What constitutes the biggest environmental threat to the world today? Is it climate change run amok or the gutting of the Endangered Species Act? Is it China's coal-fired power plants? How about destruction of the Earth's oceans resulting in record low fisheries, oxygen depleted areas and great swirling hoards of plastic? How about deforestation of the world's "lungs" and carbon sink by removing forests in order to plant biofuels?
I'm going to argue that the biggest environmental threat known to man right now is the John McCain / Sarah Palin ticket. How can I be so bold as to say such a thing? Is it really all that ridiculous? Bear with me a moment while I try to explain.
Yes, all those things I mentioned above do present a threat to the health and balance of our environment. But, the entity that has the single most power to influence how the U.S. and, in the end, the world go forward in maintaining, repairing and reducing humanity's impact on the environment is what is represented in the oval office.
Now, of course, this sounds probably a little too high and mighty for those living outside the U.S. and they would argue that the U.S. influence has slipped considerably as of late. But, it is with the U.S. economy and military machinery that we influence the rest of the world and the environmental aspect of it is no less important. How we stand and deliver regarding our environment influences much of the rest of the world.
So, having an environmentally unfriendly president in the White House means a great deal for environmentalists as well as the environment. Or pretty much anyone who lives on Earth. You can just take a look at the last 8 years to get a feel for that. Now, add to that an additional 4+ years with an even more conservative, more environmentally unfriendly platform and what does that mean?
We are at (and have been for a while although the government has been sitting on its hands for years) a crossroads in terms of global climate change and energy issues. How we move forward to resolve those issues is led out of the White House.
Now, I'm not going to argue that the Obama/Biden team is proffering itself up as being incredibly environmentally conscious. But, what it does have (an interest in environmental and clean energy issues as well as an interest in partnerships with the rest of the world) and what it doesn't have (ties to big oil) certainly makes them the more environmentally friendly choice.
So, regardless of their stance on abortion, religion in schools, immigration and a whole host of other concerns, when you look at their policies regarding the environment and energy, the McCain/Palin ticket is the biggest environmental threat we've got going.