying not to scare off swing voters worried that regulations on carbon reduction could cost jobs. "It's pretty rare that President Obama talks about climate change directly, but he still talks quite a bit about clean energy," said David Konisky, a political science professor who teaches environmental policy issues at Georgetown Public Policy Institute in Georgetown University. "So I think that what he hopes to do is send a signal to voters concerned about climate change that he is still with them, that he cares about it but that the politics around it is such that he doesn't want to alienate those folks for whom climate change is just not seen as a particularly salient issue."
Romney has to satisfy a Republican base that is philosophically opposed to environmental regulations and to tax breaks that favour clean energy over fossil fuels. The Republicans have held up the recent bankruptcy of California solar panel company Solyndra, which had received $535 million US in loan guarantees from the Department of Energy in 2009, as proof that government intervention in clean energy is a failure.
Romney, however, has credibility problem. As governor of Massachusetts he supported action to curb greenhouse gases. Now he supports the Republican-controlled Congress's move to abolish Obama's regulations on carbon emissions as well as tax credits to the clean energy sector. He also has made statements doubting the science of climate change. "He tries to avoid the issue since it puts him in the awkward position of saying something different from what he said not too far in the past," Konisky said.
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Climate A "Ghost Issue" In US Election Campaigns (Original post)
Response to hatrack (Original post)
Thu Sep 27, 2012, 11:14 PM
CRH (1,211 posts)
3. I'm still waiting for either candidate to mention climate, ...
maybe if a derecha fucks with their jet plane landing, might incite a line or two in the media coverage.