Mid-term congressional elections are just over a month away in the US, and much of the debate among candidates stays focused on Iraq, terrorism, and immigration. While these are important issues, one has to wonder why energy and global warming aren't also a bigger part of discussion after the blitz of media attention, and even some political debate, earlier in the year (remember "oil addiction?"). Lower gas prices and a slower hurricane season have likely contributed to the movement of these issues towards the fringes of the radar screen, but "out of sight means out of mind" seems like a short-sighted approach to climate change. The folks at Sustainable Future, Inc., have given concerned Americans a way to gently remind candidates for the House of Representatives that they're still interested in how politicians plan to address these issues: QuestionsforCandidates.org. Once registered, a user can choose to send the candidates for his or her congressional district a questionnaire on topics ranging from the economics of energy and climate change, to national security risks posed by our current consumption patterns, to preservation of land and biodiversity. The site has safeguards to ensure that no candidate gets deluged by questionnaires, as well as a reminder function for candidates that don't respond initially. The site also allows users to blog, and add relevant events to a site calendar.
Will this approach force more congressional candidates to address the issues surrounding global warming? It's hard to say. If voters keep asking these questions, though -- and not just by sending email reminders, but also by posing them at live events -- it can help give these topics the more prominent place they deserve in national and local campaigns. ::Questions for Candidates via It's Getting Hot in Here