e-limbo, e-zine de informacion y analasis de modos de vida actual
19.03.2018 / Sesión no Iniciada 

 _enviar articulo

e-mail emisor
e-mail receptor
Ayúdanos a evitar contactos automáticos
Anti Spam

En estos tiempos de hipercomunicación bastaría la invitación de enviar a un amigo cualquiera de los textos que consideres interesantes algo redundante: demasiada comunicación, demasiados textos y , en general, demasiado de todo.
Es posible que estemos de acuerdo... pero cuando encuentras algo interesante en cualquier sitio, la red, la calle, tu casa, o un lugar escondido y remoto, compartirlo no sólo es un acto (acción, hecho) de amistad o altruismo, también es una manera de ahorrar tiempo a los demás (y de que te lo ahorren a ti (si eres afortunado) a costa del tiempo que tu has podido derrochar (emplear) y el gustazo de mostrar que estuviste ahí (o donde fuera ) un poco antes (el tiempo ya no es más el que era).
Comparte con tus conocidos aquello que encuentras, es evolución.
Getting colder * climate change and America's elections
17-10-06 opendemocracy.net  


Climate change, the defining issue of 21st-century politics, barely registers in the United States's pre-election debate. The reason lies in the current grain of American politics, argues James Crabtree.

James Crabtree

"One popular thing to do in American politics is to note that the summers in the United States over the past few years have been very warm. As a result, global warming must be real. What's wrong with this reasoning?" So begins a scene in the recently released documentary Jesus Camp, showing a home-schooling evangelical mother teaching the basics of climate change. "It's only gone up 0.6 degrees!" replies her son Levi. He is reassured that this means "it's not really a big problem, is it?"

The mother impresses upon Levi that even if it's not a problem "it's a huge political issue, global warming is. And that's why it's really important for you to understand it." Problematically, she gets the politics of climate change upside down. Anyone with the scantest knowledge of science knows it is a problem. But a huge political issue? Hardly. Instead - even as the mid-term Congressional elections on 7 November 2006 approach - it's easy to avoid, tough to explain, and ruinously expensive to fix. In short, not much of a vote-winner.

This year might have been different. Millions of Americans have seen Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth, now the third most successful documentary in history. High gasoline (petrol) prices have focused voters' minds on the link between energy and security. The anniversary of hurricanes Katrina and Rita brought 2005's devastation back to the top of the political agenda. And, well, it's the biggest crisis facing the planet. That might count for something.

Yet the dots remain stubbornly unjoined. Editorial pages ignore the issue. Few politicians mention it, let alone campaign on it. And American's evening viewing is uninterrupted by advertisements featuring floods, melting glaciers or politicians riding husky sleds in the Arctic circle. Indeed, the Sierra Club, an environmental group, seems almost delusional in arguing that "concern about high gas prices, global warming ... and the influence of Big Oil ... have pushed energy and environmental issues to the forefront of election year politics."

Yes, $3 gas did worry Republican strategists. But the issue all but disappeared as pump prices fell in September. Few made the link between the rising cost of driving and rising temperatures. Energy security, meanwhile, is folded into a mélange of concerns that voters associate vaguely with either the economy (energy costs too much) or security (we are sending money to the terrorists.)

The non-event of Katrina is more puzzling. Environmental groups tried to make the connection with violent weather patterns, for instance by organising rallies in thirty American cities on 25 August. Yet any link got lost in the ferocious political battle to blame or exonerate President Bush.

And while American elections tend to be fought on local issues, campaigns can find clever ways to link larger issues to local concerns. Terrorists are unlikely to fly planes into the grain towers of rural Ohio, or blow up the McMansions of exurban Pennsylvania. But voters still think terrorism matters.  

A Democratic failure

Environmental concerns have not been entirely absent from this election year. California's governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, made headlines by agreeing a climate-change pact with Tony Blair on 31 July. In September he went further, signing a bill setting strict emissions-reduction targets. Yet Schwarzenegger's actions are best seen as a canny electoral strategy; a jump to the political centre in a state unusually sensitive to environmental issues.  Few others have followed his lead.

Why? The public themselves bear some of the responsibility. Poll-driven American politicians respond smartly to their voters, with carefully crafted election-year messages. A dead issue is more likely born of public indifference than political blindness. And Americans are strikingly less concerned with climate change than their European counterparts. Roughly half of the population thinks the issue isn't a problem. Only four in ten blame manmade activity.

Blaming the public, though, only explains so much. Oddly, climate change could actually be seen as a perfect election-year issue. It allows high-minded politicians to make lofty speeches on the importance of saving the earth for our children. Yet it is sufficiently complex that no single congressman or senator could fairly be blamed for poor progress. Indeed, this type of debate - lofty rhetoric, little action - is roughly the approach of most European politicians.

America is different, and partisanship is at least part of the answer as to why. Concern about climate change divides along party lines. Democratic voters, much like Europeans, do think the issues matters. Only 23% of Republicans think it's important, but more than half of Democrats do. Yes, Democrats are ultimately more concerned with the war in Iraq, the threat of terrorism and the state of the economy. But they are also much more likely to find evidence of climate change compelling, and be convinced that manmade action is to blame. So while sceptics in the Bush camp might not be expected to speak up, perhaps Democratic wonks and strategists would step up?

Three recent examples suggest not. First, in July, Hillary Clinton released the results of her "American Dream Initiative", in partnership with the Democratic Leadership Council. She promised nothing less than the restoration of the nation's founding promise. Amongst many recommendations the report promoted a "strategic energy fund" to research clean technologies, but made no mention of climate change.

Second, in August, Democratic congressional supremo Rahm Emmanuel and policy wonk Bruce Reed released The Plan, a punchy, elegantly written election-year manifesto. The authors devoted an entire chapter to the "hybrid economy", but mentioned global warming only in passing.

Third, the Center for American Progress, the Democrats' biggest think-tank, has produced plenty on gas prices, but for the past six months has published no material on climate change.

A political vice

This leaves a conundrum. Climate change is a severe threat to America and the world. The evidence is overwhelming. Liberal voters - and arguably a growing number of conservatives - care about it. Yet it is largely ignored, even in the Democratic Party. Some cry conspiracy. Polls suggest that close to 40% of Americans think recent gas-price falls are attributable to political manipulation. Unlikely as this seems, others believe that the climate change no-show is the result of Democratic (in hoc to auto-friendly trade unions) and Republican (complicit with business in general) corruption. And there is some truth to this - climate change, at the very least, has to struggle for airtime against powerful, hostile political groups.

Yet, much the more interesting answer is rooted in the way the two American political parties fight elections. Put simply: Republicans run to the right, while Democrats run to the centre. And the environment gets lost in between.

President Bush and his party have become able to win elections on issues that appeal only to Republicans. This is why Senate leader Bill Frist felt able to clog up the recently Congress with measures to ban flag-burning, stop gay marriage, repeal the estate tax, and scupper abortions. The Democrats appeal to their own base much less frequently. Issues that motivate their supporters - abortion, inequality, the environment - are treated like dirty secrets.

There are complicated reasons for this. Conservative Republicans outnumber liberal Democrats, making appealing to them a more profitable electoral strategy. Republicans have better technology and turnout operations, meaning they are better able to communicate with their supporters and persuade to them vote. And there is a sense in which Democrats have become so electorally cautious that they fear the consequences of speaking up. One Capitol Hill staffer told me: "If you're a Democrat, the first half of every sentence you speak has to convince people you aren't a pussy. Once you've got past being tough on terrorists, or whatever, the issue you care about is always an after thought."

Whatever the explanation, the end result is that climate change is ignored, and god, guns and gays make all the headlines. Until the Democrats figure out how to campaign on issues that their supporters care about, so it will continue. We are left to hope that Levi's mother might just be right, and that eventually this huge political issue will get the coverage it needs. After all, even the evangelicals had to begin somewhere.


This article originally appeared on openDemocracy.net under a Creative Commons licence. To view the original article, please click here.


Rating: 4 - 1 voto(s).

No existen comentarios.
Comentario / Comment:
  atención: para realizar comentarios tienes que ser usuario registrado.


13-10-12_ Ivan Krastev: ¿Puede existir la democracia sin confianza?
09-10-11_ Habrá violencia, enfrentamientos y conflicto * Toni Negri
25-12-10_ La Zona Prohibida [NoGoZone]
28-03-10_ Historia de un desafuero
07-11-09_ Ginecidio y anticristo (y el devenir femenino del capitalismo identitario)
22-09-09_ Der Baader Meinhof Komplex
21-06-09_ Why do the people desire walls???
14-06-09_ Los enemigos de la SGAE
13-09-09_ Los piratas desembarcan en Venezia
17-09-09_ TEXTO CAPITAL DE LA TEORÍA QUEER. Treinta y siete años después en castellano (!)
01-01-09_ COMMUNE
14-09-08_ SARAH PALIN: Operation "Castration" * Jacques Alain Miller
09-08-08_ El complejo poético-militar
06-07-08_ Necesito matarte, majestad
25-06-08_ La directiva de la VERGÜENZA
25-06-08_ The bank of common knowledge
12-04-08_ Tragic Extremes * Nietzsche and the Politics of Security
23-04-08_ The governance of Spain: between rock and hard place
09-04-08_ Elecciones y políticas culturales
25-03-08_ Tres apuntes sobre política cultural
02-03-08_ ¿Adónde va España?
10-08-08_ La encrucijada. Acción política, arte y comisariado.
20-02-08_ Lessig al Congreso???
24-01-08_ Made in L.A. * Hecho en los Ángeles
02-03-08_ Campaña del corazón
18-01-08_ Las primera batallas para suceder a RAJOY... OY....OY
25-12-07_ Lo cultural es político
16-04-08_ La producción biopolítica.* (Toni Negri y Michael Hardt)
15-06-08_ Malcolm X en Play Boy (1963)
30-08-07_ Shinzo Abe: out of time
01-01-08_ Gary Grant. El estilo como arte marcial
18-09-07_ El fin de la crítica???
01-08-07_Responsibility and neo-liberalism
26-08-07_ ¿Hay alguien que mole?
31-07-07_ Lo que Bush nos enseña cada día
24-07-07_ "Terror doctors": anatomy of a void concept
10-06-08_ Toni Negri * NoWork Festival 2004 (trans)
07-07-07_ Soldado de la Cyber resistencia
13-07-07_ Éxodo a ningún lugar
11-07-07_ La guerra de la informacion
30-06-07_ ¡Oh No Coronado!
26-06-07_ Como darse de baja de la SGAE
06-06-07_ Neutralidad en la red
11-05-07_ El nuevo pensamiento (que viene / que viene!)
08-05-07_Jihad: Idea and History
16-04-07_ ¿Campaña "antiparatería con doble sentido?
12-04-07_ La SGAE quiere ser el SHERIFF de la RED
12-04-07_ A liberal Muslim's letter to the west
27-03-07_  Jurassic Left: the strange death of France's "deuxième gauche"
24-03-07_ Jesus Camp
13-03-07_ Pedro J. censura a elmundo.es
11-03-07_ Conspiradores del futuro
24-02-07_ Major news: FAIR USE and FILM
23-02-07_ El misterio Gordon Thomas
20-02-07_ El Mundo y la verdad
18-02-07_  The new information ecosystem 
11-02-07_ The four faces of World Economic Forum
09-02-07_ El búnker judicial
30-01-07_ ¿Sirve de algo el boicot cultural?
28-01-07_ Revolution or Resistance
23-01-07_ Demagogo e injusto...
22-01-07_ Is another world possible without the women's perspective? 
19-01-07_ Bush TV
18-01-07_ Bush's White Whale
16-01-07_ Pequeños detalles clave
16-01-07_ Contra el fatalismo económico
11-01-07_ El papelito... el papelón...
09-01-07_ Flujos antagonistas * geografías de la multitud
09-01-07_  Is this how humans behave? 
01-01-07_ Aberrante (vídeo íntegro de la ejecución de Sadam)
30-12-06_ El índice de corrupción de los diplomáticos multados.
26-12-06_ La amenaza de la paradoja del control
20-12-06_ Nueva campaña de adoctrinamiento
14-12-06_ Adios al ASESINO
05-12-06_ Information liberation
05-12-06_ Let the IP debate begin.......
27-11-06_  Mahfouz's grave, Arab liberalism's deathbed
18-11-06_ A curse on difference: gays vs zealots in Israel 
13-11-06_ Climate change: the global test 
29-10-07_ TAZ * Chaos
08-11-06_ Un pequeño análisis sobre el éxito de Ciutadans (actualizado 8 _11_06)

01-11-06_Bienal NO, ARTE todos los días
01-11-06_Señores de la SGAE
25-10-06_Information between old and new worlds
22-10-06_T.A.Z.: The Temporary Autonomous Zone (1993)
17-10-06_Getting colder * climate change and America's elections
25-10-06_Orhan Pamuk’s epic journey
08-10-06_Sexo, China y la SGAE
09-10-06_Latin America’s new left: dictators or democrats?
30-09-06_Stanford Prison Experiment
28-09-06_¿Cuál es mi cámara?
24-09-06_Y Dios en el bolsillo de todos
20-09-06_Wired on OpenBusiness and Free Beer
18-09-06_The Free Voice of Labor: The Jewish Anarchists
13-09-06_Gallardón, 'el Artista'
14-03-10_ TAZ * Utopías piratas
08-09-06_L'Monde Diplomatique * Tele-Encuentro Iberoamericano
06-09-06_Trashorras * Un buen chico
30-08-06_Anonymity on the net
20-08-06_Lebanon, Israel and the “greater west Asian crisis”
15-08-06_Carta de Ho Chi Min a Lyndon B. Johnson
15-08-06_An unfinished war
13-08-06_The levels of democracy
11-08-06_France and Lebanon: diplomacy of tragedy
01-08-06_México fragmentado
13-03-07_ En marcha el partido pirata español
20-07-06_Killing a nation, one airstrike at a time
06-07-06_El 'software' libre planta cara a las patentes...
01-07-06_Stopping the Big Giveaway * by John Kerry
30-06-06_Torture teachers
18-06-06_Planet Basel * La madre de todas las batallas
12-06-06_The Vietnam Obsession
09-06-06_Disinformation TV (Things you're not supposed to know)
30-05-06_Por una buena causa
19-05-06_S.O.S. Baronesa
06-06-06_Why Drunks Make Better Politicians
06-06-06_The Hackocracy * Why a MBA president can't manage the government
06-05-06_Entrevista * Catherine David
04-05-06_Interview with José Luis de Vicente
19-04-06_El pequeño Losantos y el Gran Wyoming
13-03-07_ Play Fuckin' Loud: Zizek Versus the Left •
09-04-06_¿La política controla al arte?
09-04-06_Manual de comportamineto...
06-04-06_La Próxima invasión
01-04-06_What Price Art?
01-04-06_ Letter of Resignation...
25-03-06_Political Games: conciencia política online
28-03-06_Los barones del PP buscan esperanza
18-03-06_Starship troopers
14-03-06_Entrevista | Toni Negri & Michael Hardt
13-03-06_Entrevista | J. G. Ballard
12-03-06_Nueva estrategia hiperpolítica
04-03-06_Methamphetamine Propaganda
27-09-07_ Francis Fukuyama: The acceptable face of the neo-cons?
01-03-06_Europe vs. Radical Islam
25-02-06_El sí de las niñas
03-08-07_ La postguerra de los movimientos
12-02-06_Derrick De Kerckhove: «soy global y ustedes también»
11-02-06_Intelligence, Policy,and the War in Iraq
07-02-06_El arte de los anfitriones
07-02-06_Las dos fotografías de Susan Sontag
03-02-06_¿Qué España?
03-02-06_Same old song
29-01-06_Déclassement : quand l'ascenseur social descend
29-01-06_Warriors and wusses
23-01-06_Carta a América
20-01-06_Fog of Secrecy
20-01-06_The Impeachment of George W. Bush
13-01-06_Why Drunks Make Better Politicians
06-01-06_What's in a hat?
06-01-06_Abramoff won't go down alone
17-12-05_In Speech, Bush Says He Ordered Domestic Spying
08-12-05_Discurso íntegro de Harold Pinter de aceptación del Nobel de Literatura
25-11-05_The political as a truth procedure
12-11-05_Variaciones del discurso sobre la integración
07-11-05_NO al cierre de la Sala Montcada de Barcelona
28-10-05_Prosecutor to Speak Soon; No Indictment for Rove Today
15-10-05_La Creación, según Bush
08-10-05_Creative Commons pide ayuda
20-09-05_¡BIENVENIDO A EE.UU.!
08-06-05_Arte, Instituciones y Democracia
23-07-07_ La Cultura del Mal



Regístrate y disfruta de utilidades de administración y gestión de los contenidos de e-limbo*
Recibe las novedades en tu correo electronico.
El futuro está escrito en las estrellas... Horóscopo creado por J.G. Ballard y dedicado a todos vosotros.
Aplicaciones y herramientas necesarias para navegar y utilizar los contenidos del limbo electrónico e internet (www).
Artículos de e-limbo* en formato PDF preparados para viajar y aportar información allá donde estés. (y seguir salvando árboles)

_e-limbo * apoya



Mais uma edição do podcast Música Livre para o Archivo Vivo, do Centro Cultural da Espanha/AECID. ...
Ante preguntas de oyentes y amigos, puedo responder ahora que Vía Límite continuará en Radio ...
SORPRESA¡!¡! An unreleased version of Talking Heads' "Psycho Killer" with Arthur Russell on cello
Optimizado: Firefox, Safari, Mozilla, Netscape, Konqueror, Explorer. Resolución óptima: 1024x768
ISSN: 1885-5229    Aviso Legal e-limbo.org*