What are the issues that matter?
A very good article on Truthdig today with Noam Chomsky….
Romney and Obama: Too Cowardly to Talk About What Really Matters
Posted on Oct 6, 2012
|Andrew Rusk (CC BY 2.0)|
|Noam Chomsky stands with a crowd of sympathizers.|
Acclaimed social philosopher Noam Chomsky wants you to know that presidential candidates Mitt Romney and Barack Obama are ignoring two of the gravest threats to humankind: climate change and nuclear war.
Chomsky points to a study from the Climate Vulnerability Monitor released in late September that found that the current predictions of the effects of global warming would be regressive for the world economy.
“The study was widely reported elsewhere but Americans have been spared the disturbing news,” Chomsky writes. The Democrats’ and Republicans’ official stances on climate change were reviewed in Science magazine’s Sept. 14 issue, he continues. “In a rare instance of bipartisanship, both parties demand that we make the problem worse.”
In 2008, both party platforms had devoted some attention to how the government should address climate change. Today, the issue has almost disappeared from the Republican platform – which does, however, demand that Congress “take quick action” to prevent the Environmental Protection Agency, established by former Republican President Richard Nixon in saner days, from regulating greenhouse gases. And we must open Alaska’s Arctic refuge to drilling to take “advantage of all our American God-given resources.” We cannot disobey the Lord, after all.
The platform also states that “We must restore scientific integrity to our public research institutions and remove political incentives from publicly funded research” – code words for climate science. The Republican candidate Mitt Romney, seeking to escape from the stigma of what he understood a few years ago about climate change, has declared that there is no scientific consensus, so we should support more debate and investigation – but not action, except to make the problems more serious. The Democrats mention in their platform that there is a problem, and recommend that we should work “toward an agreement to set emissions limits in unison with other emerging powers.” But that’s about it. President Barack Obama has emphasized that we must gain 100 years of energy independence by exploiting fracking and other new technologies – without asking what the world would look like after a century of such practices. So there are differences between the parties: about how enthusiastically the lemmings should march toward the cliff. Read more…