A recent poll conducted by the Opinion Research Corporation indicates the public is ready to set the agenda for environmental and energy policy. It shows a disconnect with the Bush administration and the majority of Americans regarding issues ranging from global warming, the adverse economic effects of climate change, energy efficiency, and a host of other issues concerning the current environmental leadership in Washington.
While Bush is currently hobbled by his bungled handling of the war in Iraq, there is also growing concern from most Americans that his leadership with environmental issues is sorely lacking as well.
But we can't just blame Bush (as much as we might like to), we have a chance to let the newly elected Congress know that a new priority is needed. Higher efficiency standards in cars, trucks, and SUV's is a great place to start.
Unfortunately, due to the escalating violence in Iraq, our nation must be focused for the short term in extricating ourselves from what Bush has gotten us into. But we also must seize the opportunity to let our leaders know that now is the time to take seriously the longer term issues that require immediate attention if we are to have any hope of effectively dealing with them. Energy policy, environmental policy, global warming, sustainable economies; these issues aren't going away and will only get worse should we choose to continue to largely ignore them.
Now is the time to let our leaders know how we wish to be led. This is the responsibility each citizen must own for a democracy to work.