My Debate Question

Here’s a question that hasn’t been raised, to my knoweldge, in any of the debates. And yet it may be one of the single most pressing issues of our time. It took shape for me this morning when I read Verlyn Klinkenborg’s column in the New York Times. Here’s the nut:

The financial markets will eventually come back, but not the species we are squandering.

Last week in Barcelona, Spain, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature released results of a global survey of mammal populations. It concluded that at least a quarter of mammal species are headed toward extinction in the near future. Don’t think of this as an across-the-board culling of mammals, of everything from elephants to the minutest of shrews. The first ones to go will be the big ones. And among the big ones, the first to go will be primates, which are already grievously threatened. Nearly 80 percent of the primate species in southern and southeastern Asia are immediately threatened.

The causes are almost all directly related to human activity, including, for marine mammals, the growing threat of ocean acidification, as the oceans absorb the carbon dioxide we emit.

He goes on to discuss the perils facing reptiles, fish, and birds.

Question for Sens. McCain and Obama: Would it be important, in your administration, to try to address the problems of mass extinction? If so, how would you approach the issue strategically? How would you directly address the human activities that are destroying the biodiversity of the Earth?

7 Responses to “My Debate Question”

  1. Loyal says:

    Mass extinction of elected Republicans might be desirable (snark).

  2. NJeditor says:

    Nothing against marine mammals, but I’d like to quote the former bumper sticker of a very wise man: “Save the humans.”

  3. NJeditor says:

    I posted this further down, but for those who don’t read comments on older posts, it’s worth repeating.

    Roger Simon, a few hours after the debate:

    Sometimes McCain attacked directly, and sometimes he attacked sarcastically, but he never stopped attacking. And he never rattled Obama. Obama answered every attack and kept his cool.

    How cool? Obama was so cool that after 90 minutes under blazing TV lights, an ice cube wouldn’t have melted on his forehead.

  4. Loyal says:

    Had I been John McCain (G-d forbid). I didn’t want to post this pre-debate but this what I would have said. (And it would have helped, but not won it for him — what the pundits miss is no matter how much the electorates likes or dislikes him, trusts or distrusts him, he is wrong on teh issues as seen by most voters).

    Looking directly into the camera: I want to be president. I have a drive to serve the American people and a competitive spirit that is so strong, that occassionally I look kind of foolish or sound kind of silly. And while I wish that wasn’t so, it means that, unlike your view of Senator Obama, you get to see me raw and unfiltered. And that is often not the best tack to take in a political campaign.

    Senator Obama has done a better job than I have of packaging himself and his image to meet the needs of this media driven election. And I apologize to you that I have not better. Because I am convinced in the depths of my soul that I can do a better job as President, that I can better represent teh values, the history, and the future of the American people as President than can Barack Obama. I think his policies have been proven time and again to be flawed or completely untested — and this economic crisis makes his proposed experiments with economic policy even more risky. The American people have an extraordinary opportunity to choose who will lead them out of the despair that we are feeling. I have a vision for how to lead us back on track to a hopeful future, to restore America’s place as a shingin city on a hill. I hope that you will help me to serve you. I ask for your faith and your vote. Thank you.

    Or any variation that transitions from having run a poor campaign to being a great president. He could not improve without acknowledging how poorly he has presented himself. And now it is too late.


  5. Neurotic Dem says:

    Love the quote — saw it down below. Glad to have it here. (See my comments on your comments)
    Which side are you on, man?
    But, seriously — that’s terrific stuff. As I read it, I thought: uh oh, this could really impact people; this could really be a gamechanger.
    There’s one problem with it: McCain clearly clearly disdains Obama, and sees himself as vastly superior, and I just think that would prevent him from ever saying anything close to: “I look kind of foolish or sound kind of silly.” Pride is a great thing, of course, but I just have the feeling that McCain’s pride would preclude that kind of self-assessment.
    Consider, during this terrible campaign he’s run, has he ONCE turned a critical eye on himself?
    He said he wouldn’t show at the first debate, unless the bailout was passed, and then he showed anyway, without ever addressing his failed and disrespectful gambit.
    He said the fundamentals of the economy were sound, and then, instead of really trying to help us understand what he meant and why he might have been wrong to say it that way, he made a bogus attempt to say he was really talking about American “workers” — and by the way, shame on Obama for thinking otherwise.
    Instead of taking the opportunity last night to apologize for his disgusting, blood-thirsty rallies — to look at his own actions with even the slightest critical eye — he again made a bogus attempt to try to, incredibly, blame OBAMA, as if Obama had been criticizing the veterans at McCain’s rallies.
    I’m sorry — this is not a man who can stand up and say: I’m sorry.
    Contrast Obama, who repeatedly has referred to his own campaign as “imperfect,” referring to his own “boneheaded” actions, for instance, regarding Rezko.
    Does McCain really think the American people are so stupid? That these bait and switch, Jedi-mind-tricks will work?
    I think last night, we got our answer

  6. […] Neurotic Democrat “Pursue justice justly,” for just goals can never be achieved by unjust means « My Debate Question […]

  7. Loyal says:

    Exactly it’s what he needed to do, but his anger, hi disdain, his disresepct for Obama all prevent him from understanding.

    In fact, he’s losing this election for two reasons. the first is incompetence: he and hi steam fail to understand the need to run on a positie altenrative and not on fear. After all, how could we have a worse preseident than Bush. There is no scarier bogey man. We have been habituated to this experience. Teh secodn reason is his campaign’s competence. the better they get out their message (in terms of programs) the worse he will do, because the American people are rejecting his approach to solving these problems. He is on the wrong side.

    I guess that could be called a double bind, or perhaps, being hoisted on one’s own pitard.


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