Both Obama and McCain in energy companies’ pockets

It was evident from both dueling viewpoints about energy and environment by the College Democrats and Republicans that there are many common misconceptions about how we can effectively deal with these issues (An aggressive approach to energy and Quick relief, long-term solutions, 10/07/2008). Common to both these viewpoints was the belief that cutting back on carbon dioxide will somehow impede climate change.

First of all, carbon dioxide from both man-made and natural sources contributes to only 3.62 percent of the total greenhouse effect. Humans only contribute 3.225 percent of the carbon dioxide emitted into the atmosphere, meaning that humans only increase the total greenhouse effect by slightly more than 0.1 percent.

Carbon is not the issue here. Giving taxpayer’s money to companies and people who cut down on carbon is only a diversion from finding a real solution to our environmental problems.

Also discussed in the viewpoints were the candidates’ “aggressive” strategies for alternative energy. Both candidates have made promises to set less-than-impressive deadlines that will surely be delayed or forgotten anyway. The fact of the matter is that we could have free energy right now. In fact, we could supply the entire world with clean, renewable energy from alternate sources. In 2007, the U.S. Energy Department found that we could supply the entire country with power using well-placed wind farms in only three of our 50 states. That is wind power alone. That doesn’t include solar power or geothermal.

And when we realize how much money we save with this plentiful power, we can build these technologies in the rest of the world. With the right president, the right leader, this could happen. The only thing holding us back is the need of the energy companies for us to be dependent on their product. And lest anyone forget, both candidates are sponsored by corporations, including energy companies.

Joe Sicheneder
LSA sophomore

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