This is seen by many as a highly contentious mid-term US election, and not just for the people of the United States.
People in other countries like Australia watch apprehensively as the US political system is on the verge of unraveling and landing in the hands of people who have shown little in-depth understanding of the inordinate power and scientific sophistication of the present day world.
Indeed, will this election introduce a political climate conducive to a Sarah Palin presidency in 2 years?
From my perspective as a physician, deeply concerned about species extinction including that of homo sapiens over the next century, I can’t imagine how we will survive should these political prognostications be fulfilled.
Three issues which have worried me for decades now haunt my thinking.
1. Global Warming. The profound manifestations of ongoing global warming include permafrost melting, which could release millions of tons of trapped methane and carbon dioxide and double the present estimates of unmitigated temperature elevations. To add fuel to the global warming fire, the Tea Party and Republicans are now hugely funded by foreign and national corporations fanning the flames of climate skeptics.
2. Nuclear Winter. It is almost beyond belief to imagine the fair finger of Sarah Palin accessing the nuclear button but as Commander in Chief, that would indeed be her position. Does she know or understand that the US and Russia still have thousands of hydrogen bombs on hair-trigger alert ready to be launched with a three minute decision time by the US or Russian President? Does she understand that the almost simultaneous release of the these bombs would initiate the end of most life on earth through massive radiation doses, extreme catastrophic fire storms, virtual disappearance of the ozone layer and a short ice age induced by nuclear winter?
3. Nuclear Power. A huge conspiracy of silence has been perpetrated by the global nuclear industry in its quest to build hundreds more nuclear reactors around the world as a solution to global warming. Aside from the fact that the generation of atomic electricity adds substantially to global warming, an alarming recent publication by the New York Academy of Sciences titled “Chernobyl, the Consequences of the Catastrophe for People and the Environment” documented that the accident in 1986 has so far killed over 985,000 people from cancer in all nations affected by the radioactive fallout. Whereas the International Atomic Energy Agency which represents the nuclear industry predicted only 4000 deaths from Chernobyl. Have the Tea Partiers and Republicans read this report? Are people aware that the Academy of Sciences only printed 700 copies in 2010 of this outstanding scientific publication for which they charge $150 and they are reluctant to print more? Why?
It is imperative in this day and age that politicians understand the outstanding ecological threats to the planet.