U.S. elected officials, in recent years, -----

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Written by David Orr

The crisis ahead is first and foremost a political challenge, not one of economics or technology, as important as those are.The global crisis ahead is a direct result of the largest political failure in history.  The U. S. government and elected officials, particularly in recent years:

*Ignored the increasingly urgent and rigorous warning of danger, and thereby

*Failed to anticipate ecological and climate trends, and so

*Made little or no effort to alert the public to the dangers ahead;

*Were oblivious to the security implications of rapid climate change;

*Took none of the obvious steps to recalibrate the economy to protect natural capital, including climate stability;

*Did little to promote energy efficiency and renewable energy, and thereby

*Wasted trillions of dollars, which helped to weaken the economy and thereby contributed to the collapse of financial markets in late 2008 and

*Created a legacy of debt and deficits both ecological and financial

Perhaps all of this can be explained by the generally modest level of scientific literacy characteristic of elected officials.  Policy failure at this scale certainly reflects the stranglehold of coal and oil money on public policy.

David Orr, Down to the Wire, pp.6-7. 

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