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Matthew Lynch, Ed.D.

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Which Presidential Candidate Would Be Better on the Environment?

Posted: 08/07/2012 7:32 pm

Don't look now, but the heat is being turned up. Way up. Oh wait, there is a good chance that you are already feeling some of that excessive heat where you live. In fact, it is believed that there have been over 4,000 heat records broken over this summer. It's kind of shocking to believe some people are still unsure that global warming is taking place. So the country is heating up in a big way. This brings me to my point about taking a look at which presidential candidate would be better on the environment.

You may think that the environment isn't even an issue that concerns you. After all, you aren't one of those treehuggers who fight about every little issue that impacts the planet. But you don't have to be a treehugger to care about the environment. Sure it helps, but there's more to it than that, and even if you don't identify yourself as being an environmentalist I have news for you. Life for you is impacted by what happens in the environment, whether you consider yourself an environmentalist or not. For this reason, it's something we should all care about, especially when we cast our vote this November.

Curious about where Mitt Romney stands on environmental issues? Good luck visiting his site and finding the word "environment" anywhere on his list of issues. It's not there. It's such a non-issue to him that out of his long list of issues, the word doesn't even appear in the line-up. The closest thing that he has is a blurb on his stance on energy (hey, Mitt, there's more impacting our environment than just energy, although that is a big issue).

What you will find in regard to Mitt's stance on the environment is that his motto is "drill, baby, drill, so long as the price is right." He is all for off-shore drilling (BP accident ring a bell, anyone?), as well as opening up protected natural areas in Alaska and beyond. His concern does not lie with caring for the planet that we all call home. Rather he is concerned with one thing, which you may have guessed, the almighty dollar. If all this drilling can raise some money, he basically says to hell with the consequences, or so it seems.

Mitt is also against furthering green job creation and wants to limit the restrictions placed on development, again citing money as the main motivation for this position. Where Mitt stands on the environment, and all its issues, is from a position of feeling that we don't know what is causing climate change.

On the other side of this coin is President Obama, who does realize that there is scientific support that a major contributor to climate change is, well, humans. A lot of it is being caused by the way we are living our lives. We are clear cutting forests faster than you can crumple a sheet of paper, using oil at alarming rates, and engaging in practices that are making our air dirtier and our water polluted enough to harm humans, as well as animals that inhabit it.

Where does President Obama stand on the environment? Well he lists it as a major issue on his official site, which puts us off to a good start. He is for putting restrictions on development, for protecting our shores and land by avoiding off-shore drilling, and it doesn't stop there. He's also for using alternative energy sources, such as wind and solar power, as well as investing in clean coal technology, so that we can improve our air quality. He has also made great strides in helping to improve fuel economy in our vehicles.

President Obama feels our environment, which I remind you is our home, is an important issue. Just like any logical-thinking person he wants to protect his home, which means making sustainability a reality, curbing pollution a must, and moving our workers into green jobs essential.

Have you figured out by now which presidential candidate would be better for the environment? In short, we have one that finds it a non-issue, and we have one that feels it's an important one. If Romney doesn't have the sense to want to protect this planet we call home, he will need to keep focusing on money so he can run away from the environmental problems in his backyard. Yet I'm not so sure it will do him all that much good, because all the money in the world can't buy us a new planet.

 

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