For the upcoming Presidential debates, or for venues where you get a chance to speak to the candidates, or for letters to the editor, here are five sample questions to ask:
1. Thirty-one Iowa scientists from 22 colleges and universities issued a statement last month re-affirming that climate change is real, is caused by humans, and is already affecting our state. What would it take for you to act seriously on this problem, just like Ronald Reagan and the first George Bush acted on the science of stratospheric ozone depletion by signing and strengthening the Montreal Protocol to phase out CFCs?
2. Earlier this year, the United States Catholic Conference called climate change an ‘urgent’ issue that is making the lives of the world’s poor ‘even more precarious.’ Do you agree with the Catholic Conference, and what do you think we should do to protect people from future damage from climate change?
3. I am personally concerned about all of the disasters that are going on around the country, like flooding from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee, flooding on the Missouri River, and the drought and wildfires in Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas. In 2009, the American Red Cross estimated that the number of people globally affected by climate-related disasters each year had grown to 243 million. If you are elected President, what would you do to prevent disasters from happening, and what would you do to help people when disasters do happen?
4. In 2007, in a report entitled National Security and the Threat of Climate Change, the Military Advisory Board for CNA comprised of eleven retired three-star and four-star admirals and generals called climate change a ‘threat multiplier for instability in some of the most volatile regions in the world’ because of extreme weather events and mass migration of people. It recommended that the United States ‘should commit to a stronger national and international role to help stabilize climate change at levels that will avoid significant disruption to global security and stability.’ (www.cna.org/report/climate). As President, what would you do to lead the world to stabilizing climate change to avoid disruption of global security and stability?
5. The Business Environmental Leadership Council, which includes 46 companies including Alcoa, John Deere, Dow, Dupont, and Whirlpool, states on its web site that ‘We accept the scientific consensus that climate change is occurring and that the impacts are already being felt. Delaying action will increase both the risks and the costs.’ Do you agree with these companies that climate change is occurring, and if so, what actions would you take as President to do something about it?
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