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Will Obama Or Romney Save Our Planet?


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Many of us believe campaign politics and donor contributions are playing a huge role on how both presidential candidates artfully avoid the topic head-on.

If you are an End-of- days believer then Frankenstorm Sandy is merely a precursor to what was forewarned millenniums ago by Nostradamus, the Book of Revelation and Mayan calendar. And our human abilities to stem the tide of more mega-storms are a futile battle with fate.

However, if we are of the belief that human activity greatly contributes to climate change, then why aren't our elected officials doing something about it as ferociously as the storms themselves?

With now indisputable scientific evidence of Greenland's ice sheet melting, oceans acidifying, sea levels rising, and the tundra thawing, to name just a few of the catastrophic changes occurring before our eyes, why have President Obama and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney not addressed human-caused climate change in their campaigns?

Many of us believe campaign politics and donor contributions are playing a huge role on how both presidential candidates artfully avoid the topic head-on.

For example, flip-flopper Romney goes back and forth on the issue of global warming and his stance has little if anything to do with strong convictions or mixed feelings.

Just last year at the Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh, PA, Romney told his audience that carbon dioxide emissions should not be reduced.

"My view is that we don’t know what’s causing climate change on this planet. And the idea of spending trillions and trillions of dollars to try to reduce CO2 emissions is not the right course for us."

But this past June, Romney espoused the opposite position urging the need to reduce greenhouse pollution.

"I don’t speak for the scientific community, of course, but I believe the world’s getting warmer...I believe that humans contribute to that...And so I think it’s important for us to reduce our emissions of pollutants and greenhouse gases that may well be significant contributors to the climate change and the global warming that you’re seeing."

Romney's panders to corporate lobbyists, and special interest groups because of their huge campaign donations and they oppose climate change regulation as big government or interference with free enterprise.

Case-in-point: the Koch brothers- David H. Koch and Charles G. Koch- of Koch Industries.

They are one of the biggest polluters on the planet. They have a history of aggressively financially supporting right-wing groups, causes , Republican candidates and politicians who deny climate change.

Why have President Obama and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney not addressed human-caused climate change in their campaigns?In 2010, the Koch brothers doled out $1 million on California’s Proposition 23, legally referred to as the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006. Opponents of the bill, like the Koch brothers, called the initiative the Dirty Energy Prop. The initiative lost by a landslide, but the objective of Prop. 23 was to give permission to out-of-state oil companies to overturn the 2006 Global Warming Solutions Act, a state law to combat human-caused climate change by establishing regulations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

While it is true that Obama isn't a flip-flopper or denier of human-caused climate change, he has, however, only once publicly uttered a full-throated support of it while on the campaign trail. And that was during a speech in Charlottesville, VA where he stated, “Denying climate change doesn’t make it stop.”

Obama also ought to know that not addressing it won't either.

The Obama Administration has never really tried to do much on the topic of climate change,” Michigan State sociology professor Aaron McCright told Discovery:

So, while protecting the environment and dealing with climate change is part of the general Democratic platform, it is not something that Obama has specifically pushed in his original campaign or at any time during his presidency.”

With the pressing need to create jobs and to built confidence in our sagging economy, the issue of climate change has not been a high priority for the Obama administration. But creating jobs for a green economy is pro-business. And businesses of all sizes will have to adapt to climate change, and not to do so will create a lost of services and income.

While it is evident that what we do to address global warming is a political issue, it is also, surprisingly, a present and pressing religious issue for many Christian evangelicals. And the divide among evangelicals depends on which biblical scriptures inform their actions.

Opponents of human-caused global warming will not only cite the book of Revelation, but also End Times verses like Matthew 24:29-31:29, which states, "Immediately after the distress of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken. At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn....

Proponents of human-caused global warming who feel they are to take responsibility for being good stewards and “till and keep” the Earth are informed my Genesis 2:15 - "Then the LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to farm the land and to take care of it."

This coming Tuesday, November 6th we vote. Creating jobs and improving the economy will determine for most who they will cast their ballot for. And so too should they consider who will help save our planet. Editorial Board member and Columnist, the Rev. Irene Monroe, is a religion columnist, theologian, and public speaker. She is the Coordinator of the African-American Roundtable of the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies in Religion and Ministry (CLGS) at the Pacific School of Religion. A native of Brooklyn, Rev. Monroe is a graduate from Wellesley College and Union Theological Seminary at Columbia University, and served as a pastor at an African-American church before coming to Harvard Divinity School for her doctorate as a Ford Fellow. She was recently named to MSNBC’s list of 10 Black Women You Should Know. Reverend Monroe is the author of Let Your Light Shine Like a Rainbow Always: Meditations on Bible Prayers for Not’So’Everyday Moments. As an African-American feminist theologian, she speaks for a sector of society that is frequently invisible. Her website is Click here to contact the Rev. Monroe.

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Nov 1, 2012 - Issue 492
is published every Thursday
Est. April 5, 2002
Executive Editor:
David A. Love, JD
Managing Editor:
Nancy Littlefield, MBA
Peter Gamble