Looking over the websites of the three leading Democatic presidential candidates, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and John Edwards, it would be hard to conclude that we are faced with a climate crisis that threatens to wreck havoc with human populations unless urgent action is taken. The sites of Clinton and Edwards do emphasize the issue of energy independence but do not say anything about global warming. The only candidate in the field that seems to be seizing on the issue of global warming at this very early stage of the campaign is Tom Vilsack, former governor of Iowa. He has issued a statement on energy and the environment which includes the following:
In particular, we should move immediately to impose a cap on carbon dioxide emissions from power plants and businesses, and create a market-based system of tradable credits that rewards investments in innovative clean energy technologies. At the same time, America must undertake a national push for public and private investment in clean and renewable energy sources, including wind, solar, and biofuels, and in the technologies that can make them affordable and readily available.
The campaigns for Congress in 2006 seemed to focus on the issue of energy independence and ignore global warming. It appears that neither Clinton, Obama, or Edwards have really gone beyond this but clearly Vilsack has and he is also trying to make his campaign carbon neutral. It will be good news if Vilsacks’ emphasis on combating global warming turns into campaign support. If it does, the other candidates may realize that the issue of global warming deserves much more attention than they have been giving it.