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Climate Change

Published on April 19th, 2019 | by Steve Hanley

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Bernie Sanders Calls For An End To Fossil Fuels

April 19th, 2019 by  


Bernie Sanders is stretching his intellectual wings as he gears up his presidential campaign. “I’m running for president so that, when we are in the White House, the movement we build together can achieve economic, racial, social and environmental justice for all.” Yup, that’s some scary stuff right there. Liberty and justice for all? Where does he get such cockamamie ideas? Oh, yeah. The Pledge of Allegiance.

Bernie Sanders

Sanders Will Take On Fossil Fuels

This week, Sanders made a rather stunning proposal on behalf of himself and his supporters: “We say to Donald Trump and the fossil fuel industry that climate change is not a hoax but is an existential threat to our country and the entire planet — and we intend to transform our energy system away from fossil fuel and into energy efficiency and sustainable energy and, in the process, create millions of good paying jobs. All of us have a moral responsibility to make certain that the planet we leave to our children and grandchildren is healthy and habitable.” If you go to BernieSanders.com, you will see his entire position on climate change:

Climate change is the single greatest threat facing our planet. Yet the giant, multi-national fossil fuel corporations have spent hundreds of millions of dollars furthering their greed and protecting their profits at the expense of our climate and our future.

The recent report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has made it clear that if we fail to substantially cut the amount of carbon in our atmosphere in under 11 years, the human, environmental, and economic costs will be severe and irreversible.

Climate change is not a problem we will have to worry about 50 years from now. Overwhelming scientific consensus indicates that climate change is already exacerbating extreme weather events like heat waves, wildfires, droughts, floods, and hurricanes. Climate change is already negatively impacting real estate values due to sea level rise and global agriculture and food security through changing water availability, flooding, and drought.

These trends will only continue as global temperatures and sea levels continue to rise. We need a president –Bernie Sanders — who understands that climate change is real and an existential threat to our country and the entire planet. When we are in the White House, we will:

  • Pass a Green New Deal to save American families money and generate millions of jobs by transforming our energy system away from fossil fuels to 100% energy efficiency and sustainable energy. A Green New Deal will protect workers and the communities in which they live to ensure a transition to family-sustaining wage, union jobs.
  • Invest in infrastructure and programs to protect the frontline communities most vulnerable to extreme climate impacts like wildfires, sea level rise, drought, floods, and extreme weather like hurricanes.
  • Reduce carbon pollution emissions from our transportation system by building out high-speed passenger rail, electric vehicles, and public transit.
  • Ban fracking and new fossil fuel infrastructure and keep oil, gas, and coal in the ground by banning fossil fuel leases on public lands.
  • End exports of coal, natural gas, and crude oil.

A Radical But Necessary Agenda

Wow! Those are some seriously radical ideas right there. Did anyone seriously expect that addressing climate change in an adult fashion would not involve a departure from business as usual norms? Sander’s end fossil fuel pledge got a strong endorsement from the editors of OilChange.com. No surprise there. Here’s what Collin Rees, a senior campaigner at Oil Change US, had to say:

“Directly confronting the fossil fuel industry must be a key part of any Green New Deal to tackle climate change. That’s why it’s great to see Senator Sanders’ new climate platform hit the industry where it hurts by banning new fossil fuel infrastructure, stopping fracking, banning fossil fuel leases on public lands, and ending polluting exports. Any climate plan must ensure the transition to a fossil-free economy protects workers and vulnerable communities, which is why Sanders’ commitment to a transition to family-sustaining wage and union jobs is crucial.

“Along with Senator Warren’s commitment to ban new fossil fuel leases on public lands on Day One, this plan from Senator Sanders means we’re seeing the bar for climate leadership raised to new heights. Other presidential contenders should follow suit and get serious about plans for a equitable phase-out of fossil fuels and an end to dirty infrastructure. That’s why Oil Change is joining progressive allies in asking the Democratic Party to hold a debate focused on the climate crisis and candidates’ plans to confront the fossil fuel industry and ensure a just transition.”

Sanders Wins Over Faux News Audience

Sanders is having quite a week. On Monday night, he participated in a Fox News town hall event and got cheers from the audience when he spoke about his Medicare For All proposal, according to The Atlantic. The audience response clearly took the moderators by surprise and caused a grumpy Donald Trump to tweet about how strange it was to see “Crazy Bernie” on his favorite channel. But probably what really got under his skin was seeing all those members of his so-called base applauding the senior Senator from Vermont, especially after Sanders pointedly called him out for being an inveterate liar.

“Whether you’re a conservative, a moderate, or a progressive,” Sanders said, “I don’t think the American people are proud that we have a president who is a pathological liar. And it does not give me pleasure to say that. Trump cannot even tell the truth as to where his father was born,” he continued. “It’s really that crazy. His father was born in New York; he claims he was born in Germany. If you can’t even tell the truth about where your father was born, it’s hard to believe anything he says.”

Sanders Is The Antidote To Trumpism

It goes without saying that Sanders will not be accepting any campaign contributions from fossil fuel companies. There is a long, long way to go yet in this presidential campaign but stop to consider for a moment that one of the current front runners is serious about ending the hegemony of the fossil fuel companies. That’s an incredible statement. How much will they spend to defeat him if he continues to find support among likely voters? The answer is, whatever it takes. They simply cannot afford to see Sanders get elected.

The rest of the country can’t afford to to see him not get elected if our children are to have any hope of living in a sustainable world. That may be a brutally stark statement, but that doesn’t make it any less true. 
 





 

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About the Author

Steve writes about the interface between technology and sustainability from his home in Rhode Island and anywhere else the Singularity may lead him. His motto is, "Life is not measured by how many breaths we take but by the number of moments that take our breath away!" You can follow him on Google + and on Twitter.



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