This Election, We Can't Afford to Ignore the Climate
by Aaron Mair
As the seas rise, some of our potential presidential candidates are arguing over whose wife is hotter.
Our great coastal cities could be flooded within the lifetime of children born today.
That’s the conclusion of researchers studying the West Antarctic ice sheet -- a mass of ice larger than Mexico that could rapidly break apart over the next century.
Meanwhile, our presidential candidates are debating who has bigger hands and whose wife is hotter.
For Americans who care about the environment, there’s a lot at stake in 2016 -- from green jobs to clean water to a habitable climate. Even if the media isn’t focusing on these things, we can't afford not to.
Presidential candidates need to be questioned much more aggressively about where and how the United States gets its energy. As energy consumption around the world increases, our current use of fossil fuels is unsustainable. That’s why it’s critical that we accelerate the transition away from dirty fuels like oil, coal, and natural gas to clean -- and increasingly affordable -- energy sources like solar and wind.
Already, communities across the country are talking about how to do this. Dozens of cities across the United States and the world -- including San Diego, Paris, and Sydney -- have committed to transitioning their cities to 100 percent clean energy. Would the presidential candidates make a similar pledge?
There also needs to be a serious discussion about making sure the air we breathe is clean and the water we drink is safe. In Flint, we saw what happens when communities are neglected and infrastructure crumbles. It’s an environmental justice disaster that should serve as a wake-up call for the entire nation.
In fact, there are Flints across the country. More crises are inevitable if we don’t put the right safeguards in place to protect vulnerable communities from pollution. Presidential candidates should be pressed to explain how they’ll make these crucial infrastructure investments happen.
Finally, there needs to be a serious debate about how to address the looming climate crisis. 2015 was the hottest year on record -- and it's only going to get worse.
If left unaddressed, the climate crisis will be devastating to the economy, agriculture, and cities in every state. From pushing for states to implement the Clean Power Plan to advocating for the shuttering of dirty power plants, towns across America are taking this issue into their own hands. What would the presidential candidates do?
Americans are not just tackling the obligation we have to act. Many of us are also embracing the opportunities that are available when we do.
The clean-energy economy is skyrocketing, creating jobs all over the country as the cost of opting for wind and solar power drops. Indeed, the amount of electricity produced by wind and solar has tripled in the last decade.
The solar industry is creating jobs at 12 times the rate of the overall economy, and wind is now our nation's No. 1 source of new electricity. In many places around the world, wind and solar are cheaper than oil, coal, and gas.
The progress is almost impossible to ignore. So we must ensure that the presidential candidates don’t.
With so much at stake, it's time for the people running for president to stop slinging mud and start focusing on what matters. How will they help lead the transition to clean energy? How will they make sure our air is clean and our water is safe? How will they address the climate crisis?
Americans are already talking about it. It's time for politicians to join them.
More AMERICAN POLITICS ...
- Clinton Regains Lead
- How Much Candidates Spent Per Vote
- Tim Kaine Cheat Sheet
- Mike Pence by the Numbers
- Americans Divided on Bathroom Bill
- Clinton's Stubborn 75 Percent Chance Finally Dips Following Email Revelations
- The 2016 Democratic Convention by the Numbers
- The 2016 Republican Convention by the Numbers
- Trump's Fundraising Turnaround: June Marked Best Month So Far
- Trump Captures His Largest Lead So Far in Polls
- Trump Pulls Ahead of Clinton in Key Swing States
- Donald Trump and America B
- House Sit-In Would've Been More Powerful if It Rejected 'No Fly, No Buy'
- Clinton's Foreign Policy Poses a Challenge to the Left
- Hillary Wants to Bring Back Bill. She Shouldn't
- The Real Reason Republicans Are Going after the IRS
- ISIS Must Love Trump
- Can Trump Ride the Anti-Immigration Wave to the White House?
- Trouble for Donald Trump's Campaign
- America's Most Followed Members of Congress
- Hillary Clinton's Major Foreign Policy Address Was Anything But
- Donald Trump Down in the Polls After Rough Week on the Trail
- There's No More Denying It: Trump Is Openly Racist
- Donald Trump: Joker's Wild
- After Orlando: Twitter Recoils from Islamophobia, Takes Aim at Gun Laws
- How Much Blame Should Hillary Clinton Bear for Libya?
- Countries That Receive the Most Foreign Aid From the U.S.
- Hillary Clinton Secures Democratic Nomination
- Welcome to Half Dome, Sponsored by Nike
- Companies Need to Stop Bankrolling Hate
- For Billionaire Donors, Academic Integrity Comes Cheap
- America's Cosmic Tax Gap
- Trump's 'Realty Check' on Climate
- Putin and Trump: Symptoms of Creeping Caesarism
- Obama Promised Open Government, But Hasn't Delivered Yet
- A Coalition of the Unhinged
- Putting Free Speech Out to Pasture
- The Only Sane Conclusion from Orlando
- Orlando Shooting Fuels Debate on Gun Control
- They're Killing Us. Help Us Stop Them
- A Commencement Address for the Most Indebted Class Ever
- Our Poverty Myth
- Which States Have Banned Assault Weapons?
- Government Agencies that Spend the Most
- The Government Agencies that Employ the Most People
- Odd Ways Political Campaigns Spend Their Money
- Congressional Districts with the Youngest and Oldest Voters
- Trump Nabs First Lead Against Clinton in Poll
- Bernie's Bucks: Sanders' Fundraising and Spending Prowess in 5 Charts
- Clinton Holds Razor-Thin Lead
- Doling Out the Dough for Pro-Clinton Super PACs
- States with the Most Women in Politics
- Do First Ladies Influence the Popularity of Baby Names?
- Counties Where Medicare Spends the Most per Patient
- We Live in a Democracy, Not a Theocracy
- Is Trump an American Exceptionalist?
- Sanders vs Clinton on Economic Inequality
- Nine Lessons for Navigating National Security
- Trumped Up Alliances?
- Big Money in Politics Drives War
- Why Clinton Supports the Trans-Pacific Partnership and Trump Does Not
- The Trans-Pacific Partnership and the 2016 US Presidential Election
- Obama: The Conflict Resolution President?
- Bernie Sanders Still the 2016 Fundraising Champ
- Inequality Will Get Worse Until There's a Revolution
- Crime Can Pay if It's Big Enough
- Political Campaigns May Put Your Personal Data at Risk
- Fear, Anger and Attitudes Toward Immigration
- The New (Anti-)Secularism
- Clinton, Trump Poised for Northeastern Sweep on Tuesday
- Trump's Bad Ideas Aren't Un-American After All
- The Death Gap
- Why Trump Is No Longer a Safe Bet
- 22 People, $43 Million: The People Doling Out the Dough for Pro-Clinton Super PACs
- It's Literally Impossible to Deport 11 Million Immigrants
- Here's What a Budget That Prioritizes Peace Looks Like
- Does the Military Support Trump?
- Where Are the Wealthiest Voters?
- How the Pentagon Wastes Your Money
- This Election, We Can't Afford to Ignore the Climate
- The Children's Crusade
- When Islam Polices Extremists
- Hillary Clinton's State Department Armed Saudi Arabia to the Teeth
- Free From Jail, Imprisoned by Debt
- American Cities Most at Risk of Zika Virus
- Operation Paul Ryan
- What Trumpism Means for Democracy
- Trump Opens Floodgates of Hate
- Missing in Action: Political Reality and Leadership
- Give 'Tax and Spend' a Chance
- Donald Trump: Foreign Policy's Useful Idiot?
- When Red Tape Is a Good Thing
- Trump Holds Strong Lead in New York, Clinton-Sanders Race Tightens
- These States Give the Most Money to the Presidential Race
- The Most Influential Presidential Power Couples
- The Most Influential First Ladies
- Wall Street Should Pay a Sales Tax, Too
- Cruz, Not Trump, Has Shot to Beat Clinton
- Republicans Who Really Don't Like Donald Trump
- What Would Nancy Reagan Say?
- The Humpty Dumpty Party
- What Are Trump's Values -- and America's?
- Primary Trends: Media Goes Crazy, Bettors Yawn
- Most Liberal Members of Congress
- Most Conservative Members of Congress
- 25 Facts About Abraham Lincoln
- 25 Facts About John F. Kennedy
Article: Courtesy Foreign Policy in Focus.
"This Election, We Can't Afford to Ignore the Climate"