Keeping an eye on the politics of climate change

(The latest in a series of posts relating to Bethlehem’s Climate Action Plan
and Environmental Advisory Council)

Gadfly is keeping one eye out for hopeful indications that climate change will get more political attention.

See Kamala Harris — newly announced presidential candidate — foregrounding it.

Colby Itkowitz, “Kamala Harris just set the litmus test for Democrats in 2020 on health care, climate change and guns.” Washington Post, January 29, 2019.

Harris also came out in support of a Green New Deal, a plan to address climate change and income inequality promoted by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.). In tweeting about it in December, Ocasio-Cortez wrote, “Our goal is to treat Climate Change like the serious, existential threat it is by drafting an ambitious solution on the scale necessary – aka a Green New Deal – to get it done.” At the town hall, Harris adopted similar language: “I support a Green New Deal. And I will tell you why. Climate change is an existential threat to us, and we have got to deal with the reality of it.”

See the CNN Town Hall (mins. 28:45 – 30:45), where Harris talks of going with science fact rather than science fiction.

On a different note, the DNI Director Dan Coats report (p. 23) that was the basis for the newsworthy “Worldwide Threat Assessment” meeting yesterday didn’t mention threat on our southwestern border but did mention climate change.

Global environmental and ecological degradation, as well as climate change, are likely to fuel competition for resources, economic distress, and social discontent through 2019 and beyond.

Climate hazards such as extreme weather, higher temperatures, droughts, floods, wildfires, storms, sea level rise, soil degradation, and acidifying oceans are intensifying, threatening infrastructure, health, and water and food security. Irreversible damage to ecosystems and habitats will undermine the economic benefits they provide, worsened by air, soil, water, and marine pollution.

Good signs that good things might get done?

It’s Wednesday, January 30, do you know where your local Climate Action Plan is?

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