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A Charlotte high school's mock election; Obama's strong eco-platform; VOTE!!

Posted Jun 03 2009 12:23am
The student-run school newspaper of the high school where I work (in Charlotte) created a questionnaire for all the students and faculty, asking them to vote for a presidential candidate and to explain the most important reason for their choice. Here's what they said...

Student results
McCain 54%
Obama 39%
Undecided 7%

Faculty results
Obama 68%
McCain 29%
Undecided 3%

The students' most important reasons:
Economy 42%
Iraq 21%
Environment 10%

The faculty's most important reasons:
Economy 38%
Iraq 13%
Environment 6%

I was puzzled why 42% of the students chose McCain because of the economy. Does that make sense? No. But the students are young....a quarter are in 9th grade, after all.

It's also embarrassing to me that the environment was such a low priority. Folks need to WAKE UP! I just don't understand the human mind.

I voted for Obamain our mock election (and for real, in early voting). Here are the main reasons I listed for the school newspaper:
1) Obama has a better environmental plan than McCain.
2) Obama places a higher priority on the needs of families & middle class workers than on huge corporations.
3) He favors tax breaks for middle class families rather than for big corporations.
4) Obama rejects the "trickle down" theory of economics.

After I filled out the questionnaire, I turned it over, and on the back I wrote a lot more than the questionnaire asked for about why I chose Obama. Here's what I said:

"Obama is serious about reducing our carbon footprint and reducing our overconsumption of the world's resources. Bush and McCain promote legislation and tax laws that benefit big business, saying that when corporations prosper, workers prosper too (the trickle down theory). But that doesn't work. Corporations' sole priority is to benefit their shareholders. Corporations by nature use the cheapest possible production methods - exploiting workers and exploiting natural resources, depleting nonrenewable resources, and polluting water, land and the atmosphere in the process. Bush has been manipulated for 8 years by corporate lobbyists whose only allegiance is to stockholders.

Obama rejects the trickle-down theory. He favors legislation and tax laws that benefit ordinary working people, not corporations. He is not afraid to limit greenhouse gas emissions, even it it cuts corporate profits. He is not afraid to place the future environmental health of the planet and the welfare of working people at the top of his list of priorities.

Bush and McCain seem unable to do anything that could hurt corporate profits - such as forcing corporations to clean up their greenhouse gas emissions. Production without pollution means higher production costs, and McCain won't take a stand against corporations that pollute."

That's the gist of it for me. As a biologist, a lot of my thoughts are about emissions and global climate change. Most scientists agree that the coming ravages of climate change will be the biggest challenge humans have ever faced. When the Republicans let corporations do whatever they want, they exploit and trash. Enough of giving corporations huge tax breaks and free reign.

If you want to read more specifics about Obama's specific voting record on the environment, see this summary of Obama's environmental platform on Grist magazine website. To see a comparison of Obama's and McCain's platforms on big environmental issues, click here.

You might want to read this interview with Barack Obama by Grist and Outside.

By the way, if you read this before November 4, please please please go out and vote. Go to http://www.voteforchange.com to find out the nearest polling place to your home.

Keywords:: why I voted for Obama obama's environmental record obama's environmental platform obama on the environment
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