Environmental concerns

By Kristin Agostinelli
October 21, 2004


As Election Day looms closer, many voters are still undecided as for which candidate to vote for. Through the debates we have heard about the main issues dealing with Iraq and the economy, but very little has been mentioned about the environment and what they are doing to preserve our land and natural resources. Environmental and global warming issues could be critical in how students and voters around the country decide when it is time to head to the polls

Cristina D’Amelio, a sophomore psychology major, thinks environmental issues should be discussed more often. “Environmental topics are just as important as any other. I wish the debates would be a wider variation of topics, not just foreign policy. I think that the environment and other domestic issues should be discussed. Maybe one day down the line there could be a separate debate held that would focus on college students’ questions, like another debate set aside to educate younger voters on all the platforms.”

Most young voters are not familiar with issues other than the main topics being addressed in the debates. Students feel that Bush and Kerry should stop putting so much emphasis on Iraq, and concentrate more on issues, such as global warming, and the environment that could potentially harm us in the long run.

According to www.georgewbush.com, if elected to a second term, Bush will plan to make clean air a priority in all cities, create a law that cuts emissions from power plants, restore acres of wetlands, protect habitats and conserve water to improve streams and rivers near farmlands. Bush will also create oil production in one percent of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, and in order to prevent another black out, such as last year’s that halted power to nearly 50 million people, he will modernize the electricity grid.

Kerry’s terms on the environment are similar, but he opposes drilling in the Arctic region in Alaska. He plans on developing the National Petroleum Reserve and wants to drill on acres of public land in the west that is available for leasing by the United States. Instead of relying on oil, Kerry wants to produce at least 20 percent of electricity from renewable resources, such as solar, wind and geothermal power. Kerry would also dedicate $10 billion for “clean-coal technology.”

Although students here at Cabrini have this information readily available, many have not found the time to do research on the candidates’ positions about the environment. The debates have been the main source of information for students to gain knowledge of the issues, and quite possibly the main source for deciding on which candidate to vote for.

“To be honest, I haven’t heard Bush or Kerry address environmental issues at all during the debates.” said Nichole Falcone, a sophomore English secondary education major. An avid Bush supporter, Falcone feels that the candidates could do more to promote their plans on improving the environment and global warming.

Global warming is another pertinent issue that concern many Americans. According to www.sfgate.com, an online version of the San Francisco Chronicle, Bush opposes carbon dioxide reductions, while Kerry is for mandatory reductions of the greenhouse gas. Bush says that the Environmental Protection Agency did not have the authority to regulate carbon dioxide as an air pollutant, yet Kerry wants to meet with other nations to come up with a better response for reducing carbon dioxide emissions from power plants and vehicles.

Many young voters, such as college students, are unaware of the circumstances pertaining to the environment and global warming. When it comes time for students to head to the polls, this could be a key factor on whether or not their decision may be swayed, especially since the decisions that are made by each candidate now will greatly affect Americans in the future.

Posted to the web by Ryan Norris

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Kristin Agostinelli

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