The primary responsibilities of an American public servant are to preserve American democracy and the environment for future generations. Clean air, clean water, unpolluted landscapes, and natural spaces are human rights. It is essential that we study the effects of human activity upon the environment and strive to minimize the consequences. Dr. Sanders will be a strong advocate for the funding of investigator-initiated scientific research. Long-term thinking must always be applied. The Bush administration has tried to thwart the scientific endeavor, aggressively politicizing scientific decision making. Congressman Buyer has been one of those Republican Congressmen who have endeavored to subvert the peer review process for political purposes.
We need an energy policy that focuses upon conservation and renewable energy sources. Enhancement of public transportation options including a revival of passenger rail is a necessity. Our current approach to the use of fossil fuels is irresponsible. Petrochemicals are the resource base of our society. The manufacture of pharmaceuticals and medical equipment, for example, is totally dependent upon petrochemicals. And yet we regard petroleum primarily as a fuel. Our use of fossil fuels is like burning down our houses to keep ourselves warm. David Sanders opposes drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. This is a short-term approach to a long-term problem. Typically, his opponent supports drilling.
As a biologist, Dr. Sanders understands the interconnectedness of man, other life forms, and the environment. He has conducted research on the natural sources of generation of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas. There is little remaining scientific debate on whether global warming is occurring. There is nearly unanimous agreement that global warming is real. The only individuals left who deny global warming are right-wing radio talk-show hosts and Republican Congressmen such as my opponent. There is scientific discussion about the relative contribution of human activities and natural cycles, but the overwhelming consensus is that the burning of fossil fuels and consequent increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide are major contributors to global warming. The potential consequences are dire and need to be addressed.
Dr. Sanders understands the need for resources to be provided for the preservation of our natural spaces. He recognizes the need for watershed protection and how protection of our National Parks and Forests and the wildlife therein may require actions that extend beyond their borders. The movement to protect the environment is one of the great expressions of the voice of the American people. It is important that the American democratic process not be subverted by special interests that wish to silence that voice.
David Sanders opposes the Bush administrationís proposal to allow for the building of new roads in remote areas of our national forests to facilitate logging. Congressman Buyer began his political career as a pawn of the timber industry and has continued in office as one of the most anti-environment members of Congress. He has never seen a tree that he didnít want logged, a river he didnít want dammed, a wetland he didnít want paved, or an animal he didnít want killed. In addition, Congressman Buyer has repeatedly advocated the use of nuclear weapons in Afghanistan. For Dr. Sanders, the use of nuclear weapons is one of the ultimate environmental disasters. The constituents of the 4th Congressional District of Indiana and the American people deserve a man who will protect clean air, clean water, and the environment like Dr. Sanders.