Bernie Sanders: Climate & Energy Statements At Last Night’s Speech (Video)

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Bernie Sanders gave a long speech in Amherst, Massachusetts, last night. Below are key climate and energy statements he made there, which you can watch if you jump to this spot in the YouTube video. My comments are in brackets after each quote.

  • “I am a member of the Senate Committee on the Environment and the Senate Committee on Energy.” [Already, that shows us Bernie’s passion for addressing environmental and energy crises, imho.]
  • “I have talked to scientists all over this world and throughout our country, and here is the simple truth: The debate is over. Climate change is real. It is caused by human activity. It is already devastating many parts of our country and the world.” [Obvious, but strongly said and excellent messaging.]
  • “We have a moral responsibility, moral responsibility, in terms of the planet that we leave to our kids and our grandchildren… to take on the fossil fuel industry.” [Again, excellent messaging.]
  • “To work with China, Russia, India, and countries all over the world, and say we are going to transform our energy system away from fossil fuel to energy efficiency, wind, solar, and other sustainable energies.” [Nice diplomatic statement, and perfect order for cost-effective climate solutions in the energy sector.]

It wasn’t a huge segment, but it’s exactly what should be said when/if Bernie takes the bully pulpit, and I have no doubt Bernie would do what he could to use executive power to help transition us to clean energy and energy conservation.

Even in Congress, as an Independent working in the midst of a very obstructionist system, Bernie has solely sponsored a handful of successful bills and amendments to improve energy efficiency and use of renewable energy, as well as to stop subsidizing fossil fuels.


In the comments of the Bernie vs Hillary vs ?? article I wrote the other day, someone noted that we shouldn’t vote based on 1 or 2 issues. I fully agree with that, but didn’t bother to bring in other topics since they aren’t my professional focus and recognized area of expertise. But to broaden the discussion here for those who are interested in a broader discussion, below are tweets I sent out today and yesterday regarding other highlights from Bernie’s speech last night as well as other matters (proceed only if you are interested in tweets about progressive issues beyond energy and the environment)…

[I’m proud to say that Cornel West spoke at my college graduation. He’s one of the premier societal thought leaders of the past few generations, imho.]

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Zachary Shahan

Zach is tryin' to help society help itself one word at a time. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director, chief editor, and CEO. Zach is recognized globally as an electric vehicle, solar energy, and energy storage expert. He has presented about cleantech at conferences in India, the UAE, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, the USA, Canada, and Curaçao. Zach has long-term investments in Tesla [TSLA], NIO [NIO], Xpeng [XPEV], Ford [F], ChargePoint [CHPT], Amazon [AMZN], Piedmont Lithium [PLL], Lithium Americas [LAC], Albemarle Corporation [ALB], Nouveau Monde Graphite [NMGRF], Talon Metals [TLOFF], Arclight Clean Transition Corp [ACTC], and Starbucks [SBUX]. But he does not offer (explicitly or implicitly) investment advice of any sort.

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23 thoughts on “Bernie Sanders: Climate & Energy Statements At Last Night’s Speech (Video)

  • This is why I’m phonebanking for Bernie. We have an office in our local area. If you go to and follow the instructions you can phonebank from home using their automated dialing system. Look for events in your area to team up with fellow supporters.

    Clean Energy is absolutely my top priority although the social and economic positions Bernie takes are also concerns of mine. The Trans Pacific Partnership would be a mistake in my opinion and Bernie thinks so too. Campaign Finance reform is important because Citizens United allows our politicians to be bribed “legally”.

    I have also been thinking about cooperation between nations in the renewable energy industry as a galvanizing effort for peace and prosperity. The European Steel and Coal Community which eventually led to the formation of the E.U. comes to mind. Perhaps instead of following through with the TPP the U.S. and U.N. could collaborate on international energy industry trade agreements. The Paris Agreement with Bernie could be taken to the next level with ambitious targets.

    Bernie also wants to seek the aid of nations like Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Jordan, and the U.A.E. in resolving the growing instability in the region. I believe partnerships in renewables and water desalination in the region would reduce stress and hardship and create a regional infrastructure that improved supranational relations. Perhaps Iran could take it’s nuclear agreement even further by commiting to develop renewables as an alternative to the very expensive and controversial nuclear energy program.

    • Iran has now several billion EUR investments in renewables backed by German development bank. And similar deal with Chinese government. This will provide more electricity within several years than whole ’20 years of costs’ Bushehr project.

      • Good to hear! I’ll be hoping to hear more about those developments.

        Have you heard of the book, “Confessions of an Economic Hitman”? The World Bank, International Monetary Fund, and World Trade Organization have been involved in some unfair practices and it is nice to hear about development banks and other financial players being positive forces. The WB helped finance the Lake Turkana wind project too, so even they can turn around to good use of there position.

        NeoLiberalism originally meant that trade relationships and financial interdependence would lessen the incentives for nations to wage wars over resources, but the international financial institutions grew to exploit people’s trust and the neo-colonial era came to be the world system under the guise of “free trade”.

        However, the E.U. beginning with the European Steel and Coal Community are a positive example of what could happen with regional economic cooperation. Energy and water are probably good foundations for going forward in the region. Getting Saudi Arabia, Israel, Iran, and the U.A.E. to become leaders in the region and making cooperative economic agreements would be an amazing development…

  • Question for Americans. I am Canadian and one thing that seems to be virtually absent in Canadian politics is any concern for the politicians religious beliefs, or absence thereof. Oh, occasionally it will come up. Harper, the recent Prime Minister was Christian evangelical which made a lot of us a little nervous. But generally religion means zip here. Now with Bernie…well he seems to fit the definition of an atheist. And I understand that that is a big deal in the U.S., especially an American president. So here is the question. Is this going to be a first, an atheist president? And secondly, is this issue going to prevent his election, or is it of no consequence?

    • He would not be the first atheist president.

      • Really? Who else? Anyway I have come across a poll which suggests more than 50% would now vote for an atheist. And another article which says “Bernie does not identify as an atheist”. Although he appears to be a secular politician so maybe…what…agnostic. However, it is still left open as a serious issue, I suppose, since sometimes elections are won by the slimmest of margins. Personally I would vote for Bernie (although I am not eligible).

        • Thomas Jefferson, for one. Well, if not strictly atheist, then he was certainly far from the Christian mainstream even of his time.

          Google “Thomas Jefferson religious views” for more.

    • Hmm, I thought he was just Jewish, which would be a big enough deal. However, if he has called himself an atheist or agnostic, yes, that would be a huge issue in the general election and many voters wouldn’t vote for him. It’s hard to know how many, but it would be a huge topic of focus from the GOP, Fox News, etc…. unless they all of a sudden become more open-minded or focused on policy.

      afaik, we’ve never had an atheist president. It was a big enough deal that Kennedy was Catholic.

      It’s hard even to know how the right would respond to Sanders being Jewish.

      • Ya, Jewish, atheist, socialist and 100 years old. Nevertheless he’s my man.

      • Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, William Howard Taft and Barack Obama were accused of being atheists during election campaigns

        • But none of them ever agreed with the label apparently.

  • I sent money to contribute to his campaign. Sanders is the real deal, and is the only candidate who has not accepted any money from Super Pacs. Hillary is a corporatist and war monger, who has accepted over 5 million from her corporate backers. Hillary had a very conservative record in the past. She voted for the Iraq war, offshore oil drilling, natural gas fracking, was slow to condemn the horrible Keystone pipeline and support raising the minimum wage. Her husband passed the horrible NAFTA trade deal, and she also supported the TPP, which allows international corporations to destroy our environment, so they can maximize their profits. Although Hillary has made encouraging speeches about expanding our solar power, the fact is that she is beholden to her corporate Wall Street donors. Sanders is not, and has been much more progressive on issues, and friendlier to our environment, during his career. I’m voting for Bernie Sanders, because he is the only honest candidate who can be trusted to move us into 100% electric cars, and 100% clean renewable energy.

    • I donated $300 yesterday.

      The people are his Super PAC. We need to do what we can.

      I think his fundraising is a pretty stunning thing. Imagine very few people expected that he would be able to raise so much money and get so many donations. And it’s obviously honorable of him to decide early on that his campaign wouldn’t take any Super PAC money.

      This should, at the very least, be a big message to the Democratic establishment. They need to work a lot harder to get Big Money out of politics. Of course, as long as they are elected via Big Money, that’s a very hard thing to do. And hence the appeal of Bernie… and whoever will come next to run such a campaign (Elizabeth Warren?).

      I hope Bernie can keep raising enough to compete. Seems his reliance on small donations could actually end up being a plus. Some of Hillary’s big donors have hit their donation limit.

    • Only candidate that has not accepted Super PAC money. I thought Trump has not and even further I thought no candidate could legally accept Super PAC funds as they can even directly interface with a campaign. Think I will pick up following until after the elections. Lou Gage

  • Sanders has almost no chance to win the nomination, mathematically speaking.


    It’s a badly kept secret, but the Democratic party has created a system that essentially guarantees that party officials (Super-delegates) decide their nominee.

    Clinton and Sanders are tied at 51 delegates each from voting.


    The Democrats also have 470 party officials voting — which is more than 20% of the delegate total. Of those, 451 have pledged to Clinton. 19 to Sanders.

    Thus the (real) totals are:

    Clinton: 502
    Sanders: 70

    2,832 needed to win

    Further — nearly all the remaining states deliver “proportional” delegates, meaning they’re not winner-take-all, meaning Sanders would need to massively and utterly sweep these states to have any chance to take the nomination.

    The reality is, if your party officials disagree with you (and if you’re a Sanders supporter they do), then you only have 4/5 of a vote.

    Barring any unforeseen developments, Hillary Clinton will be the nominee.

    Further reading:

    [For comparison, the Republican party pledges all delegates in order of the popular vote total]

    • Why is he doing this at all then and why are people donating money when he doesn’t stand a chance anyways?

      • What do I know? But I suspect that whatever informal system for the nominee can be quickly changed if they look like they can win. If Bernie can beat Trump, and Hillary cannot, Hillary will be sacrificed for the greater good.

      • Honestly, he should be making more of a deal about it, but then again, does attacking the Democratic party for their internal rules ultimately gain you any headway with the people you’re criticizing?

      • Listen to some of his videos. There is an authenticity to him that is so rare in a “politician”, so refreshing, it sucks people in.

    • It is a tough battle but Hillary had many committed super delegates in
      2008 and many defected by the convention. So until the
      convention there is time to get some back…I agree it is going to be

    • The superdelagates are able to change their pledge at any time until the end of the primary process. Bernie only needs to win a majority of the regular delagates. It woud be unprecedented for the superdelagates to vote against the popular vote, not to say it would be impossible. They would probably lose their own position and be vilified by their constituents if they voted against the popular vote. Most superdelagates hold elected offices.

    • Superdelegates have only *pledged* to support who they claim to, but there is no hard-and-fast obligation. They can and do change their minds and ultimate votes. They did in 2008… switching from Hillary to Obama, once it became clear who(m) the voters wanted.

  • Listen to Bernie 8 years ago answer a caller (with a great suggestion) to Thom Hartmann’s radio show:

    http://www dot calcars dot org/calcars-hartmann-sanders-pluginquestion_080801.mp3

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