Wednesday, August 04, 2004

On the environment: bad news, good news.

A key line in Kerry's convention speech: "I will have a Vice President who will not conduct secret meetings with polluters to rewrite our environmental laws." Yet, to my shock and dismay, I believe this was the only line in the speech referring to Bush's horrible record on the environment.

As I've written here before, this issue is a low-hanging-fruit, no-brainer winner for Kerry/Edwards to exploit at will. I realize by definition that the Kerry campaign figures they need to take it to Bush/Cheney on those issues where they're similar, not far apart, to better define for voters a choice between the two candidates. By far, the key issue in this regard is Kerry's ability to protect America (war on terror, etc.); thus, he's addressing this matter big time.

However, over the years, the time-tested most important issue to Americans during election time has always been their wallet, i.e. the economy. It's what is closest to them, what is closest to home. But I would venture to say that Americans should care second-most about the environment. I think many do, but I just don't think they realize, consciously, how much they actually do. More and more evidence shows that dirty air is related to an increasing number of deaths -- and unlike say obesity, where we can at least choose not to eat at McDonalds -- it's very difficult to have a choice in breathing (or not).

Ironically, most of the Republicans I know confess to being very-much pro-environment. There's this huge disconnect, which I continue to feel is very exploitable -- for the good of our planet! In this sense, GW is extremely divisive, pitting his corporate polluter buddies against basically the rest of America, but attempting to do so as unnoticed as possible.

Since 9-11, the constant threat of terrorist attack(s) will now very likely be a fact of life. We'll have to do what we can to stop any threat, but the threat will always remain. In the meantime, things that can be done to insure a clean environment are not at the mercy of such uncertainties. We have much more control over how we can act in a pro-environment manner than we do over how we can prevent terrorist attacks. Stopping corporate polluters is an easier task than stopping terrorists, and yet to this end the war on terror is often used as a distracting point to hide such behind-the-scenes, anti-environmental chicanery.

Get angry! Make demands!

No comments: