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Vote as if your future depended on it. It actually does.
Raise your hand if you're sick to death of this election season. Keep them up if you're scared to death of the results.
Many of the politicians currently running for office are just not my cup of Tea--ok, I lifted that from Maureen Dowd. So here I am going all partisan on you, but the depth of the problems facing our country is daunting and we need some smart people in government acting wisely and thoughtfully, putting the country ahead of their political posturing.
Unemployment is our single largest issue. Raise your hand if you or someone close to you is looking in vain for a job. I see ya and I'm sorry, but we as a nation also have other things to contend with. I'm going to focus --no surprise--on climate change.
From all accounts, meaningful climate change legislation is all but dead this legislative term, and if Republicans capture one of both houses of Congress, there will likely be no energy bill anytime soon despite the fact that it is overwhelmingly in our interest to do so.
As Tom Friedman said in a recent New York Times column:
"I still find it amazing that with all the climate, security, health and financial interests America has in reducing its dependence on oil, our Congress could not work out an energy bill over the past two years--especially when China, Japan and the European Union are all hurdling ahead on clean-tech. The fact that we failed to pass an energy bill--cap-and-trade, a carbon tax, efficiency standards, I don't care which--is actually a reflection of a broader U.S. power failure. It is the failure of our political system to unite, even in a crisis, to produce the policy responses America needs to thrive in the 21st century."
All but one (Mark Steven Kirk from Illinois) of the Republican candidates for the U.S. Senate and a majority of the Republicans running for governor deny climate change or its connections to human behavior. Earlier this year Senators Kerry (D-MA), Lieberman (I-CN) and Graham (R-SC) penned a bill to address climate, energy, security, jobs and environmental goals. Graham pulled out after being told by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell that no other Republican would support him.
The American Power Act would have reduced greenhouse gas emissions 20 percent by 2020 and 83 percent by 2050 through a nation-wide cap-and-trade program. It also contains investments in clean energy technology and provisions to encourage the creation of new "green" jobs.
The probable consequences of climate change include rising seas, global fresh water and food supply shortages, species extinction, and economic chaos.
And that's just the short list.