Putting global warming on the political agenda

BlogHer Original Post

Did you watch the webcast of the enviro-focused presidential candidate forum on Saturday? If so, you heard what Hillary Clinton, John Edwards, and Dennis Kucinich had to say about energy policy and climate change -- and perhaps decided who's going to get your enviro-conscious vote.

I unfortunately missed this event -- I was at the eco-biz conference Opportunity Green instead -- and have since been trying to piece together what happened via all the ensuing bloggy discussions about the forum. David Roberts of Grist, the enviro-zine that put the event together, provides a nice overview; Leslie Berliant of Celsias provides a more detailed summary of the event, including the outlines of the candidates' platforms.

Basically, it sounds like the more a candidates promised, the fewer specifics the candidate provided. Kucinich put forward a rather radical agenda that was very light on specifics, Edwards an agenda promising sweeping changes that again wasn't too specific, and Clinton a more sedate and pragmatic agenda with lots of specificities.

Which leaves me yet unsure as to who to vote for. Kucinich certainly has the greenest agenda, but will he actually see this agenda enacted? Roberts writes: "The big question about all this, of course, is how a President Kucinich could get such a radical agenda past Congress. His only answer was that he would talk over their heads, directly to the people, and get them so riled that they would, I guess, drag Congress along. I'm not sure where he sees the evidence for this enormous untapped vein of radical progressivism among the American populace, but he seems convinced." Hillary sounds most pragmatic, but is she perhaps not willing to push Congress as much as the other candidates sound ready to?

The complete webcast is supposed to up on Grist at some point, but we don't know when. In the meantime, Rowan Wolf of Uncommon Thoughts Journal kindly provides links to the 3 opening statements on YouTube (Kucinich, Clinton, Edwards) for your viewing pleasure.

Plus, CNN put a short segment together about the debate. The question CNN brings up: How can we get the media to cover global warming, putting the issue onto the political agenda? The webcast forum itself was a good start, but that's only the beginning. Perhaps we'll make incremental steps forward as bloggers (BlogHers!) write about it, drawing more people into the conversation about global warming.

BlogHer Contributing Editor Siel also blogs for the Los Angeles Times at Emerald City, and at greenLAgirl.com.

Image courtesy of Grist

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