In his 2008 election campaign, Obama made climate change one of his top priorities, advocating by saying things like: “My presidency will mark a new chapter in America’s leadership on climate change that will strengthen our security and create millions of new jobs in the process”. He made several grand promises to reface American consumption and use cleaner energy, as seen in a newspaper article published in the New York Times back in 2008. However, a recent article from World News Australia has noticed how it is weirdly absent from the current election. Since 2008, climate change research has advanced in attempts to expose humans as being an active part of the problem, yet in his 2012 election campaign, Obama has altogether ignored climate change issues. With increasing education on the topic of climate change, people will become increasingly worried and shocked that it has been ignored for so long; yet, it still remains absent from his current platform. As one of the most pressing issues of our time, it is unfathomable that it is to be placed on the back burner, and cast under a shadow of doubt, especially in the most powerful country in the world’s political agenda.
The question is: why? Some people blame the media because so much of climate change information, through outlets like Fox News, have been hugely incorrect, misleading, and unreliable. Therefore, since common media outlets are the vast majority of the population’s main information source, those without an actual understanding of the truth, are being influenced by the misconceptions portrayed in news. This can have disastrous effects, for example, according to the article by World News Australia, half of Americans believe that most scientists don’t agree that global warming is even occurring. Research has proved that if a published consensus of climate change was done, it would impact the amount of support that climate issues would get. Yet, the president himself has neglecting to stress the importance of the issue. As much as I want to believe that Obama is concerned with the truth of climate change, and didn’t just use it as one way to rile up the crowds in his favour, it does appear that way. The misinformation spread in the media, and his non-existent mention of it now, lead me to believe that he is concerned with more “pressing” issues, otherwise known as current events that will allow him to stay in office.
It is also not helpful that one of the most powerful political parties, The Republicans, are purposefully casting doubt on the matter of climate change in the minds of average American citizens. Presidential candidate Romney refuses to support climate change science. This is detrimental, not only to the future of climate change science, but also to the climate itself. If Romney is put in office, and refuses to support the research of climate change, it is fair to assume that he will not do anything to actually help reduce the negative impact that humans have on the environment in the heavily polluted U.S., only adding to the problem. Also, since America is such an influential country, many other countries in the world may adopt their lassiez-faire mentality, and start questioning the validity of climate change altogether, even though the truth stares them in the face. In my ideal world, I would hope that the average American could access real information through mediums like this, become educated and demand that more attention be paid to such an imperative issue. Education is the only way that candidates will be forced to deal with the truth, not just what they need you to know to get them into office. This is a problem that cannot be ignored for long, and the US presidential candidates need to wake up and realize this. As Obama said in 2008: “Now is the time to confront this challenge once and for all. Delay is no longer an option. Denial is no longer an acceptable response.”