WASHINGTON - January 9 - With the New Hampshire primary fast approaching, Granite State citizens concerned about quality of life in their state are pressing Presidential hopefuls for solutions to the global warming problem. The latest effort is a series of statewide radio ads featuring traditional New Hampshire businesspeople talking about the impact on their livelihoods if the problem isn't fixed. They are part of a growing campaign by the Concord-based Carbon Coalition, a non-partisan citizens group that is turning out volunteers at dozens of candidate events statewide.
"It sounds strange to be talking about global warming in the dead of winter, but without national leadership soon, we here in New Hampshire will face some very serious economic problems," said Roger Stephenson of the Carbon Coalition. "Our seasons aren't what they used to be. People notice that things just aren't quite right. That's why we're talking to every single candidate stumping in New Hampshire this year."
Experts predict that global warming will damage key sectors of the state economy, including the famous fall colors, and popular winter sports that attract thousands of travelers. Scientists say average temperatures in the state have already increased by almost two degrees Fahrenheit. Much more dramatic change is expected unless steps are taken to reduce emissions of the heat-trapping pollution responsible for the problem.
The radio ads airing throughout the state feature Tim Meeh, a maple syrup producer from Canterbury; Brad Wyman, a retired paper industry businessman from West Dummer in Coos County; and Paul Girard, a ski coach from Dover and a student at University of New Hampshire. They are sponsored by New Hampshire members of NRDC (the Natural resources Defense Council).
The Coalition is working closely with leading New Hampshire companies, including Timberland, Stonyfield Farms and Northland Forest Products. State businesses including the ski industry and companies like Stonyfield have supported U.S. Senate legislation to fight global warming.
New Hampshire has a long history of setting the agenda in the nation's biggest pollution battles. The state led the fight against acid rain began 30 years ago. And it was here, during the 2000 Republican primaries, that global warming emerged as an issue for Sen. John McCain, who has since introduced major global warming legislation with current candidate Joe Lieberman (D-CT).
Global warming has been noted in the media as one of the top issues candidates have been asked to address while on the campaign trail in New Hampshire. Carbon Coalition volunteers and others have posted hundreds of "Save our Seasons" and "Slush Sucks" signs for the candidates to see, and asked pointed questions at countless events. One such town hall exchange on global warming with Governor Dean was featured on CNN's Inside Politics last week.
You can get an MP3 of the NRDC radio ads by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.