Its McCain vs. Obama, but Neither is Carbon Neutral

A few months ago, I published a post where I assumed Obama had won the Democratic nomination and I was going to begin focusing on his environmental record versus McCain's. Of course, looking back, I was prematurely ending Hillary's campaign.

With last night's election results in North Carolina and Indiana, it looks increasingly like the Democratic primary has actually reached its end. I'm not going to make the same mistake by counting Hillary out, but I will follow conventional wisdom and begin considering Obama and McCain our general election candidates.

This reality gives me the opportunity to point something out about our Republican and Democratic nominees you may not know, neither is running a carbon neutral campaign.

Not long ago, the Washington Times ran a story (you can read it HERE) addressing the carbon neutrality of the different presidential candidates. Of all the candidates on the trail at that time, McCain and Obama were the only ones neglecting to seriously offset their campaigns' greenhouse gas contributions.

This made me pretty upset.

Both McCain and Obama support carbon trading markets to cap and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by polluters. These markets allow participants to buy and sell a restricted set of carbon credits, with much of the funding from their sale going to development of more environmentally friendly technologies.

Apparently what is good for the goose isn't good for the gander, because neither candidate opted to participate in a similar market where they could offset the pollution from their campaigns and contribute to the development of renewable energy sources and greenhouse gas mitigation.

Hillary Clinton and John Edwards did participate in these programs. In Hillary's case, tens of thousands were spent to maintain her 2007 Earth Day promise to keep her campaign carbon neutral. This, in spite of the fact that her campaign was often flat broke.

Why is it important for Obama and McCain to run carbon neutral campaigns? First, they should participate in a program they support. Second, they should take responsibility for the environmental damage their campaigns cause. Third, they should prove their commitment to innovative environmental solutions now rather than after November.

Environmental solutions in America come when both parties are competing to be the leader on the issue. I blogged about this trend HERE. If both candidates largely ignore the issue of energy conservation and environmental policy reform, progress will come very slowly. By urging Obama and McCain to go carbon neutral, we begin a contest between the candidates to prove their green credentials. We can start a dialog between them now that will continue throughout the rest of the campaign on who has the better campaign and who has the most innovative solutions.

Please take the opportunity to sign THIS petition urging Senator Obama and Senator McCain to make their campaigns carbon neutral. Already, many people have participated in the petition from across America and even other nations. Many people have left messages explaining why this issue is important to them.

Take a second and SIGN THE PETITION. It will be sent to the campaigns and will let them know that their action on this issue will not go unnoticed.

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