The environment has become a great topic of debate between politicians. Since “going green” became popular in the mid-2000s, politicians have been judged on and questioned over their stance regarding the current environmental situation and what (if anything) they believe must be done to remedy it. Questions regarding wildlife preservation, recycling regulation, usage of different types of energy sources, and environmental programs budgeting have all been great topics of interest. Many politicians deny the existence of environmental problems while others are champions for preservation; some claim Global Warming is a scientifically unfounded hysteria that was created by the media while others call for drastic reforms. (Read more at http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2011-06-16/news/ct-oped-0616-chapman-20110616_1_climate-change-bjorn-lomborg-carbon-dioxide)
Many believe that the ability for progress is stinted because of the great contrast in the viewpoints held by politicians. These people believe that the environment is a cause that is more important than just another bickering point for politicians. Furthermore, the mere fact that environmental-friendliness has such divisive qualities is puzzling and frustrating to those who wish to see positive change for the good of the planet.
So why is the environment a topic of debate? Does it really come down to a difference of opinion or is there an additional factor, which is preventing cooperation between the two parties on this important issue?
Perhaps one of the most important ways in which the environment became a topic of national interest was with, “An Inconvenient Truth,” which was released in 2006.This film brought to light the immediate threats of Global Warming and inspired much of the American people to take action and fix the issue. (Read more about the film and reactions to it at http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2006/05/060524-global-warming.html)The primary issue with this, from a political sense, was that the film was created by Democrat and former Vice President, Al Gore. Mr. Gore emphasized in his film that bettering the environment is something we all need to take interest in, regardless of party. Unfortunately, his presence in and support of the film and its message were enough to turn off those of different political views. This ultimately put the issues discussed up for debate, rather than simply accepted and discussed.
Additionally, much of environmental politics is concerned with budgeting and governmental influence. Those who oppose environmental programs point to their cost as the predominant concern, especially in such a poor economy. When government institutions are concerned with funding schools, unemployment programs, and the like, environmental and recycling programs rank low in priority. (For a recent example of Republican deliberation on environmental bills, read at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/08/29/house-republicans-regulations-environment-labor_n_940387.html.) Still, others say that it is not the responsibility of the federal government to dictate what policies the state must enact, even if they are beneficial to the nation as a whole.
While there are many reasons to object to national environmental programs, there are those that assert that the environment is too important an issue to be fought over like any other political debate; that this is an opportunity for parties to work together for the bettering of the world and for generations to come. This is an issue that we all created and that we must all work together to fix. After all, it is in the best interest of everyone, regardless of race, to make the world a better place
To learn more about how different political groups and parties are dealing with the environment and policy development for its protection, visit http://environment.yale.edu/climate/files/PoliticsGlobalWarming2011.pdf