With so much of the three presidential debates and one vice presidential debate consumed by the economy, jobs, national debt, health care, terrorism, and Iran, little time was left to discuss other important topics. Here are four that they missed.
Climate Change, Pollution and the Environment
There were no questions about the environment and related issues, such as climate change, or global warming, and pollution. Obama was the only candidate to mention it, and it was a quick reference. In the middle of talking about natural gas exploration in the second presidential debate, he said, "and we can do it in an environmentally sound way." more >>
Three colleges affiliated with the United Methodist Church were put on a bimonthly Sierra Club publication's list of the greenest universities in the United States.
Of 96 listed on Sierra Magazine's Sixth Annual "Cool Schools" list, Allegheny College placed 55th, Green Mountain College was 11th, and Duke University was 7th.
Jane Ellen Nickell, college chaplain at Allegheny, told The Christian Post that she was "proud" that the college was "recognized for its commitment to sustainability initiatives." more >>
Though the president moved to the center on Bush tax cuts today, news reports over the last month are suggesting that an Obama second term would be full of more moves to left on the issues of climate controls, ozone regulations, tax increases, defense spending cuts, and relaxing missile defense against Russia. Experts also are saying that the president will step down the drug war in favor of treatment and possibly dramatically increase federal control over education policy.
"This is my last election. After my election I have more flexibility," Obama told outgoing Russian President Dmitry Medvedev at a Seoul, South Korea summit in March, unaware of the live nearby microphone that captured his words.
In the case of Russia, experts say Obama was asking the Russian president, and his comrade and current president Vladimir Putin, to lay low on their objections to a U.S. missile defense system in Europe until after the election, at which time he would be more willing to negotiate a compromise. The U.S. currently argues the defense system is necessary to protect Eastern Europe from Iranian missiles. But Russia worries that the system can also be used as an offensive weapon aimed at Russia. more >>
President Barack Obama has said that the most important policy for him to address if given a second term in office is climate change. A new Washington Post/Stanford University poll shows a dramatic drop, though, in concern over global warming.
In 2007, 33 percent of Americans named global warming as the "single biggest environmental problem the world faces today." That proportion has now dropped 15 percentage points in the most recent poll.
Only 18 percent of those surveyed named global warming as their top environmental concern, returning to levels not seen since 2006, when 16 percent said the same. more >>
Editor's note: In part three, the final installment of CP's series on evangelicals and climate change, the focus is on an argument by skeptics that opportunities are being lost to help the poor because of a focus on global warming.
Global warming skeptics argue that while global warming activists say that reducing carbon dioxide emissions is necessary to protect the poor and vulnerable, the science is so iffy and the cost of control so high that money would be better spent on direct aid to the poor.
The Cornwall Alliance is the primary organization representing this view. In 2006, Cornwall Alliance published a document, "A Call to Truth, Prudence, and Protection of the Poor: An Evangelical Response to Global Warming," that was a direct response to the Evangelical Climate Initiative's "Climate Change: An Evangelical Call to Action," discussed in part two of this series. In an interview with The Christian Post, Dr. E. Calvin Beisner explained his belief that the global warming caused by burning fossil fuels will be small and may have more benefits than harms to the environment. Beisner, a former theology professor and economics professor, is the founder and national spokesperson for Cornwall Alliance. more >>
Editor's note: In part two of our series on global warming, CP reports on the internal process of a prominent evangelical organization, the National Association of Evangelicals, to reach a climate change position at the urging of evangelical activists.
For evangelicals who are global warming activists, convincing the Christian community to get engaged has been a process.
For example, Richard Cizik, though he was cited in 2008 by Time Magazine as one of the top 100 most influential people in the world for his work as a 'green evangelical,' had a very tough time convincing his organization to back him at the time. more >>