“Crossing the Aisle” For a Better Tomorrow

As we face the fallout of this week’s United States elections, the environmental community begins to consider the next focal point of the Obama Administration. With the legislative bodies in the government now divided – Democrats controlling a slim margin in the Senate and a Republican majority in the House – will there be any attempt at serious movement on the climate change agenda?

As we focus our attention on Cancun, Mexico in preparation for the United Nations Framework Convention for Climate Change’s 16th Conference of the Parties (COP-16), U.S. environmentalists share the world’s hope that the negotiating process for over 190 countries will not mirror the current frustrations and political realities of their home country. It is interesting that the U.S. environmentalist community appears to have less faith in their own country’s elected officials and legislative system than the international negotiation process, which brings together every culture, country, ethnic background and language on the planet. How can we expect global leaders to reach a consensus when we do not hold our homegrown political appointees to the same standard? When it comes to the preservation of our planet, we have everything to gain…and everything to lose. The devastating effects of climate change are being felt all over the world, from floods in Pakistan, to desertification in Sudan, to the melting icecaps of Norway. We must push our legislators to act!

COP-16 offers an opportunity for the world to show U.S. leaders that climate change is a political issues that ‘crosses the aisle’ – that climate change affects Democrats, Republicans, and…well…the other six billion people on this planet. The white sands and crystalline waters of Cancun quietly remind us that there is a bigger struggle – a fight for future generations – and we, the citizenship of the world, need to ‘cross the aisle’ and work together.