How to vote for the environment in this election
The pitiless process of democracy has finally weeded out a field of hopeful presidential candidates to the two people no one wanted.
But while the people of the United States are already out of luck this year, what about the environment?
With global warming an ever more obvious problem and the government thus far having failed to take serious and effective action, does either candidate promise to finally do something about it? Who should you vote for if the environment is your top concern? Let’s take a look at some of the candidates and their record.
Let’s just get this one out of the way first: Despite looking like a carrot, Donald Trump is probably not much of a friend of the environment. As far as anyone can tell at least. Trump is notoriously hard to pin down on what his opinions actually are, but at least for this campaign system, he has been pretty adamant that global warming is a hoax. In fact he claimed that it was invented by the Chinese to gain a competitive business advantage somehow.
The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 6, 2012
Yes, that really happened. Though like anyone who says something epochally stupid, he soon walked those comments back.
As far as things stand at the moment, Trump is standing behind the standard business friendly “the climate is cyclical” line.
So if you want a president who is going to press for action on climate change, Trump is probably not your guy. Shocking, right?
Hilary Clinton is probably the best bet for a competitive candidate who cares about environmental issues. Part of her stated campaign platform is to make America the leader in clean energy.
She has also called climate change the defining challenge of our time, and said “I won’t let anyone take us backward, deny our economy the benefits of harnessing a clean energy future, or force our children to endure the catastrophe that would result from unchecked climate change.”
She even took some flack for promising to put “coal miners out of jobs.” Which while admittedly is a harsh way to put it, it is probably going to be necessary for us to stop burning huge amounts of coal if we want to halt climate change, so we can’t fault her there.
Of course, all of that sounds great, but Clinton might not be a flawless champion of the environment, having received almost 7 million dollars from oil and gas industry lobbyists for her campaign. And a bill like that eventually comes due.
So, is Hillary the right choice for the environment? Probably not, but she’s a much better choice than Trump.
Jill Stein is the candidate of the Green Party, and as the choice of the party founded on concern for the environment, is probably worth a mention.
Of course, having raised a mere fraction of the money that either Trump or Clinton has, it seems pretty unlikely that Stein has any serious chance at winning. That’s unfortunate because her policies regarding the environment are probably the most vigorous of any candidate running, calling for regular international benchmarks for reducing greenhouse emissions and some muscular enforcement policies.
So you know, if you’re going to throw away your vote anyway voting for someone you hate if statistics are any indication, you might as well throw it away on someone like Stein who is probably the best choice to do something about global warming.