What The DNC Just Did Wrong

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You are probably aware that the DNC has just put the kibash on having a climate change related debate in the primary process.

Climate change, Perez says, is a single issue and no single issue is worthy of elevation to this level. Here are some of my thoughts on this, and below find a link to Adam Siegel’s excellent post on the subject, where you will also find the DNC’s position.

The climate crisis is not a single issue, Mr. Perez. It is an existential issue that permeates all of the other issues, an economic issue that will shape our entire agenda, an issue of national security that should be of great concern, and the number one premier health issue of the century. It is a moral issue that tests our the ability of our elected Democrats and candidates to lead.

The moment at hand has bee a long time coming. This is the first election cycle in which climate change and its effects are being taken serious by almost all Democratic candidates and voters. This issue has to be part of the conversation from now on, indefinitely.

Perhaps instead of driving climate change into a corner, or ignoring it, you actually meant to challenge the current framing of such a debate. Indeed, Democrats do not have to debate “climate change.” We all know it is real, critically important, and that we must address it. That is not a matter of debate.

But we do need to discuss, and debate, the solutions. What kind of Green New Deal do you want, candidate? How do you propose we harness market forces to hasten the transition away from fossil fuels? Do you like bridge fuels like Methane or are you on board with following a direct line to zero-Carbon? What about Carbon pricing, fee and dividend? How can we keep the economic benefit that will come with decarbonization in the US, by supporting local union industry in the construction of wind, solar, and storage facilities? Can the benefits of this energy transition be made available to most citizens? Is there a way to have economic benefits that go to more than the 10%? Should there be improved national best practices and regulations to push utilities to help more with this? What about divestment from funds that invest in fossil fuel extraction, processing, and distribution? What is your favorite pipeline story and what does it tell us about our commitment to changing things? What sorts of mandates can hasten widespread access to technologies like heat pumps and geothermal heating and cooling?

There is, indeed, a great deal to debate. Not climate change per se, but rather, how we save the future for our children and grandchildren. As noted by “Climate Hawks Vote,” climate change is a single issue: the survival of humanity. That is worth a debate.

Have a look at this thoughtful and informative post by energy expert A. Siegel to see how debating climate change can work as a political tool to the benefit of Democratic candidates and the party.

Coming out against a climate or energy debate is ethically questionable and politically foolish. Lets expand, rather than contract, this vitally important conversation.

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3 thoughts on “What The DNC Just Did Wrong

  1. On the one hand you have to wonder when they are going to realize that the more the atmosphere warms the greater the cost will be to lower it and if it isn’t lowered then a total breakdown of civilization will happen as the planet warms and climate change wreaks Disaster at every turn killing millions and perhaps billions as support systems such as agriculture break down, areas even whole countries become largely uninhabitable, and so on, and no amount of money will solve it. Near that point economics as it normally applies (jobs, GNP, cost of living etc) is meaningless. On the other hand if they do already realize this and do not want to address it in the most effective ways possible then they should just be lined up against a wall and shot – call it self defence. If nothing effective is done it will come to the former and then the latter.

    It’s well past time for countries to elect leaders who will spare no expense to take whatever actions will give hope of reducing atmospheric CO2, and yes we have leader problems, in that respect, here in Canada too. Trudeau is playing politics with dilbit and pipelines , he’s trying to keep Bay street at bay (if you can excuse the pun) and do damage to Andrew Scheer who wants his job. Scheer is a Trump wannabe (as is Jason Kenney the premier of Alberta and one who wants Scheer’s job as leader of the opposition then PM)

    In the US Biden is leading the pack (but there haven’t been any debates yet and you could bet your house ‘s title that played heavily in the DNC’s decision. He’s been accused of plagiarism many times throughout his life and that’s a serious character flaw. If his excuse was it was one of his underlings that did it without his knowledge then that does not speak well for someone who wants to be President. If he was aware of it and approved then that makes him a liar – putting someone else’s work forward as yours is lying so anything he says has to be shown to be true not just assumed to be. Just this week his staff guaranteed to the press that Biden still supports the Hyde Amendment, one must assume they consulted him on something so important, then the day after the RMS pointed out the problem with that he reverses his position. I don’t think it would be cynical to suggest he really hasn’t changed a long held and long supported position. Do you really want another person in the White House whose word you can not trust? Add to that his neoliberal centrism and you have someone who you can not trust to take the drastic actions needed.

    In any case I think we, and by we I mean pretty much every living organism on the planet, are truly screwed. As a species our actions appear to show us as angry “chimps” in a constant dominance fight. We foolishly elect the Type A types that will do anything to maintain their position – the absolute worse types to run a country, state/province, city etc. If the worst case scenario happens (https://docs.wixstatic.com/ugd/148cb0_a1406e0143ac4c469196d3003bc1e687.pdf)
    there isn’t enough time left to educate enough people to make a difference – we will be well into complete civilization collapse by 2050

    I have no confidence whatsoever that we (as a species) will survive what is knocking on the door right now. Doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try our very best to survive though.

  2. And it’s not just the DNC – it’s schools too https://www.theguardian.com/education/2019/jun/07/climate-crisis-emergency-graduation-message-censoring-class-of-0000 schools are

    Schools and colleges across the US have been accused of censoring students who have attempted to use their graduation speeches to speak out on the unfolding climate crisis.

    A youth-led movement called Class of 0000 is encouraging students to read out a prepared text at their graduation ceremonies that warns of “catastrophic climate change” and tells elected leaders to “have plan to get to zero emissions, or get zero of our votes”.

    The youth of today are really our only chance. The longer we take to implement solutions to the problem the sooner they will take matters into their own hands and hey look how easy it is to buy powerful weapons in the US. This is not going to end well.

  3. Climate change, Perez says, is a single issue and no single issue is worthy of elevation to this level. Here are some of my thoughts on this, and below find a link to Adam Siegel’s excellent post on the subject, where you will also find the DNC’s position.

    I would ask Tom Perez whether impeachment is a single issue, and if so, how he plans to keep it from dominating the early debates — or any debate, for that matter, since there is a reasonable chance that it will remain as an issue to 2021.

    It appears there will be at least a dozen Democratic debates, beginning this month, with a view to winnowing down the large field of candidates. The concern in my mind is whether this will resemble a personality contest rather than a straightforward discussion on the issues. We certainly won’t get a circus like the 2016 GOP debates, but it still could be a less than thorough airing of the issues.


    Having a few devoted to top-level issues like climate change, or health care, or preserving our democracy, might be more edifying as well as a more effective way to winnow that large group.

    I favor a debate focused on climate change, and I have told the DNC so.

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