10 October 2008

Did We Forget The Environment?

I totally understand how the economy is the number one issue for Americans in deciding who to vote for president.  Each of the other top issues in the latest poll, I sort of understand why they're so high on the list.  

What really astounds me is how the environment has seemingly melted away like the arctic glaciers from the list. Have we so easily forgotten about global warming? Has the Republican's intentionally introduced euphemism phrase of "climate change" really numbed away our concerns?  Did we already forget Al Gore's "Inconvenient Truth"?

I think what we all can agree on is that this is the longest, most dragged out presidential campaign in history.  Thanks to all those states who moved up their primary and caucus elections so early in the year, the exploratory committees and candidacy declarations came very early.  It seems like ages ago when there were 8 or more candidates debating at a time for each party.  Have we already forgotten the time when Hillary and Rudy were both considered the inevitable nominees?  Obama and McCain were long shot candidates then.

But it wasn't some dream that is fast fading from memory.  The deep concern, the outrage, the word of mouth enthusiasm was quite real.  We were finally listening to Al Gore. Environmental conservation was finally mainstream.  Perhaps expensive gas and a cratering stock market have permanently distracted us from carbon dioxide levels that are still rising, plastic waste formations the size of Texas swirling in the Pacific Ocean, and disgusting smog shrouding Beijing, Shanghai, and just about every major city around the globe.

Or, it is simply the public's attention must always move on to another topic, the next concern, the scandal around the corner, the expected unexpected outrage.

I must admit, the environment is not number one on my list, but it's probably third for me. After leadership and the economy.  Let's hope Al Gore is asked to serve a prominent and influential role in the next administration.