In my United States Foreign Policy Since World War II course, we have weekly pop quizzes to just check our understanding on the various topics in the course, and to get an opinion from the who do not talk. Today we viewed most of Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth”, which is a film of him giving his talk on global warming, which he has given all over the place. The pop quiz (surprise, surprise) associated with the movie simply asked, “what impact will global warming have on future foreign policy for the United States?”
From the way in which my professor presented the question, your could tell that he intended that he wanted a yes, it will have major impact on foreign policy, or that no, global warming will have little effect on foreign policy since global warming is something that is made up, and we should not worry about it at all. Well, me being me, I do not fit into ether one of those molds. So, I do not know what category I would fit into, I am not really wanting to say that I have a Realist point of view for this never-ending debate.
To that end, I want to present a new way of thinking that is not a realist or a liberal view. What I would like to call this is, the logical or the logisticianal point of view. Which I am saying is you look at the hard facts and go from there. This is different from a realist view, since the realist would say we do whatever is in the best interest for the nation or nation-state. The liberal view says we need to come together with others, being countries or non-governmental organizations, to collaborate to get anything of value accomplished. That being said, this is my reply to the question at hand:
How and even if global warming will be addressed in future foreign policy all depends on who is in power. If the President becomes a literal figure-head to the United States, the leading view in Congress will become the policy. If Congress becomes a sitting duck, then that power is then transferred to lobbyists, whomever voice is the loudest. So, saying what will the policy be, whether it is in the foreign or domestic realm, in the next 5, 10 or even 50 years will be difficult to predict. Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth” made it seem that global warming/environmental issues would be at the forefront of his presidency, and thinks that an adopting of a similar policy from George Bush, was one of the number of things that ended up costing him to win the election. We all know what policies Bush has put into place since he has got into office.
Since my professor said he didn’t want a five page essay, I left out the fact that we cannot really ding President Bush on not doing anything regarding global warming because of the events of September 11th. Now, if those events never happened, it would be a different story. Political candidates often pick up some portion of his or her top opponent to gain the interests of a wider population. The follow-through of such policies are under a lot of criticism because of the reasons you can probably guess. I am not saying the President’s policies are flawless.[?]