Jason Hayes
Balancing ecological, economic, and political realities to promote progress and liberty.


Climate change: the new abortion


Reading through this post on Barack the Youth Vote, I was struck how climate change is becoming (may already have become) the abortion issue for the left.

I wish I could report that Obama had retracted his support of the dirtiest fossil fuel out there, or at least issued a cogent defense of his position. But unfortunately, the bill trudges on, as does the criticism from climate advocates. Young people are paying attention to Obama’s positions on climate and energy, and Obama needs to realize that we have high standards. We want to support him – really – but for many of us, climate change is a make-or-break issue in 2008. We need to be confident that our next president realizes the severity of the situation and is willing to take strong, even controversial, positions to save our climate.

Where abortion can make or break a candidate in some socially conservative circles, it appears that climate change — and the perception that a candidate is willing to reduce carbon emissions, regardless of economic or social costs — is becoming the single issue that will drive many voters to (or away from) candidates and parties.

It will be interesting to see how these new single issue voters will react to candidates as the election nears. Will they simply sit out if their candidates don’t appear sufficiently green? Will they react negatively to their candidates when economic and social sustainability issues also become a reality (i.e.: when their jobs and communities begin to shut down)? Will they also protest the candidates when they approve development plans for several hundred wind turbines in their community or OK alterations in sensitive riparian areas for new hydro generation facilities? Will they remember their single issue votes and the fact that they drove candidates to abandon two of the three legs on the three-legged sustainability stool?

Time will tell.