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Where Is the Environment in Election 2008?

The primaries are thrilling this year. Have you been listening to the victory and concession speeches from the nominees? The environment has been occasionally appearing in the middle of a speech. While it is great to have any mention of the environment in a presidential speech, does the strategic placement of the topic in the speech indicate how important (or controversial) the environment is in today’s society?

As you may know from statistical analysis, most people remember the first and last thing they hear in a sentence that ranges from 14 to 21 words. This holds true even more when you consider a speech that is five or ten minutes long. People remember their first impression, or the first point made in a speech. They may like what they hear in the middle of a speech, but will they remember the environmental position Barack Obama took? Or will they simply remember that he mentioned the environment? In the midst of the “current issues” (derived from polls taken by big media outlets) – the economy, the war, the highest fuel prices in history and the housing market crash – does the environment have a chance of being noticed? Do you forget about the environment when the speech ends with a rousing prophecy of American values and democracy prospering world wide?

Well, chances are, everyone is out there voting already, or will later today. When you are in that voting booth, consider what is standing in the way of alternative energy and a safer weather climate in the world. Special interest groups (most of which are international) stand between your society and sustainable lifestyles and businesses. Have any of the presidential candidates mentioned that they would work against special interest groups? Assuming we believe any words that come out of a politician’s mouth – do you think it is important when a politician says something like “special interests need to have a seat at the bargaining table, but they should not own every seat at the table.”

Thanks for joining us at THE GREEN BLOG. Please leave comments about the presidential nominees and their respective positions on environmental policy.