Clean Air and the Real Issues We Are Facing

Written by Jessica Oakley ’15

Hi ya’ll!

After writing my blog post about week 3, I thought this week I could add a little bit about myself.

I am sophomore at Knox from Houston, Texas. I decided to take Election 2012! because I wanted to hear what specialists in each field have to say about the election.

First off, I wanted to give a disclaimer. I have yet to take an environmental studies class at Knox, and my only experience in environmental studies is from junior year in high school.

That being said, I came into this class worried that, because of my lack of background, I might have an issue. But I was completely wrong.

Professor Katie Adelsberger [The Douglas and Maria Bayer Endowed Chair in Earth Science] did an amazing job piquing my interest. Professor Adelsberger talked about the main [environmental] issue of this election: Should the Clean Air Act be amended to exclude carbon dioxide from unregulated gases?

The Republicans do not want the act amended, while the Democrats do. We discussed how it has become an economy-versus-the-environment issue. Do we take precautions that help us later but cause job loss? Or keep jobs but leave our planet worse off for future generations?

Everyone agreed that pollution can not only cause harm to our environment but is also harmful to humans.

What about the other issues? How do President Obama and Governor Romney plan on helping our environment? If you think about it, if our world becomes uninhabitable because of all the pollutants, then all the other issues won’t be a problem.

Knowing this, Professor Adelsberger had us read an article [in Scientific American] where both Obama and Romney answered 40 questions about their views on the environment.

From the article, you can clearly see that neither candidate truly takes a firm stance. Both agree that science is important, and we should take advantage of it; however, that’s about as in-depth as it gets.

We need to no longer make this an issue based on party lines — and tackle the environment together.

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