Wednesday, February 27, 2008

What's More Important, Global Warming or Louis Farrakhan's Endorsement?

Yesterday I wrote on Raising Kaine:
Voters don't care about global warming, so the candidates don't talk about it, so it doesn't come up at the debates.

Right? That's what the Conventional Wisdom is in Washington. And of course, the Conventional Wisdom is never wrong.

But what if it actually works the other way around? Let's try the conventional wisdom backwards. The coal industry sponsors the debates, so global warming doesn't come up. The candidates don't get a chance to talk about it, so it's not on the minds of voters.

There have been five presidential debates on CNN this year, all sponsored by the coal industry. Total number of climate questions asked? Zero. And the Sunday morning talk show hosts aren't doing much better. Sounds like the coal industry is getting what it's paid for.

Will tonight's debate on MSNBC be any different? We'll see.

Did Tim Russert and Brian Williams ask about global warming? Or renewable energy? Or anything even vaguely related to the environment?

No, no, and no. But they were busy talking about other critical issues of national importance, like who Louis Farrakhan endorsed.

So it was up to the candidates to sneak in a few planks from their climate action platforms. From Hillary Clinton:
I helped to pass legislation to begin a training program for green collar jobs. I want to see people throughout Ohio being trained to do the work that will put solar panels on roofs, install wind turbines, do geothermal, take advantage of biofuels, and I know that if we had put $5 billion into the stimulus package to really invest in the training and the tax incentives that would have created those jobs as the Democrats wanted, as I originally proposed, we would be on the way to creating those.

You know, take a country like Germany. They made a big bet on solar power. They have a smaller economy and population than ours.

They've created several hundred thousand new jobs, and these are jobs that can't be outsourced. These are jobs that have to be done in Youngstown, in Dayton, in Cincinnati. These are jobs that we can create here with the right combination of tax incentives, training, and a commitment to following through.
And from Barack Obama:
We have to look at energy and the potential for creating green jobs that can not just save on our energy costs but, more importantly, can create jobs in building windmills that will produce manufacturing jobs here in Ohio, can put rural communities back on their feet by working on alternative fuels, making buildings more energy efficient. We can hire young people who are out of work and put them to work in the trade.
But hey, I shouldn't be too hard on the mainstream media. If they did their jobs and properly covered the environment, why would you need to read The Green Miles? So in that case, thank you, Tim Russert and Brian Williams, for refusing to talk about global warming!
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