Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Climate Change and the Democratic Party Platform at the DNC

The Democratic platform promotes the development of clean energy jobs, the conservation of public lands, clean air and water. However to appeal to the American public the Democrats are advocating an an “all-of-the-above" energy strategy, which includes oil, "clean" coal and natural gas. While we may rue support for fossil fuels and the conspicuous absence of important ideas like a market-based cap-and-trade system in the Democrat's 2012 platform, we would do well to remember that there will be no clean energy and no green jobs under a Republican president. The Democrats need to appeal to voters to get elected and at the present time issues like cap-and-trade are dead issues.

As reviewed in the Huffington Post, the 2012 Republican platform mentions the term "climate change" once (while downplaying the issue's severity), the 2012 Democratic platform uses the term "climate change" 18 times.

While Republicans do not even openly acknowledge anthropogenic climate change. The Democratic platform argues that climate change is "one of the biggest threats of this generation" and they realize that "The change wrought by a warming planet will lead to new conflicts over refugees and resources; new suffering from drought and famine; catastrophic natural disasters; and the degradation of vital ecosystems across the globe."

The Democrats have pledged to work on an international effort to cut emissions and provide financing for developing nations to protect themselves from the effects of climate change.

Under the circumstances of Republican obstructionism, a woefully misinformed public and resistance from some Democrats, President Obama and the Democratic party has been leading efforts to address climate change.

In 2012 climate change may not be as central to the Democrat's platform as it was in 2008, but they remain the only national party in the US to seriously address the issue. While many are frustrated with the Democrats weaker position on climate, for voters who have even a passing understanding of environmental issues the Democrats are the only game in town.

© 2012, Richard Matthews. All rights reserved.

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