It’s a watershed moment in American politics. Climate change and the environment, for the first time, have risen to become among the top issues in a Presidential election. President Trump is campaigning against the whole idea of environmental regulations and has falsely labelled climate change a “hoax.”
In stark contrast, all of his Democratic challengers are pledging unprecedented action to reduce greenhouse gas pollution.
Here’s Senator Bernie Sanders: “What the scientists are telling us is – in fact – they have under-estimated the severity and speed in which climate change is damaging not only our country, but the entire world.”
Former Vice President Joe Biden said: “I think it is the existential threat to humanity. It’s the number one issue.”
Mayor Mike Bloomberg made this statement: “Climate change is not a science problem – it is a political problem.”
And Senator Elizabeth Warren proclaimed: “I support the Green New Deal. We have got to make change. We’ve got to make big change. And we’ve got to do it fast – we’re running out of time.”
But what’s fascinating about the Democratic candidates is that all of them – while promising action on the climate – have completely abandoned the main policy vehicle for combating global warming that Democrats, and even a few Republicans, championed until a few years ago.
That was the imposition of a carbon tax – or a Wall Street friendly “cap and trade” system – to gradually increase the price of oil, gas, coal and other fossil fuels to create economic incentives, in the free market system, for cleaner energy.