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Elizabeth Warren’s glaring gap re @RealDonaldTrump

March 21st, 2016 · 1 Comment

At the moment, Senator Elizabeth Warren’s facebook post on Donald Trump is shooting around the net.

"Let’s be honest – Donald Trump is a loser."

While much of the focus is her defining of Trump as “loser”, the fourth paragraph is the most substantively important discussion. In this, Warren elucidates what is at stake in this election:

  • Affordable college.
  • Accountability for Wall Street.
  • Healthcare for millions of Americans.
  • The Supreme Court.
  • Big corporations and billionaires paying their fair share of taxes.
  • Expanded Social Security.
  • Investments in infrastructure and medical research and jobs right here in America.
  • The chance to turn our back on the ugliness of hatred, sexism, racism and xenophobia.
  • The chance to be a better people.

That is, simply, a powerful and (at its core) truthful list.  Even so, Senator Warren misses the most critical and fundamentally truthful point:

Electing Donald Trump could well be the final nail on the coffin in averting catastrophic climate chaos.

Simply put, despite concerns about inadequate progress or measures (for, at least, the first term), the vast majority of the U.S. government’s progress on climate change in recent years is attributable to the Obama White House — to President Barack Obama.

A partial list …

All of this is Administrative action — done in accord with (and in fulfillment of) laws passed by Congress, but Administrative action nonetheless.

Donald Trump is, simply, a climate change denier, a rejector and distorter of basic science. (Nice window: 6 of @RealDonaldTrump tweets on climate change.) The Environmental Protection Agency is at the top of his list for cutting (or, at minimum, alongside the Department of Education).

A simple set of questions:

  • What might one expect from a “President Donald Trump” when it comes to climate change?
    • Would President Donald Trump reverse Obama Administration progress on the issues above and otherwise?
  • Can we afford moving the clock back years or decades?

From record-low Arctic Ice to ever more breaking of record high temperatures (specific dates, month-to-month, annual, …) to catastrophic weather events worsened by climate change to …, the climate change threat is worsening.

We are seeing progress – serious progress – as, for example, energy-related emissions seem to be plateauing and heading for decreases.  The increased availability of and massive drop in prices for renewable energy (solar, wind) and energy efficiency (such as LEDs, electric cars) give hope that that progress can continue and accelerate. That ‘progress’ is, however, not enough and requires acceleration — more than a doubling down — across the economy (domestically and internationally).

President Donald Trump — and the people he would populate the Administration with — almost certainly would work diligently to put the brakes on (and outright reverse) the progress that has been and is being made to reduce the risks of catastrophic climate change.

Unlike everything else on Senator Warren’s list, the next President could put the brakes on  or accelerate U.S. government efforts related to climate change alone.  And, while everything on Senator Warren’s list matters, addressing climate change is a sine quo non for fostering a prosperous and secure nation for the decades to come.

With all due respect, Senator Warren, the absence of that existential threat from your list is glaring.





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Tags: 2016 Presidential Election · climate change

1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Juan Egan // Mar 22, 2016 at 12:18 pm

    Simply put … you are tiresome.

    Do you have any point at which action to address climate change would be warranted?

    Do you have any concerns about the impacts that climate change is having on people today and will have on people tomorrow?

    Do you have any desire to propose and engage on solutions or are you solely interested in painting me (and other climate concerned people) with a false broad brush of ‘you are at fault for Donald Trump and his ilk’?

    Climate change? Climate change??
    Ya gotta be friggin’ kidding me.

    Climate change ranks 432nd in the list of important issues for American voters.

    Do you realize that it is starting to be a serious wedge issue?

    And, the “432nd” is such a joke.

    It absolutely depends on how discussed.

    When people go trotting around in sackcloth preaching the end of the world – while the working poor are facing job losses, declining wages, and impoverishment – you end up getting parties like the Front National in France, the AfD in Germany, and UKIP in Britain raking in the votes. Not to mention Trump in the U.S. of A.

    Right — the UKIP and Front National and … are all because of climate activists.

    You consistently ignore all the work that I (and so many others) have done about how acting on climate change can create jobs (JOBS! JOBS! JOBS!) and address the very issues that you are whining about and complaining that I (and others) ignore.

    And the right-wing populists haven’t recruited from the ranks of conservatives, many of their converts are from the Socialist Party, the Social Democrats, Labour, and the Democratic Party.

    But you don’t get it. Were the economy humming along with full employment and increasing wages, then folks would be far more receptive to the increased costs that the climate agenda requires.

    Want to address the costs that not acting on climate change creates every day and how it worsens every day?

    And, please show me where you were advocating for climate action at other times.

    By the way, oil prices are low — shouldn’t now be the time you call for raising the gas tax to pay for infrastructure jobs?

    (And trust me, energy costs have skyrocketed in Germany and elsewhere.) But to do the same at a time of economic challenge for so many in the developed world – and then to pretend that it’s all cake and ice cream to top it off – – produces a dramatic political backlash.

    You are seeing it.
    You are responsible.

    Again, total BS. As if “I” have the power to drive the creation of UKIP and as if “Dark Money” has nothing with the distortion of American politics. No. It isn’t the Koch Brothers / et al driving the American dialogue ‘to the right, ever to the right‘ but it is those concerned about climate change. Get real.