Eventually we will have presidential candidate forums. Hopefully the network newspersons will rise above the trivial in their queries. Here are a few nontrivial questions to ask John McCain and Barack Obama.
· Global climate change is a scientifically well-established fact. A key cause is our heavy use of fossil fuels, especially coal and oil. How would you move us to clean, renewable energy sources [such as] wind and solar? How would you encourage conservation? With all its problems, how can you justify your support of nuclear power?
· The current war in Iraq was a U.S. war of choice, launched under a cloud of deception. Gen. William Odum, former head of the National Security Agency, has called the attack on Iraq the greatest strategic blunder in American history. Moralists say it was a war crime. Do we really have a right to violate the U.N. Charter and attack a nation—like Iran—that has not attacked us? Or an ally? Explain.
· Some projections put the U.S. population at some 600 million by the year 2100. Roughly 80 percent of the growth within the next 50 years will be due to immigration. The effect on our environment (given the way we consume energy and pollute), farmland (lost to housing), schools and infrastructure will be huge. How would you address this?
· Despite the end of the Cold War, both the United States and Russia continue to hold some of their strategic nuclear-strike forces on hair-trigger alert. During the Cold War, there were several incidents where accidental nuclear war was narrowly averted. Holding nuclear-strike forces on high alert needlessly continues the mortal danger of accidental nuclear war. How would you safely de-alert those forces?
· House Resolution 1078 proposes a Global Marshall Plan wherein the wealthy countries contribute a couple of percent of their GNP annually over 20 years to rid the world of poverty, homelessness and hunger; support good health; make good education available to poor children; and restore the global environment. How could you support the new Global Marshall Plan?
· Many see ours as a society that is selfish, overly materialistic and dominated by the old bottom line of money and power. Activists are promoting a new bottom line that emphasizes love, generosity and compassion (as do the great wisdom traditions) and puts the well-being of people and Earth at the top. How might you support this?
— Edwin Shealy, senior producer
The Global Report-Radio Edition