"Should you freak out at the lack of air time for climate change in Denver — or Minneapolis?"
Andrew Jones — former Rocky Mountain Institute colleague and systems-dynamic modeler extraordinaire at the Sustainability Institute — asks if I could write something “from a DC insider perspective about why we shouldn’t be freaking out that climate change is getting so little air time at the Democratic National Convention?”
Actually, Drew, getting people to freak out is the whole point of this blog, no? But seriously, the media wouldn’t cover climate change even if the speakers did talk about (see “No Questions On Global Warming Asked At CNN’s Coal Industry-Sponsored Presidential Debates“). Or they would just screw up the story, just as they did with drilling (see “Note to media: Are you going to allow McCain to just make up stuff on oil drilling?“).
Heck, when even National Public Radio (!) blows the climate story, you know the country is in trouble:
All Things Considered, August 13, 2008: If you are trying to figure out whom to vote for in the upcoming presidential race, the issue of climate change may not be much help. This is one area where both leading candidates for president do not have a lot to disagree about. In fact, when the two rivals paint a picture of a warmer world, it seems like they might have the same speechwriter.
[Cue Obi-Wan Kenobi intoning, "I feel a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of voices cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced."]
While I very much hope we hear on Thursday night about the urgent need to move toward clean energy, the DNC simply not the place to waste time trying to educate the public and the media on a subject as complicated as climate change.
And while I have no doubt that 99% of the Democratic delegates share their nominee’s views on global warming, the same is certainly not true of the RNC. As the AP reported today on the draft Republican Party platform:
It would put the party on record as accepting that economic activity contributes to global warming, in line with McCain’s views.
But the platform is loaded with caveats about the uncertainty of science and the need to “resist no-growth radicalism” in taking on climate change.
It warns that empowering Washington on the matter would have painful consequences, a less-than-rousing endorsement of McCain’s ambitious plan for mandatory federal emission cuts in a cap and trade program.
As promised, the Republican platform subcommittee on energy took up the global-warming section of the 2008 draft about an hour ago. Long story short: It’s now a very different document. I’ll have more after I’ve had a chance to talk to some of the participants in the debate. To give you an idea of how drastically the document changed, consider the first amendment the subcommittee took up, which passed:
The section was titled, “Global Warming and Environmental Protection.” Now it’s just, “Environmental Protection.”
Bad news for GOP optometrists — myopia has turned into outright blindness.
So, Drew, if you want to freak out about global warming — or the nation’s future in general — it’s the Minneapolis convention, not the Denver one, you should be worrying about.