Monday, September 08, 2008

Environmental Voting

So on to the facts, at least as I see them. If you don’t vote for the environment in this election you are more foolish then when you cast your first (or if really stupid second) vote for George W Bush. How can a single issue so define the election, well consider these facts: carbon output is at an all time high causing major changes to our environment; we are at war with a country that had no weapons, no terrorists only oil, our economy is tanking again and the VP candidate for one part has the oil industry wrapped around her finger as governor of Alaska.

If you take the time to vote to improve the environment (and not just at the presidential level but local and state as well) you may well help solve all these concerns. The easy view is voting for pro-environment candidates and the positive impact on global warming (human impact on the environment), I’ll save this topic until later. How will pro-environment candidates help national defense? How will pro-environment candidates help the economy? Well take a look.

How will pro-environment candidates help national defense? The less our need for oil, foreign or domestic, the less pressure we have to protect those interests. For the sake of argument assume for now we can’t live without our cars; however, if we demand (and quickly) higher fuel efficiency, and alternative fuel sources that are here today (hybrid, biodiesel, corn/plant based) we lessen our need for oil. We this reduced usage of oil for autos will allow a more self-sufficient production of heating oil as well. Other sources of power which are even more beneficial as they are renewable include wind, solar and hydro-electric. Currently all these sources of power are utilized in the US; however, the relatively minimal amount of use keeps costs high. With a pro-environmental government is place subsidies can be put in place to create more “alternative” power generation systems; thus reducing our need for foreign and domestic oil for heating. This creates the multiple benefits of a cleaner/healthier environment, a production system for energy that is more domestically focused (which creates sticky/non-transferable jobs) and deals with the cold hard fact that oil will be depleted at some point. Maybe not in our lifetime, or even our children’s lifetime but at some point.

I’ve purposely not touched on natural gas here, the primary reason being a knowledge level so low I can’t speak on it; however, any option that is clean burning energy and lessens our dependence on other nations to power us seems like an option worth looking into.

How will pro-environment candidates help national defense? As mentioned above the more energy we create on our own domestically the less the impact of unstable governments, coups, and other international events will have on our energy costs and needs to protect our “sources”. The US imports 70% of its oil, that means we have a substantial stake any time one (or multiple) of our suppliers is feuding, mad at us or dealing with a man-made or natural disaster. Do I feel the US has a duty to help protect the world from injustice? Yes, of course we do and should. We should protect those being invaded or forced into another way of life without choice; however, we should do this not because of our personal interests (oil) but because it is the right thing to do. This is no different than providing health care to all Americans; we should do it because it is the right thing to do. With less reliance on foreign oil through a sound environmental policy and creation of alternative and renewable energy sources we can truly act on behalf of the oppressed, not on behalf of our oil suppliers.

Finally an environmentally friendly president will help what is clearly a weak economy. Jobs created to find alternative and renewable energy sources will need the brains of American works to find the sources and develop the best way to harness the power. Then we will need to build facilities that harness that power (wind turbines for example) and perform on-going maintenance. All of these new “Green” jobs will be created in America and will stick in America because the natural sources are abundant and available for use here. The person that builds and maintains a wind turbine in Wyoming will spend the money in Wyoming creating a more stable domestic economy.

A sound environmental policy will protect our global environment, protect our national defense and create a sound economy. Visit sites such as T Boone Pickens to find out more and vote for a candidate who will look at alternative solutions (

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