To the editor:
The old adage says: “Politicians worry about the next election. Statesmen worry about the next generation.”
That distinction comes into sharp focus as we watch presidential candidates on TV. They attack President Obama’s identification of our world’s most serious issue. Our president claimed our greatest danger is global warming. Some candidates quickly took issue with him.
They pointed to other serious issues (like global terrorism) which they said were more dangerous. In their zeal to make political points (gain voter support), however, they didn’t have the honesty to concede that our president is concerned about such issues. He knows that if unresolved, they can disrupt our lives and cause harm. The president also understands that in the long run global warming is more threatening.
The candidates seem so anxious to pander to the fears of some people, and mock Obama in the process, that they cannot see (or refuse to acknowledge) that future threat of climate change. The president knows – what they refuse to admit – how threatening global warming is for our next generations.
If unchanged, our planet’s accelerating warming will wreak havoc on our world by destroying (flooding) significant amounts of land. Additionally, increasingly destructive storms could significantly disrupt food production all around the globe.
The statesman, focused beyond tomorrow’s election, declares honestly and earnestly that such possibilities are our world’s greatest challenge.
Perhaps we cannot prompt politicians to think beyond the next election. But maybe citizens, thinking about their children and grandchildren, can find candidates courageous enough to be statesmen.
William A. McCartney