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No Fossil Fuel Political Campaigns – Stop The Polluting Politicians

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Message Kent Welton

No Fossil Fuel Political Campaigns – stop the Polluting politicians

"The Front Porch Campaign has certainly been good political strategy."

    Ida McKinley, Wife of President McKinley

In the face of melting icecaps, and a world in real danger from fossil-fuel pollution, we have yet to see  our candidates cut their ego-driven political travels. What’s wrong with these people? They talk about reform and yet they can’t reform their own, fossil-fuel driven, ways.

Hello... the need for fossil-fuel travel has been greatly reduced by tv, technology, teleconferencing, and home video cameras. Yet the field of candidates are still making maximum use of their 4 mile-to-the-gallon behemoth travel buses, their 5 passenger jet planes, and fleets of luxury SUV’s. Who are these potentates? Can we afford to elect anyone so stupid and irresponsible... to lead us into an environmentally precarious future?  Clearly, to our common sorrow, we've already made that mistake.

Even while they may be talking about the need for conservation, these polluting politicians are running around the country in their gas-guzzling buses, private jets, and incurring less-than-essential airplane travel for ever-expanding campaign staffs. Its all a huge, damaging, waste – and this in the age of tele-confereincg. It makes no sense.

So back to the future. Today, we can have no fossil-fuel, "front porch," political campaigns - and that would be a clear sign of environmental awareness and committment. Do we need to contribute to global warming in order to "run" for political office? Try walking to the front "porch" of your computer video camera.

The presidential campaigns of 1880 and 1896 saw James Garfield and William Mckinley making great, successful, use of the stay-at-home, front porch, campaign strategy... in contrast to William Jennings Bryan burning the railroad’s black coal fuel to visit every hamlet possible. Even Warren Harding made use of the strategy in 1920.

 Its 2007, where are the "front porch" campaigners?

Speaking of "family values" are these people ever at home, or even doing their duty as legislators? Would not the front porch strategy also suit John Edwards in order to be near his sick wife, Elizabeth? With his own wife sick during the 1896 presidential campaign, McKinley gave a number of 'front-porch' speeches from his home in Canton, Ohio.  The reasons are legion, and all good.

Equally important today, front porch campaigning does not require bending over for big campaign donations, although it does imply "fairness" from our big corporate media... a tall order. Regardless, the internet enables "travel" to everywhere, to every home, school, city and town hall meeting place. Internet sites devoted to candidates "front porch" speeches and platforms are easily arranged.

This fossil-fuel political campaign pathology is but one part of a truly large problem today – i.e., the need to reduce fossil fuel emissions as much, and as fast, as possible... that is, if we really care about our children’s world.

So where are the better-safe-than-sorry "conservatives"? We’ve got a president who, for over six years, could not even ask Detroit to get another mile per gallon, and made sure that tax incentives were given to eight-cylinder SUV drivers. How dumb and irresponsible can he, and we, get?

This writer has also proposed Distance Tariffs for a globalized "free trade" system, one now maximizing the fossil-fuel miles most of the products we need to live must travel to market. God forbid we should give any producers closer to home a little advantage. So all those products that travel 10,000 fossil-fuel miles to market are on a par with those that travel 50 miles to market... not to mention the slave wages and social conditions. Worse, economists still haven't figured out how to measure and value the "externals" - so that we have a GDP that goes up while the world and environment declines. 

We surely need a revolution in consciousness, and fossil-fuel behavior. It should start with those who propose to run our world in coming years. Yet we still see the blatant egotism of congresspersons and corporate execs in their private jets, burning untold, unnecessary, gallons of extra fuel into our common atmosphere.  Egotism, selfishness, and irresponsibility... its a modern day plague.

Indeed, the collapse of our commons is what this is about and, in the midst of this, we see the arrogance of politicians and "economists" too stupid to realize what they’re doing. Vote for those who change their fossil-fuel behavior.

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