The California governor continues to lead the global warming battle today with news he will ask regulators to order petroleum refiners and gasoline merchants to cut by 10 per cent the greenhouse-gas emissions associated with their products. He wants the cuts completed by 2020.
Two hot-off-the-press polls suggest fighting climate change has attained coast-to-coast approval. A survey by the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology shows Americans rank climate change as the nation’s most pressing environmental problem – a dramatic increase from its sixth-place ranking just three years ago.
The timing of the MIT poll dovetailed with a Field Poll survey in California giving Republican Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger a 16-point lead over his Democratic opponent – the widest margin in two decades for a gubernatorial front runner just days before an election. The previous poll in late September showed Schwarzenegger with a 10-point lead in late September over former real-estate developer and now State Treasurer Phil Angelides.
Democracy is utterly dependent upon an electorate that is accurately informed. In promoting climate change denial (and often denying their responsibility for doing so) industry has done more than endanger the environment. It has undermined democracy.
There is a vast difference between putting forth a point of view, honestly held, and intentionally sowing the seeds of confusion. Free speech does not include the right to deceive. Deception is not a point of view. And the right to disagree does not include a right to intentionally subvert the public awareness.