A Bowlful of Cherries

Celebrating Matty and Noah

Will people care?

Kerry plans to make the environment a central issue for the upcoming election. (He’s married to Teresa Heinz, one of the most powerful environmental philanthropists in the country.) Kerry has Carol Browner, former Administrator for EPA, on his side.

Is the environment an issue that people care about? In the face of war and the economy, environmentalism has dropped considerably in the polls as a primary issue of public concern. It’s a valid question: How do we get this issue back on the map?

Remember that polls often don’t reflect people’s real feelings. Polls take a snapshot of your thinking during a moment in time, and their results can be strongly skewed by how questions are worded and asked. Think about this: “Domestic, renewable sources are urgently needed now because they are entirely under our control, no foreign government can embargo them, no terrorist can seize control of them, no cartel can play games with them, no American soldier will have to risk his or her life to protect them” — and how do you respond? You’d be in favor of raising the fuel economy of automobiles.

I like Kerry because he has the same message for autoworkers in Michigan as he does for card-carrying environmentalists in Portland: new, clean industries can energize the marketplace and save the environment at the same time. Wouldn’t you rather sell more American cars that are fuel-efficient than have people turn to foreign cars (full disclosure: Donna and I drive a Honda)? Right now, they are out-producing and out-selling American automakers in this area, while Big Three keep kvetching about expenses. It’s a tired old argument that you can’t have a clean environment if you want a strong economy.

UPDATE: Here’s a great interview with Kerry.

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Written by Michael

21 Apr 2004 at 1034am

Posted in Misc.

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