Thursday, October 15, 2015

Climate Change Emerges as a Campaign Theme

Sanders and Clinton (Photo Credit: AP /John Locher) Click to Enlarge.
The Democratic hopefuls for president vowed to embrace forceful measures to combat climate change in their curtain-raising debate [Tuesday] night without explaining how they would enlist the help of Republican lawmakers needed to enact their ambitious plans.

Four of the five candidates raised the climate issue in their opening statements, marking a clear contrast to the 2012 presidential election, when President Obama largely avoided the topic.  One analyst described the debate as a symbol of growing Democratic confidence that climate change can win primary votes while also exposing Republicans to vulnerabilities in the general election.

The most persistent calls for action perhaps came from Martin O’Malley, the former governor of Maryland, and Sen. Bernie Sanders, the independent from Vermont.

“We must square our shoulders against the great threat of climate change,” O’Malley said as the debate opened in Las Vegas.  “As president I intend to sign as my very first order in office an order that moves us as a nation and dedicates our resources to solving this problem and moving us to a 100 percent clean electric grid by 2050.”

Sanders cast an eye back to legislation he introduced in 2013 to create a carbon tax.  He also said rising temperatures are a top national security threat facing the nation, suggesting that the planet “may well not be habitable” if strong action isn’t achieved.

“Climate change is real, it’s caused by human activity and we have a moral responsibility to transform our energy system away from fossil fuel to energy efficiency and sustainable energy and leave this planet a habitable planet for our children and grandchildren,” Sanders said.

Hillary Clinton, former secretary of State, and Lincoln Chafee, a former Republican and the past governor of Rhode Island, also raised the risks of not acting on greenhouse gas emissions without being prompted by CNN’s Anderson Cooper, the moderator.

Read more at Climate Change Emerges as a Campaign Theme

No comments:

Post a Comment