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This will be the first national election in history in which climate change makes it onto the list…
This election cycle climate is high on the platforms of every Democratic contender. As importantly, Democrats in Congress have been moving…
This will be the first national election in history in which climate change makes it onto the list of priorities voters are likely to act on. In 2016 you could count on one hand the number of times climate was mentioned by any presidential contender.
This election cycle climate is high on the platforms of every Democratic contender. As importantly, Democrats in Congress have been moving aggressively on the issue of climate in terms of proposed legislation — at least on the House side.
Most interesting in terms of what’s going on in Congress is how the House Minority Leader, Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) has tried to get his Republican colleagues to “belly up” to the bar and admit climate change is a problem, as well as proposing legislation. I’ve detailed some of his efforts before in an article titled Climate Matters: The Nature of Eco-McCarthyism.
I don’t know that Trumplicans will ever really accept the scientific evidence in support of global warming — or at least accept it before its way too late to do much about it. Even now there are far-right conservatives, e.g., The Club for Growth, who are attempting to skewer McCarthy and other congressional conservatives who recognize climate change as an issue that needs to be addressed — if for no other reason than keeping young Republicans from crossing over to vote for Democrats. Young Republicans are much more concerned about the environment than Trumplicans.
How far a Democratic president is willing to go in terms of a climate defense plan depends a great deal on who walks out of the November elections controlling the Congress. A Democratic Congress would likely endeavor to pass the CLEAN Future Act that has been proposed by Democrats on the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
The proposed legislation is much closer to Sanders's vision of what needs to be done than Biden’s. With a Democratic House and Senate, however, Biden would surely move to the left in terms of federal policies and programs.
I think what is important at the moment is for Sanders to direct his attention towards what Trump has done to the environment, i.e., endeavor to roll back every environmental protection since the Nixon administration.
Sanders and many of the more progressive climate activists need to stop beating up on Biden for his current stance on climate defense. By the same token, Biden and the establishment should refrain from saying how unrealistic the Green New Deal is.
Democrats — whether moderate or socialist — are not the enemy here. With a Democratic Congress and either Sanders or Biden in the White House, a great deal will be possible — starting with the undoing of what Trump has done to weaken federal climate-related programs and policies.