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Climate Advocates Nearly Unanimous: Bernie's Plan Is Best

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Marilyn MonHoe

We asked longtime climate advocates which candidate has the best and boldest plan to halt climate change. The answer was nearly unanimous: Bernie Sanders.

Climate change is the greatest threat facing humanity, and for the past nine months, the Democratic candidates have been jostling to prove which of them is the most serious about tackling the crisis and who has the most effective and ambitious plan to do so. Voters are now weighing the various plans, but some of the country’s leading environmental and climate groups have already singled out a leader in the pack so far: Bernie Sanders and his Green New Deal plan.

In near unanimity, representatives from these organizations pointed to Sanders’s plan as standing above the rest, positioning him as a leader on an issue whose urgency is increasingly recognized by the public.

“At this point, Bernie Sanders’s Green New Deal is the most comprehensive and most aggressive of the plans that have been laid out so far,” says Mitch Jones, climate and energy program director at Food & Water Watch. The organization’s national organizing co-director Mark Schlosberg wrote earlier this month that “its scope and ambition dwarf all other proposals,” that it’s a response “big enough and bold enough” to meet the challenge, and that we should “rally around this plan and make it real.”

“From our perspective, Bernie Sanders has the strongest plan when it comes to taking on the fossil fuel industry,” says Jenny Marienau, program manager at 350 Action. The organization’s director, Tamara O’Laughlin, added that Sanders was “leading the field on ambition for a just transition,” and that his legislation would be a “model” for the election season.

Sunrise Movement cofounder and political director Evan Weber said: “The Green New Deal laid out by Bernie Sanders’s campaign is the biggest and boldest and most ambitious we’ve seen yet. It seems to really grasp the scale of the challenge first and foremost, while also recognizing the opportunity we have to transform our economy and stop the climate crisis and so no one gets left behind in the economy.”

Likewise, Greenpeace put Sanders at the top of the heap on its 2020 climate scorecard, giving him the only “A” in the field. (Washington governor Jay Inslee had topped Greenpeace’s rankings with an A- before dropping out.) In advance of last week’s climate town hall on CNN, candidates had scrambled to improve their scores, with several moving dramatically up in the rankings, most notably Elizabeth Warren, who shot up from fifth place, with a B, to second place, with an A-. Even after this last-minute bidding war, however, Sanders stayed at number one.

Those interviewed gave a variety of reasons for scoring Sanders’s plan so highly. Jones of Food & Water Watch pointed not just to the timelines and level of investment in Sanders’s plan, but the fact that it was “economy-wide” and dealt not just with climate, but agriculture, water systems, and a fair and just transition for workers and communities.

“Given the size of the challenge ahead of us, his is the only one that measures up,” he says.

Jones added that the price tag for Sanders’s Green New Deal — $16.3 trillion over fifteen years — is “the sort of investment that needs to be made if you’re going to make the rapid transition off of fossil fuels that’s necessary,” and said it should be viewed as a benchmark going forward. Similarly, 350 Action’s Marienau pointed to Sanders’s commitment to massively raising taxes on corporate polluters, taking on fossil fuel wealth, and building renewable energy.

Weber noted that Sanders’s plan was unique in envisioning “a very robust role for the federal government to drive” the transition, and said its level of federal investment was “on a scale that far surpasses what the other candidates have got so far.” Charlie Jiang, climate campaigner with Greenpeace USA, singled out several factors, including its larger investment in clean energy transformation and helping communities transition, and the plan’s commitment to turn off the faucet of fossil fuel production, which he says “goes further than the other candidates.” Greenpeace’s scorecard notes that Sanders’s Green New Deal would “immediately end federal subsidies and leases for fossil fuel production, halt new oil, gas, and coal projects, and ban harmful fracking and mountain-top removal practices.”

Since the town hall, and as the Democratic bidding war over climate change proposals continues, several issues have emerged as points of contrast between the candidates. One is a proposed nationwide ban on fracking. Sanders has been virtually alone in calling for such a ban since his 2016 presidential run, continuing to do so this year even before releasing his Green New Deal proposal. Other candidates have been slow to follow. Kamala Harris officially signed on during her climate town hall segment, while Warren finally came out for the ban this past weekend.

While all the major candidates have committed to banning oil and gas drilling on public lands and offshore, and several are now supporting a nationwide ban on fracking, only Sanders has thus far committed to restoring the ban on crude oil and gas exports, and putting a moratorium on fossil fuel infrastructure projects. He’s also the only major candidate so far to pledge to end mountaintop removal coal mining. Even so, environmentalists say all the candidates could go further.

Another issue dividing the field is that of democratizing electricity generation. Doing so is a major part of Sanders’s plan, which proposes the US government take a leading role in creating renewable energy infrastructure and providing power to the country, while leaving a role for private ownership of renewable power. Other candidates have not gone so far, including Warren, who said last week she wasn’t “sure that’s what gets you to the solutions.”

As it stands, with Inslee out of the race, Sanders is now the leading candidate on climate, having proposed the boldest and most ambitious plans for tackling the climate crisis and setting the bar for even the most progressive candidates. By contrast, Biden is, besides Pete Buttigieg, the candidate environmental groups are most leery of, and continues to waver in signaling how seriously he takes the issue.

Source: https://jacobinmag.com/2019/09/bernie-sanders-2020-presidential-election-climate-change-green-new-deal

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arrtpop

i think i’m team bernie now. kills me because i love warren with all my heart but bernie and her are pretty similar and my ideal option is a ticket with both of them 

aphrodite
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TheQueenLG

Sanders' plan will cost 11 trillion, magnitudes more than the other candidates' plans, but he will reach net-zero carbon at the same times as the others. 

Someone is being disingenuous here, in regard to to the math and projections of their plans. 

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Marilyn MonHoe
12 minutes ago, TheQueenLG said:

Sanders' plan will cost 11 trillion, magnitudes more than the other candidates' plans, but he will reach net-zero carbon at the same times as the others. 

Someone is being disingenuous here, in regard to to the math and projections of their plans. 

Actually it will cost $16.3 Trillion dollars. It costs more because his plan goes further than anyone else's. Take a look at this article: https://www.vox.com/2019/8/22/20827396/bernie-sanders-2020-climate-policy-green-new-deal

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Reginald

:heart: We can get this Progressive win in 2020.

I'm scared and nervous for entire planet, I'm overwhelmed and exhausted. But I'm hopeful.  People are listening this time. 

nihilist blues
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Economy

Ban on fracking?

 

if its sudden an immediate that would cause a Great Depression like the 1930s

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TheQueenLG
30 minutes ago, HorusRa2 said:

💛 you angel! Get ready for tonight! Let’s hope we talk about climate change for more than the last 5 minutes of 3 hours

Hey! Do you remember me? We were debating healthcare a while ago. I was for a public option, while you were for M4A. Just wanted to tell you that you were right!! I did more research, and most reports on healthcare, including reports compiled by the CBO, suggest that a public option would simply be inadequate. 

I'm now 100% for M4A! 

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Economy

Im all for fixing the environment but big cuts will be required to pay for this not only in military but in other stuff too

 

also taxes need to go up

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