Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Rocky Anderson for President

The high expectations that President Obama would lead the world to a meaningful agreement to prevent dangerous climate change have been totally shattered. He has now been in office for more than three years and has yet to give even a single major speech on climate change. Even when comprehensive climate change legislation was stalled in the Senate in 2010 he said virtually nothing to move the legislation toward passage. In his State of the Union address in 2011 he didn’t even mention climate change and in his State of the Union address earlier this year he mentioned it only once, saying that it was not possible to pass such legislation at this time. In 2009 many people expected that a legally binding agreement would result from the climate summit in Copenhagen but all Obama got was an agreement for voluntary reductions. Expectations were lower in 2011 at the climate summit in Durban, South Africa and all that was achieved was a vague agreement for something legally binding beginning in 2020. While Obama has some notable accomplishments in improving the gas mileage standards for cars and trucks, and stimulating growth of renewable energy he has become an advocate for offshore oil drilling, sending large amounts of coal to China, and “clean coal.” He also seems to have a favorable attitude toward tar sands oil and shale gas obtained by fracking. All in all, Obama is not protecting the climate as he promised during his campaign and is unlikely to do so if he is elected for another four years. Of course, the Republican Party is only offering candidates for president who are professed global warming deniers. Whether or not they really don’t believe in global warming is besides the point, they have to deny it to remain viable candidates. In a two-party system that leaves us with no one to vote for who will assume a leadership role in dealing with the climate crisis. Just the way Big Oil wants it. The big bucks they have contributed to political candidates have paid off big time. The only hope in this despair-filled situation appears to be the longest of long shots, the former mayor of Salt Lake City, Rocky Anderson who is running for president as the candidate of the newly formed Justice Party. By not taking any corporate money and limiting contributions from individuals to $100 Anderson provides a glimmer of hope that the plutocracy that has taken control of our government can be vanquished and democracy of the people restored. On the issue of global warming Anderson’s credentials are almost off the chart. Here is how these credentials are described on his website:
“Rocky Anderson is the only candidate who has won the EPA’s Climate Protection Award, the World Leadership Award (for climate protection programs), the Sierra Club’s Distinguished Service Award, and the Respect the Earth Planet Defender Award. Rocky was named by Business Week as one of the top twenty activists in the world on climate change and served on the Newsweek Global Environmental Leadership Advisory Committee. Anderson is the only US mayor who has presented in conjunction with the United Nations Climate Change Conferences in New Delhi, Buenos Aires, and Bali. He consulted in London with the assistants to heads of state in preparation for the 2005 G8 Conference, at which climate change was one of only two major agenda items. A founder and co-host of “Sundance Summit: A Mayors’ Gathering on Climate Protection,” Anderson has also presented at numerous conferences throughout the US, as well as in Australia, Canada, China, and Sweden.”
The choice is clear. Rocky Anderson for president.

No comments: