Views on Global Warming: Democratic Candidates
July 22, 2015
As the presidential primaries get closer and the political importance of global warming increases, the candidates must express clear views on environmental issues in order to have a chance at winning the U.S presidency. So what do we know so far?
Hillary Clinton: The supposed super candidate of the democrats, Hillary Clinton is ahead of the other democratic candidates in the polls, but on the issue of global warming where does she stand? Like the other democratic candidates Clinton is a strong believer of global warming and would like to implement policies and regulations on certain aspects of the economy to limit the United States’ carbon footprint. Clinton has stated “The science of climate change is unforgiving, no matter what the deniers may say. Sea levels are rising; ice caps are melting; storms, droughts and wildfires are wreaking havoc… If we act decisively now we can still head off the most catastrophic consequences”. At the same time as this Clinton is strongly correlating women’s rights with global warming. Clinton has been a strong advocate for clean cook stoves, an issue that might sound small, but has big impacts on the daily lives and health of poor women and their families.
Bernie Sanders: A self-described democratic socialist, Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont is known for being extremely liberal; too liberal that he runs as an independent for his senate seat. Sanders has one of the strongest climate change records in the Senate. In fact, according to rankings released by Climate Hawks Vote Sanders was the No. 1 climate leader in the Senate for the 113th Congress that ended in January voting for every environmental beneficiary. In his presidential platform, Sanders is expected to remain consistent to his ideals on the matter, hopeful to gain massive support for the green party and other liberal environmentalists providing a better chance to win the primary.
Lincoln Chafee: Not much is known about the former Governor of Rhode Island. Similar to his former state of governance, Chafee is quite minute especially when compared to other candidates such as Hillary Clinton. Chafee’s views are aligned with the democratic platform as he supports environmental conservation and is a strong believer of global warming. In his presidential campaign, Chafee stated that “Responsible environmental stewardship can coexist with economic strength” which is his main ideology regarding the topic of the environment.
Martin O’Malley: Former Governor of Maryland, O’Malley’s views are slightly astray when it comes to global warming. O’Malley believes that global warming is a natural threat. Furthermore O’Malley has said “One of the things that preceded the failure of the nation-state of Syria and the rise of ISIS was the effect of climate change and the mega-drought that affected that region that has now led to the rise of ISIL and this extreme violence.”
Jim Webb: Having held quite a few positions in the past, including the Secretary of Navy, a U.S. senator and the Assistant Secretary of Defense, Webb could amass quite a lot of followers. Sadly on the topic of global warming, Webb will most likely lose the majority of the democratic vote. Webb stood up strongly for the coal industry, earning criticism from many environmentalists. Also, when Obama announced the Clean Air Act Webb went to the floor of the Senate to denounce the idea that the federal government has the power to regulate carbon emissions under existing law.
As seen in this list almost all the democratic candidates have strong plans to combat global warming or solid beliefs on the matter. Hopefully a candidate with a solid plan associated with global warming will prevail in the primaries.
Cyrus Crevits, Intern