Who Makes Policy Campaign 2016 Edition

There may be a better reason to leave the country than just a Trump victory

We’ve heard it time and time again since the devastation that occurred a month ago- “I am going to move to (insert any country, island, or planet here)”. While some have found that attitude to be the extremist way of responding to opposing political authority, that attitude may get a boost in membership soon due to climate change. Climate change has really affected this country, and if you look at California’s  (a state that is pushing for  greenhouse gas emission controls) pattern of drought lately, you can see that migration has been the response of many of its residents. Widespread crop and pasture losses and shortages of water in reservoirs, streams, and wells is what California is dealing with and could become a reality for other states as well given an administration that believes climate change isn’t something to be worried about or that is even exists.  In case you’re thinking about packing up those boxes, for whatever reason, this old Atlantic article recommends Switzerland.

It’s the end of the world as we know it (and I don’t feel fine)

So after someone whispered in Trump’s ear that he can not just dismantle the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), he went ahead and hired a climate denier to head the agency, well played sir.  Scott Pruitt, who currently serves as the attorney general of Oklahoma is notorious for coordinating cases against federal agencies and has even set up a “federalism unit” in order to address perceived federal overreach. One of the many cases that this “federalism unit” is currently pursuing is the 28-state lawsuit against the Obama administration over climate change regulations. It seems that there should be some rule in place to not allow a fervent climate denier and coal-industry supporter to this position, sort of how the court systems don’t allow those who have can’t maintain objectivity to be part of a jury. America is the defendant here and it seems like we will not be winning this case. More on this from the NY Times.

Actions Speak Louder Than Words

There are plenty of people attempting to be hopeful about America’s future since the election of Mr. Donald Trump. Phrases that have been passed around have be in the realm of…Maybe this is what America needs, Something new could work- (In reference to Mr. Trump’s political inexperience and in my opinion under-qualification for the position) and my personal favorite- He was just saying those things to secure his base, now that he’s in, he’s been reversing his stance on his positions.” However true that might be that Mr. Trump has mentioned things like considering climate change efforts and “softening” on immigration, his administration have fired back with affirming positions that mimic those promised during the campaign. This Atlantic article describes how Trump mentioned exploring climate change issues and then his administration reported that they would be cutting all NASA funding for research. I guess we will have to wait and see what ACTIONS transpire.

Hillary Clinton on Climate Change w/ a Special Guest Appearance.

Hillary Clinton dedicated an entire speech in Miami to the subject of climate change on October 11th 2016. At Clinton’s side was former Vice President Al Gore, who is one of the most recognizable voices in the climate change arena. Good Move!  Clinton’s speech was heavy on climate details, both with regards to the consequences of climate change and her vision for how the United States can adapt to the challenges ahead. She reiterated her plans such as installing 500 million solar panels across the United States by the end of her first term . Florida is the sunshine state, but access to solar power is largely blocked by the energy industry (I’ll write another blog on this conundrum). She took hits at both Trump and Florida Senator Marco Rubio on their climate denial.  She educated the audience about global alliance needed to address climate change by talking up the Paris Agreement, mentioning what as success it is to have 195 countries agree on the need for climate change to be addressed. She also spoke of how climate change and environmental issues disproportionately impact low-income populations and communities of color and pledged to include these communities in the transition to a clean economy. Gore’s contribution to the speech was more scientific than Clinton’s but he reminded the audience what happened in Florida in the year 2000, with the audience chanting back “You Won”.  I was convinced. I am still convinced.

Climate Change: Pope’s influence is running low

A little over a week ago we all wrote polling briefs on the salience of our topic and what action, if any, should be taken by our principals. FiveThirtyEight.com reported last week pretty much what I told my principal- What you have done already has caused no noticeable change, so it’s time to do more. Click here to read what my polling brief could have looked like. 

Strategy: Not talking about climate change

As the election nears, many news outlets have reported on issues that they  feel were either not discussed enough or not discussed at all during the campaign trail. One of the issues largely touted as ignored is Climate Change. An article from Slate states “During the three debates, the candidates spent 5 minutes and 27 seconds (about 2 percent of the time) on the topic” [climate change]. While the fact that so little air time has been given to this global issue angers some, others see the benefit. Democrats and Republicans share opposing views on the climate change topic and many of its sub-categories (e.g: renewable energy), and it is possible that more time spent on this topic would work to refuel partisan beliefs. The lack of repetition about plans to tackle climate change from the candidates may in fact make it easier for the incoming president to push a climate policy as hopefully opposition won’t be so tied to a particular concept, since well they haven’t heard much about a particular concept.



Wikileaks is everywhere!!!

This week Wikileaks released some 2014 e-mails involving John Podesta (Future Madame President’s campaign chair). These emails essentially depict the members of liberal think tanks attitudes towards a particular writer’s column on climate on four beloved fivethirtyeight.com- The writer, Roger Pielke questioned the link between rising natural disaster costs and climate change. Piece’s argument is that the rising natural disaster cost has little to do with climate change and more to do with the factor that the world is getting wealthier which just means we have more (infrastructure, housing, materials, etc) to lose. The emails found in Podestsa’s gmail account describe how Judd Legum (editor of  ThinkProgress) believed Climate Progress, the environmental arm of ThinkProgress, got Pielke to stop writing about climate change for FiveThirtyEight and thus eclipsing his reach. “I think it’s fair to say that, without Climate Progress, Pielke would still be writing on climate change for 538,” Legum wrote.

Sneaky Sneaky! More on that here.

Will US energy policy push fossil fuels or renewable energy?

In all honesty, I can’t  answer this question with certainty. The question will be answered by what energy and climate policy the next president adopts as we know the candidates differ.  An article published over a month ago titled “Memo to next president: Here’s how to avoid our history of energy policy mistakes”  is one that I would encourage the candidates advisers to read, if they haven’t already. The article goes on to discuss innovation and much more than the coal industry issues that are talked about in media all the time. It is essentially a list of all the times the American government has failed at an energy policy- Fun stuff!!

The Animals… That usually gets people listening

An article from Huffington Post  states that the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco agreed with the National Marine Fisheries Service in its decision to list a species of seals as “threatened.” The court made its decision based on forecast models that show climate change will drive melting ice and habitat loss. Maybe a marketing campaign on habitat loss as a result of climate change is what we need to increase the importance of this issue.

“Civilization Thrives’ In Warm Weather!”

I’m just going to say it, I hate the cold frigid weather we have been having this week. Where is the Global Warming that they speak so dearly about ?  Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin-R has really touched my heart with his most recent climate change statement- “How many people are moving up toward the Antarctica, or the Arctic? Most people move down to Texas and Florida, where it’s a little bit warmer.”  Now we all know that global warming is a slow process and in tackling it one has to think of future generations, however many people see no urgency in the issue because well it’s not currently affecting them. Where is the America that liked to be prepared? How does one raise the alarm over this issue when well we all want it to be sunny an warm all the time.