Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Out of sight, out of mind

In an earlier post, the blog questioned Clinton’s commitment to the environment crisis. 

We now read that Hillary Clinton has dropped the words “climate change” from most of her public addresses since winning the endorsement of her party rival Bernie Sanders, according to Climate Home analysis. While the presidential candidate talks regularly about her plan for the US to become a “clean energy superpower”, in recent months she has rarely made reference to the planetary crisis that necessitates it. During the last six months of Clinton’s primary campaign against Sanders, the transcript log of her speeches shows she was talking about climate change at one out of every two speeches she gave. Clinton’s realpolitik has left some Sanders supporters worried about how she will represent their issues as president.

A search for the word “environment” reveals just how little weight Clinton’s campaign considers broader environmental issues to have with voters. In the 78 speeches for which Clinton’s campaign have logged transcripts in 2016, she mentions the word in just four

Timmons Roberts, Ittleson professor of environmental studies at Brown University explains “It’s not a core issue for her, it’s an add-on. I think her positions have really been lacking an understanding of the depth and breadth of the transformation that’s necessary. Her position has always been that we can build 500 million solar panels, but she never really addresses actively shutting down the fossil fuel side.” On carbon pricing and fracking he believed Clinton had failed to take the stance necessitated by the climate crisis.

Research from Yale released in July indicates that even during the hottest year ever recorded, only the 17% of voters who describe themselves as “alarmed” about climate change rank it as a top-tier election issue. Shouldn't a "leader" be leading and making the issue a primary concern for people? Or is it another example of a "leader" following. 

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