Edited By Esther Thorson, Mitchell S. McKinney and Dhavan Shah
Chapter Twenty-Three: Environmental Political, Civic Engagement and Political Consumerism Among Youth
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CHAPTER TWENTY - THREE
Environmental Political, Civic Engagement AND Political Consumerism Among Youth
ROBERT H. WICKS AND MYRIA ALLEN
The hotly contested and spirited Democratic presidential primaries of 2008 generated considerable interest, featuring a race lasting until June that included African American Barack Obama and former First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton contesting the Democratic nomination. Senator John McCain secured the Republican nomination in March and selected Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as his running mate. In the general election, Obama and running mate Joe Biden would eventually secure 365 electoral votes—and the White House—to 173 for the McCain and Palin ticket. The economy quickly became the central theme of the general election campaign; however, two key issues that Obama chose to focus on included universal health care and environmental concerns.
Barack Obama’s list of environmental initiatives was long and detailed, including government investment of $15 billion a year over 10 years to promote clean energy and green jobs (“Transcript of,” 2008), development of cellulosic ethanol made from wood chips and prairie grass (Russert, 2008), regulating animal feeding operations to curtail pollution (“The Blueprint,” 2008), promoting fuel efficiency standards (“Des Moines,” 2007), reducing mercury and lead to protect community health (“President Bush,” 2008), and promoting Great Lakes environmental restoration efforts (“Updated,” 2008). Obama’s interest in the environment went back many years; and, in fact, during his college days at Columbia University, he worked as an environmental activist...
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