Climate change becomes a talking point in US Presidential race

One of the wonders of the modern world is the Republican Party in the USA and its stand on climate change, as it refuses to believe in it even calling it a hoax.

It was the Republican controlled Senate and Congress that prevented President Obama from making the Paris declaration on climate change a legally binding one.

The presumptive Republican Presidential race nominee Donald Trump predictably also does not believe in climate change.

However, despite this challenge the Democratic Party does believe in climate change and has successfully made it an election issue.

On the Democratic Party race front Bernie Sanders has taken the lead in making climate change an important theme to the extent that even Hillary Clinton has had to further strengthen her climate stand.

Hillary had to make this adjustment after a recent poll survey in Iowa showed that Democratic voters cared about climate change third only after the economy and healthcare. It was more than terrorism, immigration and gun control combined.

In his campaign rally  in Indianapolis Bernie talked about the importance of climate change attacking the Republican party and calling on Hillary to do more.

“I know that Republican Senators, Congressmen and Governors all over this country go around saying that climate change is a hoax…but Trump who is a genius at everything and is also a scientist said that the climate change hoax originated in China,” said Bernie to loud peals of laughter from the enthusiastic audience.

“That really shocked me as I thought that he would have believed it’s a hoax that that came from Mexico or the Muslim world,” he added to more laughter.

Donald Trump in a November 2012 tweet had said, “The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.”

Trump to this day still does not believe in climate change quoting an old Newsweek article even though the author of that article has said that climate change is happening.

“I have talked to scientists all over country and the world and what they say loudly and clearly in a unanimous voice is that climate change is real, caused by human activity and it is already doing devastating harm to our planet,” said Bernie to loud cheers from the mainly young crowd.

“And they tell us that we have a short window of opportunity to transform energy away from fossils fuel to energy efficient means. Tonight I tell the Exxon Mobil’s of the world and I tell the fossils fuel industry that your short term profits are more important than the future of this planet,” he said to more loud cheers.

Sanders said, “It is our moral responsibility to leave a healthy and habitable planet for our children and future generations and as President it is exactly what I would do.”

Highlighting the difference between him and Clinton he said, “Secretary Clinton and I have another difference of opinion. I believe the time for a tax on carbon is now.”

He also called for an end to Fracking as a means to get fossil fuel saying it polluted ground drinking water. He pointed out that Hillary Clinton does not support ending fracking.

Clinton does not believe in a carbon tax and she while not calling for an end to Fracking has called for better regulations on it.

In the meantime, in a telling impact of the Bernie candidacy, Clinton has been forced to further strengthen her program on tackling climate change. Another reason is that Clinton also wants to inherit President Obama’s legacy and in doing so his voters. Climate change and renewable energy was a key theme of Obama’s Presidency.

The political wisdom on the street is that given Trumps rise the only way that Clinton can effectively beat Trump is if Bernie’s supporters rally behind her. One such program to get their support is strengthening Clinton’s climate change plans.

The Clinton campaign has called climate change a catastrophe and outlined detailed plans to tackle it.

Her campaign has said that it will deliver on the pledge that USA made in the Paris conference. She has promised to implement pollution standards, launch a USD 60 bn clean energy initiative, invest in clean energy infrastructure, ensure safe energy production, end subsidies for oil and gas companies, make American manufacturing the cleanest in the world, reduce USA’s oil consumption by a third and finally power every home by installing half a billion solar panels.

While Bernie’s campaign has accused Clinton’s campaign of taking some funds from oil companies, Clinton has distanced her campaign from it. The Oil and other energy companies are contributing far more to the Republican Party given the Democratic Party’s stance on climate change.


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