How will the American election yesterday reflect on the environmental issue? With the financial crisis at hand the climate issue has been pushed back into the shadows. A quick look at both candidates makes you think that the world outside USA does not exist. Yes Obama mentions it (it being the rest of the world). He will reengage with UN and the UNFCC. At least that's better than McCain who only talks about the national parks in USA (all important but lets face it, it won't save the world). So what will save us all?
They both talk about a cap-and-trade program. The free market is not the answer on this issue. Even catholics have realised that paying to be free of sin is no good idea. Basically that is what the cap-and-trade program is. You pay to be able to emit. As long as it is cheaper to buy these rights there is no need to increase efficiency or convert to better technologies.
Obama talks about clean coal. I would like to see that. This technology is not even expected to be usable in about 15 years. And even if you could speed things up it's not like it will change much. The only ones believing in clean coal are coal industry lobbyists and some politicians.
Gas is the future. At least that seems to be what Obama thinks. A pipeline in Alaska does not help the environment at all.
It's no fun as a non American to read about the next presidents plans. I have criticized Obama more than McCain here but thats only because he says what he wants to do. McCain has no info out there and is therefore harder to criticize. I'm sure Obama is better than Bush but I would want to see an even better candidate
Now that Obama won the election we'll have to wait and see what he will do but I wouldn't hold my breath.