American myopia confines our attention to what occurs here in the continental United States at the expense of what occurs around the world.
Question: What should be the big issues of the 2008 presidential election?
Richard Cizik :Well the environment has never had “political salience”. It’s never risen above single digits in terms of its political saliency, but it is already. Climate change is considered by some polls to be one of the top tier domestic issues in the ’08 election. And so for those candidates who are – let’s put it this way – climate deniers, I think they face political extinction. And for those that do reach out across aisles, across religious beliefs, across, you see, the cultural divides that exist in America to say that this is something together we can do; that green is the new red, white and blue; and that this generation, my generation, can only be the greatest generation if we are the greenest generation … Now that, I say … That’s a vision that we can live up to. We can live up to it. So I’m an optimist, absolutely. We don’t have any choice.