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Is Climate Change Action about to Change?

Now that the 2012 U. S. presidential election is behind us, will we again hear about government actions to counteract the global warming of man-made climate change?

Overall, the candidates were noticeably silent about the topic except for minor comments and a few jabs. The New York Times on October 25, 2012 quoted Andrew Steer, the President of the World Resources Institute and a former special envoy for climate change at the World Bank as saying “On climate change, the political discourse here is massively out of step with the rest of the world, but also with the citizens of this country.” He went on to say “Polls show very clearly that two-thirds of Americans think this is a real problem and needs to be addressed.”

Perhaps out of respect for those suffering from the devastation of hurricane Sandy, or perhaps just preoccupation with other polls in the final days of the election, few pundits tried to link this event with climate change. Or have we just been brainwashed with seeds of doubt planted about global warming by the opposition from rich and freely spending special interests?

The excellent PBS Frontline program Climate of Change, which recently ran on Redding, CA station KIXE, traces the effective, intentional nurturing of doubt that caused politicians to distance themselves from taking positive action. Now that second-term Obama does not have to be distracted by running again for election will he will take bold action the climate, as well as the fiscal cliff?

From the public point of view, on October 15, 2012 the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press found that “More Americans Say There Is Solid Evidence of Global Warming.” They assert that “The percentage of Americans saying there is solid evidence of global warming has steadily increased over the past few years. Currently, 67% say there is solid evidence that the earth’s average temperature has been getting warmer over the past few decades, up four points since last year and 10 points since 2009.” This is not yet quite up to the 98% concensus among scientists.

It is time that we again put pressure on our political leaders to address climate change. We have just seen a foretaste of the devastation of low lying coastal areas being inundated by large waves – just think what the global effect of rising sea water will be in years to come.

On November 6, 2012, ThinkProgress urged President Obama to become a climate hawk. Add your voice.