Politicians are loath to confront environmental issues head-on. This is a serious problem for all humanity. The reason for this may be that politicians generally do not have any answers to the threats that are looming over our planet, and thus want to duck the issues. Only through individual and collective sacrifice can any of these threats be addressed, and the promise of sacrifice brings neither financial contributions nor votes. Political leaders around the world are thus caught in a conflict between the desire to remain in office and the imperative to face environmental reality.