Climate Change Discussed by Presidential Hopefuls

Of the 20 Democratic Presidential candidates to debate this week, which ones said climate change was their number one issue? How long did they discuss climate change? Who has the best plan? Did anyone mention a carbon tax (or other incentives)? What are the pros and cons for supporting the Green New Deal?

VOX reports that during the 4 hours of debates on two nights (W and Th) this week, the topic of climate change was discussed for only 15 minutes. This is more than in 2016 but really deserves much more time to discuss threats and actions that are needed. Most of the candidates are following a similar script of supporting the Green New Deal “GND”. See my blog from February 2019 Green New Deal: Inserting Realities into Radical Proposals! As you can see from the title of this blog, I support the aspirational concepts of a GND and it will need significant work and debate to form meaningful legislation.

Axios listed candidates in March who support GND in various connotations.

350 Action is keeping a 2020 Climate Test score card on the Presidential candidates including support for the GND. Their name 350 refers to the CO2 ppm level objective of the organization. As explained in the excellent book The Madhouse Effect: How Climate Change Denial Is Threatening Our Planet, Destroying Our Politics, and Driving Us Crazy (page 16), the pre-industrial age CO2 baseline level was 280 ppm.

NASA reports the May 2019 recorded CO2 of 411 ppm. This increase in CO2 resulted in about 1 degree C (1.5 deg. F) temperature increase. So drastic reductions in heat-trapping gases are urgently needed.

Jay Inslee made it his one and only issue for the campaign and future blogs will discuss what he’s been doing as Washington state governor.

Some good things are happening in Colorado and Michael Bennett said this is a top priority issue for his campaign (although his is being cautious in blind support for GND) while former governor John Hickenlooper is more moderate in his approach citing achievements to reduce methane.

According to a Gallup poll in March 2019, “66% believe global warming is caused by human activity, near all-time high.”

I did not hear anyone mention incentives to promote green energy like a carbon tax, did you?